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Tractor Supply Parts20 Hydrant

Trac­tor Sup­ply Com­pany Parts20 Hydrant
If I could turn these stars into black holes devoid of any hope I would, because that is the best representation of how this hydrant will make you feel.

A few months after we moved in to our farm in 2008, we discovered that the water hydrant in the barn had failed, and flooded a good portion of that side of the barn. Our immediate response was to shut off the water supply to the barn. Both our house and barn are fed from the same well, and so the plumbing in our basement had to be changed to accomplish this shutoff.

Fast forward to 2011. We've had our livestock for almost two years now, and getting water to them has meant hauling it down from the house. In the summer, a long hose accomplished this, but of course in the winter, it meant filling tanks of water and hauling them down to the coop and barn. My asthma has reached the point where this was no longer a practical option, and at the kind urging and assistance of my parents, we had work done on our well to make it better capable of supplying both the house and barn. Then, about a month ago, we purchased a replace­ment hydrant from our local Trac­tor Sup­ply Company and went through the ardu­ous process of replac­ing it.

You see, it’s no small task to replace a hydrant like this — George and my brother Dave had to dig down about four feet in the barn to reach the sup­ply line in order to get this new hydrant installed. We have a heavy clay con­tent in our soil, and it has been a very wet cou­ple of months around here. George man­aged to injure his back –twice– dur­ing instal­la­tion and Dave had to spend a very cold day coated in muck get­ting this in place. It was not an easy instal­la­tion in any sense, and wow, were we relieved when it was finally work­ing. We even gave it a cou­ple of days before fill­ing that hole back in just to be sure that it was work­ing prop­erly. Sat­is­fied, we filled the hole back in.

Within that first week of instal­la­tion, the hydrant started to leak — and I do not mean a slow drip, I’m talk­ing steady enough that we had to keep a large bucket under­neath it and empty it sev­eral times a day. We tried to adjust the hydrant and it would slow down the leak for awhile, but it would grad­u­ally get worse. The line even froze up one morn­ing when it was below 20 degrees F — some­thing it is not sup­posed to do. Need­less to say, we were pretty disappointed.

How­ever, this morn­ing, Christ­mas Eve of 2011, we are beyond dis­ap­pointed, and the clos­est word I can use to describe our feel­ings regard­ing this hydrant is INFURIATED. After fill­ing some of our animal’s water buck­ets this morn­ing, the hydrant sud­denly would not shut off. Despite sev­eral attempts to get it to close, it just con­tin­ued pour­ing out water full force. George had to run to the house and shut off its sup­ply again.

Now, we were plan­ning on work­ing today, despite being a hol­i­day. That is the real­ity of hav­ing a farm. But we had plenty of other things to do today rather than deal with this defec­tive da-shiong bao-jah-shr duh la doo-tze . How­ever, it must be dealt with, because our ani­mals do not take a break from drink­ing, regard­less of what it says on the calendar.

We will never pur­chase another one of these hydrants from TSC again. We’ve been increas­ingly dis­ap­pointed with the way that Trac­tor Sup­ply has turned to stock­ing cheaply made Chi­nese pro­duced goods, and regret ever giv­ing them a dime for this hydrant. In ret­ro­spect, we would have pur­chased an American-made hydrant from Wood­ford or Mer­rill, now that we are aware of them.

So, hope­fully our les­son learned can be your warn­ing to avoid these hor­ri­ble hydrants from Trac­tor Sup­ply Com­pany. We’d be thrilled if TSC started to carry more American-made qual­ity prod­ucts, because frankly, we are find­ing less rea­son to shop there every time we have an expe­ri­ence like this. I guess their profit mar­gins are more impor­tant than their customer’s satisfaction.

Merry Christ­mas to us.

EDIT 12/24/2011  6:51 PM: We have fig­ured out a fix for this — which you can read about on this blog post.  While I’m grate­ful to have this repaired, this should not have been nec­es­sary, par­tic­u­larly only a month after it was installed! But if you are read­ing this because you’ve ran into the same issue, I’ve described the $16 fix we imple­mented at the link above, along with post­ing some photos.

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