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  1. #21
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    Thanks again for all your replys.

    You guys sound like your pretty used to higher pressure, higher flow hydrants than we are. A fifty or sixty pound static hydrant is common place and in some areas of the city and it will immeadiatly fall on it's face until you look up and you're under 5psi.That's why I'm so against using a single 4" for a front suction hose, as your losing too much between the hydrant and the engine.

    Before the new system was in place, we had a 25' section of 3" preconnected suction hose on the RH and LH side of the engine, in the running board hose wells. We would use a single 3" to supply the pumping engine on the run of the mill house fire and possibly two if the second engine in, saw that we had a fire. If the second engineer was thinking, he would hook his pumper to the hydrant. If not, he just connected straight to the hydrant which would leave us open to supply problems and it would make my blood boil. More than once I have seen drivers scratch their heads why we didn't have the water we needed, when they knowingly lead out with a 400' single length of 3", and didn't connect their pump to the hydrant, to make it a relay operation! I would say didn't you pay attention in FAE class? The 5" front suction would (should) be used, with a hydrant gate, if the engine lead out, or if the first engine was lucky to be positioned correctly, at the fire. Remember we engine guys have to leave room for the truck company! Once again, only if the driver was thinking water supply, was this done correctly. Another on going problem is, most of us will shrug our shoulders and make whatever is given to us, work. I will continue to push to get the 25' section of 5" back with on, with the old fashoned NST threads and all.

    In one of the replies it stated that all of their tools were carried the extended front bumper. What a concept! We sometimes almost have to run a circle around the engine to gather all the tools needed. We carry a hydrant bag on one side of the engine, in which the adapters are carried. The hydrant bag is a good idea if we do a forward lay, however we need some of the same equipment on the front bumper also. Right now only a hydrant wrench is carried in the front well. My next test will be to compare how long it takes to hook up with the old and the new set up.

    To answer another question, I tried with the last batch of new engines to do away with the front suction, to no avail. My time is short now anyway and I doubt we will be buying any new rigs, before I am out. I seriously doubt we will do an FDNY thing either, even though it is the ultimate set up. A rear suction wouldn't work, because no body would want to give up any compartment space. I've seen a rear suction on a couple of rural rigs, but not for a very long time on any of the city rigs in the area. Back in the 1970's, I remember Chicago having a few. I like to use the front suction for a "port-a-tank" operation, to keep the layout "in line" and I have drafted out of the river with the front suction, to augment a water supply issue, on a mutual aid call.

    Since 99% of our stand pipes are 2-1/2" threads we use two very short lenghts of 3" to a divider and then feed that with the 4". One engine stays near the stand pipe and with our new high rise SOP we lead out with the second engine, to make it a relay operation.

    Another question, yes I tried using dual 4" lines coming in and there was a marked improvement. All I really took time to do is mark the increased residual pressure, as I lost the accuracy of my front suction flow meter when we added the second one to the side intake. I didn't take time to figure out how much it helped us. I was just taken back by the extra time it took to put all the adapters on the hydrant.

    Back in the 1970's when we had our first front suction provided on our ALF, it had only a 4-1/2" pipe, which ran through the wheel well, so you had to have ice water in your veins if you didn't hook up the hydrant gate. All of our rigs now have 5" pipe but with all the wigs and wags in the piping, it isn't all that efficient as stated before.
    Last edited by SEMPERFI3; 11-09-2009 at 10:16 AM. Reason: a couple paragraphs were cut off from the length


  2. #22
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    I'm still calling this new set up one step forward and one step back.

    To add to what FWD buff wrote , when I came on we had some real junkers with rust holes thru and thru, to the point you would get all wet riding in the jump seats! I never thought I would see the day when our oldest front line rig is only six years old and all are painted red!


  3. #23
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    Here is ours. We also have a 25' section of 4" in the center well, seen in use in the photo below. The gate valve has the storz adapter already hooked to it. so you can make both hydrant connections without having to retrieve anything from any other compartments; everything needed is on the bumper and the LDH wrenches are mounted on the officers side panel to assist locking the connections if necessary. The photo shows a configuration that gave us 2040 GPM from that hydrant (our pump is a medium sized 1250 GPM single stage).



    The below photo shows that we have our steamer inlet reduced from 5 to 4" and have a 4" adapter on our 3" aux suction inlet. It gives us quite a few options.


