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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi I live in rural Montana and obviously have well. It is 225' down and a sub. pump. I have 3 yard hydrants in my yard that were all working fine 2 nights ago.

I went out to water the horses last night and no water at all at yard hydrant. Opened it, nothing...

Went to other yard hydrants and they were all the same... no pressure, water, nothing...

Inside the house I have heard the pump come on and go off accordingly and have a very minimal decrease in pressure inside. Other then that nothing. (PS I could be wrong, my wife says NO change in water pressure inside, which I guess could be true since we have a pressure tank, not sure, seems like it is a bit less forceful when fully opened then usual to me...)

WTH could be wrong?

I have walked the water line for the yard hydrants and have found no sink holes, mud holes, etc... Nothing. Granted the ground is frozen now, I would assume I would still see some sort of sign of a major leak like this.

With that said... Why wouldn't i have ANY water pressure at the yard hydrant even with a leak?

Is my sub. pump going bad?

Where do I start? I cant afford to have a well pump guy out and it not be that and he charge me an arm and a leg for a visit. And vice versa for renting a back hoe and digging up my yard looking for a leak.

HELP, IDEAS NEEDED!!!!

:(
 

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Hi I live in rural Montana and obviously have well. It is 225' down and a sub. pump. I have 3 yard hydrants in my yard that were all working fine 2 nights ago.

I went out to water the horses last night and no water at all at yard hydrant. Opened it, nothing...

Went to other yard hydrants and they were all the same... no pressure, water, nothing...

Inside the house I have heard the pump come on and go off accordingly and have a very minimal decrease in pressure inside. Other then that nothing. (PS I could be wrong, my wife says NO change in water pressure inside, which I guess could be true since we have a pressure tank, not sure, seems like it is a bit less forceful when fully opened then usual to me...)

WTH could be wrong?

I have walked the water line for the yard hydrants and have found no sink holes, mud holes, etc... Nothing. Granted the ground is frozen now, I would assume I would still see some sort of sign of a major leak like this.

With that said... Why wouldn't i have ANY water pressure at the yard hydrant even with a leak?

Is my sub. pump going bad?

Where do I start? I cant afford to have a well pump guy out and it not be that and he charge me an arm and a leg for a visit. And vice versa for renting a back hoe and digging up my yard looking for a leak.

HELP, IDEAS NEEDED!!!!

:(
Is you pump building up and shutting off? Could the hydrants be frozen? I know some are "frost free' but, have head of them freezing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yes I believe the pump is shutting off. Normally it is rather loud for a minute or so and then shuts off.

No way they could all be frozen, one is inside my barn and out of the elements. The other two are outside, exposed but the one next to the horse trough has a plug in pipe warmer on it so it is not goign to freeze.

I am STUMPED!
 

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Two things come to mind here: 1) You state that you have a "plug in pipe warmer" which I'm thinking is a heat tape. Have you checked to see if this heat tape/pipe warmer is actually working? AND--IF it is one of those with the little "tell-tale" light, don't go by the light, check to see if the tape is actually somewhat warm. 2) You also stated that the ground is frozen now. This leads me to believe you may have an "ice plug" somewhere in the line. This can happen where the pipe underground is closest to the surface and the dirt is wet. The wet dirt will actually carry the chill down lower than dry dirt and can cause what we call an "ice plug". Is there any connection which you might loosen to check for water flow going to the piping outside? I doubt you have pump/tank problems as you say you still have water in the home. Good Luck, David
 

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I'm guessing your frost line is 48" or more, and that the water line in the yard somewhere is less than the frost line.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Even if I had a "ice plug" it shouldnt stop the water from coming out one of the two spigots that are outside as they are on different ends of the supply line.

The water was working fine night before last and it hasnt been THAT cold for it to be a seriously "deep" freeze.

HELP!
 

