How to Conduct Hydrant Flow Testing

photo by Jens Knudsen

NFPA 25, Inspection, Testing, and Maintenance of Water-Based Fire Protection Systems, requires all fire hydrants to be tested and inspected at least annually, and flow tested every 5 years. This applies to all fire hydrants that are on, and within, private property (shopping centers, mall property, parking lots, etc.).

NFPA 25, Table - frequency of inspections for hydrant components

These testing and inspection requirements are the responsibility of the “property owner or designated representative” and must be performed by “qualified personnel”.

NFPA 291, Recommended Practice for Fire Flow Testing and Marking of Hydrants, outlines the proper procedure required to perform the flow test, and the information to be documented.

The required equipment needed for this test is:
  • Flow test kit
  • (2) Hydrant wrenches
  • Hydrant flow test documentation
  • Hydrant number/location map

The flow testing procedure should be conducted, as follows:
  • Position one personnel at the test hydrant, and one at the flow hydrant.
    • Flow hydrant should be located downstream from the test hydrant, or next in line in direction of flow.
  • Attach gauge to test hydrant.
  • Open hydrant; record static pressure reading.
  • Record outlet coefficient size of flow hydrant.
  • Attach pitot gauge to flow hydrant.
  • Open hydrant; record pitot/flow gauge reading (flow for 2 minutes).
  • At test hydrant, record residual pressure reading (should not be less than 20% of flow)
  • Shut down flow hydrant.
  • Shut down test hydrant.
  • Disassemble gauges from hydrant.
  • Hydrant test is now complete.

Document all gauge readings and complete report.

Hyperloop Safety Standard

The Hyperloop is a conceptual high-speed transportation system put forward by entrepreneur Elon Musk. In August 2013 Musk published a 57-page document, Hyperloop Alpha, summarizing his plans for the supersonic Hyperloop that might someday traverse the space between Los Angeles and San Francisco. This report focused on the economics and technology required to build such a system. 

The Hyperloop Alpha document briefly addresses safety and reliability concerns.  The Hyperloop as a new technology has many unique characteristics. These unique traits require specialized knowledge, expertise, and equipment to ensure that this mode of transportation is, indeed, “safer”.

As there does not currently exist a “safety standard” that addresses the Hyperloop mode of transport, it is proposed that a safety standard be created. has started the creation of this document This document is the beginning of this fire protection and life safety standard.  This document outlines specific concerns that should be addressed, and refers to standards that currently exist and can be applied to the Hyperloop.

The Hyperloop Safety Standard is not a fully developed solution. This document is intended to be dynamic. There are safety issues that are currently unforeseen, but will need to be addressed.  This document is intended to be open source so that members of the fire protection, life safety, and emergency services industries can contribute and create a comprehensive safety standard.

Click here to download the current document:  

Click here to to edit and add to the document:  

Our sincere desire is that this safety standard will stimulate discussion and thought on fire protection, life safety, and emergency preparedness features for the future design of the Hyperloop transportation system.