    Semperfi, If you get stonewalled by admin, are you guys allowed to add your own accessories to the rigs. You can usually find cheap adapters wrenches etc and such on Ebay and sometimes you gotta spend a little coin out of pocket when you care and know theres a better way to do something (as long as you cant get jambed up for it).
    Last edited by MG3610; 11-09-2009 at 12:34 PM.

  4. #24
    Forum Member Johngagemn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MG3610 View Post
    I can get up to 1800 GPM from my front suction off a hydrant (thats just messing around, never really "tested it". Did 1100 with 12' of suction hose drafting too. Its got a swivel connection and 25' of 5" hose. Our rig has a 1250 Hale Qflo. Its fast and easy to hook up and affords me the ability to make a hookup (if I am close enough to use it) much faster than pulling out donut rolls and hooking up pieces to parts etc. With 2 1/2" x 4" storz gate valves, I can get more water into my main pump inlet if I need it. In my front bumoer suction hose well, the 25' section is preconnected to the swivel and no adapters are required for connection to the hydrant. The hose is packed in a horseshoe and unside the center is the gate valve with storx adapter already attached. nect to the well is a set of wrenches and a mallet mounted on the bumper. one stop shop. If I'm not in a position to use the front suction, I most likely have laid out from a hydrant and in that case I have a 25' and a 50' section of 4" in my hose well along the side and the main intake already has the appropriate adapter on it.

    Obviously, if I know I am looking for maximum water, I'll use my main pump intake(s) but the front intake offers speed and versatility for initial water.
    If those numbers are correct then you are extremely lucky, and/or the plumbing had to have been run in such a way that you have severely sacrificed ground clearance by running it in a straight shot under the axle.

    Here is a link to an excellent article by Larry Davis about front suctions:
    http://www.gotbigwater.com/content/a...rticles_05.pdf

    It was published in Fire Engineering a few years back and I've always found it to be an excellent reference for people to read to truly understand how horrible front suctions are for pump performance. While Larry's primary focus was on rural water supply, as he notes in the article the same principles also affect operation from hydrant. I wish he was still around to keep educating people about water supply as he was truly a genius in that field.
    Just a guy...

    Lieutenant - Woodbury, MN FD (Retired)
    Road Captain - Red Knights MC, MN4

    Disclaimer: The facts and opinions expressed above are mine, and mine alone, and are not intended to represent the views of any company I have ever worked for, past or present.

  5. #25
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    MG3610 I really like the handkerchief type hose wells especially for the front suction. It's a very good use of available space. The tools go without saying. The only down side is protection from the elements. What a concept 5" suction hose with NST threads! It looks like you can rip the hose out of there and just as importantly re-load it all pretty easily. As far as getting our own fittings I am afraid all the rigs must be alike (although some are not) so there won't be any chance on getting our own. Gotta fight this head on.

    And Johnny gage (pardon my nick name) even with all the down sides to front suctions and even if all the evils be known to all people, they are just too popular. A front suction is like a blond bomb shell of sorts. Your kicking a dead horse. The rear suction pictured is a pretty cool set up, beacuse you slide the hard suction off and hook it right up to the port-a-tank.


  6. #26
    Forum Member Johngagemn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SEMPERFI3 View Post

    And Johnny gage (pardon my nick name) even with all the down sides to front suctions and even if all the evils be known to all people, they are just too popular. A front suction is like a blond bomb shell of sorts. Your kicking a dead horse. The rear suction pictured is a pretty cool set up, beacuse you slide the hard suction off and hook it right up to the port-a-tank.

    No worries, it is a nickname. I was a huge fan of Emergency! when I was a kid. I got tagged with the nickname back when I was a probie. My real name is Nate.

    That front intake is no blonde bombshell, it's more like a Corvette body on a Chevette chassis. It looks sweet from the outside, but performs like a turd. (I was gonna go a different direction, but decided to keep it clean, LOL)

    I don't look at it as beating a dead horse. Almost every time I teach a pump operations class I find things that people are doing "because we've always done it that way" that are not only poor procedure, they're unsafe. Part of my job is to dispel myths about pump operation and get the correct information to people.

