Can You Fill Your Pool With A Fire Hydrant? (the truth)


Plenty of people ask this common question: “Can I use a fire hydrant to fill my pool?” After all, waiting around for the hose to do its job can be unbearable, especially for larger pools. If you want to sink your body into your new pool ASAP, the fire hydrant seems like a viable option. 

Generally, no, you cannot use a fire hydrant to fill a pool. It’s possible to fill a pool using the fire hydrant, but it’s not recommended because:

  • It’s illegal and can lead to hefty fines and jail time (without approval)
  • The immense water pressure can cause injury
  • They are challenging to shut off correctly and can lead to burst pipes and displacement if closed improperly

Standing around waiting for a pool to be filled can be annoying. You might look for better and quicker options, such as the fire hydrant outside your front door. But is this the best option for quick-filling? Keep reading to find out whether or not you should use the fire hydrant to fill your backyard pool.

Can You Fill a Pool With Water From a Fire Hydrant?

Can you fill a pool with water from a fire hydrant? Sure. The better question is, should you? Without approval from the city and help from the fire department, filling your pool with water from the fire hydrant is illegal and risky. 

The only way to get around this is to contact your local municipalities for approval. You will need to contact the city council, the department of water, and the local fire department. 

However, keep in mind that the chances of approval are relatively slim in most cases, as fire hydrants are reserved for combating fires. On the off chance you are approved to use the fire hydrant for your pool, you will likely need to pay a fee to use the fire hydrant plus the cost of the water. 

For instance: if you’re charged $50 to use the fire hydrant and need 15,000 gallons of water at $8 per gallon, you will pay $185 (which is a relatively low cost, especially considering the fire hydrant will fill a 15,000-gallon pool in around ten minutes!)

Ever wondered if you can paint a fire hydrant? I wrote an entire article on whether you can legally paint a fire hydrant. Click the link to check it out.

Will the Local Fire Department Fill My Pool?

Although you can apply to have your pool filled, generally the fire department will not fill your pool. However, I have heard of some cities that will allow it. Call and check with your local department.

Not only does using the fire hydrant water for personal use create potential liability, but it also means that the water is being used for something other than saving homes and lives – which is frowned upon by firefighters.

Reasons You Should Not use the Water from the Fire Hydrant

If your application to use the fire hydrant to fill your pool is not approved, you should not cut corners and try to use it anyways. Using the fire hydrant can be detrimental in many ways, including:

Injury from the Water Pressure

Fire hydrants have an impressive water pressure of 20 pounds per square inch (PSI), or 1.4 bar. This is great for fighting fires; but not great for inexperienced residents trying to use it for personal reasons. 

The water in the fire hydrant will come out at an unbelievable pressure that can easily knock you down or send you flying. The result? Potential injury and damage to the connected equipment.

Destruction from Improper Closing

Closing a fire hydrant is a trained skill. You will not be able to close it correctly if you do not have the proper training and experience. Improper sealing can dislodge the fire hydrant or cause pipes to burst, which can cause incredible destruction and hazard to the neighborhood.

Theft Charge

Last but not least, using a fire hydrant without permission is illegal. If you’re caught using the fire hydrant to fill your pool – or any other reason, for that matter – you can be charged with “water theft.” 

Theft can come with a sizable fine. For instance, in the state of California, water theft comes with a fine up to but not exceeding $1,000. You may also end up with jail time and have “theft” listed on your criminal record.

It’s Best to Avoid Using the Fire Hydrant to Fill Your Pool

You can technically use fire hydrant water for filling your pool with an accepted application and help from your local fire department, although this is unlikely.

f your application is not approved, do not try to use the fire hydrant anyway. This can result in injury, destruction, potential fines, jail time, and “theft” listed on your criminal history.

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