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Question DetailsAsked on 10/27/2014

How do I know if a yard hydrant is connected to a water line?

In August I posted a question regarding running a septic line and water line to a detached garage.Thanks to LCD for the response! I wanted to follow up with a question regarding what appears to be a yard hydrant in this detached garage (did some googling, looks like the red one on left The hydrant is in the garage. A square was cut into the concrete and the hydrant is in it surrounded by rocks. When you pull the lever and pump it, no water comes out, however my question is wouldn't a water line have been installed if there is a yard hydrant there? When we bought the home the seller said it wasn't connected, but how would he know? Wouldn't the line be connected and the actual hydrant go on last?Is this something a plumber can explore? Is there a way to get the hydrant working that we are maybe we are overlooking? We'd like to understand if this yard hydrant is connected to an existing water line.

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Voted Best Answer

Figure probable depth of the valve (and pipeline) at the bottom of the hydrant from this -

Certainly it had a pipeline leading to it originally - though may have come from a now-abandoned well.

You said it did not work when you "pumped" the handle - this is merely a remote handle to open the buried valve, using the connecting rod that the handle moves up or down - so you may just not have held it open long enough. When open (rod moves - usually down), it opens the valve at depth, so if connected to a water pipe you should immediately feel or hear air coming out but it may take several seconds for the actual water to rise through the riser pipe and start coming out. When you shut it off, the buried valve closes, then it lets all the water in the standpipe drain away into a gravel drain bed at depth, so it does not freeze in the standpipe.

For more info on how it works, and how to adjust the throw if it is not operating the rod (assumning it is not corroded shut), go to the website you gave and look at the installation and operating instructions link there.

Locate pipe by looking for a shutoff valve in the house (probably at closest pipe to garage, near where your main water pipe comes into house, by water heater, or in pumphouse if you have a well.

if that fails, you may be able to locate by having someone tap on the standpipe with a hammer while you listen along the ground at a metal rod driven a foot or so into the ground (get utilities located first) - may or may not need a stethoscope to hear this if more than a few feet deep - right outside garage move rod around perpendicular to a line from hydrant to house to locate and mark strongest sound over the pipe, then move near house and do same thing one or two places along the probable alignment, then line up those places for approximate pipe alignment to help locate where it comes in to house.

If not able to locate that way, you can rent an RF pipe locator at tool rental places for about $35-45/day - you hook the radio transmitter to the hydrant then walk away, using the beeper to locate the strongest signal - same tool utility locators use. It is even possible your water utility or call locate service will come locate it for you, though usually they limit their free locates to lines from the street to the house - but sometimes, especially with commercial call locate services, they will also locate yard lines for a reasonable fee.

One other possibility - look outside for a pipe coming above ground near a faucet or a hose or a pipe coming inside the house and terminating near a faucet - it may have been rigged for seasonal use only, with a flexible hose or flextubing connecting it to an outdoor or inside faucet.

Answered 5 years ago by LCD

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