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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    2

    Question leaky frost free yard hydrant

    We have a Campbell frost free yard hydrant that is leaking around the stem when it is turned on. We bought a repair kit that comes with a cut away view of the parts. The instructions just say "replace the packing." There are no pictures or directions on how to do this. Does anyone know how to replace the packing in a yard hydrant?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    6,480

    Default Re: leaky frost free yard hydrant

    Did you first try tightening the stem nut just a little bit? Many times just a fraction of a turn will stop such leaks, as a matter of fact, I just "repaired" two 15 year old hose bibs with this very method.

    Attach a hose and nozzle to the hose bib in question, then turn it on. The hose and nozzle will allow the hose bib to be on and pressurized without spraying you and everything else down. Now take a wrench to the stem nut and give it a 1/16th of a turn, or just enough to stop the leak. You don't want to over tighten the nut because then the valve will be stiff and difficult to turn on and off.

    Give that a shot first and see what happens. If you still have troubles and want to replace the packing we'll see what we're up against.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    2

    Red face Re: leaky frost free yard hydrant

    Tightening the nut worked a couple of times over the years, but it is all the way down now after 20 years. The folks at the hardware store say we most likely need to replace the packing, but none of them seem to know how to do this. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Fayette County, Ohio
    Posts
    5,557

    Default Re: leaky frost free yard hydrant

    Turn the water off to the hydrant, unscrew the stem nut all the way. Use string packing,. Wrap the packing around the stem pushing it down with a small screw driver. Fill the cavity almost to the top leave just enough room for the stem nut to get a bite on the threads. Then tighten down the stem nut.
    Jack
    Be sure you live your life, because you are a long time dead.-Scottish Proverb

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    6,480

    Default Re: leaky frost free yard hydrant

    Quote Originally Posted by Marguerite View Post
    Tightening the nut worked a couple of times over the years, but it is all the way down now after 20 years. The folks at the hardware store say we most likely need to replace the packing, but none of them seem to know how to do this. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
    Alright, you rascal, you didn't say that to begin with!

    I think Jack has you covered.

    Let us know how it goes.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Winfield, MD
    Posts
    1

    Thumbs up Re: leaky frost free yard hydrant

    Just like Marguerite, my frost-free water hydrant has been leaking at the stem for several years. The nut would not tighten any more, and the leak was especially bad this summer, but it only leaked when we turned the hydrant on.

    I followed Jack's advice, and had it fixed in about 30 minutes. Thanks Jack!

    The hardware store had two types of string packing: graphite and teflon. I chose the graphite. Is one better than the other?

    I had to take off the handle and all the other components to remove the stem nut from the rod in order to get the packing down in the hole. I rounded off the brass hex nut trying to get it loose, so I replaced the nut as well. Fortunately I had an old hydrant repair kit from TSC.

    thanks again for the advice,

    Jack (the other one)
    Last edited by jackknapp; 11-08-2008 at 01:51 PM.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    1

    Default Re: leaky frost free yard hydrant

    I have a similar issue. We had a leaky hydrant and fixed it a couple months ago, or so we thought. It is located in the pole barn and we have not found signs of leakage, or a shut off valve for that matter. (It is a new place for us, since July) Now our water usage has tripled. My husband heard somewhere that the hydrant can leak inside at the plunger and we would not even know. Is this possible and where does a person find these kind of supplies or go about fixing the problem?

    Drowning in wasted water,
    Jackie

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Fayette County, Ohio
    Posts
    5,557

    Default Re: leaky frost free yard hydrant

    Jackie,
    Besides the hydrant leaking it could be the line to the hydrant. If the water usage has tripled you should have a wet spot either at the hydrant or somewhere along the line. Shut offs are not always installed sometimes people just tee into the well line. If you find a wet spot at the hydrant, it will have to be dug up. You then have two choices 1-try to take it apart and fix it or 2-replace the hydrant. If the wet spot is along the line it will have to be dug up and a new section of line installed. If you don't have a shut off you will need to shut the water of while working on it.

    Yard hydrants can be found at most farm stores and hardware stores in rural areas.
    Jack
    Be sure you live your life, because you are a long time dead.-Scottish Proverb

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