Equipped To Survive Equipped To Survive® Presents
The Survival Forum
Where do you want to go on ETS?

Page 1 of 2 1 2 >
Topic Options
#248989 - 07/24/12 06:53 PM Yard Hydrant Issues
MartinFocazio Offline

Pooh-Bah

Registered: 01/21/03
Posts: 2148
Loc: Bucks County PA
I installed a yard hydrant about 18 months ago (one of those faucets you can use in all weather, the valve is below ground and it won't freeze up).

A few weeks ago, I noticed that the ground around the bottom of the hydrant was always wet, so assuming a leak, I dug things up, and that's when the troubles started.

My soil is VERY much clay in most places, including under the yard hydrant. The problem is that the normal operation of the yard hydrant requires it to be able to drain the riser after using it, and that's where my trouble is.

Leaving the pit open to check for leaks, I decided to evaluate the drain rate of the pit. Basically, it's not draining at all - it's a perfect clay lined pool. Now, the main issue is that this yard hydrant comes up in my shed - I use it to water my chickens, and in winter time, it's really nice to have access to water from within the shed - so relocating the hydrant is the least best option. I've noticed that there is a threaded fitting at the valve assembly, so I could run the riser drain elsewhere...but where? Any other ideas? A deeper pit? Something else?

Top
#248996 - 07/24/12 08:25 PM Re: Yard Hydrant Issues [Re: MartinFocazio]
KenK Offline
"Be Prepared"
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 06/26/04
Posts: 1958
Loc: NE Illinois
I'm in the same boat. I have nasty clay soil.

Somehow you are going to need to create an evaporation pit of some kind. If you are familiar with septic system drainage fields ... they don't drain fluids down - they evaporate them up. You are in a position that you have to do the very same thing.

My thought would be that when you bury the business end of the hydrant rather than just fill it in with clay, you line the pit with landscaping cloth, and then fill the pit with some kind of "sharp" gravel with limited "fines".

I'd talk with your local materials source and tell them what you are doing. You need the gravel to pack enough to hold the hydrant in place well, but still allow water to evaporate out. I'd probably even cover the top of the bit with a layer of landscape cloth and then put a light layer of gravel on top of it.

Obviously, the larger the pit, the more buffer room you have before the water gets to too close to the surface. In winter, if that happens, then the water could freeze and transmit that cold downward ... causing problems.

Sometime this fall I need to rebuild our hydrant. We've been getting leaking around the rod that goes down into the hydrant. In winter that is the kiss of death. We bought a kit that comes with a new plunger and some other parts. I've seen a video on-line where you unscrew the top and pull the whole thing out from the hydrant and then replace that plunger. Looks easy enough. I hope we can do it.

BTW, our hydrant is inside our unheated horse barn. Just to play it safe, I ran a heat tape down the hydrant's main tube, wrapped it with insulation, and then covered the whole think with a length of that black corrugated drainage pipe that I slit down one side (so I could put it around the pipe). In really REALLY cold weather we'll turn on the heat tape. The corrugated pipe is to keep our barn cats from shredding the insulation or damaging the heat tape. Its worked so far. Nothing would be worse than having that hydrant freeze in the winter. That would be a ton of work hauling water to the horses.

Top
#248997 - 07/24/12 08:35 PM Re: Yard Hydrant Issues [Re: MartinFocazio]
dougwalkabout Offline
Crazy Canuck
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/03/07
Posts: 2557
Loc: Alberta, Canada
I have clay subsoil as well. When clay is saturated, it takes a loooong time for water to drain through. This makes it a fantastic filtering medium, but can also cause drainage problems in wet years.

Is the dampness causing problems? If it's only a nuisance issue, it may be enough to put down a layer of gravel and sand on the surface.

How deep is the valve assembly? It seems to me that moving the drain outlet to a deeper sand/gravel filled pit may help. This is simply a holding area for the drain water while the clay slowly absorbs the moisture.

The other part, I suppose, is to use the hydrant in a way that minimizes the number of drain cycles. For example, installing a small above-ground tank for the frost-free season may be a good idea. Or, for the summer, leave the main valve "on" and add an above-ground tap to shut off the flow.

My 2c.

EDIT: Ken's evaporation pit idea is interesting. Hadn't thought of that. It explains the sewage mounds that are required for areas with low drainage rates.


Edited by dougwalkabout (07/24/12 08:40 PM)

Top
#248998 - 07/24/12 09:01 PM Re: Yard Hydrant Issues [Re: MartinFocazio]
LesSnyder Online   content
Veteran

Registered: 07/11/10
Posts: 1392
Loc: New Port Richey, Fla
would a 6" or 8" diameter cylindrical clay, cement or PVC pipe around your stand pipe allow you to back fll with your yard soil for proper stability of the valve, and have enough volume inside to evaporate your leak down amount, if you fill the inside of that pipe with a pea gravel or similar...


Edited by LesSnyder (07/24/12 09:03 PM)

Top
#249001 - 07/24/12 10:10 PM Re: Yard Hydrant Issues [Re: KenK]
MartinFocazio Offline

Pooh-Bah

Registered: 01/21/03
Posts: 2148
Loc: Bucks County PA
Originally Posted By: KenK

My thought would be that when you bury the business end of the hydrant rather than just fill it in with clay, you line the pit with landscaping cloth, and then fill the pit with some kind of "sharp" gravel with limited "fines".


