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Discussion on Frozen hydrant

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Ella
Member
Username: Miamoo

Post Number: 122
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Wednesday, Dec 7, 2005 - 7:47 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

I was pleased and excited when we finally installed water in our barn this year. No more lugging buckets from the house (or so I thought). Well today was only 20 degrees and the hydrant was frozen. I did buy a frost free one and the hose was not attached. I couldn't believe it. If it is freezing at 20 degrees what chance do I have when we hit 20 below!

Anyone have any thoughts or suggestions?

Ella :-(
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Borderline Farm
Member
Username: Deedrott

Post Number: 7
Registered: 9-2004
Posted on Wednesday, Dec 7, 2005 - 9:00 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Ella

I heat tape all of my hydrants - inside and out
wrap heat tape - then cover either with an old towel, leg wrap or the gray foam for pipes.

Learned the hard way too - when the hydrant in the barn froze 2 years ago for the 1st time in 20 years - no more - heat tape by November. Had all of them freeze outside 2 years ago and had to bucket water with the golf cart 2x's a day to keep the 100 gallon troughs filled. Big job - but
no more.

Try heat tape and if you can get heat to the room
where the hydrant is - that may help also.

Been there done that - and its no fun.
Good Luck

Dee
Borderline Farm
www.borderlinefarmltd.net
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Ella
Member
Username: Miamoo

Post Number: 124
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Wednesday, Dec 7, 2005 - 10:08 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Thanks!

Ella :-)
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Shawna G
Member
Username: Qh4me

Post Number: 85
Registered: 3-2005
Posted on Wednesday, Dec 7, 2005 - 10:52 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

We had the same problem and this year, we built a new heated tack room, around the hydrant. Last year we used the the heat tape as Dee suggested, and that worked until the real cold weather came, so we had to build a small insulated box around it, and would drain the hydrant and water tank each night
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Moderator
Username: Dro

Post Number: 14277
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Wednesday, Dec 7, 2005 - 11:46 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

I have seen a non-heat suggestion: remove the bottom off 5 gallon buckets and put them over the hydrant and fill them with dirt (I have seen manure recommended too) to help insulate the pipe. I would then keep the hydrants covered at night with a heavy white plastic garbage bag at night.
DrO
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Ella
Member
Username: Miamoo

Post Number: 125
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Wednesday, Dec 7, 2005 - 12:13 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Does this hydrant freezing suggest that I have a problem with it? I thought all the water was supposed to drain down below the frost level and therefor could not freeze?

Ella :-)
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Borderline Farm
Member
Username: Deedrott

Post Number: 8
Registered: 9-2004
Posted on Wednesday, Dec 7, 2005 - 1:29 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Ella
Not sure why they freeze - but yes the water is suppose to go back down - I do know that the ones of mine that froze are at 4.5 feet and the new ones we put in this year are at 5+.
Dr. O's suggestion may work also, but for me we are on the top of a hill and the wind is awful - and the bags would blow away and since I need to water every day - that is not very convenient - the heat tape works great - I did find that covering them helped a lot and the handle was easier to move. I keep short hoses by the hydrants - they are easy to drain and more convenient having them right there. Our temp this week has been in the single numbers at night and in the mid 20's during the day tonight is suppose to be near -0-. I am so glad that 2 weekends ago (when it was in the 50's) that I got all the heaters in the troughs and the heat tape on the hydrants. Good planning for a change.
Have fun
Dee
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Little King Ranch
Member
Username: Eoeo

Post Number: 230
Registered: 10-2002
Posted on Wednesday, Dec 7, 2005 - 6:58 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

I can't imagine it freezing down 4 1/2 and 5 ft. Are you sure that when you installed these frost frees that you made a large enough area filled with rock or gravel and made sure it didn't pack up against the drain hole? That is the only thing that I could imagine it is doing is not being able to drain out and the water is staying in the pipe and freezing up on you. EO
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Ella
Member
Username: Miamoo

Post Number: 127
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Thursday, Dec 8, 2005 - 7:43 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

I think I am going to have to dig mine up in the spring an take a look. For now I will try heat tape and if it does not take care of it for the winter I will shut it off and go back to lugging it from the house for one more winter.

Alas - In some sick way it is probably good for my character.

Ella :-)
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Alden Chamberlain
Member
Username: Alden

Post Number: 226
Registered: 9-2002
Posted on Thursday, Dec 8, 2005 - 9:47 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Ella,

It's been around 5 the last few night except last night, it was -5. Our hydrant have been fine at the same depth as yours. I put about 18 inches of 3/4" screened rock around the base before filling the ditch.

Do you have anything besides the hose attached? A quick disconnect or other attachment that stops the water from flowing back down the pipe will cause a freeze up.

Good luck,
Alden
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Ella
Member
Username: Miamoo

Post Number: 128
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Thursday, Dec 8, 2005 - 10:44 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

I don't even have a hose attached. I am kind of at loss. We called the place that we got the hydrant from and they said that there could be a problem with the stopper and the water is not draining out as it should. I don't know but it is frustrating.

I think I would rather be lugging water than dealing with the 5 below temps! That's nasty!

Ella :-)
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Borderline Farm
Member
Username: Deedrott

Post Number: 9
Registered: 9-2004
Posted on Thursday, Dec 8, 2005 - 11:24 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Ella
Are you sure it is frozen - it actually is early in the season for it to be frozen down that far. When mine froze it was well into the winter months where the ground had time to freeze and it was below zero for a couple weeks - then they froze - and I believe it was because even though they did not have a hose attached and were draining back it was so cold (wind chill -30) that the water froze in the hydrants before it could drain back - hence the reason I now put heat tape on them. Perhaps yours is not really frozen - there is a small screw that can be turned to adjust the water flow - have you looked at that? I was having a water pressure problem with one of mine - and when I mentioned to the cow farmer who delivers my round bales he told me about it. I turned it and that made more pressure. Check - maybe yours is very low and not allowing enough pressure. Just a thought - anything can happen.
Feel bad about you hauling water from the house -been there - well actually I had a hose connection at the house that I hooked 400 feet of individual hoses to each night to water - that was fun hauling from the basement and back every night after work.
Sure hope you can figure out what the problem is - Good Luck

Dee
Borderline
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