Newsletters August 4, 2020

Community Service (My fire-hydrant project)

It is really, really hot out there.  High 90s for the last few weeks, but seriously, when is it a better time to think about next winter?  Well, I am not really thinking about winter so much, but where the snow on our street gets piled up, which could be an issue for my home if there was ever a fire.  Also, this is not my fire-hydrant, the city owns it, but it only services my and my neighbor’s property.

This all started a month ago when my spouse asked if the hydrant worked and if I would call the city to have them come out and test it.  I did not get around to calling the city, but a fireman did randomly show up one day to test it.  It still worked, as ugly as it was.  Which in comes my community service project, painting a hydrant.  Note: I asked the fireman about painting the hydrant before I did.

Here are the steps I followed.  I am not a professional painter, but do not mind spilling a little paint when necessary.

 1)      Supplies – Red oil-based paint, inexpensive paintbrush, wire bristle brush, scrapper, eye protection, a face mask (Thanks COVID for making sure I have plenty of these around), soapy water and a brush, and a plastic cup of water.

2)      Prep the area – Remove all the debris from around the area.

3)      Prep the hydrant – Put on safety gear.  Use the bristle brush and scrapper to remove any flaking paint or rust.  Wash down the hydrant to remove any particulate matter (dirt and dust).

4)      Paint the hydrant – Simple to say, but do not over apply paint or you will have runs and follow the directions. In my case, it was a 24 hour wait between coats, of which I applied three of them.  This is where the cup of water comes in.  Just drop your brush in in between coats. Since water and oil do not mix, it will keep your brush from drying out.

5)      Ensure it can be seen – What good is a hydrant that no one knows is there?

In total, I probably spent 2.5 hours on my hydrant.  But in the end, I really enjoy seeing it every day and the satisfaction of knowing I made a difference, all be it a small one.

Anyway, thanks for your time.  If you’d like to connect or share your thoughts, I can be reached via email at


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