Thread: Hydrant ID Help

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    Default Hydrant ID Help

    Hi, everyone. I skipped the intro post and am getting down to business. I'm a residential insurance appraiser and part of my job is to evaluate fire protection at each house I visit. The forum has helped me a lot over the past few years, but now it's time for me to ask a question directly.

    I visited a home last week with a hydrant in the front yard. The house is located at the end of a road terminating at a lakeshore. As you'll see in the attached photo, the hydrant is fairly narrow and has only one 2.5" port. I noticed other standard 3-port hydrants farther up the street (away from the lake).

    I haven't been able to contact either the local fire crew or water dept. to ask them about this. Does anyone here have experience with this type of plug? Are they sometimes used at the end of a water line, where a full-sized hydrant and 4-inch port might cause a drop in pressure? Does this significantly limit attack options?

    Thanks in advance for any help and enlightenment you guys can provide.
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    How near the lake? Could it be a dry hydrant?

    I think you'll NEED to contact the fire or water departments to know for sure.

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    Haven't seen anything like that in my area on a waterline. It does look kind of like a dry hydrant, but the lake looks a bit far away for that, but it's possible. Agreed that you'd have to get the Fire or water dept's input to be sure.

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    In Iowa area the "Rural Water Companies" install these. These are 100% fed pork funded to run potable water lines across the countryside. As they can't be bothered to spend the extra 20% to install 6"+ lines many transmission lines are 4" and 2". Every few miles they install these "Flushing Hydrants". State of Iowa does not allow "Fire Hydrants" on any water lines less than 6".

    "No are not really a fire hydrant Mr Fire Chief but you can put a foldatank under them and whatever comes out you can use for drafting/fire protection". Won't flow test or guarantee any particular flow. Will not "allow" any hose to connect to the POS. At the base of water towers they install a hydrant with 2x 2-1/2" (no steamer).

    We have 8" transmission lines crossing our fire district and not a hydrant to be found. Supposed to be around 60psi 2000gpm.

    Mind you this is 100% tax $ as a GRANT/GIFT to an unaccountable "nonprofit" corp. Great deal.

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    Looks like a single port "blow-off" hydrant used to flush water from dead-end mains. The hydrant, obviously, is more accesible than an underground blow-off on a 4-inch water main. As for whether or not that local department uses said hydrant for fire fighting purposes, that is something only they will know. Hope this helps.

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    Thanks, guys. It's about 200 feet from the lake and probably almost 100 feet higher in elevation. There's also a utility "arm-hole" marked "water" just in front of it. I think it's just the end of the municipal line.

    I'll keep trying to find someone with the FD. Sometimes police or emergency dispatch (non-emergency line, natch) points me in the right direction.

    I appreciate the input!

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    We've got several of these around my town. Typically they are used at the end of a small main to serve as a flush point. They are not intended for FD use, though I have seen them used in other towns to do things like neiowa describes. The only reason they look like a hydrant is so the water department can use the same wrenches and can hook a hose to it to direct the water where they want so it doesn't tear up the yard.

    Our policy is we do not use these for fire department ops. We especially don't hook a pumper to one. If you see one of these, odds are you're looking at a water line that's smaller than 4".

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    Single port "Candlestick" hydrant.

    We have one subdivision where that is all they installed. There are a few other areas in our district where they are found. Our flow rates on them are all less than 500 gpm as they are only supplied by a 3" main.

    Generally we will run a tanker shuttle but we have used them as a supplemental supply at structure fires.

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    That is not a fire hydrant. That is a flush plug. ISO will not give you credit for those although some insurance writers that donít know the deference will give the home owner credit not knowing any better. I have seen developers of subdivisions just stick real hydrants in the ground without water lines attached just to sell the lots. You should always ask the fire department in that JD for a flow test for your insurance company but no department I know will touch those in the picture.

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    Quote Originally Posted by vitamaltz View Post
    Hi, everyone. I skipped the intro post and am getting down to business. I'm a residential insurance appraiser and part of my job is to evaluate fire protection at each house I visit. The forum has helped me a lot over the past few years, but now it's time for me to ask a question directly.

    I visited a home last week with a hydrant in the front yard. The house is located at the end of a road terminating at a lakeshore. As you'll see in the attached photo, the hydrant is fairly narrow and has only one 2.5" port. I noticed other standard 3-port hydrants farther up the street (away from the lake).

    I haven't been able to contact either the local fire crew or water dept. to ask them about this. Does anyone here have experience with this type of plug? Are they sometimes used at the end of a water line, where a full-sized hydrant and 4-inch port might cause a drop in pressure? Does this significantly limit attack options?

    Thanks in advance for any help and enlightenment you guys can provide.
    This is not a dry hydrant. It is most likely a dry barrel flushing valve, or 2" hydrant for those of you in the rural areas. It has one 2.5" outlet for fire suppression purpose.

