THE HERCULES FIRE HYERANT.
The tendency to construct hydrants that are easily operated, cause least difficulty in repair and the minimum amount of friction as well as trouble in opening rapidly, and protect the mains from waterhammer seems to occupy the attention of manufacturers as it did years ago. This goes to show that further improvements are possible in this important waterworks appliance, and whether new features in construction along the above lines may be considered such by those who use large quantities of hydrants or not depends entirely upon the individual judgment of those who use them. With the installation of high-pressure water fire services, the requirements for hydrants are very severe and demand special specifications for them, varying in footpounds pressure as the occasion demands. For ordinary fire and domestic use a new pattern hydrant has been placed on the market, with claims of quick closing and prevention of water hammer which must attract attention. The new comer is called the “Hercules Quick-Opening. Anti-Water Hammer Compression Fire Hydrant,” and has just been patented by the Holyoke Valve and Hydrant company, of Holyoke, Mass. The following Figs. 1 and 2 show the working parts of the Hercules fire hydrant A, main valve; B, bronze disk valve; C, bronze drip; D, bronze valve screw; E, valve rod. F, bronze rod socket; G, packing; H, bronze valve-seat; 1. bronze gland nut; K. bronze drip-slide; L, bronze valve-stem and guide; M, bronze stuffing-box; N, bronze rod nut; O, bronze nozzle; P, frost case; R, nozzle cap. The freezing of the hydrant is one of the greatest troubles. Workers round a mill or street require so small a portion of water for their purpose that this will open the valve only so far as to obtain the amount of water required—ordinarily not enough to close the drip—-so that the water rushes out of the opening into the ground, stirring up all the loose dirt and gravel round the hydrant, and thus, when the force of water is stopped, small particles settle into the drip-hole, clogging it up so that it is impossible to drain the hydrant. This has been obviated by a positive quickdosing valve C. One turn of the wrench is sufficient to close the drip on this valve whilst opening the main valve, and it remains closed until the last turn of the wrench in closing that main valve, when it immediately opens and allows the water to drain thoroughly from the body of the hydrant, so that there is positively no chance whatever of having a frozen hydrant. The parts of this drip-valve are bronze, making them non-corrosive, and the valve is so designed that it is practically impossible to get out of working order. The screw D which operates the valves is placed at the bottom of the hydrant, thereby avoiding any liability of its freezing, as is the case when the screw is placed on the top. The valve rod E is made in a separate piece from the screw D, and rests in a socket at F, so that, should the standpipe be broken off by any accident, the rod would fail out of the socket and the hydrant would remain closed, allowing repairs to be made, without shutting off the water at the main. The valve rod can easily he packed by simply removing one nut I; the packing G can then be easily replaced. This packing-box is made entirely of composition, so that the packing cannot harden by rust. The main valve A has a removeable face. The valve seat H is bronze. Sediment between the two faces cannot scratch or cause leaks. With the Hercules hydrant a frost-case is entirely unnecessary, and is, therefore, a useless expense. But it can be furnished, if desired. Fig. 3 shows the hydrant, with standpipe screwed to bowl, instead of bolted flanges. This style allows of the whole working parts of the hydrant being removed for inspection or repairs, without digging up the ground. In Fig. 4 is shown design No. 3, with flanges above the ground, so that the nozzles can readily he placed in any desired direction. The hydrants may be furnished as desired, with flanges above or below ground, with standpipe screwed to bowl or, with standpipe connected to bowl with bolted flanges. All who arc familiar with hydrant construction realise that, on account of the limited space in the head of a hydrant, it is impossible to construct an inside independent valve for each nozzle that will be strong enough to stand the rough usage which it is liable to receive at a fire. Fig. 5 shows an outside valve, which is placed at each outlet, instead of the regular bronze nozzle. It insures a solid stream of water through the nozzles when the nozzle valve is open, there being no wedging device projecting into the waterway. With hydrants having this valve attached, the stream for each nozzle is under perfect control, as with a single line of hose in play. Additional hose connections can be made, without closing the main gate of the hydrant, or shutting-off line being used, by simply closing the nozzle valve of the nozzle to which the additional line is to be attached and removing the nozzle cap, when coupling can then be made. One of the principal features of the hydrant is that it can be opened very quickly— taking only ten turns of the wrench for this purpose. The application of the double valve prevents all possibility of any water-hammer. There are two valves, a main valve A and a disk valve B. These valves work on the same stem, but have threads cut on different pitches, so that, in closing, the disk valve B rises more rapidly than the main valve A throttling the water, while the main valve is still clear of the seat, thereby stopping all possibility of water hammer. The water areas are designed especially large, so as to cause the least possible amount of friction, and so that they shall deliver more water than any other hydrant of the same size. There are no sharp angles at any point of the hydrant. care being taken that the water shall flow in an even, steady stream. These points are especially noticeable in the bowl or valve-pot, which is a perfect sphere, and in the large rounded corners of the hose nozzles. It is impossible to clog the valve with stones, as it is formed at such an angle that stones would immediately roll off, should they ever be washed in there or by other means set on the top of the valve.