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Thread: Rowe CAFS

  1. #1
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    Default Rowe CAFS

    My department is looking to add a Rowe CAF system to our existing pumper, I was wondering if there were any users out there that could give me good or bad feedback?
    Thanks


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    I'd stick with a signficant player in the CAFS business. Their website sounds all BS to me.

    In stalled a Waterous PTO system on our pumepr tanker spring 2009. Works great.

    The one major suggestion I'd make is use the Elkhart ICS controller for whatever CAFS package you get (Waterous, Hale, Darley).

    And don't wast $ on the "CAFS nozzles" from anyone. Breakapart butt with a smoothbore tip.

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    Forum Member Johngagemn's Avatar
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    I see some things on the website that would make me ask a lot of questions. Some pretty wild claims there.


    Direct from their website:
    Rowe Industries is the only manufacture to have a lifetime warranty on the device ( Equalizer)that balances the air and water using the laws of phycis elimnating the need for electonic balancing valves that have proven to be unreliable.

    I'm not aware of any major CAFS manufacturer using an electronic balancing valve. I believe just about everyone uses a piloted balance valve that uses water pressure pushing against a diaphragm to regulate compressor discharge pressure. These valves are extremely reliable and very rarely (if ever) have any issues.

    It uses the principles of physics to balance air and water pressures internally prior to discharge. The Equalizer does not care what the air and solution water pressure is as long as you have pressure!

    What operating pressure should we run at? The Equalizer does not care what the water pressure and air pressure is as long as you have pressure you will always have perfect foam.
    The principles of physics dictate that air pressure MUST be greater than or equal to the water pressure in the line in order to maintain proper air injection for good quality foam. Therefore, physics cares very much what the air and water pressure are. This is the entire reason balancing systems are needed to maintain proper air pressure, and why newer automated systems are much easier to operate than the CAFS of 30 years ago. I typically like to calibrate systems so that the air pressure runs about 10 psi higher than water pressure at the typical discharge pressure being used (usually 100 to 110 psi with CAFS).

    Do you have to flush out the system with each use? The Equalizer does not need or require flushing
    The Equalizer may not, but the plumbing on your truck, your hose, and your nozzle sure as heck do!

    What is the minimum hose lenght required? No minimum hose lenght requirements.The Equalizer is mixing the air and solution water prior to discharge not scrubing in the hose.
    This means that what they are using incorporates a device called a static mixer. Static mixers are great when you need to flow good CAFS with a very short hose lay (or none at all). The problem is they also create a TON of friction loss if you are flowing anything other than CAFS. They are most commonly used on master stream applications, and those master streams are then typically dual plumbed so as to avoid the limitations of the static mixer and the foam manifold when flowing water only.

    What about dangerous slug flow? Our system eliminates slug flow.
    You can't eliminate slug flow unless you force the system to shutdown if there is insufficient foam injection (i.e., the operator accidentally shuts off the foam proportioner or you run out of foam concentrate). Even if someone did have a way to do this that functioned automatically with every kind of foam proportioner, it would limit the use of the system to only making CAFS, you wouldn't be able to use the compressor to flow air only if needed to operate pneumatic tools, etc.

    I'm not saying they can't do what they claim they can, I'm just saying I'm skeptical and would ask a LOT of technical questions. If the answers they give you don't jibe with the answers other folks knowledgeable about CAFS give then it would be cause for concern for the consumer.

    Look, I work for a major CAFS manufacturer, and I'm not going to point you to my company or any other here. All I am going to say is that you should do some research by talking to several fire departments that have experience with CAFS and find out what the real scoop is. CaptLou, neiowa and chiefengineer11 are a couple of sources just to name a few on the forums here. I have no problem providing technical info on here, but I do my best to avoid giving a sales pitch on my company's products as I don't feel that to be appropriate to these forums.

    Best of luck, and I hope that whatever direction you go it serves your department well!
    Last edited by Johngagemn; 09-14-2010 at 12:48 PM.
    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.

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    well they alway's said if it's to good to be true then it's not. But one question is if it's so good than y doesn't waterous or hale or darley use there system's or idea's on the way they done it?

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    Question Who's they, sucka?

    Quote Originally Posted by jeremy1213 View Post
    well they alway's said if it's to good to be true then it's not.
    Whoever "They" are, they're idiots. The saying is: "If it's seems too good to be true, it probably is". Too say it's not, means that it actually is true.

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    They did a demo at LSU Pine Country just last week.

    I will admit I kniow very little about CAFS, but I found thier foam to be quite effective in knocking down the demo fires. Still have my doubts about any CAFS system's claims to significantly reduce overhaul time.

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    jeremy - might be a little issue of a patent.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    They did a demo at LSU Pine Country just last week.

