Smallholders Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: Woodford Frost Free Tap: Review  (Read 16045 times)

Womble

  • Joined Mar 2009
  • Stirlingshire, Central Scotland
Woodford Frost Free Tap: Review
« on: October 14, 2012, 11:10:21 am »

I hate to say it, but winter is definitely on its way!  So, I thought I'd post a quick review of our new frost free tap, just in case anybody else is considering installing one.



The idea is pretty straightforward. Basically you make the water connections 2 feet underground below the frost line, with all the mechanical gubbins for the tap also located down there out of harms way and operated by a long push-rod. There is a little hole at the bottom of the standpipe that lets the water drain out (again, below the frost line) after you've finished using it, but is blocked off when you open the tap.



Installation was pretty straightforward - we were having new water pipes put in for the holding and house anyway. You just dig a deep hole, fill it with some gravel for a soakaway, install your tap to 2ft deep, cover with more gravel, and then finish with earth.



We also installed a stop tap chamber and double non-return valve just to be on the safe side, since I had read about the hazards of this type of tap potentially back-syphoning into the water supply (this IS possible in the event of a seal failure and loss of mains water pressure).

So, does it work?  Well, we haven't had any cold weather to test it yet, but I'm absolutely sure it will. It gives a decent flow of water, which is adjustable and can also be locked off if required. It also has a handy lip for hanging a bucket over.



The one hitch I've found is that if you leave a hose connected to it after it's shut off, it WILL back-syphon down into the soakaway, which is obviously not a good idea.

To counter this, I always make sure I disconnect the hose after use, and in any case I've made sure that the hose is free draining down to its end, since there's little point in having a frost free tap if you only have an iced up hose to connect it to!

The other downside of course is the cost, at over 100  :-\ . However, it's also very well made, in a reasurringly old fashioned sort of way, and I fully expect it to last a lifetime if serviced occasionally.

Also, if it saves us all the running backwards and forwards with buckets we did two winters ago, I don't think we'll begrudge the cost!  We bought ours from Supplies for Smallholders  :thumbsup: , though I see they're now available from a few other places in the UK too.



I hope that's helpful folks!

Cheers,

Womble.

"All fungi are edible. Some fungi are only edible once." -Terry Pratchett

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: Woodford Frost Free Tap: Review
« Reply #1 on: October 14, 2012, 11:28:24 am »
I ever so nearly ordered one of these a couple of years ago, but then we realised that if the ground is frozen then so is the soakaway...

I don't wish a really hard winter on you, Womble - but if you get one, I'd love to hear how the tap performs!
Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

Live in a cohousing community with small farm for our own use.  Dairy cows (rearing their own calves for beef), pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

Womble

  • Joined Mar 2009
  • Stirlingshire, Central Scotland
Re: Woodford Frost Free Tap: Review
« Reply #2 on: October 14, 2012, 11:54:06 am »
Hi Sally,

The idea is that the ground never freezes that far under no matter how hard the winter gets, so I do think it will cope with the worst of our winters. I'll let you know how we get on!
"All fungi are edible. Some fungi are only edible once." -Terry Pratchett

Victorian Farmer

  • Guest
Re: Woodford Frost Free Tap: Review
« Reply #3 on: October 14, 2012, 01:07:22 pm »
i would love that tap to work i had 2 bursts last ye re 10 in 2010 i mend all the frozen pipes i leave the water running its OK to minus 10 then that's it .It would have to take minus 20 to work for us .In 2010 the frost was 3 foot dawn did not throe till end of April .                                             2009/10December 2009 started on a mild note but it wasn't to last and from mid-month temperatures dipped with some widespread falls of snow. The cold continued right through Christmas and toward new year, which meant it was another cold December with temperatures widely 2-3c below average. More cold and snowy weather greeted us in the new year and this continued through much of the first half of January before milder air returned for a while, although the cold did make a return by the end of the month. The cold theme then carried through into February and although it was often cold and frosty initially,later in the month bought some major falls of snow - especially in Scotland. Overall the winter was around 2c colder than average making it the coldest winter since 1978/9. It's also worth noting that northern Scotland saw it's coldest winter on record!               iv said enough .

Mrs Snoodles

  • Joined Aug 2012
Re: Woodford Frost Free Tap: Review
« Reply #4 on: October 23, 2012, 04:10:28 pm »
Looks great Womble and I imagine great for most winters in most areas.  I truly wonder what on earth can be done when things freeze deep though..VF... Might be worth checking out what our fellow pig people do over the Atlantic.

deepinthewoods

  • Guest
Re: Woodford Frost Free Tap: Review
« Reply #5 on: October 23, 2012, 06:52:23 pm »
mind you womble, i would definitely make sure i was wearing gloves when you use it during a big freeze, i have images of your hand being stuck fast frozen on,

bloomer

  • Global Moderator
  • Joined Aug 2010
  • leslie, fife
  • i have chickens, sheep and opinions!!!
Re: Woodford Frost Free Tap: Review
« Reply #6 on: October 23, 2012, 06:55:24 pm »
yup womble frozen to the tap with his peacock perched on him  ;D ;D ;D ;D

Womble

  • Joined Mar 2009
  • Stirlingshire, Central Scotland
Re: Woodford Frost Free Tap: Review
« Reply #7 on: October 23, 2012, 07:01:11 pm »
 
Good tip DITW, thanks!!
 
