Equipment is best located in cavity wall built garages with sealed windows and doors or inside pump sheds, boiler houses or inside weather-proof Keter cabinets with padlocks fitted which will avoid the need for lagging of pipes or frost stats in over 99% of cases with -10C low temperatures. In previous winters, temperatures dropped to -15C to 20C in some parts of Galway so it is better to be safe with frost stats added to Keter cabinets and some of the more exposed sheds and garages.
Frost stats can be used to protect equipment at higher altitudes, or in less sheltered locations such as metal garages, wooden sheds or outbuildings with loose fitting doors or windows, or if wind chill temperatures drop below -10 to -15 degrees celcius, or when premises are vacated for prolonged periods.
Frost stats with lamps from 100 to 250 watt bulbs can be retrofitted to existing outdoor cabinet installations. (Double electrical sockets are fitted in virtually all of our installations.)
**Due to equipment manufacturers' warranty exclusions and because of unpredictable weather conditions, the effects of frost on any equipment are explicitly excluded from all equipment warranty cover.
Avoiding pipework, pump and equipment damage
- Between zero and minus 5 degrees, households are unlikely to be affected by temporary frost even if short sections of pipe are indirectly exposed to the elements as long as water is in regular use. However, water pumps and water systems should be housed in sealed sheds, garages or enclosures with tight fitting doors and windows.
- For lower temperatures or for peace of mind in any conditions, a frost stat can be installed by the customer with a 100 / 250 watt bulb for small enclosures or 500 to 2000 watt lamps and fan heaters for larger sheds and outbuildings. In virtually all cases, up to minus 5 degrees and towards minus 10 degrees these should not be needed, except ...
a) well water that is sourced from exceptionally cold conditions below ground.
b) outbuildings with single block wall construction or those made from wood or metal.
c) outbuildings with loose fitting doors and windows or without doors and windows.
d) premises left unoccupied for several days.
e) premises in higher altitudes or those exposed to the elements in hilly areas.
(or a combination of some or all of the above.)
Rather than leaving kitchen cold taps trickling overnight on cold spells below minus 5C to prevent shallow buried pipes from freezing, instead put the plug in a bath and run the bath cold tap at a rate of half a litre per minute. Use the water collected in the bath to occasionally flush toilets as required. Also program washing machines and dishwashers on time lapsed settings to wash during 12am to 2am or 4am to 6am (allow for the occasional backwashing of water softeners at 2am to 3.30am).
Houses collectively running their taps overnight on local water supplies in cold spells will heavily reduce the local water supply pressure - the indication of this may be seen by water levels in water softener salt bins rising to higher levels or overfilling, this is due to water softeners being unable to siphon water back out of brine tanks when water pressure becomes low. Water treatment systems may temporarily lose effective capacity to soften after a few hours if taps are left running heavily within a household.
Garden taps or kitchen cold taps left fully running at up to 15 - 20 litres per minute in any 24 hour period can use up to 30,000 litres of wasted water which is equal to the average water use of 120 households, enough to equal the daily water use of many large villages or major city housing estates. Many schemes have been shut down completely during recent cold spells with reservoir levels heavily depleted caused by as low as one in ten houses running taps fully.
Equipment manufacturers have warranty exclusions when it comes to damage by frost, so try to avoid pump and water treatment system damage by following all our guidelines. Many insurance companies cover the damage caused by freezing temperatures.
Pricing for the supply and installation of new well water pumps can exceed 500 euros and call outs to rectify frost affected pipework or equipment can exceed 100 euros so do not delay in checking if all equipment is adequately protected throughout adverse weather conditions.
Galway Water operate a full 365 day call out service if required including Xmas day and New Years day for emergencies.