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  1. #1
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    Default Intake Valve - Piston vs. Gate

    We're finally going to be able to upgrade to LDH for supply line, and are considering our options for intake valves. It seems like the most common valve is the piston intake valve. However, another option that's been proposed is a large diameter gate valve with air bleeder and pressure relief such as the Harrington H810. The advantage being stated is that they are simpler and easier to maintain, especially in places with "bad" water. Has anyone used one of these in place of a piston or ball intake valve? Any thoughts on benefits of one type versus another? I've heard a lot of good things about the ball valves, but not sure those are within the budget or not. Any thoughts are appreciated.

    Andy


  2. #2
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    My vollie department is running the TFT Jumbo BIV's. I like them and they seem to work fine. One thing we did with them is spec them with 6" male threads coming out, then we adapt it to 5" Storz. This way, we can draft through the valve if needed.

    Career department uses the Black Max (forget who makes it, maybe Akron?). They seem to work well, but I've never drafted out of one since we never draft.

    To be honest, both seem to work fine. If I remember right, the BIV's we run on the vollie side were comparable and maybe even cheaper than the piston valves we looked at.
    Last edited by Catch22; 02-16-2010 at 02:45 PM.

  3. #3
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    Stay away from valves like the harrington 810. This photo shows what the waterway looks like....its about 3 1/2" diameter. Its a major drawback to neck down a 5" supply line through a 3 1/2" valve.

    Akron does make the Black Max.

    AWG now has a high flow PIV http://www.awg-giengen.de/data/pdf/d.../en_198342.pdf

    Kochek: http://www.kochek.com/docs/70KPistonIntakeValve_Web.pdf

    Harrington: http://www.harrinc.com/catalogdb/catalog_results.php

    As far as I remember, AWG makes the valve bodies for their own models, Harrington and Kochek, maybe even Elkhart too.

    Can't offer you a solid suggestion, but my point is make sure your waterway is the largest you can get for your dollar. People seem to love the TFT's. if we ever needed one, thats what I would buy. If you intend to draft with it, do as others suggest and consider threaded connection with storz adapter. If you do this, assure the profile of valve+adapter will not stick off the side of the rig too obtrusively so as to get caught on stuff when maneuvering in tight areas.

    Check out this link for some test data...
    http://www.firehouse.com/forums/showthread.php?t=108728 (Intake Valve Flow Tests II - TFT vs Akron vs Elkhart)
    Attached Images Attached Images  

  4. #4
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    Default

    We use the TFT ball intake valve. Have had them in service for about 2 years and have had no problems with them.

  5. #5
    Forum Member FFWALT's Avatar
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    Default

    Our department uses Akron Black Max valves on all our intakes that connect to LDH. Our last engine has an electronic MIV (Hale), with bleeder, behind the panel which eliminates the need for something like a Black Max.

    Regardless of who makes the brand, regardless of if it is a ball or butterfly valve, regardless of the price, get the valve that provides the greatest flow possible so you can take full advantage of your LDH. Like MG3610 said, not all valves are created equal. Saving a few hundred dollars may cost you serious gpm.

    Our valves are all 6" threads for the pump intake (1,250-1,500 gpm) with 5" Storz for the LDH. You can draft through some intake valves but some you can't. This may be due to not having a "suction" gasket on the LDH side or possibly air leaking from pressure relief on the bottom. If your hard suction is Storz (or whatever) and would connect to the intake then get your hands on one and try it.

    We have very hard water and periodically we have to have the intake rebuilt. Maybe once or twice in the life of the truck.
    Train like you want to fight.
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  6. #6
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    We converted to Kochek piston valves several years ago and like their performance. As mentioned earlier you need to look at the flow capacity of the valves - they vary quite a bit even within a manufacturer's line. We have run 2000+ through a Kockek's high capacity valve with out a problem

    We initially had the gate valves (like the one pictured above) on all of our units. The problem with this type is opening/closing the valve under pressure. Not sure how hard it is with the 1/4 turn valves, but the piston valve is easier to open/close under these conditions.

