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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb. 2, 2003
    Location
    Iowa, USA
    Posts
    2,090

    Default Bent hydrant riser pipe

    The pony got the front of her blanket tangled with the hydrant in the barnyard, pulled back and bent the whole pipe. After a serious cold snap, the ground is frozen rock hard, so the pipe is only bent above ground level and I *think* the below-grade fittings are fine. No apparent leaks, the well pump is not cycling, etc. I can lift the hydrant handle and water runs, but it's very hard to lift--clearly there's mechanical strain given the bent pipe.

    DH thinks we can straighten the pipe-- since it's so frozen into the ground, he thinks we can just winch it back upright. I'm leery that this will cause it so snap in these cold temps. But, maybe if we hold a propane torch on the pipe for awhile to get it good and hot, it might bend more readily (or be less likely to snap, anyway)?

    Plan B is to wait until the ground thaws in spring and dig it up / replace the pipe. (Of course, if Plan A results in a broken pipe, I guess that's what we'd have to do anyway, so maybe Plan A is worth a shot.

    W W Coth Do?
    In theory, yes, but the difference between theory and reality is that, in theory, there is no difference between theory and reality but, in reality, there is a difference.



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb. 6, 2003
    Location
    Deep South
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    14,246

    Default

    There is a rod that runs up the inside of the pipe -which closes the valve on the bottom. That's why it's hard to lift. Guaranteed if you try and pull it straight, it will break. I guess you could try heating it up and bending, but still risky, as you probably would not get the rod inside hot enough. The only other option would be to cut the pipe and rod below the bend, but then you'd be getting in to a bunch of mods to put it back together. (eg: threading the pipe and re-attaching the rod.)

    Exploded drawing on this page; http://www.plumbingsupply.com/partsforyardhydrants.html
    ... _. ._ .._. .._



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb. 2, 2003
    Location
    Iowa, USA
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    Default

    yeah i kinda knew that would be the answer. I can live without this hydrant for the winter, will just deal with it in the spring.
    In theory, yes, but the difference between theory and reality is that, in theory, there is no difference between theory and reality but, in reality, there is a difference.



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb. 6, 2003
    Location
    Deep South
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    Default

    I found I was better off with at least one that was flush to the ground. I don't often have to use it but it's right handy when I need it. One of these; http://www.buyeagle.biz/woodford/yard-hydrants/model-y95-2618
    I've had horses and well meaning doobs do all sorts of things to the long ones, so having one like this insures your water supply cannot easily be scuppered!
    ... _. ._ .._. .._



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul. 19, 2010
    Location
    Gum Tree PA
    Posts
    955

    Default

    Had this happen a few months ago when a hay rake tine caught a rubber hose attached that was run 150’ to a paddock tank. I was really surprised how easily it bent given the size of the pipe and the hose didn’t break. Shows the quality of the fittings on Goodyear rubber hoses. Though it is a LOT easier to replace a hose fitting then digging up and replacing a hydrant. The hydrant was bent over about 12+ inches from vertical at ground level. It still worked but the handle was stiff to pull up. Only had a fraction of the water pressure and took considerably longer to fill the tank. It was slated to be moved anyway so this just motivated me to get it done sooner then latter. When dug up it was not leaking at the bottom. Have not tried to fix it yet replaced it with a new one.
    Assuming you have a shut off valve at the source if not install one and then try and bend it back. IMO every water line should have it’s own shut off valve so as not to have to go with out water in other places.
    If the ground is frozen solid it will “hold” the pipe tight and make bending back easier and not strain the fitting at the bottom. Hope you used the quality threaded brass hydrant elbow and not the plastic/nylon ones. They can and will break/leak if too much force is put on them. Ask me how I know.
    For anyone installing hydrants always spend the extra $10-15 for brass hydrant eblows. Also IMO and lots of others always use “black poly pipe” when running water lines. It can be bought in very long runs meaning less couplings, less chance of devolving a leak somewhere along. Very simple to install after trenching. It also in nearly impossible to break/crack cold or warm like PVC.
    IMO do not use nor be talked into using PVC. Much more expensive, labor intensive and lots of couplings that that may or may not fail.

    If you have access to a Oxy-Acetylene torch heat it at the bend until it starts to turn red and it will straighten will ease. If not go with brute force and or a Come-Along attached to something solid like a tractor or truck/car hitch. Crank back into position. Good chance it will work normally. Unless the rod broke or jammed the valve at the bottom. If so you are SOL. I doubt the internal rod will break. Give it a try you have nothing to loose.

