Farmhouse Project – The Hydrant

This project came about unexpected and out of necessity. Unbeknownst to us, the yard hydrant had been leaking underground, and it wasn’t until we noticed a permanent wet ground that we realized something was not right. This project had to be done in several attempts, and this is why. The hydrant is an old Woodford hydrant, one of the best in the market, that will last long, over 50 years, and this one seems like it has been pumping water for a long time. I wouldn’t be surprised if it dates back over 50 years. First, we had to learn how to do the job. YouTube was a huge help. Then, my husband had to dig to find out if the problem was the hydrant or below it, the water line. Once he figured out it was the hydrant, we were able to proceed. This project was very interesting to learn. Here are pictures of the project. The first thing he had to do was shut the water off.

FIRST ATTEMPT

The hydrant was constantly leaking water through the weeping hole/valve. It is supposed to let water out after the hydrant is shut off to prevent freezing during winter.
After realizing that the culprit was an old plunger, my husband proceeded with the job. The plunger is what prevents the constant leak, and allows the release of water through the weeping hole as needed.

It was very had to get anything loose due to the many years of rust, and paint. Oil had to be used to loosen parts, and even heat. My job was to assist with tools and to hold the pipe well so it would not crack.

The plunger would not come out. It was stuck. We had to pour water through the pipe to see if it would loosen. It finally did.
This is the condition of the plunger, worn and cracked. The pipe is very rusty, but still strong, so we took care when handling it.

We bought an Universal Kit, but after dismantling everything it did not fit the old model.

The Universal Kit brings the parts for a Red or a Blue hydrant. Ours is red. Cost was $21 and change.

After realizing that the Universal Kit was not a fit, my husband had to put everything back together, and try to adjust the top of the hydrant so the leak would at least stop when not in use. A proper kit was not found in the area stores, so we had to order one online. In order to do that we had to figure out what kind of hydrant (model type) it was. It is done by looking at the number stamped at the bottom of the hydrant.

106 D hydrant model requires a Y34 kit. We ordered genuine Woodford repair parts this time. It took four days to arrive. In time for the weekend.

SECOND ATTEMPT

The right kit for a Woodford 106D model. Cost was about $18, cheaper than the Universal kit.

This time parts were a bit easier to take out; however, installing the new plunger was not. Heat and a lot of force was required to loosen up the rusty part.

New plunger installed.
New Rod Stem installed.
Replacing the Packing was not easy. It was dried up inside, worn, and came out in pieces.
Here you can see the old Packing next to the new one (top), and the old support washer next to the new shiny one (bottom).
The new Packing Nut installed; the old one next to it.
All the old parts that were replaced.

Next, my husband put everything back together. It was a process as well; this time in reverse order. He turned on the water back, tested the hydrant after adjusting the top, and once everything looked alright, it was time to cover everything back the way it should be.

The stone helps so soil and dirt don’t go into the weeping hole.
Stones add extra support and drainage.
Soil is replaced, plus another layer of stones on top. Project completed.

This process saved money, about $400.00, maybe more. It would have been simpler if we had ordered the genuine parts from the start, and forego the Universal kit. Old farmhouses come with tons of surprises. I hope you enjoyed this project.

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