Hydrant Testing Protects Homeowners

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The list of preventative measures a homeowner can take to assure the safety of people and property is lengthy, often times obvious and less costly than making repairs or amends after a mishap. Some jobs can be done independently while annual checkups of the furnace, air conditioning and other household mechanicals might best be left to the professionals.

Other tasks are out of your hands entirely and perhaps not even on your property but are likewise important. Take for instance the need for a periodic automated fire flow test on water hydrants near your home. Hydrants not in proper working order can hinder firefighters and cause small fires to turn into life-threatening and costly infernos.

Preventative Measures Save Lives, Property

The National Fire Protection Association standards call for all hydrants to be tested and inspected annually. They are also to be put through an automated fire flow test at least once every five years.

What used to be done via an inexact “eye test” generations ago during which inspectors looked for rusted connections and discoloration – an indicator of problems in the system – is now done with sophisticated equipment measuring water pressure and flow per minute during an automated fire flow test. Modern tools allow engineers to detect closed valves, underground leaks or the buildup of sediment that can leave the hydrant operating at less than maximum efficiency in an emergency.

The automated fire flow test can be conducted in a matter of minutes by taking readings from two nearby hydrants operating on the supply system. The inspection is carried out by just one or two workers.

An additional benefit beyond peace of mind that the hydrant system is being monitored is that the brief flush preceding the test moves loose debris through and out of the system. Again, it contributes to maximum reliability when needed most.