1. #1
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    Default A couple of (specific) Smoothbore Questions

    1. It seems that a lot of the "hardcore" smoothbore departments use Akron products. Is there any particular advantage of Akron over Elkhart smoothbore tips and shut-offs? Better stream quality or anything?

    2. For departments using SB's on 1 3/4" lines with 3-person engine Co's (driver, Ofc, FF), how manageable have you found the 15/16ths when the nozzle man is operating alone most of the time (yes, I know he's not alone, but his backup/officer is likely 20-30 feet behind him acting as the door man). Anybody using 7/8ths tips for this reason, or is the 15/16ths still reasonable?

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    1. There shouldn't be any variance in performance between manufacturers, at least not enough that matters. Water should go through the same size openings regardless of who made them.

    2. Operating should be easier. We use fixed gallanage fog nozzles - 200 gpm at 75 psi. The solid bore is still designed to operate at 50 psi. The bigger problem has been the Drivers making sure that the hoselines are not kinked. The lower pressure doesn;t work as many of them out on their own.

    To another point, even when 2 guys go in on a line, we operate as nozzle and back up or nozzle and officer. There is always someone behind us that can pull slack.
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlitzfireSolo View Post
    1. It seems that a lot of the "hardcore" smoothbore departments use Akron products. Is there any particular advantage of Akron over Elkhart smoothbore tips and shut-offs? Better stream quality or anything?

    The gallonage flow will be the same if the discharge opening is the same, no matter what brand the nozzle is. The place you will notice a difference is in the shape and reach from different tips. If you compare a slug tip to a regular smoothbore tip, or one of the longer style tips you will notice a huge difference in the streams. The longer the tip the better the stream quality.

    2. For departments using SB's on 1 3/4" lines with 3-person engine Co's (driver, Ofc, FF), how manageable have you found the 15/16ths when the nozzle man is operating alone most of the time (yes, I know he's not alone, but his backup/officer is likely 20-30 feet behind him acting as the door man). Anybody using 7/8ths tips for this reason, or is the 15/16ths still reasonable?

    Hose handling and nozzle operation should almost always be based on minimum staffing scenarios. One of my greatest pet peeves is doing hose advancement or handling drills with unrealistic sized crews. If your engine has a 3 person crew then realistic hose advancement is 2 people, you and your officer. If you have a 4 person engine realistic hose advancement is 3 people, you another firefighter and the officer.

    Both of those scenarios call for hose movement techniques like advancing dry line as far as you can, stockpiling hose for easier advancing, and proper placement of people on the line for easier advancement of the line. Corners become even more crucial when hose teams are understaffed, snags and kinks can be a real killer when you have no one to chase them and fix them for you.

    As far as how manageable a 15/16ths tip is versus a 7/8th tip with one person it depends on the person. No, that is not a smart *** answer. It is reality. Strength, size, and most of all technique play a part in how easy it will be to handle. Some will be strong enough to hold the hoseline in their arms and muscle it by themselves. Others will need to kneel on the line, lay on it, or even sit on it to control it.

    Both my career and volly FD's use 200 at 75 psi combo nozzles. We are expected to handle that by ourselves during fire attack. It will take different techniques for different people to be able to accomplish that. My career Fd is now going to a 1 1/8 inch tip for our Ponn Conquest 1 3/4 inch hose lines for our high rise packs. We trained operating it with crews of 2 on the line and the back up person back 20 feet or so pulling line.

    I hope that was helpful. I think I may have wandered a bit off topic. I apologize if I went off track too far.
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlitzfireSolo View Post
    1. It seems that a lot of the "hardcore" smoothbore departments use Akron products. Is there any particular advantage of Akron over Elkhart smoothbore tips and shut-offs? Better stream quality or anything?

    2. For departments using SB's on 1 3/4" lines with 3-person engine Co's (driver, Ofc, FF), how manageable have you found the 15/16ths when the nozzle man is operating alone most of the time (yes, I know he's not alone, but his backup/officer is likely 20-30 feet behind him acting as the door man). Anybody using 7/8ths tips for this reason, or is the 15/16ths still reasonable?
    1. Kramer hit the nail on the head. A shutoff is a shutoff, and a tip is a tip. I don't know much about the Akron shutoffs, but I know the Akron fog nozzles have plastic bales. We have a whole stack that are broken. Elkhart is metal.

    2. We just got done with demo burns with Elhart this week to see how we liked using a 1" smoothbore with 1 3/4" line. We run 2 man engines. With proper nozzle control, it works just fine with 1 man on the nozzle and another somewhere down the line backing him up.

    Quote Originally Posted by MemphisE34a View Post
    1. There shouldn't be any variance in performance between manufacturers, at least not enough that matters. Water should go through the same size openings regardless of who made them.

