The problem I am facing is not actually with the hydrant itself as I did all of these things when it was installed and it is draining properly. You can always tell if a hydrant is draining as it makes a very, very faint whooshing noise as the water drains out of it and if you put your hand over the spout, you can feel the slight tug of air pressure as it drains. I listen for that whooshing noise every single time I use the water.
The freezing problem I am facing is the water line itself; the heavy, plastic line that runs from the house and feeds the hydrant. The line runs right in front of the barn and there is about a four foot section between the bottom of the hydrant and the edge of the barn door where it just isn't deep enough, especially as that is the main traffic area in and out of the barn and it is a horribly wet spot. I knew this wasn't right when it was installed. However, I had the excavator, the contractor and a well digger all telling me it was fine and not to worry my little head. I caved. I kick myself for it now, but, what can I say? Dealing with contractors ranks on my top ten list of miserable jobs.
At any rate, the water is working today and, by some miracle, it does not appear that the line ruptured. By another miracle, the contractor did show up this afternoon and he has agreed to dig up the line and bury it deeper. Since the water is working and the ground is frozen harder then cement, we agreed to wait till Spring to actually do the digging - as long as no problems arise between now and then. Since mud and drainage are a constant problem, he also agreed to use his equipment while he is here to spread out stone and gravel if I pay for the materials. If he really does show up and do as promised, I will be satisfied. I would like to say that I have faith that all will work out as planned, but.....I think I have mentioned how I feel about "plans". Time will tell.
At least I have some reliable help.
"Here Ma, use the grey stuff, it seem to work on everything else."
Reliable up until nap time anyways.