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Even if I had a "ice plug" it shouldnt stop the water from coming out one of the two spigots that are outside as they are on different ends of the supply line.
Ayuh,... My guess is,... It's Frozen somewhere Before the line splits to the 3 different locations,..
It's got to be a Common line, Somewhere....
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I understand where you're coming from, it sounds logical in theory. In practical terms I can't fathom why it would have froze all of a sudden when nothing has changed; it isnt THAT cold out; most of the line has been in ground for 10+ years and the PEX line I added was done 2 years ago.

Would it freeze all of a sudden after 10 years of working fine? And if it froze why wouldnt it have froze the line coming into the house? I would assume that from the diagrams I have seen there is only 1 supply line coming out of the well and then it would be split after it comes out of there. That area is 8 feet below ground.

If it was busted wouldnt I see water/ some pressure at least when I turned it on? And if it was a giant leak, wouldnt I have a SINK HOLE after 48 hours of a non stop 23/gallon per minute well?

I understand that freezing makes sense logically but to me it just doesnt appear to be the culprit.

Anyone have any advice on exactly how common wells are set up as far as this is concerned? Is my previous assumption accurate?

HELP!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Furthermore, the last time I did use the yard hydrant in my barn, which is the farthest away from the well, the water pressure all of a sudden took a dump and was at about 50% flow. I didnt think anything of it and just figured my wife had turned on the dishwasher or sink or tub and that loss of pressure was normal when this occurred because of the distance to the barn and the home from the well, the well is 20 yards from the house and 300 feet to the barn.

The loss of pressure like that would lead me to believe the well pump, or is that wrong of me to assume the pump?

It is just weird to me that it would be an ice plug in a section of pipe 8 feet below ground and that has been in place 10+ years. I would take the blame and say it was my new PEX pipe I laid 300 feet of 2 years ago, but the yard hydrant 10 feet from the well doesnt have water either... UGH!
 

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I understand that freezing makes sense logically but to me it just doesnt appear to be the culprit. I would assume that from the diagrams I have seen there is only 1 supply line coming out of the well and then it would be split after it comes out of there.
Logic,+ Common Sense says it's Frozen...

We don't know/ can't see how your waterlines are run...
Where is the branch split between the house,+ outbuildings/ hydrants,..??
Frost runs deeper in areas without snow cover...
How deep were the newest lines run at,..??
Are they under a driveway, or other non-snow covered areas,..??

If the line was Broken, the pump would run Continuously,... You said your's Isn't...
 

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I understand where you're coming from, it sounds logical in theory. In practical terms I can't fathom why it would have froze all of a sudden when nothing has changed; it isnt THAT cold out; most of the line has been in ground for 10+ years and the PEX line I added was done 2 years ago.

Would it freeze all of a sudden after 10 years of working fine? And if it froze why wouldnt it have froze the line coming into the house? I would assume that from the diagrams I have seen there is only 1 supply line coming out of the well and then it would be split after it comes out of there. That area is 8 feet below ground.

If it was busted wouldnt I see water/ some pressure at least when I turned it on? And if it was a giant leak, wouldnt I have a SINK HOLE after 48 hours of a non stop 23/gallon per minute well?

I understand that freezing makes sense logically but to me it just doesnt appear to be the culprit.

Anyone have any advice on exactly how common wells are set up as far as this is concerned? Is my previous assumption accurate?

HELP!
Some place it is T-ed off. Maybe it is colder this year. Maybe you drove over this spot more this year, driving the frost down.
We will never know on the net. If you can't work on it, the next thing will be live with it until spring. BTW, broke and froze are not the same thing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Logic,+ Common Sense says it's Frozen...

We don't know/ can't see how your waterlines are run...
Where is the branch split between the house,+ outbuildings/ hydrants,..??
Right outside the well housing (that black metal pipe that sticks out of the ground 2 feet)
Frost runs deeper in areas without snow cover...
How deep were the newest lines run at,..??
Are they under a driveway, or other non-snow covered areas,..??
There is only 1 section that is under snow about 10 feet, it is way out by the barn though (300 feet from well & 290 feet from first yard hydrant) The rest of the water line is not under snow pack.
We do drive over a section of the new PEX pipe I laid 2 years ago but it is pretty in frequent that we actually use it.