    I will admit I kniow very little about CAFS, but I found thier foam to be quite effective in knocking down the demo fires. Still have my doubts about any CAFS system's claims to significantly reduce overhaul time.
    I have used CAFS in Texas and have seen the results first hand and know the benefits especially for a volunteer department that has limited water availability.

    As you I have seen them demo at Texas A&M and was impressed with their ease of operation and the quality of foam they produce.
    They do a some installations for E-ONE and Pierce as well, however I was hoping to hear from someone out their that has one of their systems installed on their apparatus.

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    Thumbs up CAFS is the way to go.

    Kyle Fire Department has 2 CAFS units. One of which is from Rowe Inds. We bought the system A few years ago. I installed it myself. It is a pretty simple system and it works great. We have not had any problems with it. To me it makes a better foam than we can get with the husky system that we have on our engine. You can email me at kylefire1203@yahoo.com, if you have any other questions.

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    Default Rowe's CAFS

    We have a Rowe's foam system on one of our engines. It works well enjoy that we are trying to budget to retro our E-One engine. We have had excellent performance from Rowe's system and CAFS in general. It really does reduce mop up time.
    Last edited by cheese601; 09-20-2010 at 10:58 PM.

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    Default I sure hope so

    Quote Originally Posted by mvasil View Post
    Kyle Fire Department has 2 CAFS units. One of which is from Rowe Inds. We bought the system A few years ago. I installed it myself. It is a pretty simple system and it works great. We have not had any problems with it. To me it makes a better foam than we can get with the husky system that we have on our engine. You can email me at kylefire1203@yahoo.com, if you have any other questions.
    It better be able to produce better foam that a Husky. The Husky is just a foam injection system. Not a CAFS.

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    MembersZone Subscriber npfd801's Avatar
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    Interesting that the two Rowe positive comments come from folks with one post each. Just sayin'.
    "Share your knowledge - it's a way to achieve immortality." - Stolen from Chase Sargent's Buddy to Boss program

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    npfd801
    Never felt the need to comment on a topic on here till this one. If a product works and I have knowledge about it I will support it. Rowes CAFS works well for use. Just sayn

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    In Reply to Johngagemn:

    I am a Firefighter, a fire truck manufacturer & a CAFS tactics Instructor. I do not build CAFS systems. I ONLY use the Rowe CAFS System on my trucks. The comments you made about the Rowe CAFS System were 100% wrong, totally off base, not even close to the correct answer. You need to educate yourself before you make these kinds of comments.

    Four basic ingredients are needed to produce CAFS: a water pump, a foam injection system, an air supply system, and a CAFS system. The failure of any of these four components eliminates CAFS capability. Of the four required components, the most difficult process happens in the CAFS system. Every manufacturer has a different approach to the problem of putting compressed air and foam solution together for scrubbing including balancing valves, springs, and computers with sensors. All of which have the potential to break at many different points causing the entire system to fail. I have in the past refused to put a CAFS system on any of my trucks because of this very reason. When a fire department is looking to purchase a CAFS system it must consider five major points: user-friendliness, maintenance, reliability, cost, and trustworthiness. The Rowe Equalizer eliminates these problems with simple physics. It has no moving parts, computers or regulators. I know the Rowe system can answer each of these five considerations. A rookie can be taught to operate the system in one minute. Out of all of the systems installed on the fire trucks I build, there has not been one, with the Rowe CAFS system, fail. Nor have I ever known any other truck, with the Rowe CAFS system on it, fail. It is possible to put out more fire with 400 gallons of water and a CAFS system than it is to put out the same fire with 4000 gallons of water only when using the correct tactics. Finally, the system carries a lifetime warranty. What more do you need to say?

    I don’t know how much damage was done to Mr. Rowe by your comment, but I feel you owe him an apology. I know of no one that he has misled, speaking from my own experience. I consider him a very knowledgeable person. Now if for some reason Mr. Rowe would refuse to sell me his CAFS System, I would cease to offer CAFS on the trucks I build. If a department insisted on having another CAFS System, besides Rowe’s, put on their truck, I would refuse to build their truck. I have done it in the past and would do it in the future. I would refer them to another manufacturer. This will continue to be my policy unless, in the future, another CAFS Systems better than Rowe’s is developed (I don’t think this can be accomplished.)

    In a nutshell, as a Firefighter, a manufacturer, and a CAFS tactics instructor, I do all of my demos with my initial attack being with the Rowe CAFS system, because I trust this system. My theory is there is always a better way to build my fire trucks and I am continuously looking for it.

    Greg Blanchat
    Blanchat Mfg., Inc.

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    OK so Rowe asked you defend him. Got it.

