This is a somewhat simple project but one that if you do it yourself you can save you at least a few hundred dollars. Start by choosing the location of your hydrant. For us, we needed a hydrant that was near our garden so we decided install one along our back porch. Because we knew we had a 1″ PVC water line that ran along the back of our home, we began by digging down, using shovels, roughly 2′ at the edge of the deck, and then digging a trench out toward where the water line was buried. Once we found the water line, we dug upstream about 2′ in order to give us room to work inside the trench. We used an 8′ level to verify the trench was level as the surface of the ground was sloped.
At this point, we took a pressure treated 2″x6″x8′ and cut it into two pieces: one piece to attach to the deck as a spacer and one to attach to spacer that would run down to the bottom of the trench in order to support and attach the hydrant.
Next, we measured from where the PVC T-fitting would connect into the existing water line to where the PVC 90 degree elbow would set against the 2″x6″. After taking the measurement (make sure to account for the amount of pipe that will slide into your fittings) we cut the new 1″ PVC pipe and test fit it in the trench. Once we new the fit was right, we glued the T-fitting to the new 1″ PVC pipe using PVC primer and then PVC cement (hold off on gluing the 90 elbow at this time).
Next, we attached a 3/4″ brass nipple to the bottom of our hydrant making sure to put Teflon tape on the threads at both ends before threading it into the hydrant – we like to add pipe dope as well to threaded fittings.
We then test fit the height of our hydrant by placing our new pipe with the 90 elbow on it into the trench. This told us the length of the 1″ PVC piece we would need to cut that would be glued between the 90 elbow and the 3/4″ (female threaded) x 1″ (no threads) PVC fitting that would attach to the bottom of the hydrant.
The piece of 1″ PVC pipe between the 90 elbow and the PVC fitting that threads onto the 3/4″ brass nipple ended up being right at 4″. We then glued the 90 elbow and the 4″ piece of 1″ PVC pipe together using the method mentioned earlier. After this, we threaded the PVC fitting onto the bottom of our 3/4″ brass nipple.
At this point, we glued together our new 1″ PVC extension piece to the PVC T-fitting, and then marked where the ends sat on the existing water line so we would know where to make our cuts. MAKE SURE the extension piece is fully compressed when measuring – it has the ability to extend roughly 3″.
Next, we shut the water off at the meter using a small, adjustable wrench, and then cut the existing water line making sure to wipe off dirt and water from the new ends.
We laid our new pipe in place and glued both ends into the existing water line making sure the new 1″ PVC water line laid flat within the trench in order to make the 90 elbow at the other end point straight up as opposed to angling. Then we attached (glued) the 90 elbow onto the 1″ new PVC pipe as well as attached (glued) the PVC fitting at the base of our hydrant onto the 4″ PVC pipe that was glued to the 90 elbow. Next, we used three pipe clamps and exterior screws to hold the hydrant against the 2″x6″ board. Then, we turned the water back on and made sure we had no leaks.
We used very small gravel to finish leveling the 90 elbow end of the pipe as well as provide a good base. We continued filling around the hydrant with three 50lb. bags of small gravel to help strengthen the base as well as provide a place for the water that runs out the base of the hydrant when it is shut off. Outdoor hydrants, like this one, have a release valve at the base of the hydrant that allows the water to drain out of the hydrant when it is shut off. The small, threaded hole at the base of the hydrant (shown earlier) is where the water drains out.
Next, we backfilled the trench making sure to pack dirt under the new 1″ PVC pipe before filling the remainder of the trench.
Congratulations!!! You just saved yourself money, accomplished something using your own hands, and now have a new water supply.