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  1. #1
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    Default LDH Hose / cotton vs rubber

    Our department was recently awarded an AFG grant for all new 5" supply hose and appliances for our 7 engines. We are currently going through bidding for 100' sections of hose and are interested in learning the pros & cons of cotton jacketed LDH. We currently use 4" rubber hose and have been for over 20 years. Aside from the ability to pump at higher pressures and the lighter weight, what are the advantages of cotton jacketed hose over rubber hose. Longevity, ability to keep clean, ability to keep dry, serviceability, durability, etc. I would appreciate any feedback any of you out there may have to assist us in this decision. This is a major upgrade for our department and we want to make the most educated and worthwile investment possible.


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    Forum Member FyredUp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FMNPFD View Post
    Our department was recently awarded an AFG grant for all new 5" supply hose and appliances for our 7 engines. We are currently going through bidding for 100' sections of hose and are interested in learning the pros & cons of cotton jacketed LDH. We currently use 4" rubber hose and have been for over 20 years. Aside from the ability to pump at higher pressures and the lighter weight, what are the advantages of cotton jacketed hose over rubber hose. Longevity, ability to keep clean, ability to keep dry, serviceability, durability, etc. I would appreciate any feedback any of you out there may have to assist us in this decision. This is a major upgrade for our department and we want to make the most educated and worthwile investment possible.
    Frankly, I see no advantage what so ever in buying cotton jacketed ldh over nitrile rubber hose. The rubber needs only to be hose or wiped down after use. It can be loaded wet. It can be pruchased in attack hose rating and pumped at higher pressures than normal rubber LDH.

    Buy the rubber. If it has served you well why change into a more labor intensive higher maintenance hose?
    “The person who risks nothing, does nothing, has nothing, is nothing, and becomes nothing. He may avoid suffering and sorrow, but he simply cannot learn and feel and change and grow and love and live.” Leo F. Buscaglia

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  3. #3
    Forum Member PaladinKnight's Avatar
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    I have to agree with FyredUp. Buy the nitrile rubber LDH. Easier to maintain and will last longer from my experience.

    There just isn't anything pretty about it, but no one really cares about that... do they?
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    Forum Member FWDbuff's Avatar
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    We had several thousand feet of Neidner jacketed 5" back in the 90's. Believe me when I say this- IT SUCKS, YOU DONT WANT IT.

    When the hose is charged, the inner lining always "turns" inside the outer lining, moving out of alignment with it. As a result, the hose NEVER, EVER lays flat again, even if you roll it before packing it every single time (which by the way you have to do in order to get it to lay somewhat flat.....never mind all the way flat.)

    Trust me. Stick with the single layer rubber hose.
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  5. #5
    55 Years & Still Rolling hwoods's Avatar
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    Post And..............

    There are a number of things to look at here. While appreciating (and agreeing with) Fyred's comments above, I'd have to ask about Staffing Levels. Can your engine crews load wet hose after a job by themselves, or do they have to have some additional crews helping??. I've reloaded Three inch DJ with just two of us, but I don't see a two man crew doing LDH. On the other hand, you run with Four guys all the time, no sweat. Then there's Water: Got plenty, or is it hard to come by?? If my supply is limited, I'm happier with pumping it thru a smaller line. Last, and this is the Biggie. Line Placement. Your Drivers will need to train on where/how to lay the lines so that they don't block Later Arriving Apparatus from reaching the point where they're needed. I just saw a bit of that this past weekend where LDH prevented a Ladder Company from reaching the involved structure. Once LDH is in place and charged, a couple of people aren't going to move it like you do with Three Inch. If I sound like I don't care for LDH, you're right, I don't. For jobs where a lot of water is needed, it's OK, but for your day to day "Bread and Butter" 3-500 GPM jobs Three inch is good enough for me......
    Never use Force! Get a Bigger Hammer.
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    Forum Member FyredUp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hwoods View Post
    There are a number of things to look at here. While appreciating (and agreeing with) Fyred's comments above, I'd have to ask about Staffing Levels. Can your engine crews load wet hose after a job by themselves, or do they have to have some additional crews helping??. I've reloaded Three inch DJ with just two of us, but I don't see a two man crew doing LDH. On the other hand, you run with Four guys all the time, no sweat. Then there's Water: Got plenty, or is it hard to come by?? If my supply is limited, I'm happier with pumping it thru a smaller line. Last, and this is the Biggie. Line Placement. Your Drivers will need to train on where/how to lay the lines so that they don't block Later Arriving Apparatus from reaching the point where they're needed. I just saw a bit of that this past weekend where LDH prevented a Ladder Company from reaching the involved structure. Once LDH is in place and charged, a couple of people aren't going to move it like you do with Three Inch. If I sound like I don't care for LDH, you're right, I don't. For jobs where a lot of water is needed, it's OK, but for your day to day "Bread and Butter" 3-500 GPM jobs Three inch is good enough for me......

