So DH took the day off to be home for the irrigation/water guys to run the water to the barn. I had to work sadly. First I got a call that they couldn't put it where I wanted since the rock around the barn was too hard, packed, and frozen for his trencher to get through. Not a huge deal since the barn is so tiny, but it irked me. I had separate outlets installed next to the spot I wanted it for the heated hose, tape if needed, etc.
Finally, at the end of the day DH called me and said "there might be a problem, I think you might have to stand on something to use this." I laughed and thought he was making fun of my whopping 5' stature. Apparently not. The guy told us to buy a hydrant with a 4' bury depth so we did... Apparently since he trenched up to the barn at 30" that's the depth he installed the hydrant. So all 30-ish" of the regular pipe that's supposed to be sticking up is, along with another 18"!?!?! From my calculations that's 48" above ground and I am a foot taller than that. Really people? Do you really truly believe it's supposed to be installed like that? I highly doubt it. Apparently the guy told DH "I guess I should have told you to get the 3' ". I don't know exactly what DH said to him. I was too angry that he didn't tell him to fix it (apparently he froze his testicles off today working outside in the cold and didn't have them to stand up for himself) that I just hung up. The guy said there's something in the way of the hydrant connecting at the bottom and he is coming back out tomorrow to fix that part- nothing about the height. So I guess I get to be the one to tell him it's not ok. Never ever again will I buy bare property and turn it into a horse farm. Ever. This guy came highly recommended by 2 people we know! I think I'm just cursed.
I almost hate to ask, is that going to be below your frost line?
God, at this point who knows. He swears that this is what he does ALL of his water and irrigation lines at and that it is below the frost line and will not freeze. He might have trenched deeper, I don't know. He said the frost line was 30" (the fencer said that as well) so I would assume to would have the common sense to but it below that.
Grrrrr. That is awful especially since he came recommended. Get hubby to build you a nice, 18" square, 6" tall wooden box/step to keep right by the hydrant.
Yeah... maybe I should also mention that I'm klutzy, pregnant, and have had two high ligament ankle sprains in the past year, one of which isn't healed (6 sprains total in 3 years) from stepping off of things or just plain stepping wrong. We try to keep me on the ground as much as possible.
I hate it when they press on with a project instead of stopping when something is obviously not right. :/
We're doing the same thing (building out horse infrastructure) and luckily I work from home with a very flexible schedule so I can go outside and supervise.
Otherwise the skylights on my barn would have been put in the wrong place, the area cleared for the arena would be the wrong shape, etc. As it is I've got two gate openings that are too small and one that is too large, because apparently dragging the gates out to where I wanted them installed was not enough!
So far, nothing too bad has happened, and I suppose your current catastrophe is also fixable.
The guy said there's something in the way of the hydrant connecting at the bottom and he is coming back out tomorrow to fix that part- nothing about the height. .
He's going to have to dig it up so he might as well replace it with a 3' while he's at it.
The hydrant drains when you close it. Usually (around here anyway) what you do is where the water line connects to the hydrant you dig a bit deeper there and fill it with gravel. It allows the water in the hydrant to drain when you close the handle. That's the "frost free" feature built into a hydrant.
If there is 'something in the way' it won't drain. And the hydrant will freeze and split.
Though I really and truly hope he trenched deep enough or a too tall hydrant is going to be the least of your problems.
Sorry you're having all that trouble. Makes you wonder what ever happened to a good old fashioned work ethic, doesn't it.
This may be Christmas, but you're not Santa Claus. Give the knucklehead a piece of your mind. You can do it!
Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware
Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.
Use the pregnancy hormones to your advantage. Because nobody should have a hydrant filling your buckets at or above chest level! Either your arms will wear out holding buckets up in the air or you'll get soaked as water splashes that far to the ground to fill the bucket or you'll need to keep a short hose attached...which in winter means taking it on and off all the time and blowing it out so it doesn't freeze.
So yeah, I'd light into that contractor.
