How to Unfreeze a FROZEN Water Pump? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 10 Old 03-21-2014, 05:30 PM Thread Starter
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How to Unfreeze a FROZEN Water Pump?

I'm not entirely sure about the specifics, but at the stable, the water pump is frozen and unusable. I left the hose hooked up (big mistake) and now the whole thing is frozen. I turned the water off at the time, but it looks like another stable hand (we work in am/pm shifts) turned it to the "on" position.

Now the water pump itself is frozen and the lever is frozen in the "on" position. Any advice?

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post #2 of 10 Old 03-21-2014, 05:40 PM
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The only thing is to warm it up. Depending on the pump itself and nearby connections, you might have success with a torch, but be VERY careful. You can easily damage seals, electrical, plastic/rubber, etc. A safer, but longer method is to enclose the pump somehow and provide a heat source. A tarp is OK, but then the heat source can't be open flame or too near the tarp. Unless you have someone there who is quite handy with a torch and familiar with the inner workings of the pump, I suggest you use the "enclose and heat" method.

You will also need to consider the line going out - can it be removed? The line may be frozen as well.
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post #3 of 10 Old 03-21-2014, 08:26 PM
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Can you take a pic of the pump?
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post #4 of 10 Old 03-21-2014, 09:16 PM
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You could try warming it with a blow dryer... That is if it isn't too frozen Nd you can warm the pipe down far enough. Try using a pipe wrench to disconnect the hose.

The hose must always be disconnected, otherwise the water won't run back down the pump to the frost free area. If the pump was turned to the on position, it was likely after it had already frozen, otherwise the water would clear out.
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post #5 of 10 Old 03-22-2014, 12:04 AM
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Get a calf lamp like this.

Heat Lamp 9ft Cord Warmer Barn High Heat Porcelain Sockets Aluminum Reflector | eBay

Use a 100w bulb in it. If you can wrap a tarp around it (I wouldn't have the tarp touching the lamp) all the better.

Those are handy to have any way, but I never use a heat lamp bulb in them.
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post #6 of 10 Old 03-22-2014, 11:55 AM
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If this is a hand pump like we saw on the old farms, you can disconnect the head from the outer pip and pull out the inner pipe. That is what will be frozen. The inner pipe may be 8' long so it becomes a balancing act. Take it inside and thaw the line with a hair dryer. Be sure to put the lower in over a bucket as that's where it will drain as the ice melts. I have a more modern version but same thing and it had to be thawed a few times from someone not closing it properly. Once thawed, check for an O ring down there and it's condition. It might be a good time to replace it. These pumps drain back down into a hole in the trench or into a well which is what keeps them frost free.
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post #7 of 10 Old 03-22-2014, 06:02 PM
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Does anyone still have those handpumps? The last one I saw was a tourist thing, although it did work. The last one I saw that was actually in use??? I can't even remember. Proabably about 25 years ago. It's pretty cool, though I'd hate to be the poor sucker that has to go out for the first bucket!
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post #8 of 10 Old 03-22-2014, 07:00 PM
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One grandmother had a small version inside the house (no plumbing). I remember as a kid pumping my arm until it felt like it would fall off before the water arrived. All that work for enough water to wash my hands in. It kept my grandparents in shape.
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post #9 of 10 Old 03-22-2014, 09:55 PM
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For piping they have heat tape which is a low wattage heater , can be wrapped around the pipe and plugs into standard outlets. Some are always on so you have to unplug them and some have a built in temperature switch to operate off.

Potential quick fix is grabbing a bucket of hot water to try and see if that will get it going.
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post #10 of 10 Old 03-22-2014, 10:46 PM
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x2 heat tape. Go to your local hardware store, buy the highest wattage one you can find, and wrap it liberally on/around everything you know is frozen. Plug it in and leave it...probabaly overnight. You'll probabaly find by the morning your pipes and pump are free flowing again.

Hopefully nothing is inside confined spaces like pumps and pipes rarely ends well.

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