Before installing a Drinking Post Automatic Waterer, you’ll want to determine your local frostline or frost depth. This is the most important aspect of installation for a Drinking Post to be successful! We utilize a stop and drain valve at the bottom of the Drinking Post. All water remains at the valve until it is in use, so it is imperative that you bury the Drinking Post at least 18″ below the frost line.
First off, what is a frostline? This is the depth at which the ground freezes. Because we are working with water and waterlines, we need to make sure that we are burying the lines at least 18″ below the frost line. While you could bury deeper than you think you need and call it good, you may be doing more work than is necessary. Or worse yet, you could be going too shallow and your lines will freeze and potentially break.
Frost depths can vary quite a bit from climate to climate and even in relatively close areas. For example, here in Denver, CO the frost depth is generally about 36″. That said, there are areas north of Denver a short drive away that can see frost depth at 30″. Elevation, soil type, wind, ground cover and sun exposure are some of the location qualities that determine frost depths. We can see 8′ frostlines in parts of Canada and virtually no frost depth in Florida and California.
How can I find my local frost line?
Quick google searches will bring up very general and easy to use frost line maps, like this one from the National Snow and Ice Data Center. THIS IS NOT GOOD ENOUGH!
While these maps are quick, they do not give enough information. They are too general for practical use. We’d recommend calling your local water department if you have one. If not, any reputable outdoor plumber or excavator will know your frost depth readily!
Also, online searches based on your state’s frost depths will often bring up a better detail. For example, here’s one for Colorado found on Hammerpedia:
This is to be applied with some hesitation. We all know you can’t believe everything you find online!
If you know at what depth your waterlines are buried on your property, you can use this as a guideline! Typically your frost depth will be 18″ above where the lines are buried. You can also use this to determine the best Drinking Post size for you. The bottom of the waterer will line up with your waterline depth.
When in doubt or if you are unsure of your frostline, call someone who knows! You can also contact us at Drinking Post for help. We can be reached at 844-311-7678.