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Question for all the Northern MI Cabin owners.....
We just purchased a northern MI. cabin in July and plan on using it year-round, (snowmobiling) question regarding my well pump, is it necessary to insulate my well pit? My pump is roughly 5-6 feet deep in a cinder block walls 5' x 5' with a 5' x 5' shed over it. there is a light in the pit that I can keep on, and heat tape on the pump and main pipe that I can plug in as well. Heat stays at 50 degrees in the cabin when where not there, previous owners used the cabin year-round as well. I know last year was a "mild" winter just want to make sure we have no issues this winter. TIA
 

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For what its worth......

I'm in the Eastern UP, live here full-time. My well sounds very similar in construction. Cinder block walls w a shed above, about 6' deep, I have about 10" of foam just above the pump & tank plus a couple layers of fiberglass batts then the "floor" of the shed. I have it taped and have a heat lamp that we will turn on when the temps start dipping into the negative digits. Its been as cold as -30f and we've never had it freeze except for one year when a heat tape failed.

After all that.... I would recommend some sort of insulation at the top, make sure the heat tapes are good and turn off the pump when you leave just in case something freezes & cracks.
 

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Where you located? My cabin is in the Baldwin area and I put 2" foam insulation across the top of the lid and never had an issue at the same depth your at. Since then we have had well issues and had to have a new one installed which is now a sumersible punp in a casing. The foot valve and pressure tank are burried probably 5 feet undergorund. Never and issues. Heck I don't bother winterizing in more for the most case. We just turn the heat down to 43 F and never have fresszing issues. If ther epowere were to ever go out I am close enough I can just drive up and winterize then or bring a generator. Love owning a place up north.
 

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I picked up two of the thermostats that plug into an outlet and apply power below 34* and shut off above 38*. Picked up a couple ceramic heaters to plug into them, light bulbs never seemed to last I did two just in case one failed. My pump is above ground in a small insulated pump house.
 

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View attachment 2124545

Haha..... just messing w you Paul.
Right. Well living in west Michigan right by the lakeshore it is 1.25 hours north. But feels like a different part of the state. The entire County only has 2 cities in it because the rest is federal and state land . My wife won't travel 6-8 hours every weekend just to use our place. a friend has a place I can and do use in the U.P. Though.

Its not like little detroit I mean Traverse City. Also, there is something special about owning a cabin or vacation home. It allows you to get away from it all. Many people ask, "Would you ever move there"? My answer typically is no. If I lived there everyday it would no longer be that special get away. I just feels like we are on vacation when there. If you live there full time then it becomes work every day and no longer that special get away.

Sent from my Pixel 6 Pro using Tapatalk
 

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Right. Well living in west Michigan right by the lakeshore it is 1.25 hours north. But feels like a different part of the state. The entire County only has 2 cities in it because the rest is federal and state land . My wife won't travel 6-8 hours every weekend just to use our place. a friend has a place I can and do use in the U.P. Though.

Its not like little detroit I mean Traverse City. Also, there is something special about owning a cabin or vacation home. It allows you to get away from it all. Many people ask, "Would you ever move there"? My answer typically is no. If I lived there everyday it would no longer be that special get away. I just feels like we are on vacation when there. If you live there full time then it becomes work every day and no longer that special get away.

Sent from my Pixel 6 Pro using Tapatalk
I get it....just poking a little fun. "Up North" isn't a location, its a state of mind :)
 

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We have similar setup in NH we recently purchased. Last year we shut down water system and carried in water jugs (the cabin itself is plenty warm). This year we are trying to have water all year. Pump and expansion tank are inside insulated dog house. I wrapped everything with heat taper and have two light bulb on thermo cube (-35*F) as backup. There is a ball valve inside the pump house that I close when we leave, I can then blow out all the water lines in the cabin as we do not heat the cabin when we are not there (wood stove only at this time). I keep the well pump on as I do not want to lose the prime. Essentially what I have done is separate the well from the house. I placed one of our Blink cameras inside the dog house to monitor temp. So far so good. As mentioned the risk is power loss. If needed-i could drive up and run genny (3-4 hour ride). Hoping that does not happen.
This is a timely thread for me! Thx, Bill
 

