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Thursday, April 28, 2011


This may come as a shock to some of you, as it did me, but did you know that fire hydrants are not all red?

red fire hydrant
I must admit I have noticed before that some have green tops, and other colors, but I never knew the significance behind it. I always figured they just ran out of red paint or red tops.

A couple weeks ago my friend was reading a book with her son, and found out the reason behind all the different color tops. I found it very fascinating, and have since then been studying all the fire hydrants as I drive by.

It's even turned into a game with me and my children. We all like to point out the different tops that we see. I have found the most common color to be green, and red to actually be one of the more uncommon.

The lid color is made different to allow firefighters to quickly know how fast the water flows out of the hydrant.

The blue lid signifies the fastest flow rate at 1500 gallons per minute, or higher.

blue top fire hydrant
The green lid signifies the next fastest flow rate between 1000 gallons per minute to 1499 gallons per minute.

green top fire hydrant
The orange lid signifies a flow rate between 500 to 999 gallons per minute.

orange top fire hydrant
The red lid signifies the slowest flow rate under 500 gallons per minute.

red top fire hydrant
-*Amendment*- I recently spotted a white topped fire hydrant and was especially interested to find out what it stands for.

A white or purple top indicates that the hydrant provides non-potable water. (You can't drink it)

white top fire hydrant
If you're like me, you'll never look at a fire hydrant the same again!

1 comment:

  1. Interesting! All of the hydrants here are yellow. No red ones or any other colors. I wonder what that means. I live in Gilbert, AZ (near Phoenix)



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