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  1. #1
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    Default Question

    Can someone explain to me how a dry hydrant works? And also where you would put it? One other thing, would it be smart to put near the ocean, or any other body of salt water? Would this corrode the pump? Thanks.


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    Default Dry Hydrant

    A very simpel explation, a dry hydrant is a pipe 6 to 8 inches in diameter that goes from a water source such as a pound, lake or river to an area that a truck can reach with hard suction. You then DRAFT from the pipe. This keeps a truck from getting close to the shore where it may be "boggy".

    Not very technical but someone can fill in the rest
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    We have specifically designated "yellow hydrants" that are found on expressways and parkways. They must be turned on from the curb using the curb valve key, so I guess technically they are dry hydrants. Not sure if that is what you were looking for.

    They are kept off at the curb to prevent illegal opening of the hydrants onto busy highways.
    Proud East Coast Traditionalist.

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    Thanks for the replies. That kind of clarifies things for me. So, to the second part. Would it be a bad idea to tap a dry hydrant into a supply of salt water? I ask this because I've heard the tales of the earthquakes in San Francisco, and how the fireboats pumped millions of gallons of salt water to the fire engines. But I've never been able to have someone give me a straight answer as to whether or not the sea water would corrode the plumbing of the pump. Thanks.

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    It would corrode it if you left it in them. But when they get done and are back in station they flush the system completley.
    Fir Na Tine
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    Quote Originally Posted by PeteySt1
    Thanks for the replies. That kind of clarifies things for me. So, to the second part. Would it be a bad idea to tap a dry hydrant into a supply of salt water? I ask this because I've heard the tales of the earthquakes in San Francisco, and how the fireboats pumped millions of gallons of salt water to the fire engines. But I've never been able to have someone give me a straight answer as to whether or not the sea water would corrode the plumbing of the pump. Thanks.
    If salt water is the only available water source, use it. The fire won't know the difference. There should be no detrimental effects to equipment, so long as everything is flushed well with fresh water afterward (remember to flush the pump cooler and the engine cooler as well). I just would not want to refill the tank with seawater and leave it for an extended period of time.





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    I think of a dry hydrant as rural water supply. I received a couple of grants for dry hydrants from the State.Check into that as the cost is about $600.00 by the time you engineer, purchase and install. As previously stated it is a 6' or 8' PVC hydrant with your thread choice on the steamer side and a suction screen on the opposite end. These are placed adjacent to ponds, lakes streams and large bodies of water such as a bay, sound or inlet. As they are schedule 40 PVC the salt issue is moot. The issue of pumping salt or brine water should not be an issue. The pump should be back flushed as a matter of procedure after any drafting operation. Trucks are insured, lives and property come ahead of the pump. Most pump impellors will grind up and pass small shells and sand. The intakes have screens for the larger items. Eventually you will have to examine your dry hydrants. Check for silt and debris near the intake. Even the best designed and constructed dry hydrants are subject to change from storm surge, tides and flooding. If you have a marina or dry stack storage in your first due weigh the amount of water you can draft via a dry hydrant vs. a city hydrant supplied by a 6" feed. We had a fire 2 weeks ago where the hydrants were both supplied off of a 12' main than reduced down to a single six supplying 2 hydrants . You don't realize it until it's too late and you're sucking it out of the ground, whereas the sound or the ocean inlet is limitless. Big fires need big flow!
    "If Prometheus was worthy of the wrath of heaven for kindling the first fire upon earth, how ought all the Gods to honour the men who make it their professional business to put it out?"
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    We have numerous dry hydrants on the end of each side street along our SALT water river. The river is a unlimited water supply, so its getting tapped one way or another. I dont recall the last real job (more than 1 room), where we havent hit the river water after establishing a primary water supply off the city water. The only difference between hittin the dry hydrant and dumping hard suction over board is convience.

    As far as the salt water, flush ALL your trucks after using it. We have three trucks 20 + years old that have spent many hours pumping salt water, and never had a problem.

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    If you plan on operating dry hydrants, remember to schedule annual or semi-annual pumpbacks or blowbacks to clear debris from around the hydrant's underwater intake. Also remember when designeing them to make sure that the area where the pumper will be positioned is firm enough for use year round (keeping in mind that water may be spilled during pumping operations). This may require some work such as paving or adding stone. It is a particuliar problem here... we have had to do some sort of apron work on the area around most of our hydrants for them to be usable year-round.

    We have 8 dry hydrants located throughout our district and we pump back through them with tank water twice a year on a scheduled basis.

    Also because most of our water is very heavily laden with silt, we always empty any drafted water left in the tank and flush the pump after any operations.
    Last edited by LaFireEducator; 04-28-2006 at 11:14 AM.

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    We are in the process of getting a couple added near 1 of our salt water lakes. We have drafted from it many times before but due to changes in the area, we are making it a little simpler. Salt water is not a problem as long as you flush well afterwards. Not too many years ago, we used to pump out sinking fishing boats at some of the docks. Was good practice for our pump operators in drafting operations. We've had some long pumping operations at some large fires and I've yet to get the ocean to drop an inch or 2.
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

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    Wink

    Had a large fire about ten years ago, so big brought down some of the new stations from the city. Reporter some how ended up down at one of the drafting spots on the river. The pump operator was nice enough to show the reporter how "we pumped so much water, it made the rivers water level drop 4 feet." Little did that reporter know about the change from high tide to low tide, she placed that same remark on the nightly news.

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