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  1. #1
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    Default Hose Maintenance

    Looking for some input on how often other departments conduct hose maintenance on their fire hose. It is recommended that the hose be "exercised" (un-loaded from hosebed etc) every 30 days or so, and water run through them about every 90 days. We do not do that. Is it SOP in your department? What are some other guidelines your department has in place as far as care of your hose? Any other tips/ recommendations are much appreciated. Thanks in advance.


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    That's a pretty ambitious schedule for most volunteer departments. I don't know of any departments that "exercise" their hose every 30 days. At most, if we unload at a working fire 1-6 times per year (and that would not be every apparatus), that would be it. Hoses are hydrostatically tested annually (I think) by a professional company.

    But after thinking about it some more, if it was done at least once every 90 days, it would give drivers some good drill experience on laying in and/or reverse laying. The guys would be crying up a storm with packing all of that hose though.

    Where did this recommendation for 30 days come from? Manufacturer?

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    Fires notwithstanding, our hose comes off once a year for testing. Tell folks we're gonna pull and relay 1000' of five inch and you'll be standing there all by yourself - everybody will hear their "honey-do" list calling.

    Back in the day, it was necessary to work with the rubber lined hose, but today's synthetics are much more tolerant.
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigNozzlePumper View Post
    Looking for some input on how often other departments conduct hose maintenance on their fire hose. It is recommended that the hose be "exercised" (un-loaded from hosebed etc) every 30 days or so, and water run through them about every 90 days. We do not do that. Is it SOP in your department? What are some other guidelines your department has in place as far as care of your hose? Any other tips/ recommendations are much appreciated. Thanks in advance.
    In my practical experience, this sort of schedule would be overkill.

    We dropped the LDH at least twice a year for testing and an LDH drill. When you consider that we have almost 4000' of it spread out over our fleet, you realize the scope of the task....

    As for the cotton hose, that was a bit more frequent, but nowhere near that sort of schedule.

    Is that an NFPA recommendation?
    I am now a past chief and the views, opinions, and comments are mine and mine alone. I do not speak for any department or in any official capacity. Although, they would be smart to listen to me.

    "The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it's still on the list."

    "When tempted to fight fire with fire, remember that the Fire Department usually uses water."

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    Quote Originally Posted by BigNozzlePumper View Post
    It is recommended that the hose be "exercised" (un-loaded from hosebed etc) every 30 days or so, and water run through them about every 90 days.
    Says who????
    "Loyalty Above all Else. Except Honor."

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    Quote Originally Posted by BigNozzlePumper View Post
    Looking for some input on how often other departments conduct hose maintenance on their fire hose. It is recommended that the hose be "exercised" (un-loaded from hosebed etc) every 30 days or so, and water run through them about every 90 days. We do not do that. Is it SOP in your department? What are some other guidelines your department has in place as far as care of your hose? Any other tips/ recommendations are much appreciated. Thanks in advance.
    Back 30 years ago when we used cotton jackets and live rubber liners. You seriously need a new set of red books. With synthetic rubber liners and outer jackets routine inspections after use, repair, and at the annual hose test is good enough in most cases.

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    Just for reference, in IFSTA #103 "Fire Hose Practices" 6th edition 1974; Page 16

    MILDEW AND MOLD

    Mildew and mold may occur on the woven jacket when moisture is allowed to remain on the outer surface. This condition will cause rot or decay and the consequent deterioration of the hose. Some methods of preventing mildew and mold are as follows:

    Remove all wet hose from the apparatus after a fire and replace it with dry hose.

    If hose has not been removed from the apparatus during a period of thirty days, it should be removed , inspected, swept, and reloaded.

    Some fire hose has been chemically treated to resist mildew and mold but such treatment is not always 100 precent effective. Regardless of this, hose should be exercised every thirty days, and water should be run thought it every ninety days to prevent drying and cracking of the rubber lining.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Acklan View Post
    Just for reference, in IFSTA #103 "Fire Hose Practices" 6th edition 1974; Page 16
    He nailed it on the head right there. I was reading it and thinking, "NO WAY. There can't be anyone that does this." I've been on 3 different Volly houses, and we never did this. Good to hear nobody else does it either. Sounds like everyone else is about on the same page as our house: Pull it for a fire, test it anually, and leave it alone.

    Understood that is rubber-lined specific then?
    Last edited by BigNozzlePumper; 11-02-2010 at 02:19 AM.

