Fill poool from fire hydrant

jimmcg29

LifeTime Supporter
Mar 21, 2009
22
Lower West Michigan
Last year I filled my pool from a fire hydrant and that worked great. I had to rent the hoses. Unfortunatly I need to have some work done on the main drain again this year. Rather than renting hoses again I would like to buy my own. Does anybody know where you can buy something like that. I don't see them at any of the big box stores.
 

TizMe

LifeTime Supporter
Aug 26, 2007
920
Covington, Georgia
I was thinking the same thing FPM. I am even surprised there are places out there that rent hoses that can attach to hydrants like that ... there is some awful water pressure comes out of that thing when its opened up :!:

Welcome btw :wave:
 

JasonLion

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
May 7, 2007
37,880
Silver Spring, MD
In many areas you can hire the fire department to come out and fill your pool. In many other places it is not allowed at all. I have never heard of a place where you are allowed to draw water without explicit permission.

The fire department needs to flush out the lines anyway, so it is often good for them to have somewhere useful to put the water. The counter point is that you sometimes get all the sediment that they flush out in your pool.
 

257WbyMag

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Feb 23, 2008
5,061
Denton, TX
The counter point is that you sometimes get all the sediment that they flush out in your pool.
Much of this is rust that has accumulated from the water sitting in the pipe for so long. Can't be good to add all that iron to the pool.

I'll bet that will fill up a pool in pretty short order though.
 

257WbyMag

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Feb 23, 2008
5,061
Denton, TX
I'm willing to bet that it isn't legal since the hydrant and the water technically belong to the city, MUD, or other governmental entity. Best to contact the fire department to make things alright. They might oblige or charge a nominal fee to do it.

We own some ranch property here in Texas and have a little cabin out there with a 1500 gallon tank for water to run the faucet on the inside. About yearly, I can get the volunteer FD to come out there with a drop tank and fill it for about $20 in the form of a donation to the VFD. You might be able to work something out along those lines.

Running a hydrant involves some peculiar knowledge. One thing that I know is that unless the hydrant is fully opened, water will leak out around the valve and if left only partially opened for a period of time, the ground around the hydrant becomes quickly saturated which can cause the soil to shift and the water line going to the hydrant to break. With fire hydrants, it should either be all the way on or all the way off.
 

traylor1974

New member
Mar 27, 2009
3
I am a professional firefighter in a large city. Our Water company is owned by a German corporation. Our Fire Department has unlimited hydrant use for fires and training. Just tapping in to fill a pool would be a huge no-no. Someone/ones would be terminated. I am not sure how things work for a government owned water supply, but someone has to pay for the water. It would be a very quick way to fill. In our area a good hydrant can supply over 1500 gpm.
 

frustratedpoolmom

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
In The Industry
May 20, 2007
12,226
SWSuburban Chicago, IL
Our water company is owned by that same German company...Ours has the name "American" in it....gotta love it. Anyway, you could be lynched around here for opening a hydrant....by the residents who have to pay for the "lost" water (i.e. water that cannot be accounted for LOL) Water is a money making business in these here parts.... :p
 

Malcolm

LifeTime Supporter
Aug 13, 2008
13
Glen Ellen, California
Filling from a fire hydrant is regularly done legally in our area. You go to the water department, they give you a meter that gets hooked to the hydrant, send out a technician to flush the hydrant and bill you for the amount of water used. That's the way mine was filled last year.
 

heatmisr

LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2007
299
Northern NJ
When I needed my pool filled last year, my water company suggested they could arrange a fill from a fire hydrant. I didnt' follow up on it because I thought it might be too expensive, so I used my hose. Probably should have done it since I am paying for it now through the water bill and sewer bill.
 

jimmcg29

LifeTime Supporter
Mar 21, 2009
22
Lower West Michigan
Yes it is legal where I live. I rent a connection thingy from the city. Costs me $50 a week for all the water I need. Normally costs over $300 to do it with a hose. So I save $2-300 dollars which I think would pay for the hoses. The other advantage is it does fill a 20x40 pool within a day. I flush the water down the street until it is clear. The only thing I do that is close to being dishonest is I tell the hose rental company that I am not crossing the street when I actully am. It is not a very busy street and very short so it is easy to go around. That is one of the big reasons I want my own hose so if something does happen to it I don't have to explain myself I just buy another one. That is what I have job for.
 

aaronp

Active member
Aug 28, 2008
40
Ask your local Fire Department.
Every year they are supposed to pressure test each and every piece of hose that they own. Sometimes hoses that are a little leaky or have funny buldges fail the test. If you aren't putting them under pressure or otherwise torturing them too bad, they might work for you. Offer to buy the Fire Department's rejects (as long as they don't hack them up - which some do).
You'll want 2.5 inch or 3 inch hose.
If they are a Volunteer Fire Department, offer a donation. With municipal Department's, ask if there is a burn foundation or other charity you can donate to on their behalf.
Failing all that, ask them where they buy their hose.
 

jimmcg29

LifeTime Supporter
Mar 21, 2009
22
Lower West Michigan
Thank you very much. That should at least get me looking in the right direction. I do have some time before I will need it. I am planning ahead which is unusual for me. Would you happen to know how much Psi I would need. I don't have a shut off valve at the end my only concern is I can see some one drive over it and the hose burst and start whiping around while I am trying to turn it off at the hydrant. If you don't know I cancheck with the city. I need to make sure I have the correct fittings. Again thank you everyone.

Jim
 

waste

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Mar 29, 2007
4,160
Coastalish 'down easter'
Jim, welcome to TFP!!

Now that the legality of it is covered :roll: Let's talk hoses, technique and preserving the hose in the street.

If you want to buy the hose locally, try the local gas power equipment retailer - they'll probably sell 'mud hogs' (BIG pumps that have 2 - 6" output) - if they have the mud hogs, they'll have the hoses :wink:

What kind of pool do you have? (I'm assuming it's plaster finish but...) If it's a liner pool direct the flow to bounce off a deep end panel before hitting the bottom until there's ~ 3' of water in the hopper, then direct it into the water in the hopper (this will keep the liner from wrinkling from the force of the flow). If it's plaster direct the flow wherever you want/ is easiest **DON'T USE A TRUCK NOR HYDRANT ON FRESH PLASTER!!! :hammer: **

As for the hose where it crosses the street, simplicity itself :mrgreen: Obtain, legally of course, 6 2 X 4's, secure two pairs of them one atop the other and place those on either side of the hose where cars will pass over the hose. Place the other 2 loose boards to the outside of them - this makes a 'ramp' that will keep the hose from getting crushed/ fully pinched off while still being gentle enough on tires :angel:

I'm VERY glad to see you've become a lifetime member!! :goodjob: The advice here may be free, but site upkeep does cost $$. Heck, this post alone has gotta be worth the price of admission :p :lol:

Hope all goes well with both the MD and the hoses/ fill!