HYDRANT FLOW TESTING

TESTING APPLICATIONS: HYDRANT FLOW TESTING

Hydrant flow tests are conducted to determine water availability in planning for firefighting activities, fire sprinkler systems or domestic water demand. The tests are also useful in determining the general condition of the water distribution system by detecting closed valves or wall deposits. A well-maintained water system enables firefighters to extinguish flames and prevent large- scale damage or loss of life.

HOW OFTEN DO I TEST A HYDRANT?

  • AWWA recommends flow testing all areas at least every 10 years. (AWWA M17).
  • NFPA requires flow testing of underground and exposed piping at least once every 5 years (NFPA 25)

WHERE DO I FIND MORE INFORMATION ON HYDRANT FLOW TESTING?

  • NFPA 291 — Recommended practice for fire flow testing and marking of hydrants
  • AWWA Manual 17 — Installation, field testing, and maintenance of fire hydrants
  • The Hose Monster Company Catalog — Section on Fire Flow Testing includes how-to instructions and more
  • Hydrant Flow Test Calculator — Calculates the rated capacity at 20 psi for a fire flow test.
  • FAQs on Hydrant Flow Testing

 

WHAT EQUIPMENT DO I NEED?

  • Hydrant Flow Testing Bundle, Little Hose Monster

    Our recommended setup for hydrant flow testing includes everything you need for performing a hydrant flow test from the 2.5″ Hydrant port with the Little Hose Monster™.  Components fit neatly into a die-cut, closed cell case with wheels and telescoping handle for easy transportation.   A 10′ hose is carried outside the case.

  • Hydrant Flow Testing Bundle, BigBoy Hose Monster

    Our recommended setup for hydrant flow testing through the hydrant pumper port (4.5″ NH) with the BigBoy Hose Monster. This setup is ideal for high-flowing hydrants. Hose is also available with 4″ NH or 5″ STORZ connections

     

HYDRANT FLOW TESTING PROCEDURES:

Single-hydrant flow test

The information derived from this test is used by the fire service to plan for fighting fires. If all hydrants in a system are tested, partially closed valves and other obstructions will become known. This test uses a single hydrant as both the test hydrant and the flow hydrant.

Setup

1. Attach gauge cap.
2. Attach hydrant slow-close gate valve and tighten all other caps.
3. Set the Little Hose Monster™ with Pitotless Nozzle™ in an appropriate location for flowing water.
4. Attach hose to Pitotless Nozzle and Little Hose Monster assembly.
5. Attach Remote Reader assembly and gauge to Pitotless Nozzle.

Conduct the test

1. Slowly open the hydrant using the gauge cap to purge air from the hydrant. Close it when air is vented.
2. Record static pressure from gauge cap.
3. Fully open hydrant gate valve.
4. When the flow-rate stabilizes,
a. Record nozzle pressure from the remote reader.
b. Record the residual pressure reading from the gauge cap.

At this point, the test is complete.

5. Close gate valve, close hydrant. Remove test equipment. Tighten cap. If the hydrant is a dry barrel type, note that water drains properly from the hydrant. Remove Remote Reader and gauge from the Pitotless Nozzle.
6. Record the number of minutes that water was flowing. This can be used to account for the amount of water used during the flow test.

Two-hydrant flow test

A Main Capacity Test evaluates the water supply of the fire main at the location of the test hydrant. The information derived from this test is used by city planners and contractors to consider the water supply for general use and fire sprinkler systems.

Setup
At the test hydrant

(pressure hydrant, static/residual hydrant):
1. Attach gauge cap to test hydrant. Tighten all other caps.
2. Open test hydrant, vent air from hydrant body through the valve on the gauge cap assembly. Close it when air is vented.

At the flow hydrant

1. Set the Little Hose Monster™ with gauge to the Pitotless Nozzle™ in an appropriate location for flowing water.
2. Attach Remote Reader and gauge to the Pitotless Nozzle.
3. Attach hydrant gate valve to the hydrant.
4. Tighten other caps.
5. Attach the hose to the Pitotless Nozzle and Little Hose Monster assembly.

Conduct the test

1. Record static pressure reading from gauge cap. (Test Hydrant)
2. Open flow hydrant fully.
3. When the flow-rate stabilizes,
a. Record nozzle pressure from the remote reader. (Flow Hydrant)
b. Record the residual pressure reading from the gauge cap. (Test Hydrant)

At this point, the test is complete.

4. Slowly close Flow Hydrant. Remove test equipment from hydrant. Replace and tighten cap. If the hydrant is a dry barrel type, note that water drains properly from the hydrant.
5. Record the number of minutes that water was flowing. This can be used to account for the amount of water used during the flow test.

At the test hydrant

6. Close the hydrant. Remove gauge cap and replace hydrant cap. If the hydrant is a dry barrel type, note that water drains properly from the hydrant.

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