Fix-It Chick: Repair a yard hydrant

A frost-proof yard hydrant is the modern version of an outdoor pitcher pump. These bright colored water spigots are common on farms and large city lots.

Repairing a leaking hydrant is pretty straight forward with a five-piece hydrant repair kit.

Step 1: Turn off the water supply to the hydrant and lift the hydrant handle to drain any remaining water from the line.

Step 2: Release the handle tension by loosening the set screw located in the handle linkage just above the packing nut.

Step 3: Loosen, but do not remove, the packing nut located just below the handle linkage.

Step 4: Remove the hydrant head using two pipe wrenches. Attach one to the hydrant pipe casing and the other to the base of the head casting. Twist the head loose and remove it from the pipe casing.

Step 5: Attach a pair of locking pliers to the newly exposed metal portion of the operating pipe just below the brass stem. Pry the operating pipe up and out of the hydrant casing.

Step 6: Replace the plunger at the bottom of the operating pipe with the new plunger.

Step 7: Replace the brass stem portion of the operating pipe with the new brass stem.

Step 8: Briefly turn the water supply to the hydrant on and allow the water to flush out any debris lodged inside the pipe casing.

Step 9: Apply a small amount of waterproof silicone grease to the plunger and insert the operating pipe back into the hydrant casing.

Step 10: Use a wooden block and mallet to gently tap the operating pipe down into the hydrant casing until the plunger assembly is seated in place.

Step 11: Remove the bolt at the top of the hydrant handle. Remove the handle and linkage from the head casting.

Step 12: Remove the old packing nut, packing and washer from the head casting.

Step 13: Scrape away any residual packing inside the head casting before installing the new washer, packing and packing nut.

Step 14: Re-attach the handle and linkage to the head casting.

Step 15: Install the head casting onto the hydrant casing.

Step 16: Turn the water supply back on and tighten the packing nut until the water stops leaking.

Step 17: Adjust the overall length of the handle linkage so the handle snaps itself closed against the head casting when it is pushed downward.