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well hydrant works then stops

Farmer John's picture

My well hydrant works for a short while then cuts out.  The well feeds my house and thehydrant is in the yard.  The hydrant is about 8-10 feet from the well and they are both approximately 40 feet from the house.  the house water continues to run by the hydrant goes dry. 

Does it shut off suddenly, (post #206261, reply #1 of 3)

Does it shut off suddenly, start fairly strong then slow to a trickle, what?  What are the symptoms?

Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed.  --Herman Melville

Been here done that, I think. (post #206261, reply #2 of 3)

Been there done that, I think. Be sure to read to the end of this post....I may save you some time.

I have a hydrant (a Merrill C-1000 unit) that did exactly what you describe. It was about ten years old at the time and had had a moderate amount of use.

I assumed I needed to rebuild the valve and actuation system, so I bought a rebuild kit.

I dug up the unit, carefully sealed the pipe, and removed the handle assembly from the standpipe (with great difficulty). This can be a b!tchy job because the manufacturer doesn't see the need to put pipe dope or anti-seize on the pipe threads. I didn't need to get a torch involved, but I thought about it.

After disassembly and study, I realized that the problem was simply an adjustment issue, which pi$$ed me off because of all the work. But at least I learned a few things. I didn't need to rebuild the unit after all. In fact I didn't even need to dig it up and disconnect.

As you probably know, when you flip the handle on a yard hydrant you are switching a valve that is buried deep in the ground via a handle and shaft assembly. Proper valve actuation relies on some fairly close tolerances. See your manufacturer's website for more detail.

If I recall correctly, when you raise the handle (and hence the shaft) you are opening an orifice; but if you raise it too high you restrict another orifice. This was my problem. The hydrant would briefly run as I opened the first; then it would stop as I restricted the second. A simple adjustment at the handle solved the problem. You need to find that "sweet spot" where the first opens but the second is not restricted.

Hope this helps,