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We have similar setup in NH we recently purchased. Last year we shut down water system and carried in water jugs (the cabin itself is plenty warm). This year we are trying to have water all year. Pump and expansion tank are inside insulated dog house. I wrapped everything with heat taper and have two light bulb on thermo cube (-35*F) as backup. There is a ball valve inside the pump house that I close when we leave, I can then blow out all the water lines in the cabin as we do not heat the cabin when we are not there (wood stove only at this time). I keep the well pump on as I do not want to lose the prime. Essentially what I have done is separate the well from the house. I placed one of our Blink cameras inside the dog house to monitor temp. So far so good. As mentioned the risk is power loss. If needed-i could drive up and run genny (3-4 hour ride). Hoping that does not happen.
This is a timely thread for me! Thx, Bill
Our set up is almost the same, no camera and using the small ceramic heater inplace of the light bulbs we ran 1" and 3/4"pex so there is a little forgiveness, power outages have been short so no issues there yet... knock on wood. I would prefer a well pit but not in the cards for this place.
 

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Why is that? To allow for expansion in he event of a freeze? Tell me more!
Thx, Bill
Pex is not supposed to freeze but if it does it may not break like copper or CPVC/PVC. So yes it is a superior product to use. Almost everything built now a days is Pex. My entire cabin is pex except for a few places were I needed some thing rigid and have a little copper. Big Box stores sell shark bite. fittings for these. My riding buddy is a plumber so I just used his expansion tool and fittings which are superior to shark bite. But shark bite works well and most people will never have an issue with them.
 

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Thanks-yes very familiar with Pex and SB fittings. My question was about the varied size tubing: a mix of 3/4” and 1”.
Is there a reason for that?
Thx, Bill
 

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The power outage is the thing to be concerned with. We have been watching places for a while, waiting for the "drop" then will probably jump on something. I wish we would have been in the market in the 2009/2010 time frame, man stuff was cheap!
 

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Thanks-yes very familiar with Pex and SB fittings. My question was about the varied size tubing: a mix of 3/4” and 1”.
Is there a reason for that?
Thx, Bill
I always thought 3/4" runs to get to the area where you fixture will be and then run 1/2" from there to the fixture. I believe my supply line from my pump is 1 1/4 inch.
 

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The power outage is the thing to be concerned with. We have been watching places for a while, waiting for the "drop" then will probably jump on something. I wish we would have been in the market in the 2009/2010 time frame, man stuff was cheap!
Power outage in the winter can be a bummer. I am close enough I can run up with a generator and winterize if needed. I also have a nieghbor that lets us know of things like this but my wifi thermostates and security camera also do a pretty good job of letting me know. Like all of the sudden I loose connection to them.

I am in the process of buying the place next door to my cabin on the cheap. Win for us because its right against our property line now. Also has a nice 2 stall garage. All I have now is 2 sheds for storage so the garage is a big plus. The place itself is a mobil with an addition that we will tear down and get rid of.
 

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Power outage in the winter can be a bummer. I am close enough I can run up with a generator and winterize if needed. I also have a nieghbor that lets us know of things like this but my wifi thermostates and security camera also do a pretty good job of letting me know. Like all of the sudden I loose connection to them.

I am in the process of buying the place next door to my cabin on the cheap. Win for us because its right against our property line now. Also has a nice 2 stall garage. All I have now is 2 sheds for storage so the garage is a big plus. The place itself is a mobil with an addition that we will tear down and get rid of.
I am getting to be close enough to retiring that we are really in the debate of where to buy, we look at either Baldwin area, or the mancelona area in the lower, then we wonder about just going to the upper and picking up a place. The baldwin area would be nice as you said it is only 1.5 hours or less for us to get up there.
 
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