    In rural areas the rural water authority will install these for flushing purposes, BUT many rural fire departments will use them for suppression. Depending upon the water system, the fire department will usually count these toward 250gpm.

    AGAIN: That is depending on the system, alot depends on the size line, which could be a 2, 3, or 4 or other. Some of these can be on looped systems or at the end of a branch. The only way to really know what the flow will be is to test it.



    Most water authorities test and maintain records. SOME fire departments maintain records. My guess is that the fire department cannot plumb directly to this 'hydrant' into their steamer. It is possible of course to use a 2.5" x 3" or 2.5" x 5" or other adaptor, but they would be restricted by the water authority.

    Most likely, if the fire department uses this, the must let it flow into a porta-pond as suggested, or into a 'buffer' tank like a on-site tanker. That prevents the engine from PUMPING or PULLING more water than is available on weak or undersized lines; the Engine or Pumper just drafts water from the porta-pond or tanker.

    Many departments use these for some of their water supply, but still must supplement in some cases with other tankers.

    It is not a good idea to do a million dollars worth of damage to the water works to save a $100,000 house.

    Due to the weak pressures or undersized lines, a strong pump 750gpm could collapse or rip apart the saddle or main, so it must be either be flowing at its rate (residual) or bufferd into another holding tank.

    I have seen ISO credit these for a much as 500gpm if they are located within 500 feet of a house. Some insurance companies credit within 1000'.

    I hope this helps.
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    Thanks again guys. I knew I was asking the right people. If I do manage to get anyone on the horn about this, I'll be sure to post the outcome of that conversation.

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    BTW, all the companies I work with use the ISO standard of 1000 feet from hydrant to house. Of course, that's when we're talking about regular get-the-job-done fire plugs.

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    Quote Originally Posted by neiowa View Post
    In Iowa area the "Rural Water Companies" install these. These are 100% fed pork funded to run potable water lines across the countryside. As they can't be bothered to spend the extra 20% to install 6"+ lines many transmission lines are 4" and 2". Every few miles they install these "Flushing Hydrants". State of Iowa does not allow "Fire Hydrants" on any water lines less than 6".

    "No are not really a fire hydrant Mr Fire Chief but you can put a foldatank under them and whatever comes out you can use for drafting/fire protection". Won't flow test or guarantee any particular flow. Will not "allow" any hose to connect to the POS. At the base of water towers they install a hydrant with 2x 2-1/2" (no steamer).

    We have 8" transmission lines crossing our fire district and not a hydrant to be found. Supposed to be around 60psi 2000gpm.

    Mind you this is 100% tax $ as a GRANT/GIFT to an unaccountable "nonprofit" corp. Great deal.
    Why do you have to bring politics it just about every post you make here?
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    It appears to be a dead end hydrant on the last part of the main. Which means stay the heck away from it.

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    It appears to be a dead end hydrant on the last part of the main. Which means stay the heck away from it.

    Negative.

    It is a hydrant. We have an entire (older) sub-division where these are the only hydrants. There are at least 2o of them just in that subdivision and they are located in other places throughout the district.

    They are flowed and tested every year, and the rating service, at least in LA, does assign them credit as a hydrant.

    As I stated they are all low flow under 500gpm but we do use them to supplement the tanker operation at structure fires or as a fill point for brush fire operations.

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    wow learn something new every day
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    It appears to be a dead end hydrant on the last part of the main. Which means stay the heck away from it.

    Negative.

    It is a hydrant. We have an entire (older) sub-division where these are the only hydrants. There are at least 2o of them just in that subdivision and they are located in other places throughout the district.

    They are flowed and tested every year, and the rating service, at least in LA, does assign them credit as a hydrant.

    As I stated they are all low flow under 500gpm but we do use them to supplement the tanker operation at structure fires or as a fill point for brush fire operations.
    I don't know about LA, but when ISO came to evaluate us we got 0 points for them. They actually cost us a few points in water supply, along with the no steamer hydrants we have. ISO will only give full credit for a hydrant with a steamer, according to their documentation. I can't remember how the partial credit works.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Catch22 View Post
    I don't know about LA, but when ISO came to evaluate us we got 0 points for them. They actually cost us a few points in water supply, along with the no steamer hydrants we have. ISO will only give full credit for a hydrant with a steamer, according to their documentation. I can't remember how the partial credit works.
    LA did not mention that Louisiana uses it own rating system (Since 1996). While PIAL does mirror some of ISO's schedule there are distinct differences.

    Property Insurance Association of Louisiana

    On page 24 of the 2010 Rating Schedule it does inquire about the number of "One way hydrants" on 6" and larger mains. Then about "One way" hydrants on 4" mains, but does not assign credit levels for having them.

