1. #1
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    Default Relief Valve Issues

    I have a relief valve on a two stage pump that I can't seem to get working and I am trying to trouble shoot some ideas to get it working again. I would like to try and avoid taking it out of the pump to get it working again but that may be my only option. Has anyone run into this and how did you fix it?

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    Give us some info.
    Brand?
    Model pump and capacity rating?
    Year manufactured?

    I'd start by back flushing the pump, and then putting some mild soap in the booster tank at a 1:1000 ratio. DO NOT USE A HARSH DEGREASER SOAP LIKE DAWN OR AJAX OR JOY.

    Engage the pump. Open the Tank-to-pump and tank-fill. Increase throttle until you get 100-150 psi. If you have a hard time getting that much pressure, likely it's stuck open. If it builds that much pressure real easy do this....

    Loosen the pressure setting wheel until pressure drops. Leave it like that for a minute or two, then tighten the setting wheel until the valve closes. Then force it to open and close by manipulating the throttle. Do this about 20-30 times.

    Leave the soap in there for a few days. Repeat as necessary.
    Last edited by txgp17; 09-24-2009 at 10:28 AM.
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    How is it not working?

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    If it's a waterous pump, then follow along.

    Take the screen out and wash it under a good stream in the sink. This will remove debris from it. Then empty a small bottle of Ivory soap in the booster tank.

    With the screen still removed, turn off the PRV (Pressure Relief Valve), and open your tank to pump valve, and your tank fill/recirculate about 25%. Now start the truck and put in pump mode. With the pump at idle you should have about 50psi. Now open, or turn on your PRV. Don't stand in front of the hole, you will get wet. Now run the pump up to about 100psi and back down to idle a couple times. Again now at idle, open and close (turn on/off) the PRV several times. Now shut everything down, and reinstall the screen, and reset your PRV if needed. This will back flush the PRV if your having debris problems. 90% of the time, this will fix most of the problems.

    NOTE: If you have a drain valve in the PRV system, make sure it isn't cracked or leaking. This will also create problems if it is. Some rigs have them and some don't.

    If it's a Hale pump, I can't help you.

    FM1
    I'm the one Fire and Rescue calls, when they need to be Rescued.

    Quote Originally Posted by EastKyFF
    "Firemens gets antsies. Theys wants to goes to fires. Sometimeses they haves to waits."

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    Default Pump info

    Hello all thanks for the replies. I wasn't quite sure what kind of info to give on it so I was waiting for thoes kind of replies.

    First of all it is in the closed postion I can get as much pressure as I want. Second it is a Hale relief valve on a 2 stage 1050GPM pump.
    Third I have no booster tank on it as it is an aerial unit. I have access to hydrants though. The truck is an 1981 Carl Thibault.

    It is not engaging at all like say it is stuck in the closed postion. I've read my books that I have on it and they don't really provide much information.

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    Let me add one thing to the excellent advice you've been given. I don't know how much work your department gets or how often this truck runs and pumps. One thing is certain though with any pump - it and and all of its parts have to be used in order to work when you need them to. Especially relief valves, primers and in your case, transfer valves. If they sit they get corroded up and when you want them to work, they don't.

    If you're not already doing it, once you get it working again, at least once a week operate them all. The primer doesn't need much, just push or pull on whatever operates it to be sure it does. Occasionally go out and draft though.

    Cycle the transfer valve a couple of times. If it's electric, air, vacuum or discharge pressure operated, check how long it takes to complete the transfer. I believe that 7 seconds is the accepted time. If it's manual, make sure it operates smoothly.

    And open the relief valve at several different settings. When we had them I used to like to run it up and down just operating the throttle normally. Then at least once, I'd bring the throttle up enough to open the relief, then quickly close the throttle and see how long it took for the relief to close. If it takes more than a couple of seconds you know it's time to get inside of it.

    And as FireMech says, if you have a Waterous with a clean out screen, clean it regularly. They make it easy to get at because they want you to do just that.

    Stay safe out there, everyone goes home!
    Last edited by chiefengineer11; 09-24-2009 at 02:54 PM.

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    Well we don't actually run calls with the trucks we have here. I work at the fire school in nova scotia and our fleet of trucks are all hand me downs. So it's everything I can do to keep them running and working. I have recently taken over this position and they person I replaced did not belive in preventitive maitninance so hence I am having a lot of issues getting things back up to an operating level where it is worth while to have a preventitive plan. I can figure most things out and how they work but I have never really delt with pumps before but I am learning.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FIREMECH1 View Post
    If it's a waterous pump, then follow along.

    Take the screen out and wash it under a good stream in the sink. This will remove debris from it. Then empty a small bottle of Ivory soap in the booster tank.

    With the screen still removed, turn off the PRV (Pressure Relief Valve), and open your tank to pump valve, and your tank fill/recirculate about 25%. Now start the truck and put in pump mode. With the pump at idle you should have about 50psi. Now open, or turn on your PRV. Don't stand in front of the hole, you will get wet. Now run the pump up to about 100psi and back down to idle a couple times. Again now at idle, open and close (turn on/off) the PRV several times. Now shut everything down, and reinstall the screen, and reset your PRV if needed. This will back flush the PRV if your having debris problems. 90% of the time, this will fix most of the problems.

