When I lived in the eastern part of Massachusetts, I noticed that pretty much all of the fire hydrants were red. I mean, I think if you ask a group of random people what color a fire hydrant is, most would say "red".

But, Not All Fire Hydrants Are Red. In Fact, Some Are Two Colors.

I had a neighbor recently ask me if she could paint the fire hydrant outside her house whatever she wanted. I was like, yeah, I don't think so! First off, I would never want to mess around with something that was so utterly life saving in nature.

Where we live in the western part of the State of Massachusetts (Pittsfield), they're yellow.


First off, you notice that the ENTIRE hydrant is yellow, the body and the cap. Our neighboring town, though, has solid red hydrants. Pittsfield does have SOME red hydrants, but mostly, they're all yellow. I will explain that in a minute.

Yes, It Absolutely Matters What Color They're Painted And Here's Why...

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has color coded all fire hydrants depending on how many gallons of water they are able to pump out in one minute (GPM).

Dave Abdoo Facebook
Dave Abdoo Facebook
Dave Abdoo Facebook
Dave Abdoo Facebook

Fire hydrant colors matter! It’s all about water flow! Recently, you may have noticed that your local fire hydrant caps have been painted a different color. Here is what each color means in terms of water pressure (gallons per minute - GPM):

Red - less than 500GPM
Orange - 500-1000GPM
Green - 1000-1500GPM
Blue - greater than 1500GPM -Dave Abdoo, former Lawrence, MA city councilor via Facebook, information provided by nfpa.org
Now, the body may be one color, but the top or side caps is what matters. As for a solid yellow colored fire hydrant, that can mean that the water is coming from a city water supply. Solid red can mean private. Not EVERY city or town sticks strictly to NFPA code, but most do.
I hope you found this post informative.

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Gallery Credit: Dom DiFurio & Jacob Osborn

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