Frozen hydrant.....how do I fix that?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by geoaware, Feb 16, 2008.

  1. geoaware

    geoaware Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 3, 2007
    Southern Maine
    Hi all

    We left a hose on our coop hydrant, and not now appears to be frozen up. We thought the recent warmer weather might have helped, but even after the almost 70F day on wednesday, it will not move.

    So...any ideas on how we can get this to work??

    Ta

    G&J
     
  2. hypnofrogstevie

    hypnofrogstevie chick magnet

    Jul 12, 2007
    Newton NJ
    We use a blowtorch on our well pump. It may take a while but it works. I think your best bet is a flamethrower
     
  3. rooster-red

    rooster-red Here comes the Rooster

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    Jun 10, 2007
    Douglasville GA
    I use a heat gun from the automotive industry.

    Think blow dryer on steroids!
     
  4. geoaware

    geoaware Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 3, 2007
    Southern Maine
    Great advice...thanks! We have one of those weed blowtorches....so we will use that. I guess I was concerned there may have been something inside that would melt.

    So now the question is, where do i direct the heat? At the tap end or the ground end??

    G&J
     
  5. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    always start at the tap end, warm that first. First, because nothing will come out if you thaw the farther back part while the tapwards portion is still frozen; and second, because if you overheat the farther back part while the tapwards portion is still frozen, you can actually burst the pipe that way.

    If you are lucky and living right [​IMG], your problem is jsut that the drainage at the bottom of the frostfree hydrant is gunked up, such that it failed to drain completely last time it was shut off and the water remaining in the vertical pipe froze up.

    If you use a blowtorch (generally bad idea) or industrial-type heat gun (still rather dangerous) please be REALLY REALLY CAREFUL, as people fairly often set thier barns on fire this way.

    An alternative approach you might try first, although it will be slower, is to rig up plywood etc to enclose the hydrant and then put a clip lamp in there, VERY securely positioned. Do not use a heat lamp, just use a regular 100w bulb or whatever is the maximum wattage the fixture is rated for (it should have a sticker on it somewhere, read it). Set it up inside the enclosure, pointing at the upper half of the hydrant pipe, and leave it there for a few hours or all day. Periodically remove the light (in case of splashing water) and try the faucet to see if it's thawed yet.

    If continued application fails to work, you have to consider that you're likely to be frozen down under the ground. Fixing this means either waiting til Spring (and remember it takes a while before the ground thaws!), or getting out a shovel and pickaxe. (If you do the latter, once you've exposed more pipe, make another plywood enclosure and hit it with the lamp again for half a day or a day). Neither one of which is any fun at all, so hopefully you're only frozen in the aboveground portion. It could be as simple as a clot of ice up around the handle -- if you really feel lucky, try blasting the top 6" with a hairdryer for fifteen or forty five minutes, and see if that does it.

    Good luck,

    Pat
     
  6. hypnofrogstevie

    hypnofrogstevie chick magnet

    Jul 12, 2007
    Newton NJ
    Please dont use one of those pipe wrap warmers they stink. If your using the blowtorch move it around the area over and over dont hold it in one spot. Have a bucket of water in case of fire
     

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