Fire hydrants are of course in place so that they can be used to put out a fire, but how does the city know that they will be in good working order when they are needed? After all, the last thing anybody wants is for a hydrant to essentially fail due to a lack of water pressure. Fortunately, it is relatively easy to determine whether or not a fire hydrant is in good working order with a fire hydrant flow test.
A hydrant flow test is used to determine the availability of high-pressure water that can be used for firefighting activities. This usually means being able to hook a fire hose to a hydrant and use it to put out a house fire, but the same water is also used for sprinkler systems and even for residential water use.
Performing a flow test is much like flushing a fire hydrant in that it involves opening a hydrant and letting the water spray out. The big difference between the two is that a hydrant flush is intended to remove stagnant or polluted water from a public works system, while a flow test is supposed to determine how useful this water system would be in the event of a fire.
A hydrant flow test is completed with a special piece of equipment that measures the water pressure that flows from an open fire hydrant. It is hooked up to the hydrant via a small hose and provides a reading in psi. The company testing the hydrant also checks to make sure that the water flows properly from the hydrant and that it can be opened and closed easily.
Hydrant flow tests are typically completed every ten years. To ensure that a hydrant on your property is tested regularly, contact a company near you that sells hydrant testing equipment or that can perform a test for you.