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    Direct from ISO Mitigation Online:

    ISO evaluates hydrant distribution by examining the number and type of hydrants within 1,000 feet of each representative building. We also look at the distance from each such hydrant to the subject building, measured as apparatus can lay hose.

    Hydrants with at least one large pumper outlet may receive credit for up to 1,000 gpm. Hydrants with at least two hose outlets, but no pumper outlet, may receive credit for up to 750 gpm.

    And hydrants with only one hose outlet may receive credit for up to 500 gpm.

    Hydrants within 300 feet of the subject building may receive credit for up to 1,000 gpm (but not more than the credit that would apply based on the number and type of outlets).

    Hydrants from 301 feet to 600 feet from the subject building may receive credit for up to 670 gpm (but not more than the credit that would apply based on the number and type of outlets).

    And hydrants from 601 feet to 1,000 feet from the subject building receive credit for 250 gpm.

    Under certain circumstances, when all fire department pumpers carry sufficient large-diameter hose, ISO may allow maximum credit for hydrants up to 1,000 feet from the subject building.
    I stated that I have seen ISO give credit for 500gpm up to 500'. Clearly this states 300'. The last line is where ISO may give credit up to 500'. It depends on the size line and residual pressure... and IF the department uses LDH.

    Similar to another topic concerning hydrants: If this hydrant sits on a 4" looped line, it could show 65psi Static, 20psi Residual. If the department uses a 2.5" x 4" (or 5", 6") then only the 2.5 couple is the restricting factor for their assessment if the department is using LDH.


    So yes they can be used, and I have seen departments do very well with them. But I don't think you would want to plumb it direct into your steamer. I have never seen anyone do that, but I learned along time ago... never say never because someone surely has.

    But given a choice, if you have one of these next to the house fire, you better use it. It might provide 1/2 of what you need and be worth one tanker that you may not have to roll; based upon the NFF of 500gpm for the typical single family home that is not within 100' of another structure.

    You do what you have to do. Not every community can afford to have 6" hydrants with 500' spacing or on every corner. Some people seem to think that if something isn't the same as what they are fortunate enough to have, then it will not work or should be ignored.

    But I have seen guys that work in municipal fire departments that do not know the first thing about drafting from static water supplies too; including the one I am with. I try to teach them, but they don't want to waste their time. Might be a handy thing if the water works fail and you have to resort to pools, creeks, rivers or lakes.

    ISO tries very hard to give credit for every little edge that you can provide. If you find a better way that works, and you can back it up and prove it, they will work with you. If you don't beleive it, just ask the Volunteer ISO/PPC2 Departments that did it.

    I've have had a long history with ISO. I've been on both sides of those assessments. ISO is not the enemy coming in to rip you apart. And despite what some think, they are really on your side.

    Everyone is entitled to their opinion. I am just stating a fact.


    @Catch: I'm not picking on you or answering this as a response to what you stated.

    Look at your CMC Report again. You did get credit, just not as much as a hydrant with the steamer and two 2.5"s. You know they are used in your area of Stone, Newton, Barry, Lawrence, and Taney Counties. I did several assessments a couple years back in that area. They didn't do great but they did work... about 250gpm. But credit was given depending upon residual pressure and distance from structures as well as distance between structures. They only cost if you don't have a way to use them. This is exactly why a 2.5" x (2) 2.5" gated wye and a 2.5" Hydrant Gate (Valve) is required on an Engine.

    When Hydrants are rated, specific hydrants are evaluated in specific areas. Those are selected based upon the NFF within that area. The line size,structure density, materials used, and your equipment is all taken into account. If a hydrant like this is within 300' feet of a house, that's a 500gpm Credit. I'm not telling anyone it will do that, but that is what is credited. The house down the road may not get the same credit, but it is evaluated as a cluster. If you have Tankers, you will receive Credit for Alternate Water Supply. if that earns you a PPC-6, it is still a PPC-6. I have seen these in areas that are Split Class PPC-4/6/8.
    Last edited by PaladinKnight; 02-03-2010 at 11:09 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by PaladinKnight View Post
    I stated that I have seen ISO give credit for 500gpm up to 500'. Clearly this states 300'. The last line is where ISO may give credit up to 500'. It depends on the size line and residual pressure... and IF the department uses LDH.
    PK this table, (Top of page 6) http://www.nfpa.org/assets/files/PDF...-A2003-rop.PDF , may answer some of your questions about the hydrant spacing.
    It has been over 20 years since I was involved in the rating process but if I remember correctly ISO required closer spacing in business areas (500" residential \ 300" business). That, more than likely, has changed to some degree.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainGonzo View Post
    Why do you have to bring politics it just about every post you make here?
    I have to agree with neiowa on this one. Coming from the same area, I know exactly what he is talking about. These Rural Water Associations are putting all this time, effort, and money into these projects to provide drinking water that was already accessible by a well. There are a lot of pot hole towns around here that fall in larger towns districts with response times of 10 minutes plus and no real way to get water there other than tanker shuttles. These houses in these so called "towns" are so close together that if one house goes up the likelihood of the rest going up is pretty good.

