Significance of Fire Hydrants
When terrible fires rage, all we think of is a fire fighter. But it is important to know that fire engines, which can hold thousands of liters of water, disperse over a thousand liter per minute. Thus the supply of water from a fire engines lasts for a few minutes only. This is when the red metallic pipes standing at the sides of the road come into play. A functional fire hydrant can help prevent most fires from spreading. Also it can help put out fire as soon as possible.
In many cities across the US, fire hydrants are placed on public property. The local government is responsible for the regular inspection and maintenance of the fire hydrants. However, there are many places where a fire hydrant is installed on private land. In that case, the land owner is responsible for taking care of the hydrants and ensuring proper maintenance.
What Can Go Wrong with a Fire Hydrant?
Given the limitations of fire engines, maintaining a fire hydrant is crucial. However, there are many things which can go wrong with a fire hydrant.
Accumulation of Debris
When there is an accumulation of dirt and debris, it can affect the functioning of a fire hydrant. The debris and dirt can prevent the valve from effectively closing or draining. As a result, it can damage the main valve of the fire hydrant.
Another common problem which can arise with a fire hydrant is that the cap may get stuck. If this happens in case of fire, it can slow down the firefighting operation and can intensify damage.
One major problem associated with fire hydrants in accidents. Since fire hydrants are generally installed near the road side, they are prone to accidents from cars and trucks. This damage can affect the proper functioning of a fire hydrant.
During to seasonal variations, a fire hydrant can also encounter some problems. Though fire hydrants are designed to resist extreme temperatures, they need regular inspection especially before winter. Otherwise the water flow may get affected. Another problem which arises due to cold weather is accumulation of snow on and around the fire hydrant. To minimize the time spent on finding the fire hydrant, it is important that the fire hydrant is kept clear at all times.
Inspection and Maintenance of Fire Hydrants
Considering the significance of fire hydrants and knowing the potential problems with fire hydrants, regular inspection and maintenance of fire hydrants become exceptionally important. It provides improved safety and reduces the risk of damage due to fire.
Inspection and Maintenance of fire hydrants should be scheduled on a regular basis before a problem arises. This proactive approach helps ensure that the problem can be dealt effectively before it leads to a catastrophe.
Different types of fire hydrants have different inspection and maintenance needs. Fire hydrants should be inspected once a year. However, dry-barrel fire hydrants need bi-annual inspections.
A regular inspection of a fire hydrant include the following steps.
Assess the Location of Fire Hydrants
The location of fire hydrants should be correctly plotted on the map. This is one way to ensure that the fire hydrants are located in a place where they are easily accessible and visible from all directions. This also helps identify if there is a need for placing more fire hydrants in a certain area.
The inspection of a fire hydrant often begins with a visual inspection of the pit and the fire hydrant. The objective is to ensure that the physical condition of the fire hydrant is well and it is not damaged by any type of accident by a car or truck.
The most important part of the inspection is flow test. This checks the level of water available for firefighting. The test is often conducted using the following steps.
- A pressure gauge is installed in order to prepare for the flow test.
- Once the pressure gauge is installed, open the fire hydrant and allow the water to flow for 60 seconds. This allows the inspection team to get the accurate pressure reading. Make sure that the pressure is line with the standard recommendation. The flow of water also allows foreign material from the water line to disperse. This leaves the hydrant free from debris.
- Stop the water flow to check if the hydrant drains correctly.
Inspection of the Fire Hydrant
Once the flow of water is inspected, it is important to inspect all parts of the fire hydrants. This includes a detailed inspection of cap, chains, and valves. Make sure every part is fully functional and easily to operate.
Routine maintenance of fire hydrants includes flushing the system. This helps remove mineral deposits in the main water supply. It also involves checking rubber gaskets and moving parts, which can wear over time and lead to leaks. It also ensures that the hydrant is not being damaged by an accident with a car or truck. Maintenance is one of the ways to ensure effective functioning of a fire hydrant despite seasonal variation.
Fire Hydrants in Arizona
Fire hydrants are extremely helpful in an emergency situation where a fire suddenly breaks out. However, a fire hydrant will only be effective if it regularly maintained. Repair and maintenance of fire hydrants need professional assistance. You will need to rely on the services of a professional plumber, who can deal with plumbing problems on a commercial scale. In case of fire hydrants, Mesa Plumbing Company provides solutions to all the repair and maintenance problems. We have a team of qualified and experienced plumbers who can provide all sorts of commercial plumbing support. From design, excavation, installation, repair, and maintenance, our professional staff is available 24/7 to help identify and solve all concerns related to fire hydrants. To know more about our services, visit our website or call now at 480-832-1660.