If the line was Broken, the pump would run Continuously,... You said your's Isn't...
This may be a lame question, but I assume that the pump running is when I hear that loud click and churn in my laundry room and that churn runs for a couple minutes and then a loud click and the churm stops. Is that accurate or is that only the pump to fill the pressure tank in my laundry room?

Lastly, I appreciate your patience with me :)
 

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Furthermore, the last time I did use the yard hydrant in my barn, which is the farthest away from the well, the water pressure all of a sudden took a dump and was at about 50% flow. I didnt think anything of it and just figured my wife had turned on the dishwasher or sink or tub and that loss of pressure was normal when this occurred because of the distance to the barn and the home from the well, the well is 20 yards from the house and 300 feet to the barn.

The loss of pressure like that would lead me to believe the well pump, or is that wrong of me to assume the pump?

It is just weird to me that it would be an ice plug in a section of pipe 8 feet below ground and that has been in place 10+ years. I would take the blame and say it was my new PEX pipe I laid 300 feet of 2 years ago, but the yard hydrant 10 feet from the well doesnt have water either... UGH!
If you want to check the well/pump, take a short hose and a 5 gallon pail. At the sample tap on the pressure tank use a watch and see how much it is pumping. This will give you GPM. Then let the water run, as fast as it will, a half hour or so. Repeat the GPM test, ASAP. Then, this will tell you the system is doing.:thumbsup:
 

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Unless you have frost free hydrants installed properly with sufficient drainage under them, my assumption (assumptions against any possibility should not be made) is that you have two (or 3) separately frozen hydrants.

You can have had a serious leak for months and not be able to see any evidence of it on the ground.

And PEX was a poor choice, 3/4" or 1" 160 or 200 psi rated PE pipe would have been much better. And if you really mean that the hydrants are black iron pipe instead og galvanized, they could be rusted shut. PEX is copper tubing size (CTS), the OD is maintained, and PE is iron pipe size (IPS), the ID is maintained (so you get more water).

So run a new PE line fed by a garden hose from the house on the ground to water the horses and install threaded sch 40 PVC unions to easily drain it after using it.
 

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To the OP. Does your hydrant have something that looks like a plastic straw running down the side?? If so, although those are frost free, they have to be blown out with a compressor.

They make us do that to code now. (DEQ)
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Unless you have frost free hydrants installed properly with sufficient drainage under them, my assumption (assumptions against any possibility should not be made) is that you have two (or 3) separately frozen hydrants.
I really TRIED to educate myself before I installed them and I put a crap load of 2-3 inch gravel, then 1-2 inch gravel, then 6-8 inches of sand underneath the hydrants and I got the 9 foot hydrants and only 2.5 feet is above ground, so they are WAY DOWN there.

You can have had a serious leak for months and not be able to see any evidence of it on the ground.
By serious leak do you mean a outright POURING of water @ 23 gallon a minute? That is what our pump puts out at the yard hydrants, tested last fall. Right now I open them and NOTHING happens, not a drip, sound, nothing.

And PEX was a poor choice, 3/4" or 1" 160 or 200 psi rated PE pipe would have been much better. And if you really mean that the hydrants are black iron pipe instead og galvanized, they could be rusted shut. PEX is copper tubing size (CTS), the OD is maintained, and PE is iron pipe size (IPS), the ID is maintained (so you get more water).
No I was referring to the actual well piping, not the yard hydrants, 2 of the three were new 2 years ago. the older one is old but works fine, until 2 nights ago.

So run a new PE line fed by a garden hose from the house on the ground to water the horses and install threaded sch 40 PVC unions to easily drain it after using it.
That works for non-sub zero days, but when we are subzero, the water hose freezes before the water can get out the other end to create a flow. It is 300-350 yards.


I am just baffled, the damn thing was working GREAT on a daily basis and then all of a sudden... It isnt even that cold!!!!
 
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