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Water Pump And Hose Freezing


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#1 LadyBug7

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Posted 18 January 2009 - 02:15 AM

I really didn't know where to ask this on HC. My water pump and my hose are completely frozen at the barn where we board. It never gets freezing hardly ever where I live and when we got our deep freeze our water pump and hose froze. So I half to haul water from the neighboring farm. Is there a way to make the water pump unfreeze with a hair dryer or another instrument. I know this sound ridiculous. Also my troughs are getting frozen. I heard a ball in the troughs could help. Thanks for any help.
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#2 Ann Wheeler

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Posted 18 January 2009 - 05:50 AM

mainly pour warm water over it......
is the pump inide a building, a wellhouse?
if not need to have heat in there ,even a small space heater

#3 Mudder

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Posted 18 January 2009 - 06:04 AM

If the pump comes right out of the ground like a hydrant, you're going to have to wait for it to warm up, I think. The hose as well, unless you can take it inside to thaw out.
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#4 ExtraHannah

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Posted 18 January 2009 - 07:44 AM

We had the same issue in our barn. We Southerners just don't know how to deal, do we?

We were able to thaw the pump in the barn with a small space heater. Obviously something you want to be very careful with. I'm sure a hair dryer would have worked as well. It only took maybe 10 minutes. It obviously wasn't frozen under ground. There was too much hose to try, but at least I didn't have to haul the water as far.

I've been able to keep from freezing since by wrapping it in a horse blanket when I'm not using it. You can also put horse blankets over the outside troughs at night if you don't have horses out. That will keep them from freezing, or at least make the ice much thinner and easier to break.



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#5 Bull's Mom

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Posted 18 January 2009 - 08:54 AM

You could try a heat tape on the hydrant, they just wrap around and plug into an extension cord.
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#6 dapplefred5

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Posted 18 January 2009 - 08:55 AM

get electric heat tape. That stuff is wonderful. You lay it on the pipe and put insilation over it. It has a thermometer so it shuts off if its not cold and they say they are not a fire hazard. It really doesnt get that hot, just warm.


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#7 Bumper

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Posted 18 January 2009 - 11:03 AM

We have a short hose that's just long enough to fill all water tanks. In spring/fall i just drain the hose (hang it up in the middle and let it drain from both ends) but in the dead of winter i bring it inside the heated tack room. I never have to worry about hydrants freezing...we have the freezeless ones and out waterlines are 6 feet deep. HAVE to be in this country.

Ditto the heat tape. Wrap the hydrant in heat tape until it thaws. Take the hose inside, even if you have to haul it home to do it.

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#8 jcus

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Posted 18 January 2009 - 12:02 PM

This is a simple fix. Heat tape works well for long term. A hair dryer will thaw the hydrant & pipe. Foam pipe stuff works well around your pipe on the hydrant. Drain your hose after each use to prevent water from freezing in the hose. Always disconnect your hose from the hydrant - easier to drain the hose plus this prevents any water back up that may cause the hydrant head to freeze & break. Heated water pails take care of the water freezing in pails or you can buy heater tubs for larger amounts - of course have to have an electical outlet near by. Be glad you aren't in O or sub O temps!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

#9 MondaesMom

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Posted 18 January 2009 - 01:26 PM

A word of warning about the heat tape, if that hydrant is a lower end one, it probably has some plastic and/or rubber parts. The heat tape will melt them. The worst that can happen is you'll have a couple of spots that leak.

I've seen people come into cold areas and use the heat tape on PVC. It melts the ice and the pipe, very ugly, messy and expensive to fix.

I think I and just about everyone who lives in the colder areas sympathize though. I think we've all been caught by a sudden cold snap at some time or another and ended up hauling water while waiting for pipes, hoses, etc to thaw.
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#10 LadyBug7

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Posted 18 January 2009 - 02:10 PM

Yeah we have a hydrant that is not covered by exposed to the weather. The heat tape sounds like an idea. I know the hoses are not going to be used for a little bit, its going to be hard to thaw so much of it. I just want to use the hydrant faucet to fill the water buckets, it would be so much easy, but the handle will not go up all the way. I assume it is frozen. Yeah we southerners get a little shocked when our water just freezes one day, it has warmed some but it has been in the 5's F temps. Also I should I maybe put a small ball in the water troughs? Will it help at all, I heard it could? Thanks for all the responses and good advice.
Savannah Rain. 17 year old Paint mare.


People are often unreasonable and self-centered. Forgive them anyway.

If you are kind, people may accuse you of ulterior motives. Be kind anyway.

If you are honest, people may cheat you. Be honest anyway.

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Give the world the best you have and it may never be enough. Give your best anyway.

For you see, in the end, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway."
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#11 hopemb

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Posted 18 January 2009 - 09:31 PM

I have a question about the heat tape. This is the first time that I have had to use one, and I want to make sure I am using it right. Its always been ok with just the foam insulation wrap around it but it got so cold that is is frozen. I have the heat tape wrapped around it then put the electrical tape around that then the nonflammable insulation around that right? Just want to make sure. And will it unfreeze the hydrant or do I have to thaw that out before I put the heat tape on?
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#12 goatmom

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Posted 19 January 2009 - 10:46 AM

Are you talking about a frozen water pump that pumps your water out of the ground? Or just the faucet?

If it is the water pump then go to walmart and get you a $15 heater and put it in the well house. I have one in my well house along with a trouble light. The trouble light will keep it warm alone, but when the temps drop below 25 the heater kicks on. My well house is well insulated.