    NOTE: If you have a drain valve in the PRV system, make sure it isn't cracked or leaking. This will also create problems if it is. Some rigs have them and some don't.

    If it's a Hale pump, I can't help you.

    FM1
    Good advice, I would also add that when you take the strainer out on a Waterous DRV (not sure about other brands) but there should be a small hole on the tip of the strainer, that hole should be open up to the two other holes that are on the shaft of the strainer. You should be able to blow in the hole on the tip without any resistance, if it's clogged you can clean it out with a welding tip cleaner.

    Also to exercise your DRV you can turn the valve to its lowest pressure setting (turn the football shaped knob counter clockwise until it stops) turn the valve to the "off" position, recirculate your pump, throttle up to 150 and then turn the valve on and off a few time until the valve starts to react quickly or until it doesn't act any faster. Throttling up to 150 when you do this test will make the valve travel from completely closed to completely open and will exercise the valves full range.

    If you continue to have problems with your discharge relief valve, call the manufacturer, they will be bale to help you out.

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    I'm not sure if this would be any help to you or not, but it is from Hale. Read from pg. 22-28.

    http://pdf.directindustry.com/pdf/ha...85092-_22.html

    If anything, it shows you how it works.

    FM1
    I'm the one Fire and Rescue calls, when they need to be Rescued.

    Quote Originally Posted by EastKyFF
    "Firemens gets antsies. Theys wants to goes to fires. Sometimeses they haves to waits."

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    What makes you say it doesnt work? If you are not seeing the light come on, thats not a sure fire way to verify it isnt working. To assure it isnt working, run the pump pressure up to 100 PSI and lower the relief valve slowly looking for the pump pressure to drop. If, at some point, the pressure drops (assuming you have had no other changes to the pump), the valve itself works, but the light doesnt. Common issue.

    Also, try running the pressure up higher than 100 If it isnt working, get it up to 200, even 250 if you need to and exercise the valve---all the way down and back up. Watch the main discharge gauge, if it drops, your valve works but the light doesnt.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MG3610 View Post
    What makes you say it doesnt work? If you are not seeing the light come on, thats not a sure fire way to verify it isnt working. To assure it isnt working, run the pump pressure up to 100 PSI and lower the relief valve slowly looking for the pump pressure to drop. If, at some point, the pressure drops (assuming you have had no other changes to the pump), the valve itself works, but the light doesnt. Common issue.

    Also, try running the pressure up higher than 100 If it isnt working, get it up to 200, even 250 if you need to and exercise the valve---all the way down and back up. Watch the main discharge gauge, if it drops, your valve works but the light doesnt.
    I say it doens't work because it doesn't to put it simply. I've done everything I can think of to get it freed up. It doesn't engage at any pressure. I know the light issue is quite common. However when a relief valve kicks in like you say pressure should drop and then increase again when you readjust the valve. I've followed the guide lines in the Hale book I have which tells you to set it at 150psi and exercise it.

    Now to add to my question. I was working on it yesterday and found two manual shut off valves for the drains which were closed. One leads back to the filter and the other goes to the bottom of the relief valve. I am wondering if thoese being stuck in the closed postion would cause the valve not to function. has anyone run inot that before?

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    ok. Just wanted to suggest the simplest possibility, as sometimes it gets forgotten.

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    If this valve has not been operated for a long time, it is likely that both the O-rings in the piston portion of the valve and the main valve is corroded to the valve seat. Hale relief valve opens aganst the pump discharge pressure and is driven by water pressure inside a piston that is larger than the main relief valve. You might be able to force the valve open by taking the pilot wheel down to the lowest setting and then run the RPM up until the over pressure forces it to open. I would not exceed 300 psi to 350 psi pump pressure, and be sure to keep some small amount of water recirculating. If you do not have a tank on the apparatus, set up a drop tank or temporary drafting basin with 3 ladders lashed together and a salvage tarp. Only do this if you are prepared to do a tear down of the relief valve incase the O-ring is destroyed in the process. Pull up a PDF file from hale or study the pump manual drawing so you understand how both the pilot and the main valve operate. Hale's engineering department can be quite helpful in solving maintenance and service problems.

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    MG3610: I realize that sometimes the most obvious is overlooked and I myself am bad for it. I try to look for a complicated problem rather than a simple solution. I meant no offence by saying it simply doesn't work. Just that I am looking for a more advanced solution.

    KuhShise: I understand the concept of how they work but I have never takin' one apart. I have the original diagrams that Hale sent with the pump which I have studied and it has defantly helped me understand the valves better. AS I stated before I have never really delt with the maitnance side of pumps untill I started my job here.

    I appreciate all the feed back from everyone on this. It's nice to know you can come on to a fourm and ask a question and get a responce that actually helps.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MColley View Post
    MG3610: I realize that sometimes the most obvious is overlooked and I myself am bad for it. I try to look for a complicated problem rather than a simple solution. I meant no offence by saying it simply doesn't work. Just that I am looking for a more advanced solution.

