View Full Version : Frost Free Hydrants

Aug. 24, 2011, 02:59 PM
I'm looking for thoughts and insight on frost free hydrants...the good, the bad and the ugly. What are you using? What worked or didn't work?

We had to replace our beloved old workhorse hydrant in the barn with a new fangled model and things aren't going well. We have leaking at the top that we haven't been able to stem.

We also have an oldie but goodie that is down by our paddocks that needs to be replaced... after someone did some tinkering just "to see" during the hydrant replacement process for our barn water. Both are a five foot bury.

They just don't seem to make 'em like they used to.


Aug. 24, 2011, 04:24 PM
What model do you have?

Most have a nut right above the cast metal part with the handle that attaches to the steel pipe and a brass rod goes thru that nut.

If it is leaking there, you should be able to tighten that nut a bit, until it quits leaking.

If you still have a leak, you could have a defective hydrant.
You really need to run that one by whoever put it in, it is their problem if it is not working and they should replace it free for you.

Aug. 24, 2011, 05:35 PM
At this point, the person (the property owner) who put it in will have to have another go at doing someting about the leak or replace the entire thing once again. It's coming out of the top near the handle and nut, not the spout.

The handle is made to be off center. It's really hard to open and close...I believe the maker is Merrill. From what I've heard they purchased Clayton, the maker of our dearly departed hydrants. We had two defective Campbells installed before the Merrill went in. The Merrill wasn't leaking right away. Maybe it has something to do with how hard we have to open and shut the thing.

As winter draws near I can't go to the place where I envision myself lugging buckets...again. Augh!

Thanks for your input.

Tom King
Aug. 24, 2011, 06:06 PM
Sounds like it's leaking at the packing nut where they will all start leaking sooner or later just from using it. That one must be a sooner rather than a later. I didn't look it up, but probably a cheap one made in China.

I'm not brand loyal to many things, but hydrants are on the loyal list.

Woodfords here 31 years old and all still working well.

Aug. 25, 2011, 10:11 AM
I was looking at the new one this morning. It's not a Merrill, it's a Woodford. The property owner is going to take another look. The offset handle is really hard to open and close and that leak on top is on and off. Maybe there's something that can be done.

The Campbells were cheap. The threading was terrible and flimsy.

Thanks for posting.

Aug. 25, 2011, 01:23 PM
The Woodford people have a pretty good website with
tips on troubleshooting your hydrant. You might find
some help there with your problem.

Aug. 25, 2011, 01:26 PM
Oooh, I just found out yesterday that is what we have on our well :).

I don't know a thing about it other then you lift the lever and a crazy pressure of water comes out & I love it. Sorry, that was super helpful...

Where do you look on it for a make/model?

Aug. 25, 2011, 02:22 PM
The Woodford people have a pretty good website with
tips on troubleshooting your hydrant. You might find
some help there with your problem.

Great website. I just printed off the troubleshooting pages for our model. They have good instructions for the leak and the handle tension problem.

Hopefully, this will be resolved. Fingers crossed.


Tom King
Aug. 25, 2011, 03:18 PM
There are two models of the Woodfords- Y and W. The Y's used to cost double the price of the W's, but don't anymore. They are now just a few dollars more. The Y's are easier to operate. We have some of both. W's aren't bad, but Y's are luxury.

The numbers after the model letter tell the diameter of the pipe. Y34 is 3/4" model. Y1 is actually larger and a 1" pipe. Both are sized down at the bottom. If you have more than 8 gpm flow, and want a lot of water flow, get the 1.

They come by bury depth length, but someone here had a plumber that didn't understand that and ordered one by total length. Get that straight before ordering.