Interviewer: What do you look for when you come out to service a hydrant?
David Munoz: We could always put a hydrant back in service because we know exactly what’s in them. What O rings are missing, what stands, what couplings, or upper rods, as examples. We know exactly what they need when they have to go back together.
A Specialized Repair Company, Such as Hydra Contracting, Can Perform More In-Depth Troubleshooting to Avoid a Costly Replacement
Most of the time when a plumber looks at them, they’ll see them weeping at the bottom of the base. They’ll be wet right around the base of the hydrant and the first thing they think is there’s a pipe broken below. What they’ll do is actually dig it up and find out that there’s water seeping at the bottom of the shoe.
At that point they tell the customer, “Well, this hydrants no good. We have to cut it out.” They give them a price. The customers will say, “This is pretty high price.”
All of a sudden we get a call. We go out there, take a look at it, and I said, “They’re supposed to weep this way. This is what tells you that the hydrant has gone bad. All you need is a repair on the hydrant.”
Hydrants weep because they’re telling you that it can’t shut down, so the water will constantly drain. They’re designed to do that.
Due to Budget Reductions, Some Municipalities Can No Longer Staff Trained Employees to Maintain Hydrants
Interviewer: Do you see that companies or municipalities try to work on the hydrants themselves before they call a specialized company such as Hydra?
David Munoz: Mostly municipalities have their employees trained to work on them, so they perform their own hydrant maintenance and repair because they know how. It’s a rare skill. I’ll be honest with you. There are not too many people that know how to work on them.
Mostly municipalities, like I said, they do train their employees to do it. Then you get some of them that don’t have the staffing because of the recession and they laid a lot of people off or a lot of them retired, and are looking for companies like us to work on their hydrants because they know that we’re experienced and they know that we’ve done it.
Hydra Contracting Has a Combined Total of Over 60 Years’ Experience in the Industry
I’ve been working in this industry for over 30 years. Then I have a couple other employees who’ve been doing it for at least that long as well. We have a total of over 60 years’ experience on a hydrant repair and maintenance.
Maintaining Hydrants Is Not a Do-It-Yourself Project
Interviewer: How complicated are the hydrants to work on? Does it take a lot of training to do it or are they pretty simple?
David Munoz: They’re not very complicated, but it’s not something that I recommend anybody to touch unless they know what they’re doing because it could cost a life. If you don’t repair it right and it doesn’t function the way it’s supposed to function, at the time of a fire it can be critical, so you have to really know what you’re doing.