Fire Hydrants, Don’t Park There!

I’ve been performing leak detection on a job in Martin, Kentucky where there was a 10,000 gallon/day water leak on a 6″ PVC combined domestic/ fire line, 1,600 feet long. (I’ll talk about how the leak detection went in a different post). We were adding pressure to the system through fire hydrants, which reminded me of an important fact about fire hydrants.

In a hurry? Need to park for just 10-15 minutes? Here’s why you should never park in front of a fire hydrant! Keep in mind, the fire department wasn’t trying to make a statement, they really don’t have any choice with this situation! When the main hose running to the suction side at the pumper fire truck is handling 500-1000 gallons/minute, it extends forward only! (This is for fires with multiple hoses involved. Fire fighting hoses handle roughly 250 gpm/each.) To move it around your car isn’t an option without damaging the hose or the car even more. Consider how out of control a normal water hose flowing at 10 gallons/minute with less than 80psi pressure, flops around.  Imagine what happens when that hose has over to 1000 gallons/minute at 150psi!! Also, don’t expect your insurance company to have mercy!

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Just to show you an example of how much power a hose at 250+ gpm has:

Here’s a link to funny youtube video of a fireman at a firehose rodeo!

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