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How To Decode a VIN  Prior to understanding how VIN decoding works, it is important to know what it is all about. Yet just 12 of the symbol designs were common across all models.Breakdown firm Britannia Rescue, which commissioned the report, also conducted a survey of 2,018 drivers that revealed more than half of drivers (52 per cent) can correctly identify all 16 of the most common symbols. The company said the number of warnings on dashboards varied dramatically from one make to another and highlighted the Mercedes-Benz E Class for having 41 compared to 21 in a Nissan Micra, BMW 3 Series and Volvo S40. The Britannia Rescue poll found that a quarter of motorists have had one or more warning symbols light up while driving in the past 12 months a€“ most commonly the engine, oil or battery lights. The most baffling light is for a faulty catalytic converter which was incorrectly identified by 95 per cent of drivers.
Next for confusion was the air conditioning light which 86 per cent got wrong, followed by a tyre pressure warning that flummoxed 71 per cent. The majority carry on driving and it takes an average 12 days before they get the problem checked but six per cent admitted they ignored a warning light for more than a month which can be costly.
Drivers who take 14 days to repair their car pay A?200, more than double the A?85 spent by drivers who get cars fixed immediately. The views expressed in the contents above are those of our users and do not necessarily reflect the views of MailOnline. A fire hydrant (also known colloquially as a fire plug in the United States or as a johnny pump in New York City, because the firemen of the late 19th century were called Johnnies[citation needed]), is an active fire protection measure, and a source of water provided in most urban, suburban and rural areas with municipal water service to enable firefighters to tap into the municipal water supply to assist in extinguishing a fire.
The invention of a post or pillar type fire hydrant is generally credited to Frederick Graff Sr., Chief Engineer of the Philadelphia Water Works around the year 1801.
Most fire hydrant valves are not designed to throttle the water flow; they are designed to be operated full-on or full-off. When a firefighter is operating a hydrant, appropriate personal protective equipment, such as gloves and a helmet with face shield, are typically worn.
In most jurisdictions it is illegal to park a car within a certain distance of a fire hydrant. A New York City hydrant hooked to an FDNY fire engine with a turgid hose actively pumping water. To prevent casual use or misuse, the hydrant requires special tools to be opened, usually a large wrench with a pentagon-shaped socket. In most US areas, contractors who need temporary water may purchase permits to use hydrants. Municipal services, such as street sweepers and tank trucks, may also be allowed to use hydrants to fill their water tanks. Since fire hydrants are one of the most accessible parts of a water distribution system, they are often used for attaching pressure gauges or loggers or monitor system water pressure. In Germany, most hydrants are located below ground (Unterflurhydrant) and are accessed by a Standrohr which provides the connections for the hoses.
In areas of the United States without winter snow cover, blue reflectors embedded in the street are used to allow rapid identification of hydrants at night. Painted markers — Usually a white or yellow (sometimes reflective paint) triangle or arrow painted on the road, pointing towards the side of the road the hydrant will be found on.
Hydrant Marker Plates — Found on power poles, fences, or street-signs, these are a comprehensive and effective system of identification.
Below this, a number giving the distance to the hydrant (in meters), then a second number below that giving the size (in millimeters) of the water main. A black line across the center of the plate indicated the hydrant is found on the opposite side of the road to which the plate is affixed. Plates for recycled water have a purple background, as well as the RH code, normal potable hydrants are white, with the H code.
Road reflectors or Cats eyes – Almost exclusively blue, these are placed on the center line of the road, usually with little indication on which side of the road the hydrant lies. In most areas fire hydrants require annual inspections and maintenance — they normally only have a one year warranty, but some have 5 or even 10 year warranties, although the longer warranty does not remove the need for periodic inspections or maintenance.
Some fire hydrant manufacturers recommend lubricating the head mechanism and restoring the head gaskets and O-rings annually in order that the fire hydrant perform the service expected of them, while others have incorporated proprietary features to provide long-term lubrication of the hydrant's operating mechanism. Before the modern fire hydrant, a primitive fire suppression system was to bury a wooden water pipe (often no more than a hollowed out log) along the streets.
