How Much Does a Private Fire Hydrant Cost?

Annie Sisk
Written by Annie Sisk
Updated March 17, 2022
Yellow fire hydrant next to a house with a gate
Photo: Jason / Adobe Stock


  • A private fire hydrant typically runs between $3,000 and $7,000.

  • Private fire hydrants are built on private property and are owned and maintained by property owners.

  • The hydrant’s classification is based on how many gallons per minute it can handle.

  • You’ll need to hire a pro to install and connect your private fire hydrant.

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In most cases, you’ll find private fire hydrants on private property that’s been developed for large-scale uses like apartment complexes, condominium structures, and business parks. They’re usually placed in areas where the distance between the buildings or other structures and the closest public fire hydrant makes firefighting difficult. Firefighters use both public and private hydrants to help protect buildings and property from fire damage. The cost to install a private fire hydrant on your property ranges from $3,000 to $7,000, including labor for installation.

National Average CostMinimum CostMaximum Cost

Cost of a Private Fire Hydrant Near You 

The cost of purchasing, installing, and maintaining a private fire hydrant on your property probably won’t vary much from one geographic area to another within the U.S. However, you may run into larger costs for property that’s situated in a rural area than for city property due to the larger distances water supply lines must travel to reach buildings. 

Private Fire Hydrant Cost by Class 

The cost of installing a private fire hydrant on your property may vary based on the classification of the fire hydrant you choose, how far from the property’s buildings the hydrant is to be located, and how much work is required to connect the hydrant to the water supply. Fire hydrants are classified according to their flow rate, or the amount of water they can handle, usually measured in gallons per minute. As a general rule, the higher water output the hydrant can deliver, the higher the cost. 

Class C Hydrants

A class C hydrant can handle up to 500 gallons of water per minute. This is the lowest “size” or classification for fire hydrants and is generally most appropriate for small, single buildings as opposed to large apartment complexes with several units per building. 

Class B Hydrants

One step up from Class C hydrants, the Class B hydrant handles anywhere from 500 to 999 gallons per minute. 

Class A and AA Hydrants

Class A hydrants can process 1,000 to 1,499 gallons per minute while Class AA hydrants are the largest models and can handle over 1,500 gallons per minute. These hydrants are more appropriate for larger properties with multiple buildings or structures. 

Private Fire Hydrant Cost Breakdown

Buying and installing a private fire hydrant is a bit more difficult than other fixtures for your property. Sourcing pricing information can be challenging as a result. 


Fire hydrants cost an average of $850 to $1,250. You may pay more, depending on the classification of the hydrant and whether you’re purchasing a hydrant through a third party or directly. 


The labor costs for the installation of a private fire hydrant and its connection to the existing water supply average between $1,000 and $2,000. Labor costs may rise with site conditions and the need for extra work to secure the hydrant’s connection to the water supply. Hiring a plumber costs anywhere from $45 to $200 per hour, though most likely on the higher end of that range given the complexity of the work involved in installing a fire hydrant. 

Location and Site Conditions

In addition to materials and labor, you may also pay more depending on the location where you want the hydrant installed. If the location requires breaking up an existing walkway or sidewalk, replacing that material can add $2,000 or more to the final cost. Similarly, if you need further plumbing work, such as replacing your water main line to establish a connection with the hydrant, your total price will increase.  

Cost to Install a Private Fire Hydrant Yourself

It’s best to leave this job to a pro. Installing a private fire hydrant requires lots of technical skill and familiarity with legal requirements. You’ll also need to know exactly where and how to position the hydrant to connect it properly to its water supply. 

Instead, consult with a local fire professional to ensure you’re getting the type of hydrant you need and installing it in the most appropriate location. You’ll also want to engage the services of a licensed plumber who has experience connecting private hydrants to their water supplies. 

How to Reduce Costs While Installing a Private Fire Hydrant

Yellow and green fire hydrant next to a house
Photo: jldeines / iStock / Getty Images Plus

Installing and maintaining a private fire hydrant can result in substantial costs for the property owner. To minimize those costs, consider the placement of the hydrant carefully. A private hydrant must maintain a strong connection to the water supply at an adequate flow rate to respond to fire events on the property. The farther the hydrant is from the property it’s supposed to protect, the more your costs add up. 

Additionally, consulting with a professional fire safety technician in your area who is familiar with the locally applicable laws and regulations can help trim your costs. Your local fire safety consultant can help you ensure you’re getting the type of hydrant you need and having it installed in the most efficient location, given the configuration of your property and its buildings.

Frequently Asked Questions

What regulations or other laws govern private fire hydrants?

Your local town or municipality’s fire code and other applicable ordinances will set out the requirements for installing and maintaining a private fire hydrant. These rules can vary from place to place, so it’s crucial to consult with your town’s fire or code enforcement departments before you install a private hydrant on any property you own. Alternatively, you can hire a professional fire service consultant to help you interpret local laws and ensure you’re fully compliant with those requirements. 

How often do I need to have my private fire hydrant inspected and tested? 

The specific requirements for flow testing and inspection of a private fire hydrant are usually established by your municipality’s ordinances or fire codes. Many municipalities have adopted the standards created by the National Fire Protection Association, or NFPA. 

According to NFPA 25 (titled “Standard for the Inspection, Testing, and Maintenance of Water-Based Fire Protection Systems”), private fire hydrants must undergo annual inspection, with an accompanying flow test and any necessary maintenance performed on the same schedule. In addition, any time the hydrant is operated, it must be inspected afterwards to ensure the hydrant and its water supply connection still comply with applicable fire protection codes. Finally, as the property owner, you’ll have the responsibility of keeping access to the hydrant free and clear of any obstructions, including snow and ice. 

Keep in mind that your town, city, or county may adopt more or less stringent testing requirements. That’s why it’s imperative to double-check your local laws prior to installing and maintaining a private fire hydrant on your property. Failing to meet the applicable inspection and testing requirements may result in steep fines but more importantly can jeopardize the protection of your property from fire damage.  

Will a fire hydrant on my property affect my insurance premiums? 

In most cases, having a fire hydrant installed on your property, whether it’s maintained by you personally or your municipality, will reduce your insurance premiums. That’s because its proximity to any buildings on the property will reduce the time it takes to put out a fire, thus reducing the resulting damage. 

What do the different colors of fire hydrants mean?

Generally, the color of fire hydrants, their tops, and their caps indicates the expected flow rate for that hydrant. The specific flow rates and associated colors are set out in NFPA 291, which sets forth a color scheme for the tops of hydrants, with the body of the hydrant being painted yellow:

Color of Hydrant’s TopFlow Rate (Gallons/Minute)Hydrant Class
RedUp to 500Class C
Orange500–999Class B
Green1000–1499Class A
Blue1500+Class AA

While the NFPA 291 standard recommends all hydrant bodies be painted yellow, in many municipalities, there is a separate color code for hydrant bodies to designate who owns and maintains the hydrant. For example:

  • White may designate a publicly owned hydrant

  • Yellow may designate private hydrants connected to the public water supply 

  • Red may indicate a hydrant reserved solely for special purposes

  • Violet can mean the hydrant is connected to a water supply that’s non-potable (i.e., unsafe for human or animal consumption) 

Be aware that these are merely recommended guidelines and not legal requirements. Many locations do not paint or maintain public hydrants in this way.  

What other projects should I do at the same time?

Installing a private fire hydrant on your property is a fairly localized project that won’t negatively impact your access to other parts of your property and home. You might want to take the opportunity to complete the following projects at the same time: 

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