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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct. 1, 2002
    Location
    Cow County, MD
    Posts
    6,929

    Default Keeping your water hydrant thawed?

    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.



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov. 28, 2004
    Location
    Massachusetts, USA
    Posts
    865

    Default

    Sing Mia Sing, I'm glad you posted this as I have the same issue and it's with the hydrant *inside* the barn.

    No suggestions, but, like you, I'm afraid of fire so I'll be interested to see what folks say!



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov. 10, 2006
    Location
    Southern Finger Lakes of NY
    Posts
    1,736

    Default

    We wrap ours in a horse blanket burrito. So far, so good.
    Foxwin Farm
    Home of The Bay Boy Wonder
    and other fine Morgan Sporthorses



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun. 24, 2005
    Posts
    659

    Default

    Yep - I have two that are now frozen. Looking for answers along with the rest of you!



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec. 27, 2007
    Location
    Goshen NY
    Posts
    208

    Default

    Get a blowtorch with the trigger ignitor from tractor supply, just heat up the head and keep working the handle, you may even see a bit of water drip from the spout,, always remove the hose

    Good luck,
    J



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug. 2, 2000
    Location
    Chesterland, OH USA
    Posts
    2,732

    Default

    Plenty of WD40 applied around the top of the hydrant (not where the water comes out).



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec. 6, 2000
    Location
    SE Mass
    Posts
    4,132

    Default

    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.



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb. 28, 2008
    Posts
    3,931

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Bayou Roux View Post
    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!



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar. 12, 2006
    Location
    Western South Dakota
    Posts
    2,442

    Default

    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 .



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug. 25, 2005
    Location
    Northeast
    Posts
    10,186

    Red face

    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.



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct. 1, 2002
    Location
    Dodge County, MN
    Posts
    2,939

    Default

    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.
    Third Chair in the Viola Clique
    Founder of the Packrats Anonymous Clique
    Proud Member of the Dirty Grey Horse Clique
    http://community.webshots.com/user/pnekman



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul. 2, 2005
    Posts
    1,632

    Default

    Ug, mine too. Tomarrow I plan to wrap it in a heating pad and leave the blow dryer running on it for a while. Meanwhile, its shlepping water from the house. I HATE WINTER.
    ********
    There is no snooze button on a cat that wants breakfast.



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Oct. 28, 2007
    Location
    NY
    Posts
    4,023

    Default

    There are Styrofoam type covers,
    http://www.doityourself.com/icat/faucetcovers
    and you can have a frost free (I was looking for this for another thread)
    http://www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/how-...480863,00.html

    (the second last one is a job for a plumber, but it does explain it)



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Nov. 6, 2002
    Location
    Henrico, NC 36 30'50.49" N 77 50'17.47" W
    Posts
    5,772

    Default

    Just like GoshenNY says, to me a self igniting propane torch makes all sorts of things easier when it gets really cold.



  15. #15

    Default

    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.

    I only survive winter because of CoTH advice!



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Sep. 27, 2006
    Location
    kentucky
    Posts
    459

    Default

    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.



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jul. 14, 2003
    Location
    Rhode Island
    Posts
    1,850

    Default

    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.



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Aug. 14, 2000
    Location
    Clarksdale, MS--the golden buckle on the cotton belt
    Posts
    18,257

    Default

    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



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Feb. 6, 2003
    Location
    Deep South
    Posts
    14,463

    Default

    Cover with a hay stuffed bucket.



  20. #20
    Join Date
    Mar. 14, 2002
    Location
    The horse country of VA
    Posts
    3,319

    Default

    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).
    Equus Keepus Brokus



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