Product Alert

Nozzle Product Alert for American-Darling Fire Hydrants

AMERICAN FLOW CONTROL (AMERICAN) has learned of a safety issue that affects some American-Darling fire hydrants manufactured from 2005 through 2011. Certain hose nozzles in these hydrants may develop cracks that, when the hydrant is pressurized, may cause the nozzle to separate from the hydrant upper barrel. AMERICAN has determined that American-Darling fire hydrants manufactured from 2005 through 2011 must be inspected to identify and replace the nozzles that are subject to cracking.

For more information, please call 800-326-7082 Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. CT or e-mail afcquestions@american-usa.com.

Notices

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is the problem?  AMERICAN Flow Control (AMERICAN) has learned of a safety issue affecting some of its American-Darling brand fire hydrants manufactured from 2005 through 2011. Certain hose nozzles in these hydrants may develop cracks that, when the hydrant is pressurized, may cause the nozzle to separate from the hydrant body upper barrel.
  2. What can happen?  The separation of a hose nozzle under pressure causes a loss of water pressure and renders the hydrant inoperable. Further, if nozzle separation occurs while the hydrant is under pressure, parts, hoses or high pressure water may be projected from the hydrant, posing a serious safety risk. DO NOT STAND IN FRONT OF A HYDRANT NOZZLE WHEN OPERATING A HYDRANT
  3. Which fire hydrants are involved?  All American-Darling fire hydrants manufactured from 2005 through 2011 must be inspected and repaired if necessary.
  4. Are all of the hose nozzles installed on my American-Darling fire hydrants subject to this notice?  No. Only hose nozzles on American-Darling hydrants with a cast date of 2005-2011 on the upper barrel need to be inspected. Pumper nozzles are not affected and do not need to be inspected. The hose nozzles on 2005-2011 hydrants bear a foundry mark of either the letter “L” or “S” located on the interior surface of the nozzle, nearest the nozzle threads. Hose nozzles with the foundry mark “S” must be replaced. Pumper nozzles, and hose nozzles with the foundry mark "L", or L followed by a number, such as “L5”, are not subject to this notice and do not need to be replaced. Also excluded from this notice are American-Darling hydrants produced in 2006 with Amlok nozzles. Amlok nozzles do not need to be replaced.
  5. Will all of the hose nozzles bearing the “S” foundry mark crack?  No. But in keeping with the high quality standards for which our company is known and to retain your valued trust, we are replacing all hose nozzles marked with an “S” on American-Darling hydrants manufactured from 2005 through 2011.
  6. What if I have looked at the nozzles and do not see any cracks?  Even if the hose nozzles are not currently cracked, they must still be replaced. In some cases the cracks are difficult to identify. Out of an abundance of caution, AMERICAN is replacing all affected nozzles.
  7. What should I do?  AMERICAN has implemented a hydrant hose nozzle replacement program to replace affected hose nozzles. If you believe that you have an American-Darling fire hydrant affected by this service bulletin, please contact AMERICAN Customer Service at 800-326-7082, Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. CT, or email us at afcquestions@american-usa.com. Customer Service will direct you to an instructional video and instructions for identifying and replacing the hose nozzles; and provide information about reimbursable expenses, accompanying forms and directions for submitting a claim to AMERICAN for reimbursement.
  8. When I call or email AMERICAN, what information will I need to provide?  You simply need to be prepared to tell AMERICAN the number of American-Darling fire hydrants you have in your system that were manufactured from 2005 through 2011, the thread specification, your contact information, and a shipping address. AMERICAN will supply a replacement kit for each nozzle needing replacement. To ensure an adequate supply of replacement nozzles are available, AMERICAN will initially ship one (1) nozzle per hydrant to account for those needing replacement and one (1) hose nozzle wrench per replacement crew. Of course, AMERICAN will ship additional nozzle kits if needed.
  9. Why aren’t all of the hose nozzles affected?  The cracking only occurs in hose nozzles made of a particular alloy. AMERICAN believes that this alloy is susceptible to cracking under certain circumstances. This alloy was only used by a single supplier during the 2005 through 2011 time period.
  10. Why am I receiving only one (1) replacement hose nozzle per hydrant, when a hydrant has two (2) hose nozzles?  From 2005 through 2011, AMERICAN used more than one supplier for the hose nozzles in its American-Darling fire hydrants. Only one of the suppliers made hose nozzles with the alloy that may be susceptible to cracking. Our research shows that on average 50 percent of the nozzles that were supplied were made using this alloy.
  11. What is the difference between the “L” and the “S” hose nozzles?  The “L” and “S” referenced on the AMERICAN nozzles are used to identify a given supplier. Only nozzles with an “S” foundry mark are susceptible to cracking. The nozzles with an “L” mark were made from a different alloy and are not affected.
  12. Why are we only replacing the nozzles in hydrants that were produced from 2005 through 2011?  Until 2005, AMERICAN furnished an older set-screw style nozzle design known as the Amlok nozzle. There have been no reported cracks with the Amlok nozzle. Beginning in 2011, the supplier identified by the “S” foundry mark changed to a different alloy not susceptible to cracking. There have been no known cracks since that alloy change.
  13. What if I am unable to replace the hose nozzles myself?  If you require the services of a contractor to inspect hydrants and replace affected nozzles, AMERICAN has retained contractors who can perform these services for you. Customer Service can provide the information necessary to obtain contractor hydrant remediation services. You may also contact your local AMERICAN sales representative for further information.
  14. Will I be reimbursed for the costs of replacing the nozzles?  Yes, AMERICAN will reimburse customers $15 per hydrant for the inspection and, if necessary, the replacement of affected hose nozzles. AMERICAN’s nozzle replacement procedure includes the requirements for obtaining reimbursement. These requirements include the return of any replaced nozzles and completion of nozzle replacement log sheets. Once the replacement nozzles and log sheets are received and all records are reconciled, reimbursement can be made.
  15. How long will the kits be offered?  It is important that you complete the inspection and replacement program as soon as possible. Presently, however, there is no deadline for ordering hose nozzle replacement kits.
  16. What if I have other questions?  If you have any other questions, please contact AMERICAN Customer Service at 800-326-7082, Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. CT, or email us at afcquestions@american-usa.com.

