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Old 10-25-2019, 06:13 AM   #1
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Water well in attached garage. Heat it from the heated crawlspace nearby?


Basically, this is wondering about building a small pump house over a well in a garage and heating it from the crawlspace that is 6 feet away.

House with attached garage.
Water well is inside the garage, about 6 feet from the wall shared by the house and garage.
The water pipe, about 6 inches above the ground, runs from the well, through that wall, into the crawlspace.
"Through the wall" is actually through the 4'x3' crawlspace door (removable part of the wall). It has a cutout slot for fitting around the pipe.

The crawlspace is heated. The garage is not.

Heating an attached garage with house heat can come with various problems.
But what about cutting out a one square foot or so section in the crawlspace door and building an insulated tunnel/corridor from the crawlspace to the well? (and over the well.)

That's not heating a garage. It's more just extending a crawlspace.

I don't know if it would even heat the pump area good enough. Though it only has to stay above freezing.

There's heat tape on the pipe, and it works fine, but a house heater is more reliable than heat tape.
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Old 10-25-2019, 06:31 AM   #2
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Re: Water well in attached garage. Heat it from the heated crawlspace nearby?


IF the well head is enclosed with a cover, install an incandescent light bulb operated via a thermo cube. It will only come on at 35 degrees and keep the air warm, and go off at 42 degrees. I use them in my well houses and have never had a problem. I check the bulb every winter.

https://www.homedepot.com/p/120-VAC-...-TC3/100210525

https://www.homedepot.com/p/Leviton-...-00W/100170446
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Old 10-25-2019, 11:18 AM   #3
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Re: Water well in attached garage. Heat it from the heated crawlspace nearby?


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Originally Posted by chandler48 View Post
install an incandescent light bulb operated via a thermo cube
Are you talking like an A19 100W bulb or like a 250W heat lamp bulb? Will the 100W still heat up the space enough in Wisconsin if it gets to -10d outside and maybe 15d inside?
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Old 10-25-2019, 12:45 PM   #4
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Re: Water well in attached garage. Heat it from the heated crawlspace nearby?


Hanging a 100w light bulb in the well has been done in the past and does help. Though last winter it burned out, twice. The chances of that happening are low, but it happened.

Having the bulb under the well cover makes it very hard to see if it's on even at night since only slivers of light shine through the well cover area. So the quickest way to find out the bulb is burned out is if the pipes are frozen from the bulb burning out.

Combine that with last winter being brutal, many days down around -20F, and that's what led to this thread.

Heat tape on the pipe as it comes out of the well and travels 6 feet to the crawlspace worked fine, and was enough by itself when the light bulb was burned out. But heat tape can break too.

There's freeze alarms and things with warning lights, wifi ones that send a message to your phone, etc. So something like that would help monitor things, but that's also another thing that can potentially work improperly. If that pipe and top of the well can be heated from the crawlspace heat, then it'd be obvious if it's not getting heat because the entire house would also not be getting heat.

But right now, I don't know if doing such a thing would have similar difficulties, and potential code violations, as heating an entire attached garage would.
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Old 10-25-2019, 02:05 PM   #5
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Re: Water well in attached garage. Heat it from the heated crawlspace nearby?


Your setup may not have been to strict code anyway, it sounds like you maybe had a plywood crawlspace door with gaps. If you build an enclosure and leave it open into the crawlspace, the enclosure just needs 1/2" G.B with fire-taped joints. But probably no access point in the new enclosure then.

Off topic, is your username FM3 related to Mopars?
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Old 10-25-2019, 04:15 PM   #6
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Re: Water well in attached garage. Heat it from the heated crawlspace nearby?


The crawlspace door (about 4'x3' removable panel) is 6 or so inches thick of wood and foam board insulation. It's thick and heavy and fits in there snug.

I was thinking the enclosure wouldn't need any access point, and the enclosure doesn't need to be bolted to the floor or anything, so maybe construct it in sections for easy removal to get into the crawlspace, or remove it during spring through fall if desired for some reason.

A basic version would just need to be basically a 6-foot-long box for the pipe area, and then a 3-foot or so square box for around the well area. And put insulation in it.

Plenty of people want to heat their garage using house heat but run into problems due to code violations, potential garage chemical fumes return air duct problems, etc. But this certainly wouldn't have a return air duct.

It's difficult to find discussions about this since it's a rare thing to do. And can't even do searches for "well" because search engines think it's too common of a word. haha. At this point, still trying to figure out if it's a dumb idea for some obvious reason I'm missing.

Nope on the Mopar.
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Old 10-25-2019, 04:54 PM   #7
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Re: Water well in attached garage. Heat it from the heated crawlspace nearby?


