Freezing hydrants

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & ' started by jesse, Jul 19, 2005.

  1. jesse

    jesse New Member

    Messages:
    4
    I have hydrants that freeze during the winter and I was hoping if anybody here knew of anyway to prevent this from happening. :confused: 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 :cool: :)
  2. PEW

    PEW DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    487
    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. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,647
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    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. jesse

    jesse New Member

    Messages:
    4
    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 :cool: :)
  5. plumguy

    plumguy New Member

    Messages:
    192
    Location:
    MA
    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. jesse

    jesse New Member

    Messages:
    4
    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 :cool: :)
  7. plumguy

    plumguy New Member

    Messages:
    192
    Location:
    MA
    No, heat tape is not a waste of time. If installed properly you should be happy with it.
  8. jesse

    jesse New Member

    Messages:
    4
    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 :cool: :)
Similar Threads: Freezing hydrants
Forum Title Date
Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & Tapping into PEX in crawl space - questions about freezing Jul 3, 2014
Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & What to do. Pipes keep freezing. Mar 14, 2014
Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & Kenmore Fridge Ice Maker Not Freezing Dec 24, 2013
Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & Keeping pipes from freezing Jul 22, 2013
Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & Could freezing or thawing pipes result in a toilet overflow? Apr 24, 2012

Share This Page