    If it needs to be replace wait until spring or boil lots of hot water to thaw the ground around it. Or built a fire around it to thaw the ground. Get out the post hole digger and have fun. If it is attached to a brass fitting on black poly pipe you won’t have to dig a big wide hole just enough around it so as to “spin” it off the fitting and have enough “elbow” room to put a couple of wraps of pipe tape or pipe thread sealer which is easier in this case. Dig just deep enough to expose the top of the fitting. Don’t go any deeper then necessary you want the elbow and supply line to be held snug.
    Cross threading is always a concern but not as much with brass elbows. It will “spin” on pretty easily. Do not force it. If you cross thread it you are screwed and will have to replace the elbow. And that requires a much wider deeper hole.
    If it is a nylon/plastic elbow MUCH greater care must be taken not to cross thread. These fittings easily cross thread when being installed on the comfort of a work bench let alone at the bottom of a deep cold hole on the end of a 5-6’ hydrant. If the elbow is attached to PVC even more care must given so as not to crack the pipe. If it is really stuck on the elbow you will want to put a big crescent wrench on the fitting to hold in place.

    Even better before you dig you should be able “crack” it loose from the elbow using an appropriate size pipe wrench just above the ground/below the bent part.
    If it has been there a while and the ground is really compacted around it you may get lucky and be able to spin it off and have a nice clean hole left. Put some plumbers thread “dope” on the female threads of the new hydrant and carefully drop it down the hole and spin it on. Before doing so take a flash light and look down the hole to make sure dirt hasn’t fallen on the fitting. If so you should be able to use a shop vac and suck it out. Might have to “MacGyver” a suction hose to fit down the hole. Never done this but may just work and worth a try before taking on the back breaking task of digging it out. Which is the only alternative anyway. Again, be careful not to cross thread. It should spin on with relative ease.
    Replacing hydrants really sucks in the summer. In the winter it make one think about moving to a condo.

    Don’t want to add insult to injury but hydrants shouldn’t be placed inside a fence line. If one has to be build a “bump out” fence around it. It never ceases to amaze me what horses can get themselves into.



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul. 19, 2010
    Location
    Gum Tree PA
    Posts
    955

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Equibrit View Post
    I found I was better off with at least one that was flush to the ground. I don't often have to use it but it's right handy when I need it. One of these; http://www.buyeagle.biz/woodford/yard-hydrants/model-y95-2618
    I've had horses and well meaning doobs do all sorts of things to the long ones, so having one like this insures your water supply cannot easily be scuppered!
    Around here and I would suspect in Iowa also we can get several feet of snow at times. Having to dig out one of these seems like a PIA. And then having to get the hose attached also. Which may not be that easy with/without gloves on.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb. 2, 2003
    Location
    Iowa, USA
    Posts
    2,090

    Default

    All of our field hydrants pre-date our ownership, they are probably 20+yr old but still in great shape, when the pony isn't trying to relocate them. We had to dig up one a few years ago and it had good brass fittings, so I'm certain this one will be also. We do have a shutoff at the house for the outside water -- the field plumbing is the one thing the previous owners did right.
    Will let you guys know how it turns out.
    In theory, yes, but the difference between theory and reality is that, in theory, there is no difference between theory and reality but, in reality, there is a difference.



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb. 6, 2003
    Location
    Deep South
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    14,246

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by gumtree View Post
    Around here and I would suspect in Iowa also we can get several feet of snow at times. Having to dig out one of these seems like a PIA. And then having to get the hose attached also. Which may not be that easy with/without gloves on.
    It would be your hydrant of last resort - so you wouldn't really mind digging snow and attaching a hose.
    ... _. ._ .._. .._


    1 members found this post helpful.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan. 17, 2013
    Posts
    43

    Default

    I've straightened a bent-over hydrant by hand.

    It was a warm day and it took 2 or 3 hard pulls -- but it was surrounded by concrete, not dirt.

    That was probably 2 years ago, it's working great and used almost every day.



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug. 25, 2005
    Location
    Northeast
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    9,899

    Default

    In your situation, I'd use it as seldom as possible, bear with the fact that it's tough when you absolutely need it, and wait til spring.
    Some riders change their horse, they change their saddle, they change their teacher; they never change themselves.



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