In the event of a fire, teams would dig down to the buried wooden water main and auger a hole in the pipe. The version of fire hydrants used today were invented by Birdsill Holly of Lockport, New York for his prodigious contributions to the field of hydraulic engineering in the 19th Century. In rural areas where municipal water systems are not available, dry hydrants are used to supply water for fighting fires. Water wells are also sometimes classified as fire hydrants if they can supply enough water volume and pressure.
Standpipes are connections for firehoses within a building and serve the same purpose as fire hydrants in larger structures.
Buildings near a hydrant may qualify for an insurance discount since firefighters should be able to more rapidly extinguish a fire on the insured property.
This was a time when firefighters responding to a call would dig down to the wooden water mains and hastily bore a hole to secure water to fight fires.

This hose can be further attached to a fire engine, which can then use a powerful pump to boost the water pressure and possibly split it into multiple streams.
The valving arrangement of most dry-barrel hydrants is for the drain valve to be open at anything other than full operation. High pressure water coursing through a potentially aging and corroding hydrant could cause a failure, injuring the firefighter operating the hydrant or bystanders. In North America the distances are commonly 3 to 5 m or 10 to 15 ft, often indicated by yellow or red paint on the curb.
The permit will generally require a hydrant meter, a gate valve and sometimes a clapper valve (if not designed into the hydrant already) to prevent back-flow into the hydrant. Often sewer maintenance trucks need water to flush out sewerage lines, and fill their tanks on site from a hydrant.
Automatic flushing devices are often attached to hydrants to maintain chlorination levels in areas of low usage.
The valve is located below the frost line and connected via a riser to the above-ground portion.
Unlike cold-weather hydrants, it is possible to turn the water supply on and off to each port. Wet barrel hydrant outlets are typically individually controlled, while a single stem operates all the outlets of a dry barrel hydrant simultaneously. In the United States, the AWWA and NFPA recommend hydrants be colored chrome yellow for rapid identification apart from the bonnet and nozzle caps which should be coded according to their available flow. Yellow "H" hydrant signs indicate the location of the hydrants, and are similar to the blue signs in Finland.
In areas with snow cover, tall signs or flags are used so that hydrants can be located even if covered with snow. Most Australian hydrants are underground, being of a ballcock system, and a standpipe with a central plunger is used to open the valve.
These are most common in old areas, or on new roads where more advanced signs have not been installed.
They are visible for several hundred meters at night in heavy rain, further in clear conditions. These inspections are generally performed by the local municipalities but they often do not inspect hydrants that are identified as private. In this case, most hydrants have a special seat wrench that allows removal of the seat to replace the gasket or other broken parts without removing the hydrant from the ground.
When doing so, they often use a hydrant diffuser, a device that diffuses the water so that it doesn't damage property and is less dangerous to bystanders than a solid stream. And out would come the water to fill buckets with the water, and start a bucket brigade to extinguish the fire. While Holly was only one of many involved in the development of the fire hydrant, innovations he introduced are largely responsible for the fire hydrant taken for granted today. The water would fill the hole creating a temporary well, and be transported from the well to the fire via bucket brigades or, later, via hand pumped fire engines.
It is said that Graff held the first patent for a fire hydrant, but this cannot be verified due to the fact that the patent office in Washington D.C. Usage at partial-opening can consequently result in considerable flow directly into the soil surrounding the hydrant, which, over time, can cause severe scouring. Such vandalism can also reduce municipal water pressure and impair firefighters' efforts to extinguish fires.
Additionally, residents who wish to use the hydrant to fill their in-ground swimming pool are commonly permitted to do so provided they pay for the water and agree to allow firefighters to draft from their pool in the case of an emergency.
If necessary, the municipal workers will record the amount of water they used, or use a meter.
Hydrants are also used as an easy above ground access point by leak detection devices to detect locate leak from the sound they make. A valve rod extends from the valve itself up through a seal at the top of the hydrant, where it can be operated with the proper wrench. Thus, wet barrel hydrants allow single outlets to be opened, requiring somewhat more effort but simultaneously allowing more flexibility.
The larger outlet is often a Storz connection if the local fire department has standardized on hose using Storz fittings for large diameter supply line.
Mounted on a small post or nearby wall etc., the two numbers indicate the size of the water main (top number) and the distance from the sign (lower number).
