About Wet Barrel Fire Hydrants

Courtesy of Willis Lamm
There are a number of advantages to wet barrel hydrants which is why they are so popular in climates where freezing is not an issue.

They are simple in construction. All the mechanical parts are above ground and easily accessible.

The hydrant can be easily raised or lowered by adding or removing riser sections when final grading in new construction areas is different than originally expected. Thus they can be set to a proper height without expensive modifications.
The valves operate independently so adding a second or third hose line to the hydrant during a fire doesn't require a shut down.

Children can't remove the caps and drop foreign objects down the body.

These hydrants are easy to recondition and place back into service. A 100+ year life expectancy is not unreasonable for those wet barrels that are well constructed. The only reason that 1800s vintage hydrants are not presently being overhauled and returned to service when removed is due to their lead nozzle and valve carrier seats which raise water quality concerns. Thousands, however, still remain in service.

The photo to the left is of the Moraga-Orinda Fire District "Hydrant Shop" where hydrants from the 40s, 50s and 60s are being overhauled for return to service. The "Hydrant Shop" is a project run by the crew of Station 42, B-Shift.

Top Cutaway View
of a Wet Barrel

1 Stem Guide Seal
2 Body
3 Stem
4 Stem O-ring
5 Valve Rubber
6 Retainer
7 O-ring Seat
8 Retaining Nut
9 Cotter Pin
10 Stem Guide O-ring
11 Stem Guide
12 Carrier
13 Valve Seat
14 Cap
15 Cap Washer
16 Chain Ring

Back to Hydrant Information

Legal Disclaimer

Unless otherwise noted, all contents of these WWW pages © 1996-2002, FireHydrant.org