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How To Install a Yard Hydrant

A mini version of the two foot bury yard hydrant

A mini version of the two foot bury yard hydrant

A yard hydrant is a type of outside faucet that you typically install in a location remote from the home or outbuilding. It can, however, be installed adjacent to a structure, if you use proper installation techniques. This fixture minimizes the amount of garden hose you must have. It is convenient for filling watering troughs for animals, providing water for greenhouses, gardens,

flowerbeds, washing vehicles and equipment, hosing off cement slabs, and even hand watering lawns, golf courses, etc.

Choose the correct yard hydrant for your area by determining the frost line. In most parts of the United States a two-foot bury yard hydrant is sufficient. In Alaska, you might want to use a three or even four foot bury yard hydrant depending on where the frost line is. A two foot bury yard hydrant means you must bury the yard hydrant a minimum of two feet under ground.

Next, determine the location for your yard hydrant. Make sure the location you choose is out of all traffic areas and close enough to your water use that a minimum of hose is needed.

Now, dig a suitable hole with posthole diggers about four feet deep. This will be for the post support for the hydrant. Widen that hole to about two feet six inches down for the yard hydrant itself. The hole must be at least two feet six inches deep and wide enough to work in. Place a four by four or four by six post, cut to about six and a half or not more than seven feet long and treated for ground contact in the post hole, orient the post correctly according to where you want the outlet of the hydrant to point and backfill the hole with dirt, tamping the dirt firmly after every couple of shovels full. Stop when you backfill to the level of the two foot six inch hole’s bottom. Then place about six inches of drain rock or pea gravel in the bottom of that hole. The yard hydrant will sit on this base.

Apply pipe joint compound or Teflon tape to the threads of a ¾” red brass street elbow and screw it into the base of the yard hydrant. Orient the elbow to the outlet of the yard hydrant so the outlet points in the direction you desire.

Obtain a three foot long section of ¾” galvanized pipe threaded on both ends. You can buy this at most hardware stores that sell plumbing supplies and at most home centers. Apply joint compound to the external threads on both ends of the pipe and screw it into the open end of the red brass elbow. On the opposite end of the ¾” galvanize pipe, install a ¾” red brass ground key stop and waste valve and an adapter for polybutylene, plastic, or copper pipe. Make sure you examine the valve and install it in the correct direction or it will act like a check valve and stop water from flowing to the hydrant. I like to install a wooden or metal stake on each side of the galvanized pipe close to the stop and waste valve to support it from any possible sideways movement. When backfilling the trench, install a shutoff box for the stop and waste valve so you have access to it.

You must support the yard hydrant solidly in order to prevent damage to the under ground connections and the yard hydrant itself. Using two or more galvanized two hole pipe clamps, attach the body of the yard hydrant to the post turning the hydrant to face the correct direction then tighten the clamp screws. Put enough gravel in the hole to cover the hydrant about six inches above the base. This will allow the hydrant to drain properly whenever it is shut off, keeping it from freezing.

Backfill the remaining hole with dirt tamping it firmly as you backfill.

Dig a trench to your existing underground water line. A utilities locator can help find it if you don’t know where it is. Shut off the water that feeds that line and, using proper adapter fittings, cut into the water line and connect the polybutylene, copper, or plastic line from the yard hydrant into it. Turn the water back on, test your installation, and completely backfill the trenchwork.

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