Replacement Instructions

To view instructions for nozzle replacement, please select from the links below:

PDF Instructions:
Replacement Instruction Video:

Return Instructions

2 1/2" Hose Nozzle Return Procedure

All American-Darling Fire Hydrants Manufactured FROM 2005 Through 2011

WARNING: EXERCISE CAUTION WHEN WORKING WITH PRESSURE CONTAINING DEVICES. POTENTIAL HAZARD - FAILURE TO RELIEVE HYDRANT CAP PRESSURE CAN RESULT IN THE CAP OR NOZZLE BLOWING OFF, CAUSING SERIOUS INJURY. DO NOT STAND IN FRONT OF A HYDRANT NOZZLE WHEN OPERATING A HYDRANT.

To ensure the hydrant is not charged with pressure when removing the cap, it is considered safe practice to close the auxiliary gate valve in the lateral water line between the main line and the fire hydrant.

  1. Securely attach the wire tag on all hose nozzles to be returned. Record the hydrant’s GIS location or street address, including the city and state, on the tag.
  2. Take care not to damage to the nozzles.
  3. If possible, please send a minimum of 30 nozzles per return shipment.
  4. All nozzles should be bundled and/or palletized for return shipment. If possible, use the original packaging that was used to ship the replacement nozzles.
  5. Return all replaced and unused nozzles.
  6. Carefully mark all shipments with the Nozzle Material Authorization (NMA) number provided at the time of order.
  7. All nozzles are to be returned to:  AMERICAN Valve & Hydrant  Attn: David Poole  445 South Tenth Street  Beaumont, TX 77701 
  8. For single boxes weighing less than 80 pounds, return nozzles COLLECT via ups Ground, account #2VV095. Take the shipment to your local UPS Ground Store or call for pick up.
  9. For shipments weighing more than 80 pounds that can be bundled and secured, such as on a pallet or in a wire container, ship via UPS Freight LTL. Contact your local UPS LTL terminal for pickup. Note: You must use the “UPS Return Label” that was shipped with the replacement nozzles. For additional UPS Return Labels or other assistance, please call toll-free 844-532-6017  For additional information or assistance with shipping, contact UPS at 800-742-5877.
  10. All Nozzle Replacement Log Sheets must be returned with the nozzles and/or emailed to:
  11. AVHcsr@AMERICAN-usa.com, or faxed to: (409) 951-4514.  To request an electronic version of the Log Sheet, email Customer Service at AVHcsr@AMERICAN-usa.com or call toll free 844-532-6017. 
  12. All nozzles and log sheets must be returned, reconciled and accounted for to receive reimbursement.
  13. An instructional video of the Nozzle Replacement procedure is available at:https://www.american-usa.com/product_alerts