Leaking or broken yard hydrants can not only be a pain to deal with but can also cost a lot of money to fix. In addition, these problems rarely fix themselves. Small problems such as a leaking hydrant head can lead to much bigger and more expensive problems such as a cracked standpipe. There are many different factors that go into the cost to fix a yard hydrant. Factors such as time of the year, what is broken, or where the break is can affect the cost. In this article, we will go over which fixes can be quick and easy and potentially save you a ton of money. We will also shed light on some fixes that will require more work and cost a bit more.
Yard hydrants are used year-round but are put to the test each winter. Tasked with providing water to outdoor locations in harsh climates, it’s no surprise that sometimes these plumbing pieces fail. Whether it be a small leak or crack in the standpipe, when a yard hydrant starts to falter, bad things can follow. One small leak or a tiny crack can lead to costly repairs that can sometimes require the entire yard hydrant to be dug up.
Some yard hydrant problems you won’t be able to fix even with a professional. Running into a yard hydrant with a vehicle or farm equipment and bending the standpipe will require the hydrant to be dug and completely replaced. Trust me, it sounds crazy, but it happens more than you think. Leaving a garden hose attached to the yard hydrant after use in the winter can freeze up the standpipe or hydrant head and can cause cracking and breaking. The garden hose doesn’t allow the water to properly drain back down into the hydrant, leaving water within the hydrant above the frost line. In both of these scenarios, you would most likely have to dig up the entire hydrant and replace it.
Potentially Quick and Easy
There are a couple hydrant issues that can be solved with a quick and easy test fix. These fixes are NOT guaranteed to completely solve the issue. They can however be a short-term fix that can get you through until warmer weather. Making the repair or replacement process much easier. These fixes are most useful when the ground is frozen, and digging is extremely difficult.
Have a leaking hydrant? If water is leaking from the packing nut when you lift the handle, this a problem that could potentially be fixed without digging. Shut the water supply off and release tension by lifting the handle to drain the remaining water. Tighten the packing nut with a wrench and close the handle when finished. Turn the water back on and open the handle. If the problem persists, you could replace the entire packing nut.
If your hydrant has no water when you turn the handle, and the handle is very loose, you could have a broken rod. In a lot of cases, erosion will be the main cause of problems. It can eat away at the standpipe and affect the rods’ ability to move up and down. A short test fix would be to unscrew the entire hydrant head and try to pull the rod out. If you manage to get the entire rod out, you can find a replacement rod at a local plumbing store. If you can’t get the entire rod out, you will need to dig up and replace the yard hydrant.
Long Term Solution
There is only one way to ensure you only need to dig once and never again. A Hydrant Assist Kit. A Hydrant Assist Kit (HAK) is a frost-free water hydrant encasement system. Once installed, allows a hydrant to be repaired or replaced from the surface—no need for digging or excavating. If you have a leaking hydrant, you can easily remove the hydrant from the ground for repairs. The HAK works with any waterline type or size, and at any depth! The HAK provides easy hydrant replacement in difficult areas and can be easily maintained in a wide variety of applications. And there’s a HAK available to fit any water hydrant manufactured!