Fire Hydrant Inspection and Maintenance
On a walk through your neighborhood, you may have come upon a few individuals hovering over or near a fire hydrant. Most likely, they are not there for the purposes of mischief. Rather, they are testing the fire hydrant to ensure its proper operation.
Regular Fire Hydrant Testing
In many communities, the testing of hydrants is a quarterly or annual task organized between the local water utility and fire department. The goal is to ensure there’s a proper flow from the fire hydrant. In turn, this provides the correct water pressure to a firehose during normal operations.
The Testing Process
First, testing equipment is hooked to the hydrant to measure the flow of water. Normally, this is purchased through companies like Hurco Technologies. Next, the water is released from the hydrant in stages. The tester records the pounds per square inch (psi) as the flow increases. When done, the results are examined by all the parties involved.
If the flow isn’t at the desired psi, they move to the next steps in maintenance.
• Another test is run and compared with the first to determine if there is a true issue.
• The hydrant is flushed to remove any debris which may be lodged in the hydrant or the line. Another test is done after the flush.
• If it still fails, both the hydrant and line are checked for corrosion or potential damage.
• Repairs are made to either the hydrant or line. Another test is made to ensure everything now works.
Advantages to fire hydrant testing
There are no disadvantages to testing fire hydrants. By performing this examination on a regular basis, utilities and fire departments ensure proper operations. For the water department, a clean line means no buildup in other pipes. For the fire department, it means a working hydrant to save property and people the next time there’s a fire.
In conclusion, if you see a test in process, thank the people who are out there. They are ensuring everyone’s safety.