Fire Hydrant System Five-Yearly Service Schedule AS 1851:2012 (A1)

Australian Standard AS1851:2012 sets out the routine service requirements for an fire hydrant system. The five-yearly service requirements include ten items that are required to be conducted. While the Standard prescribes these items, they are written in no particular order. This article describes these items and a suggested order they should be undertaken.
Russ Porteous
CEO, Firewize
AS1851:2012 A1 - Table 4.4.4 5-Yearly Fire Hydrant System Service Schedule

AS 1851:2012 was published in December 2012 and amended (A1) in 2017 to improve and fix the requirements as previously set out in AS 1851:2005. Table 4.4.4 of the Standard ten items that describe the requirements of the the five-yearly service schedule.

In general terms, these requirements essentially provide for the following;

  1. Test and verify the operation and performance (against a calibrated source) of all of the fire hydrant system pressure gauges; and
  2. Conduct a the service on of ALL valves within the fire hydrant system including  the booster assembly PRIOR to undertaking the hydrostatic pressure test. This requirement exists to help ensure there are no leaks within the fire hydrant system that could adversely affect the outcome of the hydrostatic pressure test; and
  3. Renew each water supply non-return valve seat and gasket; and
  4. Conduct a flow test; and
  5. Conduct a hydrostatic pressure test.

Prior to conducting the fire hydrant system flow and hydrostatic pressure test, Firewize recommends building owners and agents of owners conduct ALL of the requirements set out in the standard and additional requirements to ensure the best possible outcome from conducting the test, and to eliminate the risk from leaks.

Method for conducting a Fire Hydrant System 5-Yearly Service

Fire Hydrant System GPG023a - Table 4.4.4 5-Yearly Service Schedule Flowchart

The flow chart (right) is the Firewize standard method for conducting a successful five yearly service, incorporating the Fire Hydrant System Flow Test and Hydrostatic Pressure Test.  The method seeks to eliminate the risks from failure when conducting this test from water leaks.

Water leaks that occur during a fire hydrant system hydrostatic pressure test can occur at various points within the system such as;

  • Water supply non-return valves; or
  • Booster Assembly; or
  • Stop Valves; or
  • Couplings or Joints; or
  • Hydrant (landing) valves.

The nature of this fire hydrant system hydrostatic pressure test is that the water pressures applied, typically 1.5 times the system design pressure will place all components of the system under excessive duress.  This is to ensure the system is capable of working under real life situations. (i.e., when the fire brigade attends the site and uses the system as intended to fight a fire).

Leaks common in a fire hydrant system system can cause a failure for multiple reasons;

  1. The system is unable to maintain a static pressure for the required duration because of a leak back into the town's main;
  2. The system has a leak because of a failure of a coupling, valve, gland or breach or catastrophic failure in the structural integrity of a pipe;
  3. A leak in a gasket from a fire hydrant landing valve.

Prior to conducting the fire hydrant system hydrostatic pressure test and flow test we recommend that the checklist outlined on Page 3 of the Firewize Good Practice Guide (GPG023) that covers the maintenance requirements for fire hydrant systems and valves be completed in consultation with the Building Owner or the Agent of the Owner such as a property manager or facility manager.

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