Author Options:

Circulating pump with thermostat Answered

I have a 1550 gallon water holding tank and plumbing in an outshed in Fairbanks, Alaska. The pump and pressure tank are also in the outshed heated with an electric heater. To save energy I'm thinking to install a circulating pump inside the tank that circulates through the plumbing inside the outshed to keep it from freezing but not necessarily to the portion of water pipe going under ground to the crawlspace of the house. It should also have a thermostat to start heating when the temp of the water gets to 32 degrees or so. Is there any such thing and if so, how would it be installed? Thanks!


Does the ground temperature (at say 6 feet down) get below zero?
I think you may be better underground.


I just wrote a huge message but it has disappeared! What I had said was that in a perfect world I should have buried the tank, I think 6 or 7' down is 38 degrees but not sure at what point one would hit permafrost. I had intended to bury it but about then my neighbor's buried tank developed a crack, had to be excavated, replaced and reburied for over $9k, so I changed my mind and had an above ground shed built but horrible electric bills since I'm heating it with electric and it's fairly poorly insulated for winters below zero most of the time. An engineer friend suggested that instead of heating the whole shed, since all I want is to keep the plumbing, the fixtures, the pump and the water tank from from freezing, that I should just keep the water itself from freezing.....which really makes sense! I just don't know how to go about putting a low voltage circulating pump in the tank, one that would have a thermostat to turn heat on if the water got colder than 33 degrees. I appreciate all the helpful responses!!!!

Ah right, I see. I wonder if you could capture enough solar radiation to keep it above zero?


Hmmm....the water tank is enclosed in a shed, it's 47 below and only 6 1/2 hours of daylight currently, so solar would never work for me unfortunately......unless it were summertime when there's nearly 24 hours of daylight but then I wouldn't need to worry about freezing in the summer. Nothing is every easy here! I do like the idea of monitoring the temperature of the water as it circulates rather than heating the whole shed. I hope I can find a way to do that.

Another consideration is the size of the pump - if it operates like a sauna/hot tub jet motor, the motor itself is the heater, a cooling jacket is placed over the motor to heat the water as it passes.

Thank you......I just looked at the pump. I guess I have left out the part where this water tank I have is my main water supply. My well, after a summer of rain, started spewing black silt out of the faucets and even after hooking up a hose to the well head to let it run in the back yard for 3 days, it never cleared up, so I had to invest in the water tank and have a shed built for it before winter set in. So the circulating pump would need to be compatible with my drinking water supply......there must be something for that, but I don't know what it might be.

Hmmm.....I'm not at all familiar with hot tub motors, etc., and it may be overkill, but it's worth a look at it! Thank you!

This may or may not help you, but what about using an "on demand" hot water heating system? They have been popular throughout Europe and Japan for many years, and in Canada they are gaining a lot of popularity. They don't require a traditional hot water tank as the water is heated as you need it. - Just a thought. :)

Click here for more info (from Home Depot Canada).


6 years ago

I don't know about installing it but I was looking at this pump for another project that I was thinking of, or more dreaming of. This company also sells thermostats and a good assortment of other stuff.

I was thinking of using a solar panel to run a water heater with a 12 volt element and then circulating the heated water, after it reaches a high enough temp, through a heat exchanger.

Anyway, they have lots of stuff.