    Here just happens to be our situation with a town with about a 10-15 minute response to get first engine on scene with 1000 gallons of water and two men.
    1st engine arrives on scene +10 minutes
    Rescue truck carrying attack team arrives (3-6 men) +12 minutes
    1st tanker (2 men, 1250 gallons) +15 minutes
    2nd tanker (2 men, 1250 gallons) +20 minutes
    3rd tanker (1-2 men, 1000 gallons) +25 minutes

    Once shuttle is going its about a tanker every 15-20 minutes arriving on scene with full load. Even for exposure protection, may not be enough water. Becomes a county-wide operation. Still may not be enough for these homes. Which are older farm-houses with balloon construction. Would have been easy for Rural Water to install large enough lines to put a hydrant in these things to provide at least some water flow to a pumper. Our situation is the best in the area, we are actually outfitted relatively well to other towns who all they have is an engine and a tanker. The mutual aid to us is not great at all. Along with just the structures around, we have some grain operations that are becoming extremely huge, that if something goes wrong there is no way in the world we could suppress it without proper rural water supply that could have easily been in place.

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    500' residential \ 300' business

    Correct. It is highly recommended that hydrants in residential areas be spaced 500' apart. And hydrants in Commercial areas be spaced 300' apart.

    Think of a grid system along the roads.

    Only the most proactive and progressive cities and towns pay attention to this. The Fire Chief, the Water Manager and the Council/Mayor all think alike.

    In the majority of the country, and especially in the rural areas, the Water guys put hydrants wherever they think they need to flush. They do give a rat's hind end about fire suppression. In some cases, they restrict the fire department from using THEIR water. So it sets up a constant battle between cost effective and property protection. Eventually, when someone of high profile loses a nice house, the thinking changes more to the property protection thinking and the fire guys get more hydrants and bigger lines.

    Thanks for adding that piece of information. It is a valid point

    I was primarily speaking of rural areas with spacing of a couple of miles. But there are few places you find these every 1320' to 2640' (1/4 to 1/2 mile) because that is all they can do.

    I have seen departments use these for tanker fill sites. It takes too long. Even if the hydrant gives you 250gpm, it will take over 10 minutes to fill a 2500 gallon tanker. By the time you manuveur, hook up the hose, fill, disconnect, and drive two miles each way, you're looking at 20 minutes for a round trip for a tanker.

    If you use two tankers, and a tanker shows up every 10 minutes. If your engine is set at a little over 200gpm, the engine will run out of water before the next tanker arrives.

    ISO will only give you credit for 90% of your load, so 2500 is only 2250 gallons. And since you cannot draft below 4" with the best low-level shoe, and you can't afford to run out of water, you have to shut down the hoses.

    Sound familiar anyone?

    So if you have one of these hydrants around the scene... use it. It will give you some room to breathe.

    When I saw what some departments had to do for water supply, I decided it was time to go back to basics and teach hydrology or what I call "Moving Big Water".

    After you teach guys how to draft, they catch on pretty quick and come up with a lot of good ideas.

    How about refilling 2500 gallon tankers in 2 minutes from a dry hydrant and dumping into a porta-pond in 1 minute. Add the maneuver and connect times and you have about a 12 minute two-mile round trip. Tankers that show up every 6 minutes let your engine provide closer to 370gpm.

    Add a third tanker and you will have a tanker arriving every 4 minutes and the engine can provide about 560gpm.

    You are only limited by your imagination, and of course a little physics.
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    In my area those are called blow-off or blow-out plugs. Almost all of the neighborhoods built in our area in the last 15 or so years(which is quite a few) have them at the end of nearly every culdesac plus you see them in other areas around town. They are basically for flushing of the lines. Usually when you see one in our area, there is a full size hydrant somewhere very close by(probably within 500ft) so we never use them. To be honest, I have never seen the water department use them either.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PaladinKnight View Post
    I was primarily speaking of rural areas with spacing of a couple of miles. But there are few places you find these every 1320' to 2640' (1/4 to 1/2 mile) because that is all they can do.
    The department I work for part time has similar problems. They have choose to place hydrant every 1000' and only in the arears that have structures.

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    Thanks again for all the help in this thread. I never got anyone from the FD on the phone, but I did talk to someone with the local water authority who knew that particular hydrant. He said that they have a very high pressure water system and they've had success hooking up a hand line directly to blow off hydrants like this. A 6-inch main runs within a block of this location. The closest real hydrant is about 1,200 feet. I've certainly seen worse water supply scenarios than that.

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