Random Topic: Fire Hydrants

How to Install them

The user attaches a hose to the valve that they opened before to make the fire hydrant provide a powerful stream of water on the order of 350 kPa (50 lbs/in (squared)). You can also attach a fire engine to a valve on the fire hydrant, making a much more powerful stream of water and you can split it multiple ways.  You can connect the hose to a threaded connector or a Storz connector. Try not to open or close a fire hydrant too quickly, because it can make a water hammer, which can damage nearby pipes and equipment.

Construction

In areas that have really cold weather, only a bit of the fire hydrant is above ground. The valve is under the frost line and connected with a riser to the aboveground part. A valve rod runs from the valve up through a seal at the top of the fire hydrant, where it can be opened/closed with the right wrench. This is called the dry barrel hydrant.

Philippines Fire Hydrant.

Appearances in Different Countries

In Demorest, Georgia they are painted red with a blue top and white caps, in the Philippines they are yellow, in Germany, they are red with gold, and in Brazil they are orange.

Facts

Fire hydrants require special tools to open them, so people don’t use them casually, or misuse them.

The tool is usually a large wrench with a pentagon-shaped socket. Vandals might make a monetary loss by wasting water when they open hydrants. This vandalism can also reduce municipal water pressure and impair firefighters’ efforts to extinguish fires.

Other Uses

Some people just want to take a break and play around in the spray of a fire hydrant, so they remove the cap. This is not advised because people have been hit by cars that couldn’t move out of the way because the driver couldn’t see.

Signage

In the UK and Ireland, fire hydrants are built underground. Yellow “H” signs indicate where fire hydrants are, and in Finland, they are marked with a blue sign. In Russia, they are marked with a plate and a red cone. Blue = 1500 GPM or more very good flows, green = 1000-1499 good for cities, orange = 500-999 GPM (marginally accurate), and red = below 500 GPM, or inadequate.

Coded white fire hydrant.

The bodies of the fire hydrants are also color-coded; White = public system fire hydrant, yellow = private system hydrant connected to a public water source, red = special operation not used except for special procedures, and violet = non-potable supply effluent, pond, or lake supply.

Non-pressurized (dry) hydrants

In rural areas where municipal water systems are not available, dry fire hydrants are used to supply water for fighting fires. When needed, a pumper fire engine will take water from the lake or pond by drafting water. They do this by sucking the air out of the dry fire hydrants and the fire engine pump with a primer.   

This is why fire hydrants are cool.