    Chief,

    I have to respectfully disagree with you on this topic. It is far less labor intensive to reload nitrile rubber LDH than jacketed LDH since there is no rolling, no washing, no drying, no racking it and pulling other hose from the rack to load on the engine.

    They have been using LDH for 20 years according to FMNPFD. I would gather by that that they have learned how to lay it to allow for other apparatus to position at the scene.

    I have no doubts that your FD utilizes 3 inch hose in either single or double lays in a manner that works for you. But for me, I would rather lay out the 5 inch nitrile rubber LDH both of my FDs carry and get every drop of water that the hydrant can offer to my engine. If we only need 300 to 500 gpm we can get it, but if things go bad we can get far more without having to lay additional lines or have someone pump the line. I guess I am lazy in that I would rather lay one line that will bring me all the water I will ever need, hose the dirt off from that same line and then reload it right on the scene.

    As for whether to buy rubber or cotton jacketed hose for supply lines that, to me anyways, is a no brainer. Buy the hose that will do the job and call for the least amount of maintenance to put it back in service after a fire.
    “The person who risks nothing, does nothing, has nothing, is nothing, and becomes nothing. He may avoid suffering and sorrow, but he simply cannot learn and feel and change and grow and love and live.” Leo F. Buscaglia

    This place gets weirder and weirder every day...

  7. #7
    55 Years & Still Rolling hwoods's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Rebuttal..............

    Bonehead...........



    Seriously, I certainly didn't mean to sound like I was leaning toward Jacketed LDH, I wasn't. And, if this is a Department that has experience with LDH already, Great, they know what they're doing. I took the OP's comments to mean that they would be new to the LDH environment. I've had a bit of experience with DJ Rubber Lined Hose in 3.5 inch size, and it was a bear to use, I can't fathom why anyone would use anything bigger than Three inch using that material. Above Three inch, the (my term) "Plastic" hose is the only way to go......


    Think I'll go back to bed and start over............
    Never use Force! Get a Bigger Hammer.
    In memory of
    Chief Earle W. Woods, 1912 - 1997
    Asst. Chief John R. Woods Sr. 1937 - 2006

    IACOJ Budget Analyst

    I Refuse to be a Spectator. If I come to the Game, I'm Playing.

    www.gdvfd18.com

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    Thank you so much for all your input here. We were leaning towards rubber LDH, for reasons pointed out here, having used it for years and are already skilled in it's use. There was discussion among our administration over the weight of 100' rolls, with the DJ being a little lighter and many questions arised as to the difference in the DJ vs. rubber nitrile. We run 5-3 man engines and 2 man truck with a total of 18 FFs on a shift with 8 FFs called in for all double alarms, so manpower has never been an issue. Additionally, we are purchasing a RollnRack powered hose roller to assist in rolling, transporting and loading hose when we can't load on scene. GPMs throughout the city, 95% hydrants, has never been an issue, plenty of water to go around. I really appreciate all your advice here, we really look forward to this much needed upgrade in our department.

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    Always had good luck with the rubber LDH - one heads up --- when it is brand new , it is slick and is a lot easier to accidently dump. You may want to take an extra precaution or two untill it gets a little wear/ dirty.
    ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by slackjawedyokel View Post
    Always had good luck with the rubber LDH - one heads up --- when it is brand new , it is slick and is a lot easier to accidently dump. You may want to take an extra precaution or two untill it gets a little wear/ dirty.
    It wasn't even new when our engine left 1000 feet of 5" in the road on the way home from a standby. And they didn't even notice - a member whose house they had passed called dispatch...

    The two FF's in the rig got it all loaded in fairly short order.

    There is now an aluminum cover over the head of the hose bed so the wind can't catch it like that again.

    There have been several instances of similar events around here.
    Opinions my own. Standard disclaimers apply.

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    How about a polyester jacketed hose?

    We use the Ponn Conquest in our department. It works well no problems just drain and load. Tests to 300 psi just like our attack lines. Good hose.

    Wait a second I'm on a ladder company now...what's hose?

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by lexfd5 View Post
    How about a polyester jacketed hose?

    We use the Ponn Conquest in our department. It works well no problems just drain and load. Tests to 300 psi just like our attack lines. Good hose.

    Wait a second I'm on a ladder company now...what's hose?
    Good point, actually. I'm presuming the OP was actually talking about polyester, not cotton.
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    Our dept has used 5" rubber/ plastic hose for 20+ yrs. Various brands, but the Snap Tite seems to get bought the most.

    Weight of the rolls generally isn't an issue, unless you're loading new/ spare hose in the station. Otherwise youre picking it up flat off the ground. Yeah, it's not a lot of fun, but as Fyred up pointed out, at least you're only doing it once! (maybe twice if you use dual lays) We simply back up along the lay, so you are only lifting a few feet up at a time. Speccing an LDH reel would make this even easier!

