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Thread: Yard hydrants - is it easy to adjust the flow?

  1. #1
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    Yard hydrants - is it easy to adjust the flow?

    A yard hydrant certainly doesn't look look like an outdoor faucet. Can the rate of flow from a yard hydrant be adjusted easily? - as easily as one adjusts the flow from an outdoor faucet by turning the handle gradually. Or are yard hydrants designed only to go full blast when turned on?

  2. #2
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    If you are referring to these type:
    https://www.homedepot.com/p/Everbilt...02NL/205031731

    Yes, the flow is adjustable by how much the handle is raised.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Day View Post
    If you are referring to these type:
    https://www.homedepot.com/p/Everbilt...02NL/205031731

    Yes, the flow is adjustable by how much the handle is raised.
    Yes, that's the kind of yard hydrant I'm asking about.

    On that page, several people answer the question "Will the handle to the hydrant control the water pressure?". Most say, yes, but not as easily as a faucet works.
    The manufacturer, Everbilt, answers:
    You can insert a silcock handle into the side of the handle that will lock the flow as much as you want.
    I don't understand what "insert a silcock handle into the side of the handle" means. What would that arrangement look like?

  4. #4
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    Stephen, reading the comments at the HD website, the amount of water flow can be adjusted by varying the amount one raises the handle but it will not be as precise as other type of valves according to the replies to the questions there.
    Ken

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    The main advantage of a yard hydrant is that the stand pipe drains when the valve is in the off position. This allows the valve to be buried below the freezing depth to get water flow in the winter.

    Search the words > hose end valve < to find a solution to adjusting the water flow from a yard hydrant. These come in handy at both ends of a hose and even in the middle where two hoses are connected. They are also available with two or more valves on multiple outlets.

    jtk
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Koepke View Post
    Search the words > hose end valve < to find a solution to adjusting the water flow from a yard hydrant.
    To be fancy, I could connect a short length of hose to the hydrant and run it to a "hose extender" like https://www.homedepot.com/p/Yard-But...B&gclsrc=aw.ds

    However, I'd have to undo that arrangement before the first freeze. So I'm curious what the "Everbilt Team" mean by "insert a silcock handle in the side of the handle". Are they suggesting what you are suggesting or something different?

  7. #7
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    I'm not brand loyal to many things, but yard hydrants make that list. I only buy Woodford brand. The Y version is easy to adjust the flow with the handle, and every part is fairly easily replaceable. The W style version works pretty good, but not quite as nice as the Y style Woodford hydrants. We have some on our farm that are 39 years old now. I've replaced seals, and parts in some of them, but none have ever required a complete replacement, and they all work as easily as they ever did.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stephen Tashiro View Post
    To be fancy, I could connect a short length of hose to the hydrant and run it to a "hose extender" like https://www.homedepot.com/p/Yard-But...B&gclsrc=aw.ds

    However, I'd have to undo that arrangement before the first freeze. So I'm curious what the "Everbilt Team" mean by "insert a silcock handle in the side of the handle". Are they suggesting what you are suggesting or something different?
    Inserting a silcock handle in the side of the handle" is another way to do this.

    Where the water output of your field hydrant is, see arrow:

    Field Hydrant.png

    unscrew the pipe to hose thread bushing and thread in a standard water valve. You may need a reduction adapter to do this.

    jtk
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

  9. #9
    These types have an eccentric cam that acts as a stop, rotate it where you want--
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  10. #10
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    The picture that Kev posted is a Woodford Y style, like I was talking about. Y34 has a 3/4" riser (flows like a 3/4" pipe), which flows plenty of water for the typical home water system. A Y1 has a 1" riser, and flows a Lot of water if you can provide it. You can also control the flow with that one by how high you lift the handle, and it has extra mechanical advantage for ease of use. That's the only type I've bought, and installed in decades.

    edited to add link: https://www.woodfordmfg.com/woodford...model-y34.html

    I gladly pay money for these, and wouldn't take one of the Chinese ones if it was given to me.
    Last edited by Tom M King; 08-09-2019 at 10:12 PM.

  11. #11
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    The Woodford yard hydrants are used for water at the local Boy Scout camps. They absolutely suck at getting a medium flow of water. They are either at a trickle or going full bore usually getting the user all wet. The problem is the difference between trickle and full bore is generally something like 1/4" of movement.

    If you do put a valve on the end you must leave it open in freezing weather! If not, the water won't drain back below the frost line. I would leave the valve open when not in use all the time so you don't forget when freezing weather comes.

  12. #12
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    Sounds like something is out of adjustment on those at Scout camp. The "flow finder" cam can be adjusted to hold any flow you want, and to return to that flow the next time if you leave the cam where you set it. If I'm remembering them all, we have 8 on our farm, and no worries with any of them.

    https://www.woodfordmfg.com/woodford...model-y34.html
    Last edited by Tom M King; 08-09-2019 at 10:23 PM.

  13. #13
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    Thinking more about the problem one at Scout camp, I expect the probable cause is the packing nut being too tight. They do eventually start leaking around the packing nut, as the seal ages. The real fix is to take it apart by screwing the hydrant head off, and replacing the seal that is a rubberish tube around the shaft. Even I don't do that until it's really necessary though. When one starts leaking, I use the little teflon rope under the nut, between the packing nut and the seal.

    I can see where the common fix would be to simply tighten the packing nut, which compresses the seal more around the shaft. This might work, but it also make it harder to lift the handle, which would also make it harder to adjust the flow just with the handle. I expect the one there has had the packing nut tightened a number of times, with no other type of solution to the problem.

    When they start leaking, it's just when water is flowing. It has to be a pretty good flow before I even bother with it, and even as much as we use them here, it's more than a decade, or two, before a seal will get replaced.

    edited to add: Also, the packing nut is brass. The average person, seeing the obvious fix as tightening the packing nut, will probably use an adjustable wrench, or pair of pliers. Odds of deforming the brass nut with such tools approach 100%, and will even be fairly high with the correct sized open end wrench. With the packing nut deformed, it requires even more torque to stop the leak, which now makes it even more difficult to operate the handle. I would only use a flare nut wrench on such nuts, and chances of deforming the nut are much closer to zero.
    Last edited by Tom M King; 08-09-2019 at 11:27 PM.

  14. #14
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    You could just add a valve at the outlet and if you install a vacuum breaker (simple backflow preventer) before the valve as often required by code, the water will flow back down the riser as soon as the pressure is relieved when you flip the big handle. Retaining the frost free feature.

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  15. #15
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    I second Tom on the Woodford being top quality and very dependable. One thing that is an aid is to attach it to a steel horizontal pipe at the base. The hydrant is going to wiggle in use and this moves the stress away from the base. What I am saying is that most hydrants are connected with black plastic water line and this used to be the best way to install them. Otherwise they would fatigue the plastic at the base and leak. The other thing is to put rock around the base to allow plenty of area for water to leach away. They were always easy to adjust for the flow you required.
    We never did this but I saw it done at parks etc. and that is to put a tee in the spout and add the sill cock mentioned to the side of the tee. A hose coule be left attached but if you needed a bucket filled or to wash your hands you could turn the sill cock on and do this. Thus not have to disconnect the hose.

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