: How to thaw a froze outdoor water hydrant?


O F
02-02-2005, 09:16 PM
Well, I did something stupid. Turned off the water hydrant but left the hose connected which prevented it from draining properly and the remaining water froze down into the ground. Does anyone have an idea how to thaw the hydrant? I put a heat tape on the portion of the hydrant that sticks out of the ground and then wrapped that with insulation. So far, no success. Please post your suggestions.

Thanks, O F

O F
02-02-2005, 09:39 PM
Sorry, should say frozen, not froze. No wonder, I left the hose connected . . .

orchard frank
02-02-2005, 10:56 PM
Point a Salamander type heater at it, the heat will transfer and thaw. Don't be in a hurry heat it gradually. Good Luck

Mike Det
02-02-2005, 11:53 PM
House fire!

I_Bob
02-03-2005, 07:21 AM
Slowly pour hot water on the hydrant pipe. Works best using a old tea kettle or something similar. This lets you control the flow much better than pouring out of a pail.

The Bullhead
02-03-2005, 08:29 AM
OF

This has worked in the past:

If you have a portable ice shack such as the Clam, Frabil, Voyager, Otter,...ect. (or know someone who does) Deploy the shack over the frozen hydrant, make her air tight, turn on you portable heater, and go back into the house, grab a cup of coffee....browse the walleye central message boards.

Within an hour or two you should be set.

Good Luck

MK not logged
02-03-2005, 08:51 AM
If you're talking about the type of hydrant like the frost-free barn spigots that are buried in the ground, I've seen this work before, assuming the pipe is all metal back to the supply.

Take an arc welder and connect one end to the hose spigot end and connect the other electrode to the supply end (you might have to connect it with some romex house wire if its a long way off).

Put the welder on its lowest setting and turn it on for 10-15 seconds at a time and wait for the pipe to warm up. I watched the local city utility do this during one real cold snap where the house water supply lines were freezing from the meter to the house. They hooked ut one end at the house and the other end in the meter pit. Worked like a charm.

If the supply line is plastic, I think you'll be waiting for the weather to change.

tom from onamia
02-03-2005, 08:53 AM
use a bag or 2 of charcoal, spread over the ground around the hydrant lite the charcoal and cover with a piece of tin or something that won't burn and will direct the heat down. that should do the trick. keep the charcoal in a 12" or so area and stacked 3" or 4" high around the hrdrant.

Mike W1
02-03-2005, 09:28 AM
Years ago we had a gizmo made from a piece of rigid copper pipe with an adaptor to screw a garden hose on. Take the top of the hydrant off and stick the pipe into the hydrant pipe and hook the hose up to hot water and turn it on. It'll melt it's way down very quickly. BTW the copper pipe was about 1" as I recall. Should look for that thing as I haven't used it in years and it'd be nice to know where it endedup.

O F
02-03-2005, 11:02 AM
Hi guys. Thanks for the tips. The heat tape and insulation overnight did not make any progress. So, after work today, I will try another method.

This hydrant is like in a barn. It is right next to my dog kennels. We recently had a fairly warm day, so I used it with the hose to top off the hot tub. I turned off the water, but left the hose connected which prevented proper drainage out of the bottom of the faucet underground.

This evening, I will try the kerosene heater pointed at the hydrant. Hopefully that will transfer enough heat to thaw down into the ground.

I'll post an update tomorrow. Thanks again, O F

redog692
02-03-2005, 12:46 PM
what has worked for me is take the top of it off it will screw off the pipe, you will need a small some pump and 3/8 inch plastic hose a 5gal pal and some hot water i heated it on my fish cooker push the hose in as the ice melts it works pretty fast once you start dont stop till its open or it will refreze,

O F
02-05-2005, 06:30 PM
Thanks for all of the tips. Did not have time to work on this until Friday after work. Got the Reddy Heater and some kerosene from the garage and went out to work on the hydrant. I found that the heat tape had thawed the hydrant by transferring the heat downwards - it just was very slow. So, I turned on the water and let it run awhile. So far, no leaks. Thanks again for the ideas which I will remember in the future - hopefully to help someone else!

O F
02-05-2005, 06:30 PM
Thanks for all of the tips. Did not have time to work on this until Friday after work. Got the Reddy Heater and some kerosene from the garage and went out to work on the hydrant. I found that the heat tape had thawed the hydrant by transferring the heat downwards - it just was very slow. So, I turned on the water and let it run awhile. So far, no leaks. Thanks again for the ideas which I will remember in the future - hopefully to help someone else!