Neglecting a fire hydrant is never a good idea. They are a vital lifesaving device that could be needed at a moment’s notice. They should be kept fully functional at all times in order to perform optimally.
Ideally, a fire hydrant should be checked two times a year, preferably in the spring and fall. Caps should be checked to make sure they can be removed easily when needed. If the paint is flaking or peeling off, then the hydrant should be repainted to protect it from the elements. Chains should not be rusty and should let the nozzle cap move easily. If opening the fire hydrant, then check to see if lubricant should be used. If the oil is needed, use the designated oil or its equivalent only. Do not use the wrong type of oil on a hydrant.
Use the proper tools, such as a hydrant operating wrench, to open the hydrant. The valve maintenance system should be working correctly. When opening, do not go too quickly and be aware of anyone or anything that could be harmed by the water flow. Once it has reached the fully open position do not try to pry it open any further, as that can damage the internal parts. Allow the water to stream out until it runs clear and there is no debris coming out along with the water flow. Use a diffuser as needed to avoid causing damage to people, animals or property. Close the hydrant slowly, as a water hammer could be formed unintentionally and cause a lot of damage to the water main.
Inspecting a fire hydrant can be dangerous and should only be done by a professional who has had the proper training in order to minimize accidents. Checking the hydrants is an important task that should not be forgotten about among the routine of daily activities.