Heat tape if I remember right it tells you not to wrap insulation on it. This may be outdated information but I have never seen anyone wrap it. Even on mobile homes.

The faucet is a different story. You can wrap it in heat tape and that will thaw it out and keep it from freezing. Do you remove the hose when you are done watering? If not, do so. This will help the faucet to drain excess water to help keep it from freezing. Always drain the hose when done too. Roll it up and place it in the well house for the next day. I would be careful using a hair dryer to thaw. They can overheat easily and can fry your hair dryer.

Good luck with your water.

Edited by goatmom, 19 January 2009 - 10:47 AM.


#13 Apps4Life

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Posted 19 January 2009 - 01:56 PM

At my friends barn then have built plywood boxes around their hydrants (I can't remember if the top is above the box or not), and then they roll the hose up and put it in the box too. When it's freezing out (they're in Michigan) they have heat lamps that they turn on inside the box to keep everything warm.
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#14 Horsegurlnpa

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Posted 19 January 2009 - 05:34 PM

Lol this is one reason I LOVE winter duh.gif Out at my parents they live on an open field, and well planning the farm didn't quite work together. So our barn is about 75yards from the spicket, thats in the field with the trough(has a heater in it that works grand) So that means to use a hose to the barn. Well one winter my brother forgot to take the hose off the spicket and well we had a gushing gyser the next morning, it got to -3 degrees that night. Sooo $250 later it was fixed and a lesson learned. So we keep our hose in the house after were done with it to keep from freezing. With the facuet we found wrapping wool around the pipe, put a layer of straw, and use another layer of wool covering it up with sheet plastic, not the prettiest but works. We used heat tape but the horses worked it off and plus it tended to slide off. But always keep the hose off the spicket in the winter so you don't suffer through our mistake!
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#15 BigBayGirl24

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Posted 20 January 2009 - 03:28 PM

If the pump is all metal, you can use a heat gun. It looks like a hair dryer, but the heat is MUCH more intense. Be careful not to overheat the pump. At our barn the pump in in the barn, but the barn is not heated. We keep it wrapped in bubble wrap and blankets.

You can insulate the tanks themselves really cheaply...I just did it myself. You'll need large cardboard boxes, like you would get from an appliance store, bubble wrap, heavy duty contractor weight plastic bags, and duct tape.
Measure your tank. Mine is the standard 100 gallon Rubbermaid, it's 24 inches tall, 57 inches long and 42 inches wide.
Open up and flatten the cardboard boxes, so you have two layers of cardboard. Cut them to the 24 inch height, or a little shorter.
Slide a couple of layers of bubble wrap between the layers of cardboard.
Slide the cardboard/bubble wrap "sandwich" into a contractor bag, and tape it tightly around the "sandwich"
Make as many of these as you need to surround your tank. I made four.
Take them to the barn and stand them up around the tank, taping them together and wrapping them as close to the tank as you can (this is a two person job).
Secure them by wrapping duct tape or heavy packing tape all the way around, at the top and about half way down. I used the heavy packing tape that has fiberglass threads in it, you can find it at any office supply store.

If your horses don't trash this, and ours haven't, this will keep the tanks from freezing down to about the 20's, as long as they thaw out in the sun during the day. Lower than that, you need a heater at least some of the time to warm the water. I'm sure you could also make an insulating cover to keep it warmer.

Good luck...frozen tanks are the worst part of water.

#16 Caballos

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Posted 20 January 2009 - 04:02 PM

I think I have your same problem with one of my spiggots. It's the one MOST used.....and it's IN the barn. Just so happens, it leaks ever so slightly around the pull....and then freezes. All I do is plug in a small space heater when I go out for chores and turn it directly on the pump handle. (Mind you, this is a dinky little heater - not a super hot one) After about 15 minutes, the handle is thawed and off I go filling tanks. I NEVER leave the heater plugged in when I'm not in the barn.

Also, remember to disconnect your hose from the spiggot every time in the winter. I've seen water spouts like Horsegurlnpa describes. In the midst of winter, it isn't a pretty site.

For the tanks, I haven't found anything better than the sinking tank heaters. I protect the cords with PVC pipe. Oh, the 16 gallon heated buckets are fabulous too.....just keep cords away from wandering teeth.

Good luck!

#17 Cactus Rose

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Posted 20 January 2009 - 04:15 PM

Here's a link from Alberta Agriculture site:
http://www1.agric.gov.ab.ca/$departme...sf/all/agdex641

Is that the kind of hydrant you're talking about? It has some info further down about thawing one out.

Whatever you do - do NOT force the handle up or down. It is fastened to a long rod that opens and closes the valve underground. If it breaks - you're REALLY hooped.

To tell you the truth, I've used a tiger torch to thaw one out.

About the only reasons why one will freeze is because of a hose left attached and the foot value not draining properly OR the handle was not all the way down.

Far as how to keep a trough open? This may or may not work where I am (although I'd love to prove it one way or another), but a couple years ago I found a site that recommended the following:

a) a 20 pound propane tank
B) with a long hose
c) and a fitting adapted to it
d) that you can attach a pond aerator to (looks like a big bubbly rock)

Then you crack open the propane valve ever so slightly and the water turbulates out of the aerator. The agitation of the surface of the water means that it won't freeze......especially in a more "moderate" climate. The article said that animals are not put off by the smell of the propane and that it does them no harm as the tiny amount of gas is just vents to atmosphere.

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Edited by Cactus Rose, 20 January 2009 - 04:17 PM.

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