    A limitation of the piston valve is the angled connection. If you have one on an aerial it will likely interfere with the pump operator step. To compensate our Squrit still has a gate valve our Quint has an electric valve. We are now spec'ing electric valves on all primary (6") intakes.

    Mike

  7. #7
    Forum Member CaptOldTimer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Squirt1262 View Post
    We converted to Kochek piston valves several years ago and like their performance. As mentioned earlier you need to look at the flow capacity of the valves - they vary quite a bit even within a manufacturer's line. We have run 2000+ through a Kockek's high capacity valve with out a problem

    We initially had the gate valves (like the one pictured above) on all of our units. The problem with this type is opening/closing the valve under pressure. Not sure how hard it is with the 1/4 turn valves, but the piston valve is easier to open/close under these conditions.

    A limitation of the piston valve is the angled connection. If you have one on an aerial it will likely interfere with the pump operator step. To compensate our Squrit still has a gate valve our Quint has an electric valve. We are now spec'ing electric valves on all primary (6") intakes.

    Mike

    Try using a short 25 foot section of LDH between the valve and the hook up on the truck.
    Stay Safe and Well Out There....

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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Squirt1262 View Post
    We converted to Kochek piston valves several years ago and like their performance. As mentioned earlier you need to look at the flow capacity of the valves - they vary quite a bit even within a manufacturer's line. We have run 2000+ through a Kockek's high capacity valve with out a problem

    We initially had the gate valves (like the one pictured above) on all of our units. The problem with this type is opening/closing the valve under pressure. Not sure how hard it is with the 1/4 turn valves, but the piston valve is easier to open/close under these conditions.

    A limitation of the piston valve is the angled connection. If you have one on an aerial it will likely interfere with the pump operator step. To compensate our Squrit still has a gate valve our Quint has an electric valve. We are now spec'ing electric valves on all primary (6") intakes.

    Mike
    A simpler solution it to turn the valve at a 45 degree angle so the inlet isnt pointing straight down.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by MG3610 View Post
    A simpler solution it to turn the valve at a 45 degree angle so the inlet isnt pointing straight down.
    Good point. We do that onthe RH side.

    However on the LH side on our vehicles, that would block the auxilary intake. We run Hale pumps with two 3" intakes on the LH side (front and back of the steamer connection) and the piston intake ends up covering one of those, especially if a charged 5" is connected.

    We have a neighboring company that predominantly lays 3 1/2" as their primary street line and will provide a 2nd line on major calls.

  10. #10
    Forum Member CaptOldTimer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Squirt1262 View Post
    Good point. We do that onthe RH side.

    However on the LH side on our vehicles, that would block the auxilary intake. We run Hale pumps with two 3" intakes on the LH side (front and back of the steamer connection) and the piston intake ends up covering one of those, especially if a charged 5" is connected.

    We have a neighboring company that predominantly lays 3 1/2" as their primary street line and will provide a 2nd line on major calls.



    Get you a Header or Siamese for the other companies incoming lines and have one line going to your pump and not trying to fit all of theirs in there.
    Stay Safe and Well Out There....

    Always remembering 9-11-2001 and 343+ Brothers

  11. #11
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    I vote for the TFT. It out flows most everything else I've tested, but I haven't tested everything.

    My test (Intake Valve Flow Tests II - TFT vs Akron vs Elkhart)

    The results, pumping from a draft, not a hydrant.
    1. No intake valve – 1,982 GPM with 14" Hg restriction.
    2. TFT Jumbo Ball Intake model AX8NX-NX – 1,818 GPM with 18” Hg restriction.
    3. Akron Piston Intake with 6" threads – 1,430 GPM with 22” Hg restriction (that the same model valve equipped with a 4" Storz flowed about 500 GPM less, like the next valve)
    4. Elkhart Piston Intake Valve with 4" Storz – 871 GPM with 22” Hg restriction
    5. No intake valve with 4½” suction hose – 1,630 GPM with 20” Hg restriction
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