And hang in there...yeah building a place from the ground up could make anyone insane. But over time...you do laugh when you look back on the screw ups and you do end up appreciating every square inch of the place because you get to know every square inch of your place!
And look on the bright side...at least you haven't had to break up an epic battle between your bulldozer guy and your logger! That was one of my top highlights when we started building this place. Chainsaw vs dozer blade, it weren't pretty.
You jump in the saddle,
Hold onto the bridle!
Jump in the line!
Sorry about your issues, I have a couple questions though!
1. As others have said, will this be below your frost level? Maybe call your Ag dept?
2. Couldn't the hydrant pipe just be cut shorter? Or when he digs it up to fix it tomorrow, could you get a smaller one??
3. Or could he be less of a dumba$$ and bury it lower???
Be a b*tch if you have to, this is your money ,and your property!!
I reject your reality, and substitute my own- Adam Savage
Make sure he digs a BIG hole to allow hydrant drainage, and have a pile of only ROCKS to refill with. You do NOT want dirt in the drainage area, freezes hard and solid early in the season, then hydrant freezes too.
Don't cut the hydrant down, it needs the length if it is placed properly.
Hope your water line is deep enough. It should be deeper than "average" if there is any vehicle traffic driving over it. Tire weight seems to push the frost crystals deeper than average. We see that happen often around here.
Our frost depth is 6ft deep. I would not expect to be able to use any hydrant with water lines not 6ft deep in winter here.
Sorry about having to do the job twice, but it seems most contractors are like that. The only ones I never had problems with were the fence installers. I drew out what I wanted, walked the ground with them, no problems except they centered two gates. I said gates MUST be able to fold back against the brace posts and be tied open. He said fine, redrilled and rehung them.
Glad he will be back so you can have things done the way you want. Accept no excuses, you will not be happy about it. Pregnant ladies should be HAPPY and contented, not ticked off!! Happy mom means happy baby!
My dad is in the trades and I worked summers for an architect. This stuff is par for the course.
And you got very unlucky with this weather as did we, we have a set of portable shelters sitting waiting in Indiana that we are trying to figure out how to get up here without having the delivery truck stuck or sliding down the hill on the ice or the mud. Months of drought, we order this thing and wham! rain, snow and single digits.
If your guy isn't done, then first, check the frost depth. 30" sounds right here in KY but you are more north of us. You can deal with the standpipe a couple of ways.
If it is far from a building you can raise the grade around the pipe, which means quite a few pickup loads of dirt to make a gently sloping mound so you don't have to step up or down.
Or you can have him replace the too tall unit. Although I don't think it is impossible to cut a frost free down to size, you'd have to be shortening all the interior workings too and really you'd be much better off just getting the correctly sized unit.
Then you MUST make sure that he has made it a sump. The hydrant drains every time you shut it off, that's why the pipe doesn't burst, and it doesn't need heat tape, and it drains into a sump in the earth under the bottom of the pipe. Ours was installed with a five gallon bucket filled with 2" gravel around the bottom of the pipe, every time the water drained the bottom of the pipe sat in that puddle and within four years the pipe developed a pinhole leak and turned into a geyser when you turned it on. We lost the use of it for one winter and DH spent a week playing with the backhoe replacing it and changing the drainage.
Tom King has often posted regarding underground plumbing and FFhydrants with tips on mating pipes and getting the longest life out of your setup. I'd find and post the link but it is 3AM - it might be up in the FAQ's.
I know it is hard but take a deep breath. What I remember from working with the architect is that he was the guy that had to cope with this kind of stuff, and he charged the clients a pretty penny to do it. He didn't have any better luck than they might have though. When you are all done you'll still have a nice place and you'll appreciate all the work that went into it!
The town I live in requires anyone digging a trench to apply for a trench permit. Your local building or plumbing inspector might be able to help you if the guy did not build to code.
Good luck. I had to laugh about your description of your DH, though. :-)