    I don't expect by putting up a few posts in a forum I'm going to convince everyone in the fire service of how awful front suctions are. However, if the info gets in the hands of a few people on truck committees and they take it into consideration when writing the specs on their new apparatus then it is worthwhile to put it out there.

    That photo is exactly what I'm talking about with rear suctions. The OEM runs the pipe right down the frame rail. No bends, no 90 degree elbows and (relatively) no friction loss. In that location you are sacrificing little to no compartment space.

    I've also seen that type of intake with the connection inside a roll-up door on the back, so if you did want a bigger compartment back there you can still have it. Several of the pumpers from my old department had that kind of setup. Under the pipe and inside the door was a tray with a 50' section of 4" preconnected to it and a bag attached to the hydrant end of the hose with all necessary tools and fitting for hydrant hook-up.
    Just a guy...

    Lieutenant - Woodbury, MN FD (Retired)
    Road Captain - Red Knights MC, MN4

    Disclaimer: The facts and opinions expressed above are mine, and mine alone, and are not intended to represent the views of any company I have ever worked for, past or present.

  7. #27
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    Johnny gauge

    So to re-cap the thread we basically have severely hampered our 2000 GPM pumper for a number of reasons:

    #1 The additional friction loss in the 4" front suction hose, vs 5".
    #2 The additional length of the suction hose (over kill)
    #3 The in-efficient front suction piping.
    #4 The single 800' load of 4" supply line.
    #5 The in-accessibility of the 3" hose loads.

    Interesting points:

    As stated in an earlier thread. If we were to use one of the 4" lines in the bins for a splice line, that would leave us with a single 50' or a 33' suction line...reduced GPM

    We have no practical fittings to place a second 4" discharge line into operation....reduced GPM

    We have no access to our 3" hose unless we pull the two skid loads off, so we are set up for one single lay of 4" hose.....reduced GPM

    The hydrant gate is no longer mandatory......reduced GPM

    I feel for the in-experienced driver who gets caught up with this big high horsepower, high GPM pumper that has been reduced to a midi pumper, by policy. When it happens and I know it will, the policy will not be in question, it will be the driver who will be scrutinized.

    It certainly will be my recommendation to anyone that will listen:

    #1 Use the side intake only, to minimize friction loss.

    #2 ALWAYS "dress" the hydrant and put a second suction line into service if there is any question.

    #3 Use the front suction only if a second 4" line is put into service.

    #4 Be prepared to augment the 4" discharge hose, by pulling the skids off to reach the 3" loaded below.

    Thanks for your support, your ideas and allowing me to vent on such a frustrating issue.

  8. #28
    Forum Member Johngagemn's Avatar
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    The biggest thing to keep in mind is that when operating from a hydrant the pump rating goes out the window. The limiting factors are almost always the hydrant, the hose, and any suction piping that has been added to the pump.

    I always throw a big thumbs up at dressing out a hydrant. I've been in the situation before where 20 minutes into a job I needed a second suction line, but the guy who grabbed the plug failed to dress it out. Not fun.

    I think you've got a pretty good list of ideas to kick around with the rest of your department there. If you ever need something faster than I'd be able to respond to it on here feel free to call me at the office: 651-450-5220.
    Just a guy...

    Lieutenant - Woodbury, MN FD (Retired)
    Road Captain - Red Knights MC, MN4

    Disclaimer: The facts and opinions expressed above are mine, and mine alone, and are not intended to represent the views of any company I have ever worked for, past or present.

  9. #29
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    Semperfi,

    For the reason you stated (having to splice in to your lay of 4") I am a firm believer that all engines should carry two 25' and two 50' sections of whatever size supply hose they carry. Its also good idea to carry a pair of 25' sections of 3" if you use LDH. they are handy for refilling the tank, using on manifolds/siamese, supplying twin inlet deluge guns through a gated wye of LDH etc.

    Nate,

    Also good to keep the word out there that pump ratings are very much misunderstood when utilizing the rigs on hydrants and in relay. Seems to be a lost concept.

    This has been a great discussion.

  10. #30
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    Yes I agree the hydrant is the determining factor as far as flow goes, as I related to in my earlier threads, as our water supply varies drastically.

    How rude of me, I should of said thanks to all who have replied to my questions and concerns, as there were many interesting come backs!

  11. #31
    Forum Member Johngagemn's Avatar
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    Good discussions like this are what makes having a board like this truly worthwhile.
    Just a guy...