    KuhShise: I understand the concept of how they work but I have never takin' one apart. I have the original diagrams that Hale sent with the pump which I have studied and it has defantly helped me understand the valves better. AS I stated before I have never really delt with the maitnance side of pumps untill I started my job here.

    I appreciate all the feed back from everyone on this. It's nice to know you can come on to a fourm and ask a question and get a responce that actually helps.
    Its all good. By the way, did you try a hammer?

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    Quote Originally Posted by MG3610 View Post
    Its all good. By the way, did you try a hammer?
    LMFAO. A F&*$ING Big one

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    It looks as if you will neeed to take it apart and free up he piston. Its actually very easy. Remove the four bolts, at least I assume its four, then lightly tap on the top of the cover to break it loose. Once the cover is off the piston and shaft will be exposed. Remove the small snap ring that hold the pistonm on place on the shaft, and then lightly tap on the end of the stem of the piston to push it back into the pump so that you can get the piston out. Don't hit it real hard or you will drive the stem too far into the pump and you will not be able to reach it. Also use a block of wood or a hard rubber hammer to tap on the end. You will want to make sure you do not screw up the groove where the snap ring sits that holds the return spring in place.

    One the stem it free from the piston you should be able to start working the piston out from its housing. It may take some effort and alot of degreaser but you should be able to get it eventually. Once its out, get you self a repair kit from Hale, clean up all the brass surfaces with emory cloth, grease it up real well and put it back together.

    And as others here have said, keep operating it on a regular basis. Thats the best maintenance you can do for a valve like this one.

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    Seven 73:

    Thanks for the info I was hopeing to get something like that to tell me the steps since I broke down and decided actually take it off now. I do belive however that it is a replacement as it is. There is about 6 bolts that seem to hold a top and bottom plate then there are two that hold it onto the pump body. I can't seem to get it to actually speperate from the pump to take the holw unit off though.

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    I am a little confused by your description of the valve. Please send me a pm as I have a few questions for you to better understand the valve you have.

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    Default Solved

    Hello.

    I want to thank everyone for thier input on this. I offically sovled my problem today. I finally got the valve out of the pump and took it all apart and cleaned it up, put it back in and attempted to check it with air pressure. Without having any water lines on it, it moved freely back and forth. Once I put lines on it it would only move to the shut postion. After much head banging against the wall it turns out someone before me had done work to it and actually had two of the water lines reversed. Once I figured this out and switched them it works like a top now. But on the other side of the coin it should be good to go for a while now since it has been pretty much totally rebuilt so long as it is excersised properly.

    Again thanks to all for thier reply's

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    Smile Nice Job MColley

    CONGRADULATIONS!!! MColley:

    Everyone of us needs to study the progress of this project. Allow me to extend my sincere admiration at your efforts and accomplishment. While you now have a 1981 Carl Thibault, 1050 gpm pump working properly, the Fire Academy in Nova Scotia has a wrench turner with a lot more confidence. Additionally, this forum has an experienced contributor with hands on knowledge about repairing a Hale relief valve. Mcolley you can officially walk around with a big head for a day or two, but other problems will bite your butt soon.
    I have cut and pasted some of your correspondence below, so that everyone can view your comments and questions in light of how a successful conclusion was achieved. This is the sort of thing that should be happening through these forums instead of the attempted character assassination that so often occurs here.

    “I have never really delt with pumps before but I am learning.”

    “I am having a lot of issues getting things back up to an operating level where it is worth while to have a preventative plan.”

    “I understand the concept of how they work but I have never takin' one apart. I have the original diagrams that Hale sent with the pump which I have studied and it has defantly helped me understand the valves better. AS I stated before I have never really delt with the maitnance side of pumps untill I started my job here.”

    “LMFAO. A F&*$ING Big one”

    “I want to thank everyone for thier input on this. I offically sovled my problem today. I finally got the valve out of the pump and took it all apart and cleaned it up, put it back inAfter much head banging against the wall it turns out someone before me had done work to it and actually had two of the water lines reversed. Once I figured this out and switched them it works like a top now.”

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    Well done! Now see to it that all of that stuff gets exercised regularly.

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    MColley...

    A tip from my hat to you, awesome job.

    I agree with Kuh 1,000%.

    FM1
    I'm the one Fire and Rescue calls, when they need to be Rescued.

    Quote Originally Posted by EastKyFF
    "Firemens gets antsies. Theys wants to goes to fires. Sometimeses they haves to waits."

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    Default Thanks

    Well Thank you to everyone again. Esspecially for the kind words. I can say I am not hear to bash anyones character in anyway. All I am looking for is a place to get some information on problems and give some information should I have anything worth while to contribute. As stated I am new to the pump side of things and I am by no means a licneced mechanic but I try and I learn from everything I do. I enjoy my job hear at the fire school and I throughly enjoy being part of the fire service as a vol. fire fighter.

    Mike

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