Every year it seems like we have a water pipe break, usually in the winter. Last year the nozzle in the back yard standpipe broke for the first time. I replaced the faucet valve and it worked great this year. Annmarie wanted me to dig it out and put in a frost free standpipe but I did not. It was not an issue until last year and it is only about 18 inches from a 40 foot tall maple tree. I did not want to hurt the tree or dig the hole to gain access to the pipe (4 feet down in the ground). On Monday, Sarah texted me this picture of the ice art on our lawn.
The valve had cracked again (frozen) it is made of bronze and the standpipe is iron. I had to go to the hardware store and buy some heat tape, a cap for the pipe, insulation and plastic to repair, heat tape and water proof for the winter. I had to string an extension cord from the back door outside outlet to the standpipe. So far it is working like a champ. Annmarie and I had a discussion as to why this has only happened twice in seven years. For all the previous years when the other pipe broke that stempipe was drained of water and when the water was turned back on there was an air lock in place so no water was in the pipe until I started using it in the spring again. It made sense at that point. We have a lot of water discussions and I am usually incorrect in my assumptions (wrong). So in the spring I will sharpen the axe and Sarah and I will dig out the hole and attempt not to kill the tree.