In An Area With Frequent Power Outages? How Can You Keep Your Well Pump Working?

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If you live in a rural area with above-ground electric lines, you may find yourself dealing with frequent power outages as storms or farm equipment damage nearby power lines. For homes that also have well water, power outages can cut off your access to clean water and even prevent you from flushing your toilets. What can you do to keep your well pump operating during power outages -- and if you can't afford a generator, is there anything you can do to prevent damage to your well pump from regular cycling on and off? Here is how to power your well pump without electricity. 

How can you keep your well pump operating during a power outage? 

The only way to keep an electric well pump working at all times is to have a backup generator -- either a whole-house generator or a portable gas-powered one that can keep a few key appliances (like freezers, well pumps, and water heaters) active during power outages. The latter type of generator is usually well worth the investment if you find yourself dealing with more than a few power outages each year, as the cost of a spoiled freezer or refrigerator's worth of food (or the hassle of staying in a hotel while your home is without power or heat in the dead of winter) can often dwarf the cost of a small generator.

If you don't yet have a generator, you'll still have access to the water in your water heater and your well's storage tank until these reserves run dry. By being judicious in your use of water, you should be able to let this supply stretch for at least a few days, helping you get through all but the lengthiest power outages. One way you can conserve quite a bit is by using bathwater, pool water, or other "grey water" to flush your toilet by pouring this water directly into the tank rather than using clean water that can be better put to other uses during an outage.

Should you do anything to protect your well pump during a power outage? 

As with lights and electronic devices, it's usually a good idea to power off your well pump during a power outage and then manually start it back up once power is restored. This will help avoid potential damage to your pump if the power flickers for a bit once it comes on or if an electrical surge comes through the outlet while it's powering back up. By waiting to turn your pump back on until power is steady, you should soon have ready access to clean, fresh water.  For assistance, talk to a professional like County Pump & Supply Co.

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