    2. Operating should be easier. We use fixed gallanage fog nozzles - 200 gpm at 75 psi. The solid bore is still designed to operate at 50 psi. The bigger problem has been the Drivers making sure that the hoselines are not kinked. The lower pressure doesn;t work as many of them out on their own.

    To another point, even when 2 guys go in on a line, we operate as nozzle and back up or nozzle and officer. There is always someone behind us that can pull slack.
    What hose are you guys running in Memphis? When we put flow and pressure gauges on everything it was obvious that to get big flows out of 1 3/4" line you need hose that can do it without having engine pressures through the roof. With our demo nozzles came 200' of 1 3/4" Combat Ready hose to try out. When comparing the Combat Ready hose to our conventional hose, the difference in engine pressure was astonishing. To flow 200 GPM, the difference was right at 53 PSI for the 200' line. Not saying Combat Ready is the holy grail of hose, just making the point.

    Our long term goal is to run one line with a smooth bore and one line with a fog. I am pushing this idea at my volunteer department as well. Being as we have conventional hose and dont plan on replacing it any time soon, have nozzles rated for 200 GPM wouldnt make much sense. My plan is to have a 175 @ 50 fog on one line and a 15/16" smoothbore on the other. Same nozzle pressure with almost the same GPM. Pump pressure will be the same regaurdless of which line is pulled off the truck. And no pistol grips.

    And to end my shameless plug for Elkhart, they offer you $100 per nozzle to trade in what you have when you buy from them. So, depending on what you buy, if you buy 4 nozzles and trade in 4, you pretty much get one for free.
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    Quote Originally Posted by GTRider245 View Post
    What hose are you guys running in Memphis? When we put flow and pressure gauges on everything it was obvious that to get big flows out of 1 3/4" line you need hose that can do it without having engine pressures through the roof. With our demo nozzles came 200' of 1 3/4" Combat Ready hose to try out. When comparing the Combat Ready hose to our conventional hose, the difference in engine pressure was astonishing. To flow 200 GPM, the difference was right at 53 PSI for the 200' line. Not saying Combat Ready is the holy grail of hose, just making the point.

    Our long term goal is to run one line with a smooth bore and one line with a fog. I am pushing this idea at my volunteer department as well. Being as we have conventional hose and dont plan on replacing it any time soon, have nozzles rated for 200 GPM wouldnt make much sense. My plan is to have a 175 @ 50 fog on one line and a 15/16" smoothbore on the other. Same nozzle pressure with almost the same GPM. Pump pressure will be the same regaurdless of which line is pulled off the truck. And no pistol grips.
    We have a mix of Angus Hi-Combat and regular non-combat hose. We to noticed that you had to have a higher pump discharge pressure through the hi-combat to get the gpm. Don't know that we ever figured out why.

    One fog and one smoothbore is what the handful of companies do here that have 1 3/4" smoothbores, albeit not many have them. I think they also showed up on a product test. Most of the busier firefighting companies got to try use them and they are still out there.

    We also have a 100' bumper line. The other shifts preferred the fog nozzle, so both preconnects got fogs and I put the solid on the bumper line. If I wanted to use it I would pull that. Most of our houses in my district at the time only set about 40 feet off the road, so it worked out good. Solid bore also worked well on car fires.
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    "Everyone goes home" is the mantra for the pussification of the modern, American fire service.


    Comments made are my own. They do not represent the official position or opinion of the Fire Department or the City for which I am employed. In fact, they are normally exactly the opposite.

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    We operate with a three man full time crew supplemented with volunteers. Our attack line has a 7/8" tip. We found this flow easier to handle with the typical staffing. Our only fog nozzle is an automatic on a 100' front bumper line for foam. We have Akron shutoffs with an Elkhart stream shaper and that long tip with the rubber bumper (187?). All of our solid bores have a stream shaper on them. We think that makes the greatest difference in stream quality. Some of our mutual aid engines have the 7/8" SB on one preconnect and an Akron Assault 150 gpm @50 psi on the other. That way they can use either nozzle and the flow and NP are the real close. WIth all the large nozzles having SB tips, there is only one NP to teach and remember. Makes it much easier to operate when you only get a few fires a year.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MemphisE34a View Post
    We have a mix of Angus Hi-Combat and regular non-combat hose. We to noticed that you had to have a higher pump discharge pressure through the hi-combat to get the gpm. Don't know that we ever figured out why.

    One fog and one smoothbore is what the handful of companies do here that have 1 3/4" smoothbores, albeit not many have them. I think they also showed up on a product test. Most of the busier firefighting companies got to try use them and they are still out there.