The pit was filled - per the manufacturer's recommendations - with pea gravel. I think that the answer is a MUCH larger drain area for it...time to borrow a backhoe again...

Top
#249023 - 07/25/12 04:35 PM Re: Yard Hydrant Issues [Re: MartinFocazio]
thseng Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 03/24/06
Posts: 899
Loc: NW NJ
Dunno if that's going to help. No matter how large a pit you make, if it is a closed bowl it will tend to collect runoff and melt water, especially in the winter which is when you need it to drain.

How about raising the bottom up to the level of the current surface, then building a mound around and over the whole thing?
_________________________
- Tom S.
Mora Knives & Adventurer Series Survival Gear

"Never trust and engineer who doesn't carry a pocketknife."

Top
#249024 - 07/25/12 05:31 PM Re: Yard Hydrant Issues [Re: MartinFocazio]
nursemike Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 11/09/06
Posts: 774
Loc: wellington, fl
what kind of floor do you have in the shed? would it be possible to trench from the riser drain to a low spot outside the shed? Then a pipe could be run through the trench, and the low spot back filled with whatever is used locally for a septic leach field. I used this approach with an old cellar that was host to a seasonal stream.
_________________________
Dance like you have never been hurt, work like no one is watching,love like you don't need the money.

Top
#249031 - 07/25/12 08:22 PM Re: Yard Hydrant Issues [Re: thseng]
MartinFocazio Offline

Pooh-Bah

Registered: 01/21/03
Posts: 2148
Loc: Bucks County PA
Originally Posted By: thseng

How about raising the bottom up to the level of the current surface, then building a mound around and over the whole thing?


Not gonna work - the pit is basically UNDER the shed - nowhere to go up.

Spoke with the folks at the local hardware/lumber store, and they came up with the idea of an extended drain trench, with a tube feed from the drain fitting. Worth a try and easy enough to implement with a trencher machine (which I was getting for a weekend anyway for some other work)

Top
#249034 - 07/25/12 10:06 PM Re: Yard Hydrant Issues [Re: MartinFocazio]
KenK Offline
"Be Prepared"
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 06/26/04
Posts: 1958
Loc: NE Illinois
Be careful that you don't build a way for cold air to get to the bottom of the hydrant. If you have enough of a slope that the drain trench opens to the surface, that is awesome, but fill it with gravel to insulate. If your drain trench doesn't open to the surface, then aren't you just building a bigger pit?

If you keep the top of the drain trench close to the surface of the ground, and cover it with a thin surface of soil (with grass), then you have the very same thing as a septic system drain field - which as I mentioned earlier is really an evaporation field.

The water has to go somewhere. In dense clay it won't likely go downward - that is why you're having the problem now. It either has to flow elsewhere or it has to evaporate.

Top
#249094 - 07/27/12 07:02 PM Re: Yard Hydrant Issues [Re: MartinFocazio]
MartinFocazio Offline

Pooh-Bah

Registered: 01/21/03
Posts: 2148
Loc: Bucks County PA
I'm afraid I've found the solution.

It's called a "Sanitary Yard Hydrant" and it's specifically made to address the issues I'm facing due to clay soil.

It's also $650....

Top
Page 1 of 2 1 2 >



Moderator:  Alan_Romania, Blast, chaosmagnet, cliff 
July
Su M Tu W Th F Sa
1
2 3 4 5 6 7 8
9 10 11 12 13 14 15
16 17 18 19 20 21 22
23 24 25 26 27 28 29
30 31
Who's Online
1 registered (M_a_x), 269 Guests and 4 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Newest Members
albusgrammaticus, johnmarl, AshikurAB, tomar15, Bbbriggs
5207 Registered Users
Newest Posts
Knifeworks - Web Problems or Out of Business?
by Phaedrus
03:40 AM
Get Out of Dodge, Don't Forget Your Passport
by EMPnotImplyNuclear
01:40 AM
Do You Have a Firstaid Kit to Spare?
by chaosmagnet
01:15 AM
Net Making Demonstration 2017
by Jeanette_Isabelle
12:24 AM
Your Scent in a Jar - for tracking?
by Pete
12:07 AM
Hiking Safely in Mtn Goat country
by clearwater
06:14 PM
Help for novel research.Bugging out from Manhattan
by albusgrammaticus
05:38 AM
Hiking safely with dogs in wolf country
by haertig
07/27/17 08:55 PM
Newest Images
Tiny knife / wrench
Handmade knives
2"x2" Glass Signal Mirror, Retroreflective Mesh
Trade School Tool Kit
My Pocket Kit
Glossary
Test

WARNING & DISCLAIMER: SELECT AND USE OUTDOORS AND SURVIVAL EQUIPMENT, SUPPLIES AND TECHNIQUES AT YOUR OWN RISK. Information posted on this forum is not reviewed for accuracy and may not be reliable, use at your own risk. Please review the full WARNING & DISCLAIMER about information on this site.