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frost free spigot is locked up

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  • frost free spigot is locked up

    Its 25 degrees and the spigot is locked up. What can I do? Hair dryer? WD40? Call the plumber? Help!

  • #2
    I would try a hair dryer. When ours had frozen, we borrowed a propane heater to help dethaw it (it functions like a giant hair dryer - a big heat blower, really). Also, in the winter always be sure to remove any hose after use (in case you aren't already doing that).
    Last edited by YankeeLawyer; Jan. 3, 2010, 03:43 PM.
    Roseknoll Sporthorses


    • #3
      Ditto the hair dryer.

      For the future, in addition to disconnecting the hose, liberally and thoroughly spray the inside of the spigot with that canned compressed air that's sold for cleaning computer keyboards, etc. You'd be amazed how many water drops are left in the faucet, even so-called "freezeless" faucets (like mine is SUPPOSED to be).
      Equus Keepus Brokus


      • #4
        For the first time ever, we put a heater wire on it and plugged it in last night. We always leave the hose off. This year we put a piece of PVC piping under the opening, and direct it to the 100 gallon tub. No hose to drain.

        I feel your pain.
        There is no snooze button on a cat that wants breakfast.


        • #5
          If it is just the pump handle, you can pour hot water on it to defrost it. My pump is right near the heated trough. I can pour some of that water over the handle to thaw it. To prevent it getting wet, I cover it with a bucket when it i dry out.

          If it is the pipe that i frozen, there are others here who are experts in that...

          Good luck!


          • #6
            I wouldn't pour hot water over it unless the temps are to go above freezing. Just makes it worse for the next time. Try the hair dryer instead.


            • #7
              Originally posted by LauraKY View Post
              I wouldn't pour hot water over it unless the temps are to go above freezing. Just makes it worse for the next time. Try the hair dryer instead.
              Agreed. It is a quick fix. I use it when desperate, then let the spigot dry out once the weather is dry and keep it covered to avoid a recurrence. I find the quick fix easier than the hair dryer, because, being a barn rat, I don't own a hairdryer. I do own a blow torch, but I am too chicken to use it near the barn.


              • #8
                Put a heat lamp bulb in a clamp light, and aim it at the hydrant for an hour or so - very close up. It should free right up.


                • #9
                  Hair dryer! For chronic cases, a drop light hung near it for 15-30min before use will also work. Just remember to unplug it when you aren't around.
                  Some riders change their horse, they change their saddle, they change their teacher; they never change themselves.

                  Remember the horse does all the work, we just sit there and look pretty.


                  • Original Poster

                    Thanks for all the suggestions! No, hose was not left hooked up... I spent the hour or so above freezing today hauling water from the house. At least that spigot worked! Plus a hose got me about half way to barn. All tubs are full for the night and everybody got soaked cubes for dinner. I really think it is just the handle and may try hot water tomorrow and then hair dryer again. With the wind blowing on us today it didn't help much. It has certainly been colder than this and not frozen before.


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by blackstallion2 View Post
                      It has certainly been colder than this and not frozen before.
                      Yeah, sometimes all it takes is water in the wrong place. The water freezes, and you cannot move the handle.

                      Good luck tomorrow!


                      • #12
                        Go buy a heat lamp and aim it at the hydrant handle...I do that when it gets really cold, because the handle's will freeze.

                        Heat lamps are great, about 250 watts, should always be tended to, but they will thaw out anything. I prefer not to use a hair dryer and stand there, but the heat lamp can be put to it, while you do other chores...just don't leave it, since the heat coming out of the lamp is hot, and could combust with hay, shavings etc.
                        Fairview is correct. Best solution, imo.
                        BTW, my gator is under two heat lamps all winter to keep warm!! Otherwise, it doesn't work.
                        save lives...spay/neuter/geld


                        • #13
                          I've used a heat tape on my hydrant that froze up. In winter, I also make sure I fill the water troughs at the evening feeding. More likely to be frozen in the morning.


                          • #14
                            When it's just the handle that has frozen up, draping a heating pad over the top of the hydrant and turning it up on high will thaw things out quickly and safely.
                            Last edited by Foxyrab; Jan. 4, 2010, 04:56 PM. Reason: spelling


                            • Original Poster

                              The warm water worked. It got all the way up to 36 today and I am back in business. They are calling for snow later this week and continued nights in the 20s so I am relieved to get this done now! I bought new bulb for~he heat lamp too for back up. And after I finished filling tubs sprayed the heck out the spigot with WD40.
                              Thanks again!


                              • #16
                                Great! Now keep a steady stream of water flowing while temps are below freezing, don't just drip the faucets.

                                or cut off the water and bleed the lines each night.


                                • #17
                                  Not to hijack, but all mine are working - but one. It's creepy. The handle pulls up easily - too easily - and then just this TEEENNNY trickle of water comes out.

                                  This is the only one we did not install, it was here when we moved in. So 1) who knows exactly where the pipes are for it and 2) who knows how deep it really is.

                                  I am thinking the pipe under the ground is frozen/broken.. opinions? What Does Tom King Think?
                                  "Kindness is free" ~ Eurofoal
                                  The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.


                                  • #18
                                    1. Take a standard plastic kitchen trash container and cut hole in bottom. Place over top of faucet base. Fill with manure, up to handle.

                                    2. Take an old, fuzzy lined brushing boot and velcro around the base right under the handle and part of the faucet. Haven't needed anything else since adding this and leaving in-place.

                                    3. Painters heat gun (very fast).


                                    • #19
                                      My "frostfree" hydrant has a slow drip that I've never been able to get rid of. Yes, the D$@# thing freezes. I take a thick paper feed bag, stick it over the top of hydrant and pipe and fill that with the hot air from a hairdryer. Voila! Water!
                                      In an age when scientists are creating artificial intelligence, too many of our educational institutions seem to be creating artificial stupidity.—Thomas Sowell, Is Thinking Obsolete?


                                      • #20
                                        If it drips, it's no longer freezeproof.


                                        This guy's problem can be avoided if you raise the handle before screwing off the top. For some odd reason he took the handle off before screwing the top off and it left the washer seated which stayed in the bottom as he screwed the top off it also unscrewed the washer.


                                        http://www.guineafowl.com/fritsfarm/...e/hydrant.html I like how they buried a cinder block under the hydrant for more air space for it to drain quicker-but the hole will have to be deeper than "one foot deeper as cinderblocks are 16" long. That's worthy of copying. One misprint here as closing the handle UNcovered the drain hole-not "covers" it.

                                        If you are just installing new hydrants, do yourself a favor and only buy a Woodford. The first time you have to repair or replace any part of it, you will more than make up for the small increase in price you will pay over one of the Chinese made ones sold in big box stores.

                                        I know you girls are mostly scared of Propane torches but remember that Julia Child used one in the kitchen. What you can do in 20 minutes with a hair dryer can be done in 15 seconds with a propane torch. When it's really cold, I use one to steam off the last few drops left on the threads after screwing off the hose so it can easily be screwed back on next time.
                                        Last edited by Tom King; Jan. 5, 2010, 09:51 AM.