Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you had a faulty hydrant wrench and didn’t have a backup? Or perhaps you simply didn’t have a good, quality hydrant wrench to begin with? Maybe you thought you had the right tool for the job, but it turned out you didn’t. This article will help you determine the essential fire hydrant tools that will ensure you’re prepared when the time comes.
So what are the essential hydrant tools? Although the answer may seem obvious to many of you, because these tools are so critical to firefighters and the job at hand, it’s never a bad idea to go over the basics again and refresh our brains so that we’re prepared and stay ahead of the game.
It all starts with a hydrant wrench, a critical tool for firefighters to have when on a call.
As you may be aware, a hydrant wrench is used to remove fire hydrant caps and open the valves on a hydrant. Most wrenches are adjustable so that they can be set to fit the different sized hydrant nuts that you may encounter.
When selecting a hydrant wrench, look for one that offers both function and reliability. You must be able to trust that when you absolutely must have a wrench that will get the job done, you indeed have it.
Look for a wrench with a longer handle so that you can get good leverage on it, especially for dealing with stubborn, hard-to-remove hydrant nuts. Along those same lines, look for one with a comfortable grip so that you can avoid injuries to your hands.
Other wrench characteristics to consider include convenience and ease of carry. You’ll also want a wrench with versatility, one that can fit a wide range of rocker lug or pin lug fittings. A good range is anywhere from ¾” to 6”.
Additionally, you may want to carry a spanner wrench, used for tightening hose coupling connections so that they don’t leak.
Here at CHIEF Supply, we have an array of top-quality hydrant wrenches from trusted brands. Let’s take a look at several different options.
Kochek Adjustable Hydrant Wrench Double Head Spanner
Kochek is a highly respected brand that creates heavy-duty, reliable products. This wrench fits Pentagon head up to 1 7/8” and square heads up to 1 ½”, while the double hook spanner head fits the coveted range of ¾” to 6” rocket lug or pin lugs.
Kochek Triple Holder Set w/Hydrant Wrench and Spanner Wrenches
This Kochek wrench set takes it up a notch, with a K07 Adjustable Hydrant Wrench Single Head Spanner, as well as two K01 Universal Spanner Wrenches. And it comes with a convenient K48 Triple Wrench Holder to easily store your wrenches.
Akron Brass Folding Pocket Spanner Wrench
Those looking for an easy-to-carry pocket wrench need look no further. This one from Akron Brass fits all ¾” to 3” rocker lug and pin lug couplings. It’s compact and folds up to make it easy to carry with you in your pocket, weighing in at only 8 oz.
When connecting the suction hose to a hydrant’s steamer outlet, a hydrant hammer is used to strike the lugs of the suction hose. Our hammer from Kochek features a rubber mallet and an easy-to-grip handle, making it simple to use in any situation.
Pitot Gauge for Flow Testing
Regular hydrant flow testing is required by local authorities to ensure proper water flow pressure of hydrants so that they are prepared for emergencies. Every department must have an accurate way to measure straight tip or hydrant flow pressures and determine the actual PSI (pounds per square inch) of pressure. That PSI reading can then be converted into GPM (gallons per minute) by referring to a chart so that departments know whether they are in good shape when the need arises, or whether there is indeed an issue with the hydrant and the water flow pressure so that it can be corrected immediately.
The Pitot Gauge from Akron Brass comes with a Pitot Blade with numbered increments to help ensure the most accurate reading possible. It’s crafted from stainless steel and comes with a heavy-duty carrying case to help protect this valuable piece of equipment.
Other Hydrant Tools
In an emergency, time is of the essence, so it’s critical that firefighters are able to see and locate a hydrant quickly and easily. That’s where hydrant marker comes into play. It’s placed near the fire hydrant so that firefighters can see where the hydrant is, and is visible from up to 1,000 feet away.
This one from Astro Physics is made of high-impact, traffic bearing plastic so it’s durable in any conditions.
You’ll need a convenient means to store and carry your hydrant tools, therefore a hydrant tool bag makes sense. Here you can store your wrenches, hammer, and any other tools you have.
This tool bag from R&B Fabrications is waterproof and easily attaches to the hydrant end of the hose so that your tools are within reach when you require them. Its bright yellow color ensures it’s easy to find in difficult conditions.
Remember, you want to make sure the tools you’re using and relying on are of the best quality and can be trusted to perform under pressure. Take some time to inspect your current setup. If you can’t be 100% certain that you have the proper devices, and ones that will get the job done, it’s time to upgrade your equipment so your firefighters have exactly what they need when an emergency arises.