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waterheaterzone.com
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
In my experience these things leak for two major reasons.

1) the rubber stopper goes bad and leaks out the drain-hole underground.

2) the hydrant wasn't installed properly with a concrete support, some hack just buried it in the ground and it got kicked over and broke at the fitting connection underground.

So I usually dig it up to see if its broken or not and then go from there. Any tips on servicing these that you guys have?
 

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The plunger is the most common problem,you're right.
I try to install a metal fence post or t-post along side of the hydrant for support.
One thing that doesn't help is many are plumbed in with plastic pipe, and plastic adapters are terrible.The gravel added for drainage helps quite a bit and is a neccessity.
 

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Master Plumber
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1,069 Posts
3/4" brass street 90 into bottom of hydrant, 18" galvinized nipple into that, then a PVC FIP or something similar, wrap the whole thing twice with 20 mil pipe tape up to ground level but skipping the brass body, then set the whole thing on a good sized rock or brick, put pea gravel in, then cover it up. If it's a 2' bury instead of 4' or more, I will drive a steel stake to ground level and tape it the entire length with the same tape.

Over kill? Probably.

Two points:

1. When I say a PVC FIP of some sort or another. NEVER did I use just a plain PVC FIP. Worst case I use a Sch. 80 FIP with 2 ALL Stainless Steel hose clamps on the threaded end. My dad has been doing the 2 All SS clamps on underground FIPs as long as I can remember and to date we have not heard of any leaking.

What I have also done is put a metal coupling on the end of the nipple then screw in half of a 3/4" x 12 Sch. 80 PVC nipple.

2. These days I will put a 24" to 36" leader of PEX on instead of the galvinized nipple. What do you think about that?
 

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Ritchie hydrants are nearly impossible to repair. A new kit and you can't adjust them to either shut off all the way or open far enough.

Woodfords are great. I carry the stoppers on the truck.

I like the idea of a swing joint in plastic pipe to prevent damage to the main when someone smacks it with a pickup or a tractor.

I've noticed an influx in the area of Chinese models - they look so bad I'd be afraid to install one.
 
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