    Quick tip: a pry bar slid through the center of the roll makes it easier for two people to handle. Sort of a poor man's hose roller. The person on top can simply pull the end of the hose- it plays off just like it's on a roller.

    The other issues mentioned are best handled through training. Making sure the Truck gets there no later than 2nd due, and/or waiting to charge the line till they go by goes a long way towards eliminating block outs. Of course, we run with 1000 gal in our pumpers, and the quint is first due in the village and much of the rest of the hydranted area. Everyone in our area uses LDH-mostly 5" with some 4 here and there. Even the City of Rochester- long a 3" user has been buying LDH with their new rigs. So, most of us are well versed in the best ways to use it.

    It works well to let the Truck in first, then lay past it- or stop short! ( seeing as how us hosies have to stop at a plug, or drop a line at the end of the drive anyway)

  14. #14
    Forum Member Rescue101's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hwoods View Post
    Bonehead...........



    Seriously, I certainly didn't mean to sound like I was leaning toward Jacketed LDH, I wasn't. And, if this is a Department that has experience with LDH already, Great, they know what they're doing. I took the OP's comments to mean that they would be new to the LDH environment. I've had a bit of experience with DJ Rubber Lined Hose in 3.5 inch size, and it was a bear to use, I can't fathom why anyone would use anything bigger than Three inch using that material. Above Three inch, the (my term) "Plastic" hose is the only way to go......


    Think I'll go back to bed and start over............
    Hehe,GOOD IDEA! Come up to MY neck of the woods and see how much you like 3". I use it for mini guns,PERIOD! EVERYTHING around here is Ldh,we're set up to lay and PUMP MILES of it. And sometimes your nearest hydrant is MILES away. OR NONEXISTANT. 3" doesn't work well on a mile long lay with Hi flows unless you have a BUNCH of Engines. Talk about a cluster. In YOUR neck of the woods(pardon the pun)I'd probably go with the lazy mans lay(3").Well,off to play in the snow. T.C.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FyredUp View Post
    Chief,

    I have to respectfully disagree with you on this topic. It is far less labor intensive to reload nitrile rubber LDH than jacketed LDH since there is no rolling, no washing, no drying, no racking it and pulling other hose from the rack to load on the engine.

    They have been using LDH for 20 years according to FMNPFD. I would gather by that that they have learned how to lay it to allow for other apparatus to position at the scene.

    I have no doubts that your FD utilizes 3 inch hose in either single or double lays in a manner that works for you. But for me, I would rather lay out the 5 inch nitrile rubber LDH both of my FDs carry and get every drop of water that the hydrant can offer to my engine. If we only need 300 to 500 gpm we can get it, but if things go bad we can get far more without having to lay additional lines or have someone pump the line. I guess I am lazy in that I would rather lay one line that will bring me all the water I will ever need, hose the dirt off from that same line and then reload it right on the scene.

    As for whether to buy rubber or cotton jacketed hose for supply lines that, to me anyways, is a no brainer. Buy the hose that will do the job and call for the least amount of maintenance to put it back in service after a fire.
    I disagree to some extent. You and Hwoods are talking about different sizes. If I used cotton 5" then it would probably be tough. He's talking about 3" and you 5". Big difference.

    I've used rubber 5" back when I worked in the suburbs and now use cotton 3" in a large city department. The 3" is MUCH easier in my opinion. It's very quick to rerack. Yes, it can suck when wet sometimes, but it's not a big deal. As far as cleaning it, we don't do it that often. We lay out several times each tour. When finished we rerack and go in service. Whereas in a suburban department, we would go back to the fire house, clean the hose, and usually put new stuff on.

    It comes down to what works for your department. 3" is much better here because its a large city. Where I worked before, 5" worked. We have more fires in the city but they aren't as big due to our staffing. The suburban department needed more water because it was usually a bigger fire upon arrival. For when we do have large fires, we have six "water supply engines" These engines have 5" rubber LDH. We have them scattered across the city manned by one person if needed.

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    Forum Member FyredUp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pipeman1822 View Post
    I disagree to some extent. You and Hwoods are talking about different sizes. If I used cotton 5" then it would probably be tough. He's talking about 3" and you 5". Big difference.

    I've used rubber 5" back when I worked in the suburbs and now use cotton 3" in a large city department. The 3" is MUCH easier in my opinion. It's very quick to rerack. Yes, it can suck when wet sometimes, but it's not a big deal. As far as cleaning it, we don't do it that often. We lay out several times each tour. When finished we rerack and go in service. Whereas in a suburban department, we would go back to the fire house, clean the hose, and usually put new stuff on.

