Kongsberg Esco AS --- Kongsberg, Norway

Kongsberg Esco AS has a long history as a valve manufacturer. The company was founded in 1877 as E. Sunde & Co. Ltd., in Kristiania (Oslo) as an import company. By 1891 they had started to produce their own waterworks products. In 1947 the name of their production division was changed to Esco Armaturfabrikk AS, and in 1964 the company moved it's manufacturing to Kongsberg. The company was sold in 1979 to a Swedish firm, Tour & Anderson AB, becoming TA Esco AS. In 1997 the company became part of Danfoss AS of Denmark, and was renamed Danfoss Esco AS. On January 1 of 2007, the company's Norwegian management purchased the company, incorporating under the current name Kongsberg Esco AS.

Kongsberg Esco AS manufactures the unique hydrants shown on this page. This hydrant design has long been in production. As is the custom in many northern European countries, Norway's hydrants were mainly of the underground type for freeze protection from the long cold winter temperatures. While that is effective for preventing freezing of the mainvalve, underground hydrants are also inconvenient to find and gain access to during a fire emergency, especially during heavy snow accumulations, so a better snow country design was desired. In the 1930's, the company, in cooperation with Norwegian fire brigades and insurance companies came up with the design presented in the photos below.

Patented in 1937, the Esco hydrant stands 1.1 meters tall. The depth of bury is produced in a variety of lengths, as required. The twin independently valved outlets are angled downward to facilitate hose connections, and the clam-shell design provides tamper-resistance; this feature apparently predates by many decades similar hydrant designs where the outlets are protected by an enclosure. By design, the cover of the Esco hydrant cannot be closed unless the mainvalve is first shut.

Most of these hydrants are produced for the domestic Norwegian market, but they are also sold in other countries with cold and snowy climates. Warm climate configurations of this hydrant have also been produced; for example, about 120 of these units were shipped to Cuba in the early 1980s.

History source: Kongsberg Esco AS website

  ESCO S-0700

  • 2409
    Nozzles: 2x 2.5"
    independently valved
    Note: Current model

    Photo courtesy Kongsberg Esco AS

    Nozzles: 2x 2.5"
    independently valved
    Note: Danfoss era hydrant

    Photo courtesy Kongsberg Esco AS

    The open cover on this Esco hydrant reveals the central mainvalve operating nut as well as the twin independently valved Storz outlets.

    Photo courtesy Bjørn Otto Aarheim

      Bergen Norway spec
    This decorative model is made only for the city of Bergen. In the past, other makers produced this hydrant. Today Kongsberg Esco AS is the sole manufacturer.

    photo of custom Esco hydrant
    photo of Bergen city crest on casting of hydrant photo of Bergen city 4 outlet hydrant
    Nozzles: 2x 65mm
    Date: ????
    Photo courtesy Bjørn Otto Aarheim
    Bergen City Crest

    Photo courtesy
    Bjørn Otto Aarheim

    Nozzles: 4x 65mm
    Date: ????
    Photo courtesy Bjørn Otto Aarheim

    Kongsberg Esco AS

    Gamle Gomsrudvei 40  
    Postboks 85  
    3602 Kongsberg, NORWAY
    Tel. 926 45 700   Fax: 32 73 29 99

    See also
    Hydrants of Bergen

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