defrost the frost free hydrant?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by opportunity, Oct 24, 2012.

  1. opportunity

    opportunity Well-Known Member

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    So I use a heated water system in the winter but we are mid move and I didn't want to set it up untill we got to the new house. It froze hard last night and it's supposed to stay cold for a week but I left the hydrant on the float system that I use in the summer and it's frozen solid..... What's the easy way to fix it?
     
  2. Lisa in WA

    Lisa in WA Formerly LisainN.Idaho Supporter

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    depending on how far down it froze, wrap with heat tapes?
     
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  3. rambler

    rambler Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Pour hot water on it, get the hose off it, keep pouring hot water on it (the pipe so it heats the ground a bit as well) and hope it didn't freeze too deep, and that it didn't swell or bust a pipe where it did freeze.

    You'll have made it if you get water to run out of it, let it run a bit to add heat to the pipe so all the ice works out.

    --->Paul
     
  4. Bearfootfarm

    Bearfootfarm Hello, hello....is there anybody in there.....? Supporter

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    I've done it by using a light bulb next to the pipe at ground level.
    It will go faster if you can put a cover of some type to hold in the heat
     
  5. blooba

    blooba Well-Known Member

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    I have a better solution, If you have to worry about frozen pipes this early in the season.



    MOVE!!!!
     
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  6. plowjockey

    plowjockey Well-Known Member

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    I put a barrel over ours, with a very small heater inside (up off of the ground).

    I keep forgetting it's already that cold in some places. :(
     
  7. watcher

    watcher de oppresso liber

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    Once saw a guy hook the positive of his welder to a pipe and the ground to the ground and flip the switch. In a few mins the pipe was thawed
     
  8. opportunity

    opportunity Well-Known Member

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    The hot water worked thankfully I remembered it was on and didn't let it stay that way to long after it froze. Looks like it's time to chop water ever morning on the creek and keep heaters in the tanks, oh I just love winter.
     
  9. nehimama

    nehimama An Ozark Engineer Supporter

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    ALWAYS allow the standpipe to drain. That means do NOT keep a hose or ANYTHING hooked up! That frost-free hydrant must drain in order to remain frost-free!

    P.S. Not hollerin' at you; It's just that I learned this the hard way, myself. Totally ruined one before it was explained to me.
     
  10. Molly Mckee

    Molly Mckee Well-Known Member Supporter

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    They used to do that all the time in WI--some welders carried extra long cables just to thaw pipes. They can't do it if you have any plastic.........
     
  11. Gianni

    Gianni Well-Known Member

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    That also includes a frost free spigot at the house.
     
  12. foxtrapper

    foxtrapper Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Steel piping splits when the water freezes. Plastic tubing just stretches a little, and no damage results.

    I had a light bulb moment some years ago when it came to winter and wattering tanks. I ran a small clear tubing line out to the waterer. Sure, it would freeze every night. And in the morning, when the sun hit it, it would thaw out and melt.

    Worked beautifully!

    Being a small line (1/4" or so), the ice would melt entirely very quickly. No problems with slush in the lines blocking the water flow. True, water ran slowly through that small line, but since it could run all day, total water flow was perfectly adequate. And since a small line is a rather light line, I ran it overhead to keep it off the frozen ground and to let it get even more sunlight exposure.
     
  13. BTO

    BTO Well-Known Member

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    Last winter I turned on my hydrant for a short time to see if it was frozen. The next time I wanted to use it, it was. I think in sub zero weather you should run the hydrant long enough to warm the seats. That allows the water to drain before it freezes. I poured warm water down the hydrant to thaw it. Worked slick.
     
  14. Nimrod

    Nimrod Well-Known Member

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    If your extention cord reaches that far, you can use a heat gun or hair dryer.

    Plastic pipe will expand the first time it freezes and maybe the second but it will eventually break.