Male vs. Female - Dry Hydrants, Adapters & Hose

Dry Hydrant Selection:

The question often arises as to what style of thread makes the best choice for a Dry Hydrant, male or female. Why is one better or worse than the other? While we may have a preference, the following information is being presented to show the pro's and con's of either selection. We strongly suggest that you review all of the information before making a selection.

States like Alabama, Georgia, Missouri, Louisiana, Pennsylvania and Arkansas have standardized on the "male": National Standard Hose Thread (NH or NST). This standard has usually evolved because of large Dry Hydrant installation programs by local RC&D Councils. Georgia selected the 5" male while all others have chosen the 6" male. In all cases, a minimum design of 1,000 gpm flow rate is needed and was the goal for these installations.

In the Northeastern region of the USA most departments are using large 1,250-1,500 gpm engines having 6" suction. For many of these departments the 6" Female appears to be the Dry Hydrant of choice. However, we have also observed the NE does not appear to have any standard, as 4 ½" thru 6" (both male and female) Dry Hydrants are being used. This creates a big issue for automatic and mutual aid companies as a wide variety of adapters must be carried on each engine. If your state has not selected a "“Standard", they should. See write up entitled "Sizing and Standardization", also on this web site, for more information regarding standardization.

Female Hydrants, Pro's & Con's



Male Hydrants, Pro's & Con's


In a pressure situation, this may make the difference whether or not the attack team runs out of water.

Other Comments:

In considering what to buy several other factors should be considered:

Best Choice!

Now that you have reviewed the pro's and con's of each, here is the sales data regarding what most departments buy. By far, 95% of the sales are 6" Male with Snap Caps. All things considered, this is the simplest and least expensive way to go. It provides maximum flow with little to no maintenance and as you purchase larger engines, the water system will not need upgrading.

Connecting to a male dry hydrant is very easy and is a one-person operation. Usually a double female adapter is all that is required. If a new flex hose is needed look at getting a double female hose. This will eliminate an expensive adapter.

If you have an existing flex hose, consider buying a new female connector and shank to replace the male connector and shank. Most flex hose couplings can easily be changed out by removing the collars. You can also buy a 6" swivel made on a 5" shank. Therefore, you could have a hose with a 6" end for the dry hydrant and a 5" end for your pump. A new hose end is also much cheaper than a double female adapter.

If using an adapter it should be pre-connected to your hose ready to connect.

Still confused? Give us a call and we will be glad to help.