Bloomer - yes, he probably would do that as well!  ;D
"All fungi are edible. Some fungi are only edible once." -Terry Pratchett

chrismahon

  • Joined Dec 2011
  • Gascony, France
Re: Woodford Frost Free Tap: Review
« Reply #8 on: October 24, 2012, 07:10:09 pm »
Looks and sounds like a great product Womble. Was it very far over 100?


My only concern is that water may be in the mechanism which freezes the pivots so plenty of grease needed. We use motorcycle chain lube for padlocks. A heavy grease in a solvent that penetrates and then evaporates getting the heavy grease into hidden spaces.

Re: Woodford Frost Free Tap: Review
« Reply #9 on: October 25, 2012, 08:43:07 pm »
Hi Womble,

From the pictures looks like you have made an excellent job of installing the hydrant.

From a post above - the mechanism does not freeze - we sold a couple to another forum member last year - and he has reported back that they worked perfectly last winter in minus 14 temps.

If you cant justify the expense of a hydrant, we also have other non-freeze models of taps available that fit through the house wall - both cold taps and hot / cold mixers that work on the same principle.
www.suppliesforsmallholders.co.uk - Safe Secure shopping for all your livestock equipment and supplies.
Also www.suppliesforfarmers.co.uk for more larger farm related items

Womble

  • Joined Mar 2009
  • Stirlingshire, Central Scotland
Re: Woodford Frost Free Tap: Review
« Reply #10 on: December 08, 2012, 08:50:25 am »
Hi All,

Just thought I'd report back now we've had a week or two of freezing conditions. Now I know it's not been desperately cold, but we've still had it cold enough to freeze our other three outside taps and the lines to the troughs. The frost-free tap continues to work without any issues though  :thumbsup: .

In fact, my only issue has been that the hose I connect to it keeps freezing up, despite being arranged so it should drain, so I'm onto filling buckets most mornings  ::) . However, that is still far better than filling buckets at the kitchen sink and carrying them across the icy yard, which was where we were two winters ago.

So, a definite  :thumbsup: from me for the Woodford. I'm very glad we spent the money now!!
"All fungi are edible. Some fungi are only edible once." -Terry Pratchett

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: Woodford Frost Free Tap: Review
« Reply #11 on: December 08, 2012, 09:12:33 am »
That's great to hear, Womble.  We're planning on a revamp of the stables this year, maybe I'll treat myself to a one of those as part of that.  :thumbsup:  Cattle-handling first, though, just got a grant towards a fancy new crush  :excited: - but they've been so long deliberating on the grant applications, it's too late now to do any projects involving cement until after lambing, realistically  ::)  Never mind, we're grateful for the assist.  :)
Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

Live in a cohousing community with small farm for our own use.  Dairy cows (rearing their own calves for beef), pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

Womble

  • Joined Mar 2009
  • Stirlingshire, Central Scotland
Re: Woodford Frost Free Tap: Review
« Reply #12 on: January 22, 2015, 09:04:33 am »
Given the recent cold snap, I thought it a good time to revive this thread!
 
The water to all our troughs and hoses has been frozen for over a week now. I've been removing thick slabs of ice from the duck's bath every morning, and topping up with buckets using the frost free tap.
 
Overall, this is undoubtably the best thing we've bought for the smallholding, especially since we installed a security light next to it to help on dark winter mornings.
 
Anyway, just a quick bump as a heads up to folks on here (too late!  ;D ) who may not know these are available.
 
HTH!
"All fungi are edible. Some fungi are only edible once." -Terry Pratchett

doganjo

  • Joined Aug 2012
  • Clackmannanshire
  • Qui? Moi?
    • ABERDON GUNDOGS for work and show
    • Facebook
Re: Woodford Frost Free Tap: Review
« Reply #13 on: January 22, 2015, 06:23:13 pm »
I use bubble wrap  :eyelashes:  :innocent:  :roflanim:
Always have been, always will be, a WYSIWYG - black is black, white is white - no grey in my life! But I'm mellowing in my old age

Womble

  • Joined Mar 2009
  • Stirlingshire, Central Scotland
Re: Woodford Frost Free Tap: Review
« Reply #14 on: January 22, 2015, 06:29:20 pm »
Yes, and we've got two layers of foam pipe insulation on the tap in the other field, but it's still been frozen for over a week now.

It's cold up in these thar hills Doganjo!  ;D
"All fungi are edible. Some fungi are only edible once." -Terry Pratchett

 

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