Yard Hydrant Problem
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    arlen's Avatar
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    Yard Hydrant Problem

    I have a Woodford Iowa Y1 yard hydrant installed in my barn. My wife used it this morning, and it worked, but this evening the handle won't come up...the rod is locked up tight.
    My first thought was that it didn't drain back and froze, but I can blow air through the spout, and the only place it can go is through the drain hole. It has been cold, but not like last year, or the year before. I installed it myself, backfilled around the drain with pea gravel, and given the fact that it's in the barn....well I'm having a hard time accepting that it would drain back.
    The only thing different that I can think of is that my wife only ran about a pint of water (she filled her water bottle), normally we would run a minimum of 10 gal at a time, so any ice from the prior time would flush out. Since it was -13, I'm wondering if I just have some ice build up that locked the valve in place...since the drain hole appears to be clear.
    Anybody have anybody ever had this happen? I have 5 Woodford Iowa's and have never had one single problem.
    I guess the strange part to me is that I can blow air through to the drain hole.
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    The valve is at the bottom like a fire hydrant.
    You have a handle that pulls and pushes the valve rod up top.
    Perhaps if it was sub zero when you used it, a little water flash froze in the seal that the rod passes through near handle.
    Try a little indirect heat. Being careful not to melt the seal
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    Senior GTT Super Slacker Gizmo2's Avatar
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    arlen, It's probably froze. I've been there a couple of times. Each time it has happened to us there was no apparent rhyme or reason.
    I always figured the ground was frozen enough the water draining from the drain hole had no place to go. What you have is a small underground pool. If this is the case, you should be able to fill the pipe with hot water.

    I take the top off, pour hot water down the pipe and then heat the pipe down low on the pipe with my acetylene torch until the water boils up over the top and then let it sit.

    BTW, I would rebuild the bottom half of the hydrant come summer.
    Last edited by Gizmo2; 03-06-2015 at 06:42 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by blue87fj60 View Post
    Perhaps if it was sub zero when you used it, a little water flash froze in the seal that the rod passes through near handle.
    Try a little indirect heat. Being careful not to melt the seal
    We have this same issue at times, I agree with the above statement. At least as a starting point. We use hot water, as hot as we can get out of our water heater to pour over the area were the rod goes through the handle , keeping steady pull pressure on the handle. This procedure has worked well. I don't ever remember having an issue other than this , we've had the Iowa hyd. Since the mid '60 s On the farm about 6 of them, used them every day.
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    arlen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gizmo2 View Post
    arlen, It's probably froze. I've been there a couple of times. Each time it has happened to us there was no apparent rhyme or reason.
    I always figured the ground was frozen enough the water draining from the drain hole had no place to go. What you have is a small underground pool. If this is the case, you should be able to fill the pipe with hot water.

    I take the top off, pour hot water down the pipe and then heat the pipe down low on the pipe with my acetylene torch until the water boils up over the top and then let it sit.

    BTW, I would rebuild the bottom half of the hydrant come summer.
    I just couldn't believe that the drain would be saturated. When I installed it, I buried 6 feet down into porous bedrock, I dug out at least a cubic yard and backfilled with pea gravel. I insulated the whole thing with hi density foam. I don't think you could fill the drain area with a fire hose.
    Anyway, since I could blow air through the spigot, I knew the drain must be clear.
    I strung out 750 feet of garden hose from the outdoor hot water spigot on my shop to the barn. I connected it to the hydrant using a wash machine hose.
    It only took about 5 seconds to get it working.
    There must have just been a chunk of ice binding up the rod going to the bottom.
    I think when my wife use it a couple of times and just ran a tiny bit of water when it was -13 deg caused the problem.
    Looks like I dodged the bullet this time.
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    Quote Originally Posted by arlen View Post
    ...I strung out 750 feet of garden hose...
    I don't think I could come up with that much hose if I hit up every neighbor on the street
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kennyd View Post
    I don't think I could come up with that much hose if I hit up every neighbor on the street

    I don't think any store in town has that much garden hose.......

    Dave
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    arlen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kennyd View Post
    I don't think I could come up with that much hose if I hit up every neighbor on the street
    Believe it or not, I have 2000 feet...give or take a couple hundred feet.
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    Quote Originally Posted by arlen View Post
    Believe it or not, I have 2000 feet...give or take a couple hundred feet.
    Now that's alotta hose.
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    Quote Originally Posted by arlen View Post
    Believe it or not, I have 2000 feet...give or take a couple hundred feet.
    Geeze. I thought I had a lot of garden hose with roughly 400'. My entire stock is barely more than your 'margin of error'.
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