Getting Ready for the Winter? Make Sure Pumps Are Ready Too.

10/06/2020

Before cold weather hits, outdoor water system pumps require special care and maintenance. Referred to as winterization, this routine service is critical for pumps used in fountains, ponds, aerators and pools. Just as critical is having the service performed by a licensed or registered contractor. Franklin Electric pumps are built and designed to be installed according to local codes and regulations, so it’s important to find a licensed contractor who can partner with you to deliver scheduled maintenance on your equipment. Their expertise includes knowing how handle this equipment in a way that reduces the risk of shock, injury, property damage and equipment failure. 

Why winterize?

You probably know that water pipes can freeze. That frozen water expands, leading to damaging (and often costly) cracks and breaks in pipes. In pumps, a similar phenomenon occurs: even pumps that are drained of water require extra care to make sure trapped water doesn’t ruin the unit.

Is winterization always necessary?

If your pump is used in a deep well – and is installed well below the freeze line – you typically don’t have to worry about freezing. However, in a fountain or pond, this isn’t the case. These shallow applications mean freezing is likely -- and that applies to regions throughout the U.S.: from northern climates to temperate cities. While you expect freezing temps in a city like Chicago – even a Southern city like Atlanta can experience dozens of days of freezing temperatures in January and February, leading to damage. Ice is incredibly powerful; even a small amount can cause the heavy casting of a pump to break.

What does it mean to winterize a pump?

Your licensed contractor will winterize your pump in a way that makes the most sense for your property. In some cases, pumps can be disconnected and lowered below the freeze line. In other situations – like shallow ponds and fountains – the pump will need to be removed and drained. Your contractor will locate the pump’s drain plugs and empty out most of the water. However, pumps typically have intricate internal designs with numerous crevices. To assure a pump is fully winterized, your contractor will utilize a special non-toxic antifreeze: what’s known as Propylene Glycol. Propylene. It’s vital that car or RV antifreeze never be used to winterize water pumps. Car antifreeze (Ethylene Glycol) is highly poisonous; RV antifreeze may have additives that are also toxic. In both cases, you never want to introduce these types of chemicals into a water system.

Visit /more/homeowners/find-a-water-well-professional/ to find a water well professional who can partner with you. Want to learn more? Watch this video on Pump Winterization.