In rural areas tall narrow posts painted with visible colours such as red are attached to the hydrants to allow them to be located during heavy snowfall periods. Private hydrants are usually located on larger properties to adequately protect large buildings in case of a fire and in order to comply with the fire code. Lubrication is generally done with a food grade non-petroleum lubricant to avoid contamination of the distribution system. Hydrant extensions are also available for raising a hydrant if the grade around the hydrant changes.
When they were finished, they would need to hammer a wooden plug into the log to stop the flow of water.

At Holly Manufacturing, he designed machinery for the Lockport water works that allowed water to be pumped under pressure into city mains without a reservoir. A dry hydrant is usually an unpressurized, permanently installed pipe that has one end below the water level of a lake or pond. This is an early wooden bodied hydrant, the earliest hydrant patent extant; the patent office itself burned to the ground in 1836, taking with it all prior hydrant patents.
An early iron hydrant, believed the first patented hydrant with the larger size steamer port to supply steam fire engines.
This is a cast iron hydrant very similar to modern fire hydrants, it was produced by Boston Machine Co.
Birdsill Holly himself makes no claim in his patent text that he invented the fire hydrant. The formal VIN started in 1981 since before that there were different formats used by different manufacturers. The holes were then plugged with stoppers, normally redwood, which over time came to be known as fire plugs. Care should be taken not to open or close a fire hydrant too quickly, as this can create a water hammer which can damage nearby pipes and equipment. A hose with a closed nozzle valve, or fire truck connection, or closed gate valve is always attached to the hydrant prior to opening the hydrant's main valve. Parking restrictions are sometimes ignored (especially in cities where available street parking is scarce), however these laws are usually enforced.
Sometimes those simply seeking to play in the water remove the caps and open the valve, providing residents a place to play and cool off in summer.
This design is known as a "dry barrel" hydrant, in that the barrel, or vertical body of the hydrant, is normally dry. The larger outlet is known as a "steamer" connection (because they were once used to supply steam powered water pumps), and a hydrant with such an outlet may be referred to as a "steamer hydrant" although this usage is becoming archaic. This aids arriving firefighters in determining how much water is available and whether to call for additional resources, or locate another hydrant. Without extending the height, the wrenches to remove caps would not clear and the break flanges for traffic models would not be located correctly in case they were hit. The standardization of the numbers was done to get rid of chances of similar VIN’s appearing. The location of the plug would often be recorded or marked so that it could be reused in future fires.
The water inside a charged hoseline causes it to be very heavy and high water pressure causes it to be stiff and unable to make a tight turn while pressurized. However, this is usually discouraged as residents have been struck by passing automobiles while playing in the street in the water spray. A drain valve underground opens when the water valve is completely closed; this allows all water to drain from the hydrant body to prevent the hydrant from freezing.
Other codings can be and frequently are used, some of greater complexity, incorporating pressure information, others more simplistic. Some companies are contracted out to inspect private fire hydrants unless the municipality has undertaken that task. Hydrant repair kits are also available to repair sacrificial parts designed to break when hit by a vehicle.
Holly's Fire Protection and Water System, an integrated system designed to deliver water under a steady pressure for public safety, brought him worldwide fame in 1863. The digits that are found on car VIN indicate the year the vehicle was manufactured, assembly point, country of origin, model as well as other important details that will prove helpful in its identification. When a fire hydrant is unobstructed, this is not a problem, as there is enough room to adequately position the hose. In spite of this, some US communities provide low flow sprinkler heads to enable residents to use the hydrants to cool off during hot weather, while gaining some control on water usage.
In Ottawa, hydrant colors communicate different messages to firefighters; for example, if the inside of the hydrant is corroded so much that the interior diameter is too narrow for good pressure, it will be painted in a specific scheme to indicate to firefighters to move on to the next one. The system was widely adapted throughout the United States and Canada, and established the standard upon which all current, water distribution systems are based upon. Most fire hydrants in Australia are protected by a silver-coloured cover with a red top, secured to the ground with bolts to protect the hydrant from vandalism and unauthorised use. In many localities, a white or purple top indicates that the hydrant provides non-potable water. This is done by vacuuming the air out of the dry hydrant, hard sleeve, and the fire engine pump with a primer. Because lower pressure exists at the pump intake, atmospheric pressure on the pond or lake forces water into part of the dry hydrant above water, into the hard sleeve, and finally into the pump.

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