    The only CAFS system you've used is the Rowe? So it's the only one that is worth a dang? The "no computers/high tech" thing doesn't ring with positive for me. In fact I think is silly. I appreciate the new gimcracks where it improves our performance. I'm not a luddite (or goreite). No desire for a pony pulled steamer.

    The only CAFS system I've used (hands on, making foam) is mine. A Waterous 140-SP with Elkhart ICS controls. Works great, no problems at all. But I won't claim to be a expert on all CAFS system. Or even an expert in all thing on Waterous. But looked at the major brands (actual truck with my eyeballs) before bought Waterous.

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    WOW what a nerve I have struck asking for a simple explanation, seems everyone says they build a better mousetrap.

    So I did make the six hour trip to visit the ROWE factory, while I was not real impressed with a high tech manufacturing facility I was impressed with the quality in manufacturing, the install that they had just done on a Pierce Contender, the ease of operation and mostly the quality of their foam. It works folks believe it or not. Now is it a bit different than everyone else? Yes, but does that make them wrong? I don't think so. This is good ole competitive manufacturing and competition is good.

    I went over their system with a fine tooth comb, I am in no means a CAFS expert at least not yet but please don't knock their system if you have not used it.

    I asked the question " If your system is so great why have you not sold more?" His response was I am happy with the quantity that I sell and install now, I have no real desire to grow into something big and I would rather produce fewer, quality systems rather selling in quantity.

    In response to my trip I feel confident that ROWE sells a good quality product and I have no question that I would not have a problem with purchasing their system.

    Thanks
    C. Rice
    Asst. Fire Chief
    Rives Fire/Rescue

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    Quote Originally Posted by smokediver6102 View Post
    WOW what a nerve I have struck asking for a simple explanation, seems everyone says they build a better mousetrap.
    Don't let them bother you. In your part of the US it is well known that the Rowe system not only works, but works well. Obviously johngageman is not a physics instructor and neiowa has an opinion on everything to the point where he can simply dismiss the opinion of someone who has installed the systems.

    Having seen and operated the system first hand you now know the value of the opinions often found in the forums.

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    Quote Originally Posted by neiowa View Post
    OK so Rowe asked you defend him. Got it.
    Nice unverified accusation to throw at a business owner.
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    Quote Originally Posted by firepundit View Post
    Obviously johngageman is not a physics instructor <snip>
    You're right, I'm not a physics professor, but 2 years of college level physics classes and my ability to research, learn, and understand subjects on my own have given me a pretty good working knowledge. Combined with over a decade of experience operating, fighting fire with, servicing, providing technical assistance for, and training fire departments on CAFS, I'm not, by any means, new to this.

    I see some people keep referring to "the laws of physics" without ever giving any further information. I love to learn how machinery I have not personally taken apart works, so I would encourage someone to expand on what laws of physics they are referring to. I was very specific with facts in my original post, I have yet to see anyone give me an answer to satisfy any of those questions raised other than "The laws of physics!" and "It works, I swear!".

    I would also like to stress: I never said that the system didn't or wouldn't work. I said there were things on the website that would make me ask a lot of technical questions about how the system actually worked:

    I'm not saying they can't do what they claim they can, I'm just saying I'm skeptical and would ask a LOT of technical questions. If the answers they give you don't jibe with the answers other folks knowledgeable about CAFS give then it would be cause for concern for the consumer.
    I stand by that statement.

    And by the way, I still take great umbrage with the statement referring to the balancing systems used by ALL other CAFS manufacturers as "unreliable".
    Last edited by Johngagemn; 09-29-2010 at 10:46 AM.
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    Forum Member Rescue101's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Johngagemn View Post
    You're right, I'm not a physics professor, but 2 years of college level physics classes and my ability to research, learn, and understand subjects on my own have given me a pretty good working knowledge. Combined with over a decade of experience operating, fighting fire with, servicing, providing technical assistance for, and training fire departments on CAFS, I'm not, by any means, new to this.

    I see some people keep referring to "the laws of physics" without ever giving any further information. I love to learn how machinery I have not personally taken apart works, so I would encourage someone to expand on what laws of physics they are referring to. I was very specific with facts in my original post, I have yet to see anyone give me an answer to satisfy any of those questions raised other than "The laws of physics!" and "It works, I swear!".

    I would also like to stress: I never said that the system didn't or wouldn't work. I said there were things on the website that would make me ask a lot of technical questions about how the system actually worked:



    I stand by that statement.

    And by the way, I still take great umbrage with the statement referring to the balancing systems used by ALL other CAFS manufacturers as "unreliable".
    I USUALLY only pay attention to two laws of Physics. Gravity and Inertia. Seem to be fighting both most of the time,hehe T.C.

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