Yard hydrants can be used in many settings. Many rural homes have yard hydrants to supply water to a location that’s a long way from their house. Watering a garden or even having a hose hookup to wash the car are quite common.
Later in this blog post we will talk about places that aren’t ideal for hydrants, but first, let’s get into where yard hydrants work best. A simple yard hydrant can play quite a role in various places, the first being the farm.
Hydrants on the Farm
Hydrants are a staple of farm life. They can help make everyday tasks simple to complete. You can spot yard hydrants near a stock tank for watering livestock. They can do the simple task of filling up a bowl of water for the farm dogs or cats, or they can help crop farmers fill up their spray barrels to mix fertilizer.
Hydrant uses in parks and campgrounds
Hydrants are everywhere in parks. Having a yard hydrant can aid in fire suppression, and also help water new trees or flower beds. Since hydrants are frost proof, they allow water to be available on demand even in the coldest of winters.
Many campgrounds and mobile home parks utilize yard hydrants for water supplies. The ability to turn the water off and have the hydrant drain out is unmatched with yard hydrant alternatives. It allows sites to be ready for visitors or tenants at a moment’s notice.
Places that aren’t good for hydrants
While hydrants are fantastic tools for providing outdoor water year-round, there are a few places where hydrants will not work effectively. Most of these areas will be specific spots on a site, not an entire site. We would recommend finding a more suitable location whenever possible.
If the seasonal water table in your area gets higher than the depth of your water lines, a yard hydrant may not be a good option. Water will not drain out of the pipe if the water table is above the drain hole. This will cause the hydrant to freeze. The most common places with high water tables are properties located near bodies of water. It is likely the water table can get as high as the lake level, at least in areas near the shoreline.
If you are digging in a hydrant and there is standing water at the level of the water lines, this is a red flag. Consider burying your hydrant above that water table. Keep in mind that in northern locations it’s possible that the water table drops in the fall. This could make the frost line below that of the water table. If you can’t bury your hydrant deep enough that it won’t freeze, consider a different way to supply water seasonally, or consider setting up your hydrant to be easily winterized.
Installing a hydrant in a high risk setting
You may need to install a hydrant in a “less than ideal” setting. If you do, consider installing it inside of a Hydrant Assist Kit. A Hydrant Assist Kit is a simple but effective system that takes your yard hydrant to the next level. The cap is designed to accommodate heat tape. If your hydrant is likely to freeze, you can put heat tape directly on the vertical pipe and hydrant head. You can plug the heat tape in whenever temperatures are below freezing. If your hydrant freezes without heat tape, swapping it out for a new hydrant can be done in seconds. It’s a great insurance policy for these higher risk hydrant installations.
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!
If you enjoyed this blog, we will be posting one every other Friday. Check back in two weeks to find out more about how to install a yard hydrant.