What sort of jury-rigs do you guys have to keep your hydrant warm? Mine is sunk below the frostline, and it drains fine--it's the nut on the handle that freezes. A friend told me she puts a stovepipe over hers with a heat lamp and a bucket over the top. Sounds good, but I'm a little afraid of fire.
What tips does the COTH community have?
Life would be infinitely better if pinatas suddenly appeared throughout the day.
My hydrant is outside right next to the heated trough. I find it freezes only once it gets wet, so I cover it with a bucket. If despite my best efforts it does freeze, I just pour water from the heated trough over it, and it thaws very quickly.
We wrap ours in a horse blanket burrito. So far, so good.
I wrap mine with my down barn jacket when I leave... I had a bit of a tussle with it this morning though, but cupped my hands over the nut and blew warm air on it and she finally opened up WD40 sounds like a great idea!
Heat tape . Our hydrant by the barn froze, badly. We got it thawed by taking it apart, pouring boiling water down the pipe, siphoning it out, pouring more boiling water in, siphoning it out and so on, about 20 times. Then it thawed out and we had a fountain . We quickly screwed the top back on it and got it shut off.
Since I didn't look forward to doing this again, we wraped it with a heat tape, and wrapped that with insulation AND we put an insulated water jug over the top of it. Looks kinda funky but frozen hydrants are no fun.
If it is just the nut that is getting frozen, a blow dryer works great! Also WD40 or PAM will keep your nuts loose .
I get to it about 15 min before I need to use it, clip a clamp-on light bulb next to it, assuming you have power that close. I once froze a hose , a 3foot length, but I'd left the end in thebucket and it was attached to the hydrant. The hair drier fixed that one.Of course, these fixes are reliant on an electic source nearby.
Some riders change their horse, they change their saddle, they change their teacher; they never change themselves.
Heat tape and pipe insulation. We plug in the heat tape about 15 min before we run water and it is fine. My hydrant is in the unheated garage and it's can get pretty cold in there, probably around 0 lately.
Tom King suggested last year, when I asked this same question, the little propane blow torch. It works GREAT! And, it's kinda FUN! Just be sure not to catch any stray hay on fire!
Also, be SURE to remove the hose every time ... and drain it, too, so it won't be frozen when you need to use it again. Misty Blue told me to throw the hose over the barn rafters and pull it through to drain it -- works perfectly.
If it is a frost free hydrant, it shouldn't be freezing at all in the first place. Is it draining properly? Is it leaking at a seal (maybe where the rod goes through to work the plunger)? If so, it is just a couple of "O" rings, easy fix. Sometimes you can just tighten the nut a little to stop a leak. You can buy kits to repair most any brand of hydrant.
Meanwhile a hair dryer or heat gun is the safest and most effective way to thaw anything frozen in a barn, IMO.
i've used those styrofoam covers on my outside( the house) faucet and they didn't work at all. I have to use a hose to fill my heated trough and the hose works fine if I drain it well, but it's the faucet that freezes. Actually, it's usually that little bit of pipe from the cellar to the actual faucet. Mr CB/TB filled the tub yesterday and he used a heat gun to thaw that bit and the faucet. I will usually boil some water and just keep pouring over the faucet until I get water. With these temps ( - 8 this morning) I planned on carrying water from the house if I couldn't get the tub filled, but now I'm good for a few days. I do add hot water to stall buckets for breakfast and supper.
Clarksdale, MS--the golden buckle on the cotton belt
I have the same problem with my well freezing occasionally in the guts on top of the ground. I've never had a problem with my frost free hydrant freezing. If you have access to electricity, a heat gun (cheap and no open flame) works well.
"I'm a lumberjack, and I'm okay." Thread killer Extraordinaire
I use one of those cans of compressed air (like what you use to clean/dust a computer keyboard) and spritz a few shots up inside the spigot as soon as I unhook the hose. It blows out the moisture to help keep it from freezing.
When it froze in the past, I did the hair dryer routine to thaw it out. Haven't had to thaw it since I started using the compressed air (knocking on wood since I haven't been out to run water yet today, and it was -5 last night).