Fire Hydrant/Private Service Main Testing

Regular fire hydrant inspection and testing is an important part of sustaining your company’s fire extinguishing systems.

Properly maintained hydrants assist firefighters in suppressing flames while ensuring life and property safety for your business. Some other benefits of routine inspections and testing are:

  • Lower insurance premiums

  • Meet local/state code compliance

  • Peace of mind your hydrant works when needed

  • Reduce liability and property damage risk

Patriot Fire Protection is licensed by the State of Georgia to inspect, test, and maintain hydrants and private service water mains in Metro Atlanta and throughout Georgia. We can certify that your firefighting systems and equipment are in ideal working order and meet compliance standards.

Common Types of Fire Hydrants

Hydrants provide firefighters with above-ground connections to water sources. The American Water Works Association (AWWA) governs the general standards for size, outlet quantity, number of valves, operating pressure, and other requirements.

A water supply may be pressurized or unpressurized. Hydrants linked to water mains buried in the street are pressurized. Hydrants connected to nearby ponds, lakes, or reservoirs are unpressurized.

There are two common categories of hydrants

Wet Barrel Hydrant

This type is connected directly to the pressurized water source. The upper standpipe section, or barrel, is always filled with water. Each outlet has its own valve with a stem extending from the barrel’s side.

Dry Barrel Hydrant

Typically used in areas with below freezing winter temperatures, this type is separated from the pressurized water source by a main valve below ground. The upper section remains dry until the main valve is opened and pressurized via a long stem extending through the bonnet. When the valve is closed, the barrel drains. There are no valves on the outlets, but some dry hydrants have 1/4-inch outlets for pressure gauges. Unpressurized hydrants are always created in a dry barrel design.

The AWWA and National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recommend color coding them based on water flow capacity for fast identification. Designated colors used on the cap, bonnet, and barrel or upper stand pipe indicate to firefighters the available gallons per minute (GPMs).


Why Conduct Fire Hydrant Flow Tests?

We conduct hydrant flow tests for a variety of reasons like measuring water distribution conditions and flow availability data. These tests are also crucial to the correct design of sprinkler systems and piping needed for commercial, industrial, and residential buildings.

Flow tests provide important measurements used in fire prevention and containment such as:

  • Residual (flowing) pressure

  • Static (non-flowing) pressure

Main capacity tests check water supply availability in the water main and are helpful in the design of sprinkler systems. Hydrant capacity tests gauge the available flow rate to ensure the device will perform as expected when needed most.

NFPA 291 provides direction on testing to determine available water flow and identify possible defects to fix. Consistent maintenance promotes increased efficiency for firefighters and reduction in property damage.

Let one of our experience professionals provide a free fire safety consultation!

Fire Hydrants Require Regular Inspections

NFPA code standards require hydrants to be inspected and tested on a routine basis. This assures that defects are repaired as soon as possible, and device operation can be relied on in an emergency.

Some issues that may inhibit the hydrant’s function are:

  • Accidental damage from vehicles

  • Closed or obstructed valves

  • Corrosion/rust

  • Mechanical malfunction

During inspection and testing, an expert technician should complete a thorough checklist of items including but not limited to:

  • Accessibility & visibility

  • Correct above-ground height

  • Cracked or missing caps

  • Leaky or inoperable nozzles, gaskets, valves

  • Obstructions

  • Paint condition and color coding

  • Placement on water district maps

  • Plumb alignment

  • Proper drainage following use

  • Water flow using a pressure gauge

The technician should record all issues and repairs along with the static pressure reading, date, and time. The documentation must then be filed with the appropriate local authorities.

Contact Us for Fire Hydrant & Private Service Main Testing

Contact Patriot Fire Protection today for state-certified inspection and testing of your hydrant or private service main. We look forward to helping you with an affordable maintenance plan that meets code requirements.