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Thread: Backup lines

  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bones42 View Post
    Are you guys discussing a backup line, or a second attack line? In my area, that's 2 distinct lines and operations.

    Backup line is normally not for attacking the fire, unless there is a problem with the primary and/or second line.
    We use the back up line to protect the means of egress and to be in a position get any fire which may have gotten behind the first line.

    Now if we need a second line because of heavy fire or to attack fire found in another area, most of the time the back up line is in a position to quickly get there. So its much easier and quicker to put the back up line into operation and stretch a 3rd line to take its place.

    At least thats what I'm thinking/talking about during this thread.


  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by youngb420 View Post
    If the back-up line is placed in service, it's because something went wrong, Your standard input is not giving you standard results, time to change tactics! A line of the same diameter and flow as the initial line, which hasn't done its job, doesn't do anything to make the problem better or help your crew that is now taking a beating and most likely retreating.
    How can you say that doubling your flow won't help? Of course it would

    I've done some training on the 2 1/2" and it's not as bad as some make out to be, I can move it, and fairly quickly, with two people, and three make it move almost as fast as an 1 3/4", it's all in the technique.
    I've had real life experience and a completely different result.

    As to the flow of two 1 3/4" being better than one 2 1/2", the stream of the 2 1/2" is always going to have more reach and mass than an 1 3/4". Adding another 1 3/4" isn't going to get water on the seat of the fire any better than the first and instead of using two or three personnel on one line (2 1/2"), now you're using 4 or more FF's on two lines.
    How far do you need to reach in a single family dwelling? Again, if you have 1 1 3/4, and you add a second, how can you say it isn't going to get water on the seat of the fire any better?

    PDP for 200' 1 3/4"=50PSI NP+100PSI FL=150PSI and that will give me 210 GPM
    PDP for 200' 2 1/2"=50PSI NP+64PSI FL=114PSI and that will give me 325 GPM

    Before anyone says the pressures are too low, these were obtained by flowing my FD's hose at varying pressures to obtain the FL coefficients.
    I'm confused. You mentioned using 3 people on 1 2 1/2. That means you will flow (using your numbers) 325 gpm.

    However, by using 4 people and two 1 3/4 you get a flow of 420 gpm.

    Seems that two lines is better then 1, if it's all about flow.

    I will never advocate for a 2 1/2 for most single family dwellings. In my experience, it's not needed.
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  3. #23
    Forum Member Ambrose33's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bones42 View Post
    Are you guys discussing a backup line, or a second attack line? In my area, that's 2 distinct lines and operations.

    Backup line is normally not for attacking the fire, unless there is a problem with the primary and/or second line.
    Your absolutly correct with the back up line. If there becomes an issue of more fire in a certain area....be it another room, second floor or else where that back up line may then become a second attack line and then your tactics will be changing


    Quote Originally Posted by ChiefKN View Post
    I completely disagree.

    That 2 1/2 if charged to get the GPM you want (to exceed the flow of the 1 3/4) will not be able to make a lot of the bends in a good percentage of SFD's. Sure in a giant house it might be worth it, but for most, no way. My experience is with fog/automatic nozzles.

    Our immediate mutual aid insists on pulling a 2 1/2 for garden apartment fires and getting it up the stairwell and making the 90 degree bend into the apartment and then another 90 degree bend immediately inside the door to the living room is all but impossible.
    I agree chief. My department uses a 2.5 inch on a main attack line for commercial and high rise fires and possibly large mansion fires. Our apartment packs are 100feet of 2.5 w/ a smooth bore nozze and same with the 250 feet of preconnect off the rear of our trucks. We are using smooth bore to reduce the pressure and the tip and also help reach the fire. An 1.75 hose can put out alot of fire and I think most of us have watched it do that and had personal experience.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChiefKN View Post
    You mentioned using 3 people on 1 2 1/2. That means you will flow (using your numbers) 325 gpm.

    However, by using 4 people and two 1 3/4 you get a flow of 420 gpm.