    It comes down to what works for your department. 3" is much better here because its a large city. Where I worked before, 5" worked. We have more fires in the city but they aren't as big due to our staffing. The suburban department needed more water because it was usually a bigger fire upon arrival. For when we do have large fires, we have six "water supply engines" These engines have 5" rubber LDH. We have them scattered across the city manned by one person if needed.
    I never tried to convice Hwoods to change the way they operate. I am a believer in LDH, the simple fact that I can get all the water the hydrant can give me in most cases is what convinces me.

    Both FDs I am affiliated with use 5 inch hose, one is a very rural volunteer FD and one is a suburb of Milwaukee with a wide variety of hazards from single family dwellings, to multi-family apartments, to industrial, to commercial, to a mall, to a large medical complex. I just believe that if we prepare for the worst, including water supply,l we are never caught unprepared.
    “The person who risks nothing, does nothing, has nothing, is nothing, and becomes nothing. He may avoid suffering and sorrow, but he simply cannot learn and feel and change and grow and love and live.” Leo F. Buscaglia

    This place gets weirder and weirder every day...

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    Quote Originally Posted by pipeman1822 View Post
    I disagree to some extent. You and Hwoods are talking about different sizes. If I used cotton 5" then it would probably be tough. He's talking about 3" and you 5". Big difference.

    I've used rubber 5" back when I worked in the suburbs and now use cotton 3" in a large city department. The 3" is MUCH easier in my opinion. It's very quick to rerack. Yes, it can suck when wet sometimes, but it's not a big deal. As far as cleaning it, we don't do it that often. We lay out several times each tour. When finished we rerack and go in service. Whereas in a suburban department, we would go back to the fire house, clean the hose, and usually put new stuff on.

    It comes down to what works for your department. 3" is much better here because its a large city. Where I worked before, 5" worked. We have more fires in the city but they aren't as big due to our staffing. The suburban department needed more water because it was usually a bigger fire upon arrival. For when we do have large fires, we have six "water supply engines" These engines have 5" rubber LDH. We have them scattered across the city manned by one person if needed.
    I was in DC for the weekend class the Burn Foundation put on at the academy and was pretty surprised at what I learned about how DCFD operates. Its great that they do what works for them and aren't influenced by what anyone else is doing.

    Alot of us suburban firefighters were pretty shocked when one of the DC guys with quite a few years on the job said that he could probably count on one hand the times he stretched 2.5 for the average job. With as many guys as they have coming, they just pull the 1.5".
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    Actually, I think most of you are actually using polyester or nylon as opposed to cotton when referring to double jacket hose. I haven't sold a piece of real cotton hose since the early 1970's.

    Other than that, an interesting discussion. I have been trying to think of a single department I have seen that had a hosebed full of double jacket LDH but cannot. In the past I used to sell a lot of 15' or 20' sections for hitting a hydrant to city departments. Had to wrestle a 7' high pallet of 50' sections once and don't think I would want to wrestle 100' sections that are damp. Can't imagine using it for long distance lays.

    Also, not sure how DJ would work with Storz couplings what with the clamps and the outer fabric. If you had to go to expansion ring type couplings it sure would be a pain in the politician to repack. Further, due to the thickness, it would take up a ton more space. I am not at work so I can't calculate the difference in cubic feet but I am sure it would be considerable.

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    Forum Member Rescue101's Avatar
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    ALL of OUR Ldh is 100's minus a half dozen 150's on the Reel truck, the 150's cut down on the coupling "humps" on the Reel. ALL the Engines have a 25 and a 50' short section in a compartment as well.Whenever possible,LONG lays are done with the Reel. We have,on numerous occasions, laid over a mile of 5" with Relay valves cut in as necessary. Pick up takes three personnel once the line is drained. We have both DJ Ldh and the "Rubber" style, don't have any coupling problems with either. T.C.
    Last edited by Rescue101; 02-27-2011 at 08:28 AM.

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    55 Years & Still Rolling hwoods's Avatar
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    Talking Hmmm................

    Quote Originally Posted by Rescue101 View Post
    ALL of OUR Ldh is 100's minus a half dozen 150's on the Reel truck, the 150's cut down on the soupling "humps" on the Reel. ALL the Engines have a 25 and a 50' short section in a compartment as well.Whenever possible,LONG lays are done with the Reel. We have,on numerous occasions, laid over a mile of 5" with Relay valves cut in as necessary. Pick up takes three personnel once the line is drained. We have both DJ Ldh and the "Rubber" style, don't have any coupling problems with either. T.C.

    So, What kind of Soup are you pumping thru that LDH??......
    Never use Force! Get a Bigger Hammer.
    In memory of
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    Asst. Chief John R. Woods Sr. 1937 - 2006

    IACOJ Budget Analyst

    I Refuse to be a Spectator. If I come to the Game, I'm Playing.

    www.gdvfd18.com

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