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    Default Hydrant Maintenance

    Just curious what your fire department does when it comes to maintaining and testing fire hydrants???? Do they send out the firemen or is it water department or something else???

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    Dalton used to send out companies to their respective districts to maintain, test, and paint the hydrants. They realized that it was far more productive, and less waste of deisel fuel, to send out crews of four firefighters, two to a pick-up truck, to do the annual maintenacne, flows, and painting. It is somewhat of a special detail as firefighters really like to be on the detail. It is one of the details I do miss about being at Dalton, fun times.

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    Pull caps, grease them. Operate the stem and let water run for a little while. Replace caps. Paint, sticker and weedeat as needed. Report any problems to water works.

    Neither of my departments do testing. Waste of time IMO.
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    There is a NFPA standard for maintence and testing , but in a nutshell we -1 visiual inspection (obstructions -visible damage) 2 pull one 2-1/2 cap and flush 3 shut down and attach gauge to open cap 4 open again and check static 5 shut down (a-pull caps and check gaskets, grease threads , pull set screw and oil with approved stem oil - 6 flow steamer with diffisuer & pitot
    attached and take reading of pitot and note resudial - we used to go to the next hydrant and take a resuidal while flowing , but the ISO inspector said it was a waste of time.
    ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by slackjawedyokel View Post
    There is a NFPA standard for maintence and testing , but in a nutshell we -1 visiual inspection (obstructions -visible damage) 2 pull one 2-1/2 cap and flush 3 shut down and attach gauge to open cap 4 open again and check static 5 shut down (a-pull caps and check gaskets, grease threads , pull set screw and oil with approved stem oil - 6 flow steamer with diffisuer & pitot
    attached and take reading of pitot and note resudial - we used to go to the next hydrant and take a resuidal while flowing , but the ISO inspector said it was a waste of time.
    This flow test method does not sound good

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    Quote Originally Posted by slackjawedyokel View Post
    There is a NFPA standard for maintence and testing , but in a nutshell we -1 visiual inspection (obstructions -visible damage) 2 pull one 2-1/2 cap and flush 3 shut down and attach gauge to open cap 4 open again and check static 5 shut down (a-pull caps and check gaskets, grease threads , pull set screw and oil with approved stem oil - 6 flow steamer with diffisuer & pitot
    attached and take reading of pitot and note resudial - we used to go to the next hydrant and take a resuidal while flowing , but the ISO inspector said it was a waste of time.
    The ISO inspector was a fool. Taking the residual pressure from the same hydrant you're flowing isn't going to give you a valid reading.
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    That's another way to say it

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    Quote Originally Posted by irons33fd View Post
    Just curious what your fire department does when it comes to maintaining and testing fire hydrants???? Do they send out the firemen or is it water department or something else???
    In both my volly county and at work, the public works/utilities departments handle maintenance, inspection, testing, and painting.
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    Here the city works like this. The water department owns the hydrants. Fire maintains them twice a year. We have a wet season and a dry season. Wet season they get flowed, the caps get greased and depending on the hydrant, the street valves get exercised.
    Dry season, the plugs get painted and if need be, re-numbered. The water department takes care of any broken hydrants. When new ones are installed, or a well is added to the grid, we do the initial flow, then paint the top accordingly.
    Every time we touch a hydrant, the water department gets a bill. I think it's like $25 each.
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    Here's how we do it where we're from. The DPW owns the hydrants. Twice a year, we pay them about $100K for "maintenance." By "maintenance," I mean they don't do anything with them. No flushing, painting, clearing, nothing. I think every once in a while, when they have an extra guy with nothing to do, they might send him out to flow a couple, but not pump it out or anti-freeze it. If they break, repairs are included in said fee, but don't hold your breath.

    I guess it's politics.

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    Here's how we do it: Flow the hydrant, shut it down. Get knocked to the ground by some POS with a gun. Hand over your valuables, run like hell. Duck for cover as POS fires gun at you as you exit stage left. Shake your head as you remember how the local politicians said your job was no more dangerous than a window washer and took 30% of your pay last year. Go back to work for your next shift and do it all again.
    Not the best system but it's all we got.

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    Oh yeah, I forgot. Before we ever turn the hydrant on we take a dipstick and dip it into the barrel of the hydrant to ensure that the barrel is indeed dry and that it does not have standing water above the valve. If it has water then the utilities company gets a work request from us to get it fixed before winter hits.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GTRider245 View Post
    Neither of my departments do testing. Waste of time IMO.
    Why, wouldn't you rather know if you're hooking up to a 1000 to 1500+GPM hydrant compared to a 999GPM or lower hydrant?

    Perhaps where you are at that isn't an issue, but a lot of cities have orange top and red top hydrants still. I remember one hydrant, which utilities finally took out, that wouldn't even register a 0 on the pitot. Had we not tested it and assumed it was a good hydrant where would we have been if the apartment building next to it caught fire? Fortunately there were two blue tops just down from the complex that were maybe a 200 and 300 foot supply stretch respectively.

    Not saying your wrong, as you stated it's your opinion, just curious as to your reasoning brother.

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    Water department flows them twice a year. They get painted eventually. All markings of flow rate are now gone as they all get painted the same color.
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    So our Water Department is a Private company and they charge our department about 600K a year and for that they are supposed to test yearly. Well I for one live across the street form a hydrant and have never seen the Water company even check the hydrant. We went as far as a few years ago to tape the bottom of a Hydrant cap on a particular hydrant and for over 1 year the tape was never broken. We are instructed not to service a hydrant because we are not trained to do so and it is not our responsibility.