    We also have a 100' bumper line. The other shifts preferred the fog nozzle, so both preconnects got fogs and I put the solid on the bumper line. If I wanted to use it I would pull that. Most of our houses in my district at the time only set about 40 feet off the road, so it worked out good. Solid bore also worked well on car fires.
    Typo maybe? The PDP should be LOWER with the Hi-Combat hose. That is one of the main advantages of purchasing it over regular hose. That, the anti-kink properties, and the warranty.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rescue101 View Post
    I don't mind fire rolling over my head. I just don't like it rolling UNDER my a**.

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    Thanks for all of the replies, including the related discussion & background information.

    I was thinking the same thing about the plastic bales on the Akrons breaking, and that was one of the reasons that I was leaning toward Elkhart and their metal handles. But I noticed that some of the guys who have written on the topic of SB's specifically stated that they recommended Akrons. I was just wondering if the taper inside of the Akron tips tended to provide a better stream, or some other subtle difference in design.

    BigJim - I know the stream shapers make a nicer stream, but we'll be specifically avoiding them on handlines; one of the selling features of the SB's for us is that they'll flush out debris without a hiccup.

    GT - Some of the High Combat has terrible friction loss, if you actually do the tests yourself.


    Anybody using Elkhart shutoffs with the built-in smoothbore orifice? I've been leaning toward using a regular 15/16ths tip, with a 1 1/8" built into the shutoff, for when the 180gpm won't cut it. I'm hoping to transition to Ponn Conquest for our 1 3/4", so the 250 gpm should still be doable.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GTRider245 View Post
    Typo maybe? The PDP should be LOWER with the Hi-Combat hose. That is one of the main advantages of purchasing it over regular hose. That, the anti-kink properties, and the warranty.
    To be honest, I thought it was higher, but it's been awhile. It may have been that we noticed a great variance in the gauges from pumper to pumper. Let me double check and get back to you on that.

    For the record, we use Elkhart handline nozzles. Either fixed gallange Chiefs or Select A Flows.
    Last edited by MemphisE34a; 10-02-2010 at 09:02 PM.
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    Management is making sure things are done right. Leadership is doing the right thing. The fire service needs alot more leaders and a lot less managers.

    "Everyone goes home" is the mantra for the pussification of the modern, American fire service.


    Comments made are my own. They do not represent the official position or opinion of the Fire Department or the City for which I am employed. In fact, they are normally exactly the opposite.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MemphisE34a View Post
    To be honest, I thought it was higher, but it's been awhile. It may have been that we noticed a great variance in the gauges from pumper to pumper. Let me double check and get back to you on that.
    No, you're right. Angus Hi Combat has terrible friction loss, although some of it is worse than others. Compare the surface of the inner liner to a hose like the Ponn Conquest and you'll see why.

    Note: This is not to be confused with the Key Fire Hose "Combat Ready" hose. I've never tried the stuff personally, but supposedly it has very good friction loss characteristics.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BlitzfireSolo View Post

    Note: This is not to be confused with the Key Fire Hose "Combat Ready" hose. I've never tried the stuff personally, but supposedly it has very good friction loss characteristics.
    53 PSI/200ft. line was our numbers when we compared Combat Ready and conventional hose. And that was on a pressure and flow meter as well.

    Blitz, you made a good point. I was talking about Key hose. I have no expirience with Hi-Combat.
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    We run Akron Breakapart Assault nozzles, 175gpm/75psi. Pump the same pressure whether the fog tip is on or removed and flow goes from ~160-170. Pump pressure on our 1 3/4" lines at 200' is at 90psi. We use "low bid" Ponn hose.

    Akron had a better price than Elkhart.
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bones42 View Post
    We run Akron Breakapart Assault nozzles, 175gpm/75psi. Pump the same pressure whether the fog tip is on or removed and flow goes from ~160-170. Pump pressure on our 1 3/4" lines at 200' is at 90psi. We use "low bid" Ponn hose.
    Have you put a flow meter on this setup to confirm it? 7.5 PSI per 100' is a little hard to believe with any flow, much less 175 GPM.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bones42 View Post
    Akron had a better price than Elkhart.
    Plastic is cheaper than metal.
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    I don't mind fire rolling over my head. I just don't like it rolling UNDER my a**.

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    Yes, all done by flow meters. Have given up on calculations and stuff many many years ago.

    We have a new engine arriving in a week or two. We'll be doing lots of training on it soon, so I'll re-run all the numbers and report back.
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

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    i have stated what we tend carry and continue to purchase akron brass here. we are close to the factory and have good service. i have used elkharts and like them.

    just like giving the homestate factory our biz.
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