By Mark van der Feyst
Whenever using a hydrant to supply water, we want to ensure that we are receiving the greatest amount of water possible. Hydrants will have either two ports consisting of 2½-inch outlets or three ports consisting of one 5-inch steamer port and two 2½-inch outlets.
The amount of water that can flow out of each port will vary depending upon the amount of water being supplied by the system. One big factor will be friction loss from the type of piping used, bends in the system and restricted openings.
In the photo, you can see a hydrant with three ports being secured for water supply.
The steamer port has a 4-inch gate valve attached to it and one of the 2½-inch ports also has a gate valve attached to it. Coming off the 2½-inch gate valve is the 4-inch supply line being fed by a reducer and another gate valve.
The amount of friction loss being sustained here is considerable and is hurting the whole operation. The supply line should be fed by the larger steamer port to reduce friction loss.
Whenever possible, use the larger port for your water supply and try to limit the number of appliances needed to make the connection.