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    For ten years we flowed the steamer , took readings both upstream and down stream , also opened a hydrant fully up stream and noted the drop in our flow. Very time consuming - the ISO inspector , picked out 5 plugs - used a hand held pitot and took a reading. thats it-
    Also I forgot -when you shut the plug down , hold your hand over a discharge and make sure the drains are working. -
    ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bones42 View Post
    Water department flows them twice a year. They get painted eventually. All markings of flow rate are now gone as they all get painted the same color.
    I can see not painting them if most if not all of the flows are very similiar, which was the case in the town served by my previous VFD.

    Unfortuanltly we have a very wide range of flow here - anywhere from 250-300 gpm up to 1800-1900. In addition the flows can vary greatly from street to street, so being able to identify the flow from the hydrazntg color is fairly significant peice of information.

    For example, if we see a red hydrant we'll likely not even lay from it and simply go immediattly into atanker shuttle operation as we can easliy double or triple that with a shuttle operation.
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    Quote Originally Posted by slackjawedyokel View Post
    the ISO inspector , picked out 5 plugs - used a hand held pitot and took a reading. thats it-
    Apparently your ISO inspector was only interested in a poorly estimated average and not the actual flow capacity of any given hydrant.
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    Quote Originally Posted by no1special View Post
    So our Water Department is a Private company and they charge our department about 600K a year and for that they are supposed to test yearly. Well I for one live across the street form a hydrant and have never seen the Water company even check the hydrant. We went as far as a few years ago to tape the bottom of a Hydrant cap on a particular hydrant and for over 1 year the tape was never broken. We are instructed not to service a hydrant because we are not trained to do so and it is not our responsibility.
    Not too sound condescending, but it sounds like your municipality/department is playing Russian Roulette with your hydrants. Better pray each time you go out on a fire that the hydrants are working properly. As for training, what training is involved? All you have to do is get the proper hydrant servicing and flow procedures and you're set. As far as repair goes though, that definitely shouldn't be your responsibility.

    I personnally would rather not rely on the word of someone that isn't going to be needing that hydrant to work as to whether it is in working condition or not, much less what they got for a flow on it. That's how our department viewed it anyway. There once was talk about shifting the responsibility of maintaining, flowing, and painting the hydrants to the utilities department, but the fire admin fought that tooth and nail. Sure, that would have been more time freed up for other training, but we'd rather be sure that the hydrant was done right and not just pencil wipped.

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    Default winterization

    In early spring we flow all of the hydrant (93) and get our readings. contact the local county jail and have the inmates paint any hydrant that needs to be repainted because of flow changes or just needs an all new paint job (the county jailer is also a fire chief). (we sit right between the main resivoir for the area and a pump house for our city to the north plus have high pressure main [46 in] that goes 2 counties over so water pressure is not constant). in the fall (mid to late October) will flow again. will not paint till next summer. As soon as the from the water distric tells us they are done flowing the second time the next day we go out and pump out any standing water and check till there is no water in any of the hydrants. Our freeze came very early last year and most of the local fd did not get a chance to winterize. a mutual aid fd had a fire and had to pull water some 5 to 6 block away because of frozen hydrants (it emptied out almost 6 fds). so needless to say as soon as the WD is done we winterize now. while we are doing our maintence we will not cut obstructions but take a picture show it to the AC and he tells us he sent a letter telling them to cut back.

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    Default Hydrants

    Our crews go out and test,flow,clean,lube and mark all of the hydrants in our Fire District. Results are printed up and presented to the respective Water Departments for repairs.
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    The water and sewer division of the City's Department of Public Works flow tests, flushes and maintaons the City's 1500+ fire hydrants.
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    Hydrants owned by the water authority, which the town rents. One or twice a year the hydrants are flowed- to flush sediment out of the mains. They don't test, and we're not allowed to. Probably costs us an ISO grade according to the chief.

    Ive actually heard of some towns where the authority that owns the hydrants doesn't even call them "fire hydrants." They're "water main flushing devices."

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    Quote Originally Posted by GTRider245 View Post
    Pull caps, grease them. Operate the stem and let water run for a little while. Replace caps. Paint, sticker and weedeat as needed.
    Our water department takes care of this. They let us know if there are any problems or hydrants out of service.
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    Quote Originally Posted by firefightinirish217 View Post
    Not too sound condescending, but it sounds like your municipality/department is playing Russian Roulette with your hydrants. Better pray each time you go out on a fire that the hydrants are working properly. As for training, what training is involved? All you have to do is get the proper hydrant servicing and flow procedures and you're set. As far as repair goes though, that definitely shouldn't be your responsibility.

    I personnally would rather not rely on the word of someone that isn't going to be needing that hydrant to work as to whether it is in working condition or not, much less what they got for a flow on it. That's how our department viewed it anyway. There once was talk about shifting the responsibility of maintaining, flowing, and painting the hydrants to the utilities department, but the fire admin fought that tooth and nail. Sure, that would have been more time freed up for other training, but we'd rather be sure that the hydrant was done right and not just pencil wipped.

    No offense taken. We are serviced by a great hydrant system most if not all hydrants have static pressures of 100-110 PSI with volumes that are just as good.(Dead end hydrants usually can flow estimated gpm of 600 or better. and when we drill we open hydrant at whatever the location of the drill is. We also require the Chaueffer to operate any hydrant they pull up to regardless of whether it will be used or not. I agree that there is no "training" to turn on and check a hydrant for obstructions and operation but as for testing we receive a report from the Water company yearly on hydrants they "tested". We also receive yearly reports on hydrants in need of drain issues or known issues. But we also forward our list of deficient hydrants or issues to the Water company and they usually get to it quickly you know like in a year or 2. I personally think it is a lot to pay for a what I think is a fudged report and the ability to flow any hydrant at any time.

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