My husband and I recently moved to a new home, and we are lucky to have a barn with an outdoor frost free hydrant. When we did the home inspection late last fall the hydrant was working. After we moved in we found the handle removed. My husband put the handle back on, but when it is lifted it there is no flow. Whether in the on or off position, there is some dripping. We had a plumber doing some other work here and asked him about the problem, and he wondered if there was some shut-off valve that we don't know about. I contacted the seller of the home and she indicated that the only shut off she knows about is in the basement. This hydrant uses the same well as the house, if it froze and busted a pipe during the winter, wouldn't we hear our well pump going a lot more and see water start to come up to the surface or something. I called the plumber again, and his proposed solution was to dig it up and replace it.
I have been doing some research on line, and there is info on replacing gaskets http://www.ehow.co.uk/how_7150482_replace-seals-gaskets-frost_free-hydrants.html and on adjusting the set scew at the top http://www.ehow.com/how_8015085_adjust-simmons-frostfree-hydrant.htmlscrew
It seems like it is worth exploring these solutions before digging up the whole hydrant. I can't figure out what it really needs. WHAT IS STRANGE IS THAT THERE IS NO RESISTANCE ON THE HANDLE, LIKE IT IS NOT ENGAGING THE PLUNGER OR RUBBER SEAT THAT CLOSES OFF THE VALVE AT THE BOTTOM.
I suppose since it is dripping, I would at the very least need to get a repair kit that replaces the rubber plunger at the bottom. I just don't want to dig it up if it doesn't need it. Oh how I wish I knew a good handy man in the area.
My feathered friends and I would greatly appreciate any advice.
Edited by scratch'n'peck - 10/10/11 at 9:20am