After six years, someone finally had the idea of installing a faucet near the garden instead of using close to 250 feet of hoses for watering. The hoses tended to degrade and need replaced frequently, and they had to be moved every time the yard was mowed. This new faucet should save a lot of time when mowing and save the cost of replacing the hoses so often. The limited amount of hose needed now should last several years without a problem.
The way the faucet works is this: When the handle is lifted, a drain at the bottom is closed and the water supply turned on. When the handle is put down to shut off the water, a drain at the bottom of the hydrant opens, draining all the water from the hydrant and leaving nothing there to freeze.
Here’s a picture of the hydrant I installed:
For me, the hardest part was digging the hole. If we didn’t have a water supply nearby, this would be a much more difficult job. I was able to tap into the main water line where it runs past the garden, so there was no trench required and no new pipes to install.
The 3/4″ water line in the bottom of the hole – it was about 2 feet down.
The next parts I only have a few pictures of. One person doesn’t really have enough arms to do this job, much less take pictures. After the main water supply was turned off, I cut about 1/2″ from the center of the water line to install a T.
(Here I’ll add – buy the push-type or gator-bite fittings. They’re worth every penny – they work underwater and don’t require any time for glue to set.)
When the pipe is cut, water runs back into the hole. As long as all of the faucets uphill from here stay closed, the amount of water is limited to between 2 and 3 gallons. If someone were to open a faucet in the house, all of the water from all of the pipes would drain into my hole.
After the pipe was cut, I let water run into the hole until it stopped before scooping it out with a plastic cup. Now the brass tee is finally installed.
All it takes is pressing a pipe into each hole, and it seals.
There was one more fitting that allowed me to connect the plastic water line to the hydrant. One side of that fitting was coated in teflon tape and screwed into the hydrant, the other side was another push-type fitting.
After the hydrant is physically attached to the water line via the tee, the bottom of the hole is filled in with dirt only after turning on the water supply and checking for leaks.
If you look closely, you can see a drain in the brass fitting at the bottom of the hole. That’s how the pipe keeps from freezing.
The hole from here is filled with around 10″ of gravel to allow the pipe to drain (this is the part there are no pictures of).
At this point, with the hole almost completely filled with gravel, I put in a little more dirt and packed everything down as tight as I could.
The final step is to pour concrete in the hole to keep the hydrant from moving:
The concrete is about 2″ thick – enough to hold the hydrant, but thin enough I can break it if I ever had a problem with the hydrant. Lastly, I didn’t fill the hole completely with concrete. I left room on top to put in 1-2 inches of dirt so grass can grow right up to the pipe.