Why is the base of some US fire hydrants (traditional) at surface or pavement level, while others are several feet above ground?

By traditional, I mean what would be commonly seen in residential or downtown commercial districts and on oil or chemical production facilities. For example, what a member of any US jury would understand a fire hydrant to look like without being instructed



  1. 0 Votes

    “Member of US jury”, eh? You weren’t thinking of supeonaing me if I answer?

    Happily I’m not an expert in this, although I was curious enough to look around a little. I found a lovely site with a multipage article called Designing Water & Hydrant Systems. I’ve cited Part 4, which I believe answers your question at the very bottom. It has pictures of two hydrants: The “famous” wet-barrel hydrant, with smooth sides, and the “famous” dry-barrel hydrant, which has a very visible bolted connection just above ground. (See the second citation for a cross-section diagram. Neat.)

    The dry-barrel is better suited to regions where hard freezing ground is not an issue, and the reason seems to be — at least in part — that the inside valve that opens to the water’s source pipe can be placed underground.

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