Hope everyone’s holidays are going fabulously! We are about to turn on our decorative lights here in the house in an attempt to transition into the mood ourselves. You may have read about our woes this morning with the failed hydrant from Tractor Supply. Well, we have solved the problem, fortunately without needing to dig up anything (digging four feet down this time of year is particularly painful) thanks to the ingenuity of Handsome Husband.
We went to Home Depot, who we must thank for being open until 5:00 pm today, and purchased 3/4″ ball valve (female to female) and a 3/4″ brass fitting (male to male). These parts cost about $16 in our area, but depending on where you live, etc., prices may vary. He removed the existing fitting from the “spout” portion of the hydrant, and installed that on the end of the 3/4″ ball valve — meaning the end where the water comes out. The 3/4″ brass fitting was then installed on the end that went into the hydrant, and everything was secured with Teflon tape and installed onto the hydrant. It actually works better than it did before, if you can believe it. We turn the water on and off with the lever on the ball valve rather than the one on the hydrant.
It’s not easy to see in this photo, but the brass operating rod on the hydrant is actually bowed. We have learned that brass is actually very undesirable to use for that part, as it is inferior to stainless steel in terms of strength and durability. Merrill Manufacturing makes their hydrants with a stainless operating rod for the very reason that brass versions are prone to bending. The things you learn along the way, I’ll tell ya! We will make do with our current setup for now, but next year once the weather is better and we can save up some pennies, we will want to get one of those Merrill yard hydrants to replace this one. If Tractor Supply wants to provide greater customer satisfaction, they’d eliminate the “Parts20” brand they are currently carrying and consider bringing in some quality American-made hydrants. I mean, seriously, the one review on their site is awful!
So, I hope that all of the information we’ve put out there today regarding this hydrant is helpful — either to provide a warning to anyone considering the purchase of one, or, if they’ve already made the same mistake that we have and are looking for a solution that doesn’t involve digging, that the hack we did on ours works for them, too. As you can see, the water is flowing really well, and more importantly, it turns off!
Merry Christmas, everyone!