There are two commonly used fire hydrant types in Malaysia: dry barrels and wet barrels. The wet barrel provides a steady flow of water, whereas the dry barrel requires an air release valve to allow access to water.
A fire hydrant is a connection point for firefighters to tap into a water supply installed in predetermined areas. Fire hydrants must be installed in buildings, roadsides and more to quickly supply firefighters with water to extinguish a fire.
A well-designed fire hydrant system is the foundation of the entire firefighting system. It is one of the oldest but most effective and widespread firefighting solutions in use today.
Read on to learn more about the two fire hydrant types in Malaysia.
What Is A Dry Hydrant?
Dry barrel fire hydrants are installed in areas with frost, where the water supply is below the frost line. They are available in three versions: slide-gate, toggle and compression mechanisms.
As the water valve is deep underground in the hydrant’s base, no water remains in the hydrant’s system after it’s been used. This reduces the risk of freezing and frost damage to the hydrant.
When firefighters need to utilise the dry barrel hydrant, they open a valve on top of the hydrant and insert their hose into it. The drain valve within the hydrant then opens, allowing water to enter, which firefighters use to extinguish the fire.
When conducting repairs for this fire hydrant type, it is essential to check whether there is any water in the hydrant’s base with a plumb line. If moisture appears, it could mean that the hydrant’s drain valve isn’t working correctly, leaving it open to freezing.
What Is A Wet Hydrant?
Wet barrel hydrants, designed with a shut-off device directly at the outflow nozzle for firefighter hose connections, have working lifespans of over 100 years and are installed in areas where freezing isn’t a concern.
With the valve of each outlet operating independently, this fire hydrant type has an advantage over its dry barrel counterpart. It is easy to repair its mechanical parts and make adjustments as they are located aboveground.
What Are The Differences Between A Dry And Wet Barrel Fire Hydrant?
The main differences between a dry barrel and a wet barrel fire hydrant are as the following:
What Are The Uses of Fire Hydrants?
Regardless of the fire hydrant type, they extract water from pipelines and water distribution systems. In a fire, a fire hydrant can supply firefighters with water to suppress the fire.
However, fire hydrants are also great for other purposes like:
- Line Flushing: Due to its high flow capability and easy operation, fire hydrants can swiftly remove sediments from water lines.
- Testing System: Fire hydrants can test the hydraulic capacity of water distribution systems.
- Other common uses: Fire hydrants also serve as a water source for commercial construction work, sewer cleaning, street construction, street cleaning and more.
Choosing the right fire hydrant that meets your needs requires long-term planning and thinking. By working with a trusted fire contractor like Palcon, you can be more confident in your selection as we will help you through the supply, installation and servicing process.