How Fire Hydrants Operate

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You see fire hydrants every day. They’re all over the place and for good reason. Fire hydrants are an important part of fire prevention. But how do these invaluable pieces of equipment work? This video explains the basics of how fire hydrants work.

Fire hydrants are connected to a main potable water line, just like the sinks in your home. Hydrants are just valves – they do not alter the pressure of the water that comes out. That is what the firefighter’s hose is used for.

In the US there are two types of fire hydrants. A wet barrel hydrant is used in climates that don’t normally dip below freezing temperatures. The water fills up the entire tank so there is water in the hydrant at all times. The valve to release the water is above ground. They’re easily accessible, easier to install, and more affordable.

Dry barrel hydrants are used in areas where temperatures are expected to dip below freezing during the year. The valve is placed below the frost line, and the nut on the top of the hydrant releases it to fill the tank with water.

For more information on fire hydrants, check out the video in the link above.

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