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Thread: Freezing hydrants

  1. #1

    Default Freezing hydrants

    I have hydrants that freeze during the winter and I was hoping if anybody here knew of anyway to prevent this from happening. The best thing I can thing off at the moment is to take a 2' long 3/4" drill bit I have and attach it onto a much longer rod. Next I would use this very long drill bit to drill down about 5' right next to the hydrant and stick down an electrical heat tape down this hole and stuff down some insulation with it to make sure it is touching the hydrant and to provide some insulation for it as well. I am thinking about putting 2 around it even though the instructions say to only put 1 sense the tape will be in the ground where it is colder. Any better ideas or perhaps this idea won't even work? Thanks

  2. #2

    Default

    Couple of thoughts.

    If you always had a freezing problem then your pipe may not be deep enough, or not properly installed.

    If it is a problem which is new, it sounds like the hydrant is not draining after use. Could be that dirt has filled in around the base, where stones for drainage should be, and is keeping the hydrant from draining.

    Could also be that the valve is not being completely open and / or is bad, and the drain area is being flooded not allowing the unit to drain down on a timely basis after use.

    Paul

  3. #3
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Default hydrants

    Are these "draining" type hydrants? If so then the gravel bed either was not installed or it had been compacted so that the water cannot drain down when the hydrant is shut off. The proper thing to do is to dig down and restore the draining function, or replace the hydrants with self draining models.

  4. #4

    Default

    I thought it might require something difficult like that. No this problem has only occured recently. Probably because of improper drainage like you suggested. I heard of a farmer doing it this way(drilling a hole and inserting a heat tape) and it worked for him so I was thinking that I might be able to save alot of money by doing it myself like this. Do you think that perhaps there might be some chance of it actually working?

    I have another question if you don't mind answering. Why are you required to use lead free solder when joining copper pipes together? Is it because of a health reason or more? Thanks

  5. #5
    DIY Senior Member plumguy's Avatar
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    Default

    If you don't need to use these hydrants in the cold months it would be a waste of money to keep them warm. Like previously stated I would also get them to drain properly. And yes lead free solder is not allowed on potable water lines for health reasons.

  6. #6

    Default

    No I use the hydrants. I use them alot during the cold winter months actually. Well do you think I could perhaps try the heat tape one year and then if it doesn't work then fix my drain problem or do you think that I will be just wasting my time. Thanks

  7. #7
    DIY Senior Member plumguy's Avatar
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    Default

    No, heat tape is not a waste of time. If installed properly you should be happy with it.

  8. #8

    Question

    Thanks for the help. I will probably give it a try with the heat tape and if that doesn't work then I will have to spend alot of money to dig down and replace the gravel bed. I suppose there might be another solution though. What are self draining hydrants? Is there a hydrant that can actually force the water out instead of it going down into the ground where it builds up and eventually freezes the hydrants. Is there anything else that would work here? So many questions . Thanks again

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