Saturday, February 09, 2008

Why Doesn't Our Barn Water Freeze?

Today as I was pouring water into a bucket for the sheep this morning, I thought I would mention how we keep the barn water from freezing during the cold weather in case any of you were curious. You were weren't you? Well we use a frost free hydrant, pictured above. Obviously the water line which comes from the house is below the frost line. Here in New York that's 48 inches. But what about the part that's above the frost line? The water is only in that area when it's needed. Basically the water that's left in the pipe after use, drains out of it, preventing ice formation in the pipe. It's pretty simple really, and it works perfectly. So why then, you ask, do we have heat trace connected to it? We had some in stock, and Tom figured it might come in handy on those chilly minus 40 degree nights. Fortunately those nights have been far and few between! We haven't plugged in the heat trace for years. And I doubt we needed it when we did.

Here's a diagram illustrating how the hydrant works:

As I was snapping pics in the barn I thought I would share some of the ribbons the whole family has won over the years showing sheep (and I showed one of my horses when he was just a yearling). If you look closely, you will notice several of the trophies are missing their sheep.

This is because the wind knocks them down periodically. We have so many ribbons that we started using them for bookmarks. The kids showed in 4H when they were younger and Tom and I would show in the open. We figured we might as well, the sheep were there, we were there and there was money to be won! I also showed my fleeces. Go to Windyridge Farm's sheep page to see more pics. Unfortunately many of the thumbnails have lost their sources and so you cannot enlarge the photos. One day when I get around to it I will find them and post them back. Really the only part of that web site (not a blog) that I maintain anymore is the fleece page, as I use that to show off the fleeces I sell every year.