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  • Hydrant cap chains

    A nearby city has decided to remove the chains linking the caps to the body of the hydrant. Their reasoning is sound in that the chains tend to bind after several coats of paint and from rust. Is this a common practice and does NFPA or any other fire code address placement or removal of chains?

    Thanks!

  • #2
    I'm not sure of what standard (if any) would require the use of chains, but they are a pain in the butt sometimes. They definitely do bind up and impede getting the cap off quickly. On a few occassions, I've had them so bad I actually had to cut them myself with a bolt cutter just to get the thing open.

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    • #3
      When we are out doing hydrants or ever come across a chain on a run...we break it. As chauff said, the chain impeeds quick removal of the cap. We also only put the 4" cap (if there is one) back on with only a few turns...same reasoning...when I get to the hydrant, I should only have to give it a quick hand over hand twist and the thing should fall off. I can't speak for the rest of my job, but this is what my company does.
      IACOJ Member

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      • #4
        The chains are there mainly to prevent theft. Steal enough caps and you'll have quite a bit of scrap metal to sell.

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        • #5
          We don't remove chains. They have not been a problem here I suspect because we are rural and hydrants don't get too much abuse from cars and people slamming things into them and bending the chains.

          But Vinnie brings up a good point, a pet peeve of mine., people who wrench the caps down when done with the hydrant.

          I only put caps on hand tight, when they have been rusting away for a year you want to still be able to get them off without jumping on the wrench handle and injuring yourself. But make sure they are on hand "tight" because you don't want unused ones flying off and hitting someone in the kneecaps either.

          Birken

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          • #6
            Ours are all gone.

            PITA, and they hardly help anything. We drop an occasional cap in the snow, but at the end of the call, we have all the time in the world to mess with it.
            Never argue with an Idiot. They drag you down to their level, and then beat you with experience!

            IACOJ

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            • #7
              as a rule we dont take them off ............also they are now replacing hydrants minus the steamer and going right to 5" Stortz thus eliminating the threaded adapter.
              IACOJ both divisions and PROUD OF IT !
              Pardon me sir.. .....but I believe we are all over here !
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              RAY WAS HERE 08/28/05
              LETHA' FOREVA' ! 010607
              I'm sorry, I haven't been paying much attention for the last 3 hours.....what were we discussing?
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              http://www.firehouse.com/forums/show...60#post1137060post 115

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              • #8
                we hate them at my department(the school kids get paid during the summer months to go out and paint the hydrants..and they paint the WHOLE hydrant)..when we used to check our hydrants ourselves around this time of year we'd just whack the chains a few times to break up the paint..but now it's all handled by a private company, wish they'd do the same for shoveling them

                another department in the area keeps a pair of bolt cutters in their hydrant bags everytime they come across chains and the rest is history..water department gets a little hissy
                Last edited by Steeda83; 09-27-2006, 09:18 PM.

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                • #9
                  At my current department and my last dept we always cut the chains when we came across them. They don't prevent theft and once the hydrant is repainted...the chains get very gummy and hard to rotate with the cap.

                  FTM-PTB

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                  • #10
                    I have noticed several places that are now using "aircraft cable" to secure them to the hydrant. Seems like a good comprimise. Anyone have any experince with problems with these?

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                    • #11
                      As others have said, if my company sees them when we do hydrants, we cut them off.
                      I am a complacent liability to the fire service

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                      • #12
                        I tend to break the chains when I find them while hydrant testing. More accurately, they break of their own accord when I open the cap. If they're that easy when I'm testing, I can't imagine it being any hindrance to someone wanting some scrap metal.
                        ullrichk
                        a.k.a.
                        perfesser

                        a ship in a harbor is safe. . . but that's not what ships are for

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                        • #13
                          All of chains have been removed, reason being, they rust then won't spin freely causeing to bind up and make it hard to remove, they freeze up in winter time, making them difficult to remove at times, we're in a small community so we don't have much problems on theft of the caps.

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                          • #14
                            Thank you all for your input and information. It looks like several excellent points of view have been voiced on the issue.

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                            • #15
                              Hate to be the only opposing voice, but here goes. We ensure that all of our hydrants have their chains secured to the cap. When we do hydrant inspections, we make sure that the chains are operable to the point to where they will not hinder the removal of the cap. And, I know it's a freak accident kind of thing, but I have personally seen a steamer port under pressure fly off of the hydrant, striking a firefighter in the leg. (Yes, the cap was on properly, but the bushing failed). I am by no means making any statement as to whether anybody is right of wrong with what they do, I am just saying that this is what we do...
                              Lieutenant/Paramedic

                              PTB-FTM

                              Leather Forever!!!!

                              Semper Fidelis / YAT-YAS

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