    Lieutenant - Woodbury, MN FD (Retired)
    Road Captain - Red Knights MC, MN4

    Disclaimer: The facts and opinions expressed above are mine, and mine alone, and are not intended to represent the views of any company I have ever worked for, past or present.

  12. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Johngagemn View Post
    The biggest thing to keep in mind is that when operating from a hydrant the pump rating goes out the window. The limiting factors are almost always the hydrant, the hose, and any suction piping that has been added to the pump.
    Thank you for bringing this up. Most of our new pump operators get stuck on the rated capacity of their pump and think that is all the water they can move.

    The piping is a bigger issue than most firefighters think and most departments overlook when speccing apparatus.

    Good topic.

    We carry 1000' of 5" Snap-Tite Triple Duty (300 psi service test) and a 25' of 5" pre-connect on the front intake and another 30' section of 5" rolled. All fittings are 4 1/2" NST (many old hydrants make switching them costly.)

  13. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Johngagemn View Post
    The biggest thing to keep in mind is that when operating from a hydrant the pump rating goes out the window. The limiting factors are almost always the hydrant, the hose, and any suction piping that has been added to the pump.
    Very true. Now if our some our engineers would only listen and do little reading. Heck we have some that would swear on their mommy's grave that 5" can't be used on hydrants with just 2.5 ports. I then like to throw out the question of how much water will a 2" straight tip will flow at 80 psi.

    As other's have said great discussion

  14. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by TAFD00367 View Post
    Very true. Now if our some our engineers would only listen and do little reading. Heck we have some that would swear on their mommy's grave that 5" can't be used on hydrants with just 2.5 ports. I then like to throw out the question of how much water will a 2" straight tip will flow at 80 psi.

    As other's have said great discussion
    BINGO!

    Everyone seems to think that smoothbore orifice flow calculations only apply to a nozzle, and writes off that they are a universal law of physics. I get a kick out of it when people are surprised that they will cavitate their pump by circulating tank water with the tank fill valve wide open.
    Just a guy...

    Lieutenant - Woodbury, MN FD (Retired)
    Road Captain - Red Knights MC, MN4

    Disclaimer: The facts and opinions expressed above are mine, and mine alone, and are not intended to represent the views of any company I have ever worked for, past or present.

  15. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Johngagemn View Post
    BINGO!

    Everyone seems to think that smoothbore orifice flow calculations only apply to a nozzle, and writes off that they are a universal law of physics. I get a kick out of it when people are surprised that they will cavitate their pump by circulating tank water with the tank fill valve wide open.
    Your right a round hole is a round hole no matter if it's 2" 2.5" or 4.5"... We have two quints that will cavitate easily when opening the tank fill with just a little throttle.


    SEMPERFI3,

    Only thing that I can think of too add is do what you have do if can at your station. I'm in same boat as you in way as the other engineers at my station could give a S**T less. I move hydrant fittings and set up supply hose's to my liking every shift to save time in case there needed. Then before shift change put every back in place for the other guys. I'm still working on getting at least 250' of 2.5" dead lay line added to rear bed along with increasing our 5" and reduced some of the 3" hose. I made that comment back a few shifts ago got we don't need that much 5" so just take all of it off and fill back in with 3".

  16. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by SEMPERFI3 View Post
    I feel for the in-experienced driver who gets caught up with this big high horsepower, high GPM pumper that has been reduced to a midi pumper, by policy. When it happens and I know it will, the policy will not be in question, it will be the driver who will be scrutinized..
    Wait, you're not trying to say that the D/O will be blamed for the Fire Chief's poorly researched & designed problems are you? No that would never happen!
    "Loyalty Above all Else. Except Honor."

  17. #37
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    Jason,

    I've seen it many times over the years, someone will have an issue and a point to press on and the guys will turn their heads and look the other way. I'll say this too, be ready for people to screw with you if they find you have an interest in something or a strong opinion on whatever issue is at hand. They do it just for fun...

    Many people will also be indifferent about a subject, until it actually happens to them and then they get upset if you remind them that you had a solution to the problem but you were just blown off.

    I plan on having my own second hydrant bag with extra adapters and things I feel that are necessary to work around this new policy. I'll probably get into trouble, however I'll feel better knowing at least I made an attempt to make the situation better.

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