But it is not just municipal authorities who need fire hydrants. Large apartment complexes, builders and promoters are some other areas in the private enterprise where fire hydrants are required. But how does one buy a fire hydrant? While there are a number of fire hydrant systems manufacturers to choose from, one should make this selection carefully. One should also understand a fire hydrant system before investing in it.
Here are some tips on picking the right fire hydrant:
- Type Of Hydrant
Decide on the toe of hydrant you want. There are mainly two types of hydrants — wet and dry. Most manufacturers will have both. But you need to decide beforehand you need.
- Wet barrel hydrants: This is the hydrant that you mostly see. Part of the hydrant comes out of the ground and this is where we have valves and nozzles. One of the valves ensure that dirt and debris does not go in. These are made of very sturdy material and some have lasted for more than a century! The advantage of wet hydrate is that because these are outside the ground, the nozzle is easy to reach. But because of this wet hydrants are also more susceptible to frost in very cold environments.
- Dry barrel hydrants: The dry barrel’s water line is under the ground and the valve is at the base. This is the valve that controls the water flow. When turned on, it fills up the barrel. The hose is then attached to it. The water drains out when turned off. This also means that the hydrant is not in any danger of freezing since there is no water inside it when not is use. There are three types of dry hydrants that you can get from a fire hydrant systems manufacturer:
- Compression: The main valve here moves on vertical axis at the seat of the hydrant. It closes when it moved towards the seat and opens when it moves away. The valve may also be located below the seat, opening according to the pressure.
- Toggle: The valve here is horizontal. There are left and right hand threads that move the main valve against the seat. The stem can be rotated, moving the arms.
- Side-gate: The main valve has a gate that moves via a threaded stem. The stem is rotated to move the gate.
- Material Used
You must look for a fire hydrant systems manufacturer who only works with heavy duty material like iron bronze, cast or ductile iron. The wet barrel may have an epoxy coating in the interior to minimise corrosion. Valves seats, gaskets and seals may be made of rubber, but the body is always made from heavy metal. This is important given their function and location whether under or overground.
When selecting a hydrant the water pressure is also an important factor, especially if it is high. For water pressure above 150 psig you will need a high pressure fire hydrant. You can also consider high pressure pilot-valve hydrants. These hydrants have a pilot valve that regulates the pressure by controlling the flow of water. It makes the main valve easy to operate and reduces the hydrant vibration.
It is always better to go with a manufacturer who has experience in the field. They will know the challenges about that hydrant systems in a particular area face, the fluctuations in water pressure, the places where it can trip up and where it should be placed. They will also be aware of rules and regulations regarding hydrant system.
- Range of stock
If you are looking for a full fire fighting system, you may want to go for a fire hydrant systems manufacturer who has the whole stock of fire fighting safety equipment. Getting it from one manufacturer reduces the time and effort. You can also negotiate for a better price.