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    We use to keep 5 changes of 2.5" in the station. We handled hose every day at work till about 1988 when, the then new, Chief of Operations agree it was pointless and costly. We started replacing our 2.5" supply with 5" and have not looked back. We still have 800' of 2.5' on the truck but we just wash and reload.

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    Roger that. We keep both sizes on our truck as well. I think we still have less 5 inch than we do 2.5 inch, but I believe that falls under a funding problem. And like I said, we surely do not do any kind of hose maint. that is "recommended".

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    We aren't even running 2.5" - we use 3" instead.

    We do keep a full round of 1.75" rolled at the station so we can repack the preconnects with clean, dry hose and clean up the dirty stuff at our leisure (which is to say right away, but then we can let it dry and roll it).

    The 3" generally only gets replaced from the standby stock if there's a reason, like it's filthy.

    Back in the late 70's we replaced our "bridge" (supply) truck, including most of the hose. Some of the cotton jacket stuff off the old truck would stand up in a corner by itself.
    Opinions my own. Standard disclaimers apply.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tree68 View Post
    Back in the late 70's we replaced our "bridge" (supply) truck, including most of the hose. Some of the cotton jacket stuff off the old truck would stand up in a corner by itself.
    Yep. You could tell when the hose was racked back wet. When you came back off your 4 days and the engine room smelled like a wet goat.

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    Proably the most important thing in my opinion is to try and change the locations of the folds in the bed. We started making a hash mark (with a sharpy) in the bed when we reload after testing.

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    Yeah I have seen that. It's been sitting in the hose bed long enough it has the creases seem like they are permanent. I actaully saw a guy that was re-loading the hose and was trying to make the folds in the creases (he was new and didn't know any better). I kind of like the sharpie idea. I believe that's where most of your wear is going to be: right there at the crease. Good suggestion.

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    Just for reference, in IFSTA #103 "Fire Hose Practices" 6th edition 1974; Page 16

    The standard you are using is from a book written 36 years ago. the hose in question back then was a completely different product. If you check with the manufacturers specs on the hose you are using today you will not see these recommendations. We have some 30 yo 3 inch in the back of the station with brass couplings that you can hardly unroll it's so stiff. Makes great dock bumpers though.

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    Quote Originally Posted by islandfire03 View Post
    Just for reference, in IFSTA #103 "Fire Hose Practices" 6th edition 1974; Page 16

    The standard you are using is from a book written 36 years ago. the hose in question back then was a completely different product. If you check with the manufacturers specs on the hose you are using today you will not see these recommendations. We have some 30 yo 3 inch in the back of the station with brass couplings that you can hardly unroll it's so stiff. Makes great dock bumpers though.
    I believe this was the point of BigNozzlePumper comment about monthly\quarterly hose maintenance. He wanted to know if anyone had heard of this requirement, I just cited where it could be found.
    The 30 rotation was to change the bends in the hose. Last hose off the truck was the last hose load back on the truck. Bad olds days. Glad they are gone.
    BTW: Many plants use brass coupling to this day, because of their property to resist chemicals.
    Many rookie schools require students to carry a piece of rope, for practicing knots. Back in the day it was a 8" triangle file, for dressing threads on brass couplings, and a 2.5 lb brass hammer for rounding couplings.

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    Quote Originally Posted by islandfire03 View Post
    Makes great dock bumpers though.
    Actually I've been told that it doesn't, unless it's pretty soft. If it's too stiff (like the stuff that'll stand up by itself), it'll scratch the paint.....
    Opinions my own. Standard disclaimers apply.

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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by tree68 View Post
    Actually I've been told that it doesn't, unless it's pretty soft. If it's too stiff (like the stuff that'll stand up by itself), it'll scratch the paint.....
    We're dealing with working boats here, not pretty pleasure craft. A fishing trawler or lobster boat already has lots of scrapes and rub marks down the sides.

    The summer folks buy the molded urethane bumpers for their floats. 38.00 / 3 ft section so they don't scuff the wax job.

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    Quote Originally Posted by islandfire03 View Post
    We're dealing with working boats here, not pretty pleasure craft.
    Yeah - we're dealing with pleasure craft here in the 1000 islands and on the lake. Not much for working boats.
    Opinions my own. Standard disclaimers apply.

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    I think we got a bunch of it laying around across the street in our storage area too. Maybe we will donate it to the people that run the marinas around our area. Not a bad idea as long as its fishing boats and such.....there is really no point of keeping it around taking up space.

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