August 19, 2009

Long-Lasting Coating Systems for Hydrants

by Tony Ippoliti

sw-fire-hydrantYour fire hydrants can look as good as your water tanks by using the same Outside Coating Systems (OCS) as those found in the AWWA D102 Standard.

Many municipalities hire industrial painting contractors to repaint their hydrants. Often, several dozen hydrants are contracted out in a single bid. Many times these contracts include surface preparation in accordance with SSPC-SP 6, Commercial Blast Cleaning. Commercial Blast Cleaning is the same level of cleanliness that is commonly used on water tank exteriors, and by applying the same OCS found on steel water storage tanks, the long-term color and gloss retention of your hydrants will parallel your community water tanks.

But you may have an additional benefit if you consider applying OCS No. 6, which the use of a corrosion-resistant organic zinc-rich primer. After Commercial Blast Cleaning, applying such a primer – and following with the recommended epoxy and urethane – will not only provide color and gloss retention but also increased corrosion-resistance in northern states where deicing salt-laden snow may lie against hydrants during winter months. In addition, the urethane topcoat, in OCS No. 6, is chip resistant for those hydrants near bus or rail stops.

What if your city doesn’t use contractors but, rather, community service volunteers to paint your hydrants? Fortunately, a safe, easy-to-use, long-lasting system – comprised of a primer and topcoat – is available for this purpose … and it makes use of harmless water as its main “solvent”.

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