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Fire Hydrant and Water Main Valve Inspections and Maintenance

Ontario Fire Code Print E-mail

Excerpt from the Ontario Fire Code (O.Reg 388/97)


Subsection 6.6.1. General

6.6.1.1. Private and public water supplies for fire protection installations shall be maintained to provide the required flow under fire conditions.

Valve inspections

6.6.1.2. Valves controlling water supplies used exclusively for fire protection systems shall be inspected weekly to ensure that they are wide open and are sealed or locked in that position.

Subsection 6.6.4. Hydrants

Hydrants

6.6.4.1. Municipal and private hydrants shall be maintained in operating condition.
6.6.4.2. Hydrants shall be maintained free of snow and ice accumulations.
6.6.4.3. Hydrants shall be readily available and unobstructed for use at all times.

Subsection 6.6.5. Inspection of Hydrants

6.6.5.1. Hydrants shall be inspected annually and after each use in accordance with Articles 6.6.5.2. to 6.6.5.5.
6.6.5.2.(1) Except when in use or being inspected in accordance with Sentence (2), hydrants shall be equipped with port caps that are secured wrench tight.
(2) The port caps shall be removed and the connections inspected for wear, rust or obstructions that in any way hamper easy removal and corrective action shall be taken as needed.
(3) If the caps are missing, the hydrant shall be examined for obstructions or accumulated refuse and flushed in accordance with Article 6.6.5.7. and the port caps shall be re-installed.
6.6.5.3. The hydrant barrel shall be inspected to ensure that no water has accumulated within the barrel when the main valve is in the closed position.
6.6.5.4. Where the hydrant barrel is found to contain water under Article 6.6.5.3., the drain valve shall be inspected for operation.
6.6.5.5. If the hydrant barrel is found to contain water because of poor drainage that is impractical to correct, approved measures shall be taken to prevent freezing during winter conditions.

Hydrant water flow

6.6.5.6. Hydrant water flow shall be inspected annually in accordance with Article 6.6.5.7.
6.6.5.7. The main valve of the hydrant shall be fully opened and the hydrant operated with one port open and the water flow checked.
6.6.5.8. A record of the hydrant operation as described in Article 6.6.5.7. shall be kept in conformance with Article 1.1.2.1.

Subsection 6.6.6. Uniform Marking of Hydrants

Hydrant marking

6.6.6.1. Hydrants shall be colour-coded in accordance with NFPA 291, "Fire Flow Testing and Marking of Hydrants".


It is the responsibility of the owner to ensure that the water main valves are inspected on a weekly basis to ensure that the valves are wide open and sealed or locked in that position as per Article 6.6.1.2 and the Ontario Fire Marshal's Office.

According to the Ontario Fire Marshal's Office,

Article 6.6.1.2. apply to all valves that control fire protection water supplies. This includes sectional valves on a hydrant loop. It is not however intended to apply to an isolation valve that controls a single hydrant and is usually located within a few feet of the hydrant.

Although the remaining Articles under Subsection 6.6.1. could apply to hydrants, the more specific requirements provided in Subsection 6.6.4 take precedence.



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