Xtreme Heaters vs. Old Man Winter in a Well Water Pump House Heater (2023 Update)


As the winter season of 2023 comes to a close, it's time to revisit how the Large Xtreme heater performed in keeping a 10x10x6 well pump house with plumbing and a pressure tank warm. Since the 2019 version of this article a couple of things have changed.  There are more air leaks (nice term for holes) than there were.  We've also changed up the pump and plumbing a bit by getting rid of the jet style pump, replacing it with a submersible pump.  This changeup included the addition of a pressure tank as well.  The sensors were changed out for something a bit more convenient that would email the logs daily rather than having to haul a laptop out there to collect the data. The next evolution of this ongoing experiment will have the data posted live to our website.

The heater which ran perfectly for 5 years was upgraded to our newest design this year as well and proved to be equally reliable all season.

The Setup

The shed/pump house is 10x10 and about 6' tall at the center ridge.  Doubling as storage, the well, plumbing and pressure tank are to the left in the photo.  To the right is a generator and behind that a mower.  The heater is placed about centerline.  You can see it just behind the generator, on the slab.  In retrospect, I believe it may have been even more effective if I had raised it up a bit so the warm air wasn't blowing across that cold slab as it was circulating. 

There are two temperature sensors in the pump house.  One is placed behind the pressure tank so it is not in the direct airflow from the heater.  The other is on top of the yellow generator, behind the heater, so only circulated air reaches it.


The biggest challenge to overcome for the Xtreme Heater was air leaks.  The roof is a corrugated tin panel.  Where it meets the walls there are periodic openings which let heat out and wind in.  Some are filled with spray foam, but as you can see in the photo, some are not.  This photo was taken from the inside with the doors closed.  One of the corrugation bends is visible in the center and some more light leakage to the right, along the roof seam.  Another challenge (air leak) is that the thin, tin doors don't offer a good seal when closed.  Despite these challenges, the heater did it's job and worked great.  See the results documented below.

Efficient Heating Solution (Results)

The Large Xtreme heater continues to prove to be a reliable and efficient heating solution for the pump house. Despite the harsh winter conditions, the heater was able to maintain above freezing temperatures inside the shed, while outdoor temps plunged into the teens, ensuring that the plumbing and pressure tank were protected from freezing. 

The graph below illustrates the actual results and demonstrates how our heaters operate.  The data points are temperature readings recorded at one minute intervals for approximately 24 hours.  At the beginning of the chart, you "see" the sun come up as the blue line (outdoor temperature) rises.  The orange and green lines represent the sensors inside the well house which you can see rise into the 50's during the day.  Toward the middle of the graph, as the outdoor temps drop, the pump house follows, until it reaches about 40 degrees inside (the activation temperature of the heater).  This was about 9:40pm.  Once the heater begins to cycle, the temperature stabilizes above freezing.  Toward the end of the graph, the sun is coming up and the outdoor temperature begins to recover from the 15 degree low.  Inside, the temperature in front of the heater logged a low temperature of 34.7.  Behind the heater, the lowest temperature logged was 32.0 degrees.


 Peace of Mind

With the Xtreme heater in place, there was peace of mind knowing that the well house was well-protected from the winter chill. The heater's ability to keep the shed above freezing temperatures ensured that the plumbing and pressure tank remained in optimal running condition.

Overall, the Large Xtreme heater continues to exceed expectations in its performance over the winter season. Its ability to keep the 10x10x6 pump house warm, despite the leaky tin shed and frigid outdoor temperatures, demonstrates its reliability and efficiency as a heating solution.

Next Season

Next season, the plan is to add foam insulation to the walls and seal up the air gaps that make this shed so leaky.  Instead of stress-testing a heater, we'll experiment with the efficacy and efficiency of our Small Xtreme Heater and Medium Xtreme Heater.  With the air leaks sealed up and a bit of insulation, we'll find out if less heat is required to keep the pump house above freezing.

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