So a slot in the door is already a violation, if you build this box it should continue right into the crawlspace and door should be modified to fit around the box. A foam box should also be wrapped with a fire resistant , drywall or plywood.
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Old 10-25-2019, 05:38 PM   #8
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Re: Water well in attached garage. Heat it from the heated crawlspace nearby?


Quote:
Are you talking like an A19 100W bulb or like a 250W heat lamp bulb? Will the 100W still heat up the space enough in Wisconsin if it gets to -10d outside and maybe 15d inside?
@3onthetree , you have a good point. If the well house is inside the garage, it may be possible the temps don't go down that low, but they could. If it is insulated well, I should think a 100w bulb would keep enough heat and not cause it to overheat, like a heat lamp would.

Our temps don't get that low, but when they are unseasonably cold I check on the well, lifting the lid and the light is always off.....for a few seconds, then it comes on because of the influx of cold air, so I know it is working in our climate.
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Old 10-25-2019, 05:49 PM   #9
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Re: Water well in attached garage. Heat it from the heated crawlspace nearby?


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Originally Posted by chandler48 View Post
@3onthetree , you have a good point. If the well house is inside the garage, it may be possible the temps don't go down that low, but they could. If it is insulated well, I should think a 100w bulb would keep enough heat and not cause it to overheat, like a heat lamp would.

Our temps don't get that low, but when they are unseasonably cold I check on the well, lifting the lid and the light is always off.....for a few seconds, then it comes on because of the influx of cold air, so I know it is working in our climate.
Set it up for 2 bulbs with switch on the second one. Can be turned on when it gets real cold.
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Old 10-25-2019, 06:18 PM   #10
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Re: Water well in attached garage. Heat it from the heated crawlspace nearby?


Neal, another solution, with the fear of the bulb burning out prematurely or without the owner's knowledge, would be to install two bulbs purchased at different times, from different manufacturers so they would have different lives. The switch idea would boost the heat, for sure, though.
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Old 10-25-2019, 09:05 PM   #11
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Re: Water well in attached garage. Heat it from the heated crawlspace nearby?


If the temps get deep cold, I'm not convinced an insulated tunnel would get enough residual heat over to the well, at least not without some kind of air circulation. I think Chandler and Neal give some good options, but anything, tape, bulbs, etc. can potentially fail. You could also try commercial grade pipe insulation wrap. If you that concerned, probably one of the wireless monitoring devices is your best bet.
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Old 10-25-2019, 09:13 PM   #12
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Re: Water well in attached garage. Heat it from the heated crawlspace nearby?


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Originally Posted by lenaitch View Post
If the temps get deep cold, I'm not convinced an insulated tunnel would get enough residual heat over to the well, at least not without some kind of air circulation. I think Chandler and Neal give some good options, but anything, tape, bulbs, etc. can potentially fail. You could also try commercial grade pipe insulation wrap. If you that concerned, probably one of the wireless monitoring devices is your best bet.
Just fill the well with moon shine.
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Old 10-26-2019, 08:01 AM   #13
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Re: Water well in attached garage. Heat it from the heated crawlspace nearby?


To help with the bulb longevity, you could install "220v" bulbs. They will burn at half the brightness, but should last twice as long. Just a thought. https://www.bulbs.com/product/75A-220-220V

Or even 130v rough duty bulbs. https://www.amazon.com/12-Bulbs-Serv...NrPXRydWU&th=1
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Old 10-26-2019, 08:22 AM   #14
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Re: Water well in attached garage. Heat it from the heated crawlspace nearby?


I would concentrate on electric heat. Forget the crawl space idea. It won't work well without return air, and likely be a code violation.


I would be looking at very small electric heating elements, similar to baseboard electric. Then control thermostatically.
Electric baseboard heat is about as dependable as any heat source.


Maybe something like this
https://www.amazon.com/Allied-Precis...092829&sr=8-32
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Old 10-26-2019, 12:25 PM   #15
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Re: Water well in attached garage. Heat it from the heated crawlspace nearby?


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Originally Posted by Nealtw View Post
So a slot in the door is already a violation, if you build this box it should continue right into the crawlspace and door should be modified to fit around the box.
The current slot is actually in the bottom part of the wall. I think the removable panel door just has an overhang in the front with a slot so the overhang can overlap a bit of the wall. Though if it does, maybe that would still be a violation. I'd have to look at it again. I didn't think it mattered either way, but that's why I'm asking on here about all this.
Quote:
Originally Posted by lenaitch View Post
If the temps get deep cold, I'm not convinced an insulated tunnel would get enough residual heat over to the well, at least not without some kind of air circulation.
I'm not convinced either. All other problems and concerns are secondary if the thing wouldn't even stay warm enough.
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