How to Wire a Light Bulb for a Well House With a Thermostat

Written by david young
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How to Wire a Light Bulb for a Well House With a Thermostat
A standard light bulb can make the difference between your well house pipes freezing or not. (Brand X Pictures/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images)

Use a simple light bulb to help keep your well pump and pipes from freezing in the winter. A light bulb can provide enough heat to keep the pump, tank and associated pipes above freezing even in the coldest climates. One drawback to this method is remembering to turn the light on and off as temperatures fluctuate. By connecting the light to a thermostat, eliminate the drawback altogether.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

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Things you need

  • Thermostat
  • Single-gang electrical box
  • Ceiling box
  • 12 gauge, 2 conductor wire
  • Wire strippers
  • Wire nuts
  • Flat screwdriver
  • Phillips screwdriver

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Choose a location in the ceiling of the well house to install the light. Mount the ceiling box in that location using the included nails. Choose a location on the wall near the pump to install the thermostat. Mount the single-gang box in that location using the included nails.

  2. 2

    Run a 120 volt, alternating current supply wire to the single gang box. Run a length of 12-gauge, two-conductor wire from the single-gang box to the ceiling box. Slide the ends of the wires into the boxes through the plastic knockouts. Strip the insulation from the wires, exposing the conductors. Strip 1/2 inch of insulation off the end of each conductor.

  3. 3

    Connect the white conductors in the single-gang box with a wire nut. Twist the wire nut clockwise onto the stripped ends of the conductors until held securely. Connect the bare copper conductors in the single-gang box with a wire nut. Twist the wire nut clockwise onto the ends of the conductors until securely held.

  4. 4

    Slide the stripped end of the black conductor from the 120-volt supply line under the terminal on the thermostat marked "Line." Tighten the terminal screw until the conductor is secure. Slide the stripped end of the black conductor going to the ceiling box under the terminal on the thermostat marked "Load." Tighten the terminal screw until the conductor is secure. Attach the thermostat to the gang box using the included screws. Turn the thermostat to its lowest setting.

  5. 5

    Slide the stripped end of the white conductor inside the ceiling box under one terminal on the light fixture. Tighten the terminal screw until the conductor is snug. Slide the stripped end of the black conductor under the other terminal on the light fixture. Tighten the terminal screw until the conductor is secure. Attach the light fixture to the ceiling box using the included screws. Install a light bulb and any cover that came with the fixture.

  6. 6

    Turn on power to the 120-volt supply line. Turn the thermostat up until the light turns on. Check all connections, bulbs and breakers if the light fails to turn on. Set the thermostat at the desired temperature.

Tips and warnings

  • Use only incandescent bulbs, florescent bulbs do not generate enough heat.
  • If you're not comfortable running an electrical line to the well house, or if one is not available in the well house, hire an electrician to run the line for you.

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