    Seems that two lines is better then 1, if it's all about flow.

    I will never advocate for a 2 1/2 for most single family dwellings. In my experience, it's not needed.
    While I agree on the 2.5" use in SFD's, in most cases I do not believe two small lines are equal to or greater than a single 2.5". The reason is the amount of the stream exposed to heat and evaporation. If the fire requires 300 gpm to extinguish, two lines flowing 175 may not do it. Two orifices means far more break apart and conversion to steam diminishing the actual streams to less overall water on the target. Inside a fairly enclosed space (most PD's) this will not be noticed, but in large commercial buildings, large uncompartmented spaces (McMansion great rooms) or in defensive operations he two lines will not be as effective. It's a penetration thing.

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    I am not advocating the use of one hoseline over the other in residential operations, I'm simply stating that your back-up should have a higher flow and deeper penetration than your initial line. Will it be needed? probably not, but I'd rather be ahead of the curve than behind it when something goes south.

    One of the points I am attempting to make is that if an 1.75, which will knock most residential fires out within seconds, isn't working, something out of the ordinary is happening and your hose team might be in the middle of deteriorating conditions needing some assistance.

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    I remember hearing that saying about backing up with a larger line many years ago when all you had was an 11/2" with settings of 30-60-95-125gpm, or a 21/2". Back then you needed a larger line to get good water. But it's no problem getting 175-200gpm from an 13/4" these days so in many cases you can use the same size for backup.. While I don't agree with everything said there are some good points here. Do what works for you. We usually go with the 13/4" and back it up with the same size and a third line streched to the front yard or near the building entrance. If two apartments are involved or fire on two floors the backup is also an attack line and the third goes where needed.
    I'm talking about SFD's and not highrise or factory/warehouse/commercial buildings.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bones42 View Post
    Are you guys discussing a backup line, or a second attack line? In my area, that's 2 distinct lines and operations.

    Backup line is normally not for attacking the fire, unless there is a problem with the primary and/or second line.
    For us - they start as one and the same. We normally don't have the manpower to pull a 2nd line and a third for 'backup' right away. Most of the time, we don't pull the third because the first one did the job and the fire is out by the time we would be ready to setup another line.

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    Quote Originally Posted by youngb420 View Post
    I am not advocating the use of one hoseline over the other in residential operations, I'm simply stating that your back-up should have a higher flow and deeper penetration than your initial line. Will it be needed? probably not, but I'd rather be ahead of the curve than behind it when something goes south.
    True. However, if this is the concern, why not just pull the bigger line to begin with? That way you're always ahead of "the curve."

    Rather, if your first 1 3/4 isn't cutting it right away as in your example, there are more potential problems than just the size of the back up line. Perhaps you're not hitting the seat, perhaps you've got a kink you're unaware of, perhaps the wrong pressure is on the line. Start with the basics and work up.

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    see post below.
    Last edited by mholtzman; 01-14-2010 at 05:33 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by youngb420 View Post
    What I was attempting to say is fairly simple:

    If the back-up line is placed in service, it's because something went wrong, Your standard input is not giving you standard results, time to change tactics! A line of the same diameter and flow as the initial line, which hasn't done its job, doesn't do anything to make the problem better or help your crew that is now taking a beating and most likely retreating.

    I've done some training on the 2 1/2" and it's not as bad as some make out to be, I can move it, and fairly quickly, with two people, and three make it move almost as fast as an 1 3/4", it's all in the technique.

    As to the flow of two 1 3/4" being better than one 2 1/2", the stream of the 2 1/2" is always going to have more reach and mass than an 1 3/4". Adding another 1 3/4" isn't going to get water on the seat of the fire any better than the first and instead of using two or three personnel on one line (2 1/2"), now you're using 4 or more FF's on two lines.

