Waterlines are one of the most important aspects of exterior water sources. Whether you are running a line from a well into your house, or a line from the well to a yard hydrant, waterline’s make the job possible. Choosing the right type of waterline can help get the correct amount of water from the source. It will also help prevent cracks and breaks underground which can cause thousands of dollars of damage. The most common types of waterlines are black poly (polyethylene), PVC (polyvinyl chloride), and copper.
In this article we will discuss what types of material waterline can be made from, the uses of waterline, different sizes and how to connect a waterline to a yard hydrant.
A waterline can be made of many materials. It is a tube that carries water from one location to another. Most waterlines are pressurized. All water systems from a single household well to a large city infrastructure use waterline. This blog post will cover waterlines used for rural applications.
There are two common water supply systems for rural sites. The first is called rural water. Rural water is a term for a municipal size well that serves many homes. These systems can have water mains that run for miles.
A private well is the other system. This is the most common way to get water on a rural site. Private wells are drilled into the ground and a pump is installed into the well and brought down to below the ground water table. The well is wired for use and is connected to a waterline that runs to a pressure tank. These pressure tanks can be found either in the basement of the house, or in a well pit that sits below the frost line. The well fills up the pressure tank with water which then fills up the waterline that runs throughout the house, distributing the water wherever it is desired.
Waterline material can play a big role in how well water can flow from the source, whether it be a well or a yard hydrant. As previously mentioned, the most common types of waterlines are black poly (polyethylene), PVC (polyvinyl chloride), and copper.
Black poly pipe can be used to bring water to sprinkler lines, from wells into houses, and from houses to external water sources. This material can also be used in trailer parks to hook up multiple housing units. PVC is used in areas where rural water systems are used. This material works well for long distances because it is more easily handled than black poly and is a much cheaper option than copper. The last material we will briefly discuss is copper. Copper used to be required in houses in municipalities. Increase in costs is the main reason these regulations are no longer used. Present day, it is hard to find copper waterline due to cheaper alternatives.
Connecting Waterline to a Yard Hydrant
Yard hydrants are one of the best external water sources. Having a yard hydrant can open your farm or yard up to endless possibilities. Without a solid connection to a waterline, a yard hydrant is hindered in its ability to perform.
The first step in connecting a waterline to a yard hydrant is making sure the waterline is deep enough. When digging a trench for a waterline, ensure that the waterline will be below potential frostlines to prevent freezing and breaks. If you want to learn more about trench depths for waterlines, we wrote an entire blog about it. Once your trench is deep enough, you will want to roll out enough black poly pipe to ensure that you have to enough to make it from the well or house to the hydrant.
You need to pick the proper adapter to get from your waterline to your hydrant. Most hydrants have 3/4” female threads at the bottom. And the most common waterline size for residential applications in our area is 1” black poly pipe. Most installs use a hydrant elbow. This is a 90-degree elbow that has an insert fitting to connect to the waterline on one side, and a male thread to hook into the hydrant on the other side. This fitting will get the job done, but it is NOT the best approach. There is a new way to make the connection between a hydrant and a waterline, and it allows for the hydrant to be removed or replaced from the surface after it’s installed. It’s called a Hydrant Assist Kit.
Hydrant Assist Kit
A Hydrant Assist Kit (HAK) is a frost-free yard hydrant encasement system, which, once installed, allows a hydrant to be repaired or replaced from the surface—no need for digging or excavating. The picture featured below is a fully installed yard hydrant encased by a Hydrant Assist Kit.
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. A Hydrant Assist Kit combined with a HAK Adapter ensures a strong connection between the yard hydrant and the waterline.
Once your hydrant has a sturdy connection to the water source, it’s time to bury the waterline and hydrant. Start by filling around the hydrant with washed rock. 2 five-gallon buckets of washed rock should be enough to surround the base of the hydrant. This helps the drain back feature of the yard hydrant.
Now that the hydrant base is surrounding by washed rock, it’s time to fill the trench with dirt. At the start while using a bobcat, slowly dump the dirt into the trench to prevent the waterline from jolting around and potentially breaking. Once the line has a layer of dirt over the top of it, it is safe to start putting the dirt back in the trench at a normal speed. After the trench is full, use the tracks of the bobcat to help settle and level excess dirt.
Upgrade Your Hydrant
If you are thinking about installing a hydrant, or are simply repairing or replacing your old hydrant, check out our “All About the HAK” page to find out more about how to upgrade your hydrant!