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ellem
Dec. 11, 2010, 08:47 PM
For Christmas, I was thinking of having a hot water heater installed in my trainer's barn, however, the water in the barn comes from lever-style frost-free hydrants connected to a well. Is it possible to have a hot water heater connected to one of these hydrants by way of a splitter of some sort, or would I need to run a new line from the well that does not terminate at a hydrant?

I have a plumber coming out Monday to give me an estimate, but thought I might want to be prepared for the worst. Suggestions would be much appreciated. Thanks!

Tom King
Dec. 11, 2010, 10:37 PM
The hydrant will no longer be freezeproof if there is something hooked to it that will not drain.

We have a water heater in the wash stall that I feed with a freezeproof hydrant when the temperature is above freezing.

The electric water heater is mounted high above the floor out of the way. A washing machine hose comes out of a panel below the outlet of the hydrant. I used a washer hose because I needed a flexible hose with two factory ends on it. The upper end goes to a Y. One branch of the Y goes to a cold water faucet and the other branch goes to the water heater.

The inlet on top of the heater is plugged and the drain outlet on the bottom of the heater is the new inlet. Hot out on top of the heater goes down to a hot water faucet. Below the hot and cold faucets is another Y that a hose can be connected to.

There is a switch on the wall high out of childrens' reach that turns the power on to the heater.

To use, connect the washing machine hose to the hydrant, open the hot faucet to let the air out as the water goes in. Once the water heater is filled water will run out of the faucet. Turn the hot faucet off, and turn on the heater. In 15 minutes you have hot water.

To drain, turn the power off, unhook the washing machine hose from the hydrant, open the hot and cold faucets, and everything drains down.

A water heater needs to be full of water before you turn the power on or the elements will burn up very quickly.

Spare elements are in a drawer in the tack room. If you burn up an element, necessary tools are in the drawer with the spare elements, and a stepladder is in the tractor shed a couple of hundred feet away. How the system works is learned quickly if you want hot water and have to fix it yourself. I only fix it if I burn up an element which I have not done in 30 years. Every female who has had to fix it, sometimes after being without hot water for months, has only done it once.

We dont' wash horses anyway when it's below freezing, and don't want to burn heat in the barn if not necessary.

ReSomething
Dec. 12, 2010, 01:23 AM
If you want hot water on demand, 24/7, you'll have to lay pipe underground, insulate or heat the pipe as it leaves the earth or run it into a heated area like maybe a tackroom. It'll be the same as installing water service and a hot water heater in a home. Right about now is not the easist time to do this.

We use something along the lines of what Tom has for local water in the run in, which houses a rabbitry. Big barrel with a stock tank heater which we tap out of to refill water cups for the bunnies. We run a hose (they are dedicated to different quadrants of the yard and there is a four hose brass manifold at the FF hydrant) and fill the barrel from the FF hydrant about once every two weeks so far, disconnect and drain all the hoses. So far it's quite convenient and beats lugging five gallon buckets of hot water from the laundry room or hooking up and draining hoses too often in freezing weather. We'll have to lay new pipe to the run in and install a new FF there and heat the rabbit's summer gravity watering system before we get rid of that water barrel.

ellem
Dec. 12, 2010, 08:22 PM
Tom - thank you so much for the detailed explanation, that helps a ton. I think that type of arrangement could work, but the only change I'm considering would be to use an electric tankless water heater. Any thoughts on whether that would be a bad idea? I'd love to hear from others that have them installed in their barns already.

spacehorse
Jun. 17, 2012, 10:48 AM
Bumping this since I have the same question!

I am looking at having two FF hydrants in my aisle, one hot and one cold. I am looking for a tankless that I can mount right there at the hydrant. I prefer electric. I know the requirements, it will be having new line run out there anyway so we can cover that then. I could deal with propane, I suppose, and I know they are a lot cheaper. Guess the tank could just sit outside?

I figure it would have to be drained in winter unless I could figure some way to insulate it enough. Can you safely do that?

I do not have a temp controlled area out there to put the heater so it does not have to be drained at every use. So maybe the propane ones would be a better option?

Anyone have any other suggestions?

Equibrit
Jun. 17, 2012, 11:06 AM
Bumping this since I have the same question!

I am looking at having two FF hydrants in my aisle, one hot and one cold. I am looking for a tankless that I can mount right there at the hydrant. I prefer electric. I know the requirements, it will be having new line run out there anyway so we can cover that then. I could deal with propane, I suppose, and I know they are a lot cheaper. Guess the tank could just sit outside?

I figure it would have to be drained in winter unless I could figure some way to insulate it enough. Can you safely do that?

I do not have a temp controlled area out there to put the heater so it does not have to be drained at every use. So maybe the propane ones would be a better option?

Anyone have any other suggestions?

Run water line and electric to a little house containing the water heater; from which you run hot and cold water lines to the barn.