    PDP for 200' 1 3/4"=50PSI NP+100PSI FL=150PSI and that will give me 210 GPM
    PDP for 200' 2 1/2"=50PSI NP+64PSI FL=114PSI and that will give me 325 GPM

    Before anyone says the pressures are too low, these were obtained by flowing my FD's hose at varying pressures to obtain the FL coefficients.
    A backup line isn't only placed in service if something goes wrong! It's pretty standard to protect egress and not let fire get behind the the 1st in line. You say you've done "training" on a 2 1/2"? Have you ever brought a charged 2 1/2" through a cluttered structure with high heat and low visibility and made turns? With two people? Fairly quickly? If this is true, I want you guys to ride backwards on my engine, cause you guys are like super heros to me!!! Why would reach even be an issue in a SFD? Please measure the reach of a 1 3/4" and measure the longest hallway or room that you will encounter in a SFD....it's not an issue issue.

  11. #31
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    Default Back up lines

    Coming from a small City FD with a run volume of 2800 runs a year out of one house, we rely on back up everything. We have four on duty per shift with the first due engine co made up of Engineer, 2 ff's and a Captain. Confirmed working fires get a back-up line to the door on single story and to the top of the stairs on a multi-story dwelling, usually an 1 and 3/4 line capable of flowing foam. In our department the Captain is usually a combative commander until second due is on scene. He will usually pull the back-up line after a walk around. It's all we can do..... for now.

  12. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by len1582 View Post
    I remember hearing that saying about backing up with a larger line many years ago when all you had was an 11/2" with settings of 30-60-95-125gpm, or a 21/2". Back then you needed a larger line to get good water. But it's no problem getting 175-200gpm from an 13/4" these days so in many cases you can use the same size for backup.. While I don't agree with everything said there are some good points here. Do what works for you. We usually go with the 13/4" and back it up with the same size and a third line streched to the front yard or near the building entrance. If two apartments are involved or fire on two floors the backup is also an attack line and the third goes where needed.
    I'm talking about SFD's and not highrise or factory/warehouse/commercial buildings.
    That's actualy a very good point about the amount of water available from different sized lines. Didn't even think to look at it that way.
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  13. #33
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    In general, we don't lay back up lines. We lay additional attack lines if needed.
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    ^^^^^^^^

    What he said.
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    It is always situational, of course, but we pull a backup line usually the same size, but 50' LONGER as soon as possible.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dirtfire View Post
    It is always situational, of course, but we pull a backup line usually the same size, but 50' LONGER as soon as possible.
    Uh yea...

    If your first line(s) couldn't handle the fire, what is an additional 50 feet going to do for you?

    And if you require an additional 50 feet, doesn't that tell you that you need to re-evaluate how you are estimating your initial stretch and stop stretching short?
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    Default Uhhh

    Uh the backup line isn't normally used to fight fire unless there's "an issue"
    It is there as........ you guessed it, a backup, the extra 50' is simply an "oh crap" then fill in the blank. example, hose team went ahead of the nozzle to rescue the baby and got trapped, etc.

  18. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnVBFD View Post
    Uh yea...

    If your first line(s) couldn't handle the fire, what is an additional 50 feet going to do for you?

    And if you require an additional 50 feet, doesn't that tell you that you need to re-evaluate how you are estimating your initial stretch and stop stretching short?
    If my initial line can't handle the fire, a second attack line is stretched.

    If something happens that the first line is lost or guys are trapped, the backup line is used.

    Again, what some people call a "backup" line is what some people call a "second" attack line.
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    I can easily see how one department/person/etc can view a second line as simply the line the next engine in is gonna grab. Where we are, that may happen... But with staffing, a lot of times the line, if it is pulled, is more of a true backup or RIT line.... Would love to have more hands to pull line, but obviously you've got to work with what you've got...

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    I've done some training on the 2 1/2" and it's not as bad as some make out to be, I can move it, and fairly quickly, with two people, and three make it move almost as fast as an 1 3/4", it's all in the technique

    Are you pulling it dry and saying that is as fast? I could see that, but otherwise, please send video and instructions. I wanna learn those techniques!

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