Do I need insulation?

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Old 08-17-19, 03:10 PM
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Do I need insulation?

Recently bought a house in NC near the VA border, and I have a well in the yard. It is covered by the word's most conspicuous fiberglass rocks. The previous owner just had the pressure tank replaced, which is under the fake rock with the well. The well pump is submersible and all I see on top are some PVC pipes with a pressure gauge.

There are some remains of insulation on the pipes but not enough to do anything...I'm wondering why it's not insulated? Does it need to be insulated in this kind of area? Its warm most of the year but it is not uncommon to get a week or two in the single digits every year. Seems like the pressure tank could freeze solid if it wasn't used for a day or two. Am I correct? Or does that fake rock provide enough insulation with the ground heat? I think our frost depth is only 12".

I go out of town a lot and I don't want to come back to a frozen well/burst pipe. I won't always be able to just run the water to keep it from freezing, it could be sitting for a week or two.
 
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Old 08-17-19, 05:37 PM
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Here in Nebraska it gets much colder than VA... our well was always deep enough that the heat from the ground kept everything inside the well warm enough without any insulation, pipe wrap, or heat tape. (The ground 8 feet down is a constant 50F.) But we did put bales of straw on top of the well and around the perimeter as "insulation" to keep that ground temperature in.
 
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Old 08-19-19, 02:18 PM
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Interesting. I'm new to this area so I'm not totally sure what to expect. I know a week or two at single digits is possible. I guess the fiberglass rock adds some insulation from the ground heat but doesn't seem like much. I guess I'll just have to keep an eye on it. It is more common in this area to see a well covered with a pre-cast round concrete cover, I feel like that would keep the heat in much better.

It seems odd that there was insulation on the pipes, and then somebody removed it. Could have been the plumber who just replaced the pressure tank, but I don't know why. Is it normal to have the pressure tank out by the well like this? I thought they should be under the house or in a mechanical area like a water heater where it stays warmer.

I'm thinking about building a small doghouse size structure on top and getting rid of the fake rock, it's kind of ugly. I could insulate the walls/roof of the little house much better than the fiberglass rock.

Should I install some kind of thermostatic heat tape just in case? I guess it doesn't cost that much...
 
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