I understand perfectly well how they work. You, apparently, did not understand
what I wrote. Perhaps you should re-read it. My point was that it doesn't
matter whether the hydrant is shut off before, or after, the pump -- as long
as it is shut off.
Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
On Sun, 04 Feb 2007 15:40:27 GMT, firstname.lastname@example.org (Doug Miller)
Which is precisely why you heat the upper part, boil out some water
and remove the head. Then you pour table salt in the pipe and it will
melt thru the ice below the ground. I have done it, it works and
works well !!!
Actually, if someone is handy they should be able to use compressed
air or even something like a turkey baster to inject the salt into the
spigot opening without removing the head. Of course the upper water
needs to be boiled out first, which and decent torch can do, but it
has to be a powerful one. Use the electric heater first to get things
Sure, it can sit till spring, but animals need water and the harder
the freeze, the more likely the hydrant will crack. I can prove this
point just by putting water in a plastic pitcher. When I water our
pet rabbits I carry a plastic pitcher of water to the shed. On a
partial freeze, the pitcher remains it's normal shape with ice in it.
On a full freeze, the bottom of the pitcher bulges. This hydrant
should be thawed as soon as possible.
The OP just posted that she's in central Indiana. So am I, and have been for
the last 34 years. So trust me on a couple of things:
1) She definitely will not have to wait for spring to get a thaw. Two weeks,
at most, before the ambient temp is high enough to thaw it. Extended periods
of below-freezing weather here are very rare.
2) It's as cold tonight as it's likely to get. Any damage has already been
done, and will not be made worse by waiting.
That's the difference between freezing only around the edges, and freezing
Doesn't matter -- it's only an inch or so thick, and at the temps the OP is
experiencing, it froze solid all the way through on the first night. The
damage (if any) is already done.
Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
On Feb 4, 6:55 am, email@example.com (Doug Miller) wrote:
AT last. I kept reading wondering when someone would call it right.
They are called "Frost Free Hydrants" out here. I don't know what the
true technical name is. Asking for one by either of those names will
get what he needs.
On Sun, 4 Feb 2007 13:25:11 +0000 (UTC), FragileWarrior
OK, now we're getting some where. The pump is way down in the well,
and will not freeze. The thing you are talking about is a riser
spigot, or I call them a hydrant. I have dealt with these things
freezing several times. Here's the easy method, but only if this
hydrant is outdoors and is not near any flammable materials. In other
words, if it outdoors and there is no building, trees, or other
flammables near it for at least 10 feet. OK, dig away any snow around
the hydrant and take some cardboard boxes, paper, and some small twigs
and or wood and build a pile around the hydrant. Set this pile on
fire. Your hydrant should begin to flow after a few minutes (have the
pump on). Yeah, this might sound dangerous to some people, but
remember, you can ONLY do this if there are no flammables nearby. The
hydrant itself is metal and wont burn. I have done this a few times
and it works great.
If the hydrant is indoors or near flammables, buy several propane
torches. Get the ones called TURBO TORCH. They are hotter. Put one
in each hand, get a friend with one or two also. Each torch does 1/3
or 1/4th of the stand pipe.
If you are really handy, start by shutting off the pump. Then take
off the handle, then you can put the torch where the head (top part of
the hydrant where the handle goes - usually painted). Right below
that painted head are threads. With two pipe wrenches you can remove
the head, but be sure not to turn the pipe where it enters the ground.
Remove the head. There will be a metal rod in the center. Start
pouring table salt into that pipe around the rod. Then heat the top
of that pipe till the water boils and keep adding more salt. The
water will boil out of the top of the pipe a little at a time. Once
you get down a few inches, the boiling water will react with the salt
and melt downward quite quickly. Just keep applying the torch or
torches further down the pipe. You will likely hear the water evel
drop when the salt melts thru, or just turn on the pump for a few
seconds, but stay away.
This salt method works well, but you need to know how to disassemble
The fire around the hydrant is the easiest method.
Once fixed, always be sure to remove the hose immediately when you are
finished and turn off the hydrant. I think you know that by now,,,,
Let us know what works.
NOTE: You may likely have a cracked head. That cast iron is the first
thing to break. You can get replacements for most models.
You apparently have a submersible pump with a ground level antifreeze
spigot, Which drains when you put the handle down, which you forgotand
therefor it froze. You need to just thraw the pipes out in however
manner you can. An electric heater wire made for just such , might do
the trick. But just thaw it out and then remember to drain that spigot
each time you use it, DO YOU HEAR????
If I *EVER* forget to put that handle down again someone should just take
me out and shoot me because my brain has obviously seen better days and
has turned completely to mush.
Here's the latest: I schlepped into town (30 miles round trip) and got
two heat lamps. I set up the tent, plugged them in and one didn't work.
(I must have broken a mirror recently or something...) I could tell
pretty quick that this set-up wasn't going to do much -- especially with
one lamp -- so when I schlepped back to town, I bought heat tape. I put
that on -- six foot of it, spiral around the pipe but not touching itself
-- and covered it with two huge pieces of R30 insulation. I taped it the
best I could (the tape is freezing and not sticking) and then I jammed a
plastic garbage can down over the whole set up. I figure I will leave it
until tomorrow without undoing it.
Thanks to everyone who is replying and trying to suggest ways to help.
Strength-wise, I don't have what it takes to remove spigots/piping or
other heavy-duty stuff. Until this thaws out, I'll be running out with
buckets of water every hour.
On Sun, 4 Feb 2007 16:48:31 +0000 (UTC), FragileWarrior
Be prepared to blast a torch at the soil at the base of the hydrant
after the top thaws. (Remove heat tape first). Its likely frozen
under the soil, If you can, take a turkey baster and make a thick
paste of table salt and water. See if you can inject that into the
part where the hose connects.
By the way, what state are you in? This midwest cold spell is horrid.
On Mon, 5 Feb 2007 00:13:30 +0000 (UTC), FragileWarrior
Didn't you make the mistake precisely because the pipe was frozen and
there was no water coming out? If there had been water coming out,
you would have turned it off.
This is a variation on those where there is a water main break and
they turn their faucet on and when no water comes out, they don't
close it again. Then when the water is repaired, the water comes out
full blast, and overflows the sink etc.
I think most people** do this until they have some bad experience,
although often that is a very small one.
**Any mistake one has made, he is likely to attribute to "most
Oh, btw, my draft horse thinks it is REALLY COOL that I'm running out there
with 5 gallon buckets of water for him every couple of hours. Apparently
he figures it is his duty to drink it all upon delivery.
If I didn't love him to death, I'd shoot him. :)
Read the whole litany of replies to your
troubles. I like your idea of using
a tarp over a few saw horses, but a
different heat source. How about a
torpedo heater blowing its warmth into
the tent. These things put out tons
of heat. And, you could probably rent
one at a rental place (I know, 30
miles away) if you don't have one or
can't borrow one. I just used one
in a garage where we were repairing the
door opener. It was about 30
degrees outside .... not as cold at it
is today in the mid west. But, after
about an hour or so, we had to turn off
the heater and remove our jackets.
BTW, it was a 50K BTU unit.
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