1. #1
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Penny Lane
    Posts
    390

    Default Remote Hydrant Valves

    I saw in FAM that TFT has introduced a new Remote Control hydrant valve. Am I just close-minded or is there really no use for these things? I cannot see how these would possibly improve operations, other than make things more expensive and failure-prone:

    http://www.tft.com/productsearch/pro...product=AU6R1T

  2. #2
    Forum Member
    RollerDJ's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Posts
    20

    Default

    Being a heavy machinery mech for many years, I'm a firm beliver in the good ole "KISS" saying. Any time you add more variables to the situation, the more chances of something failing. Last thing you would want to do is hook this thing up on a fire ground and have it fail when you really didn't need it in the first place. I say a waste of money since I can see no huge benifit to it.

  3. #3
    Forum Member
    nmfire's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    Maryland (DC Suburb)
    Posts
    5,738

    Default

    It is a great idea. But some things are better left fail safe with a person.
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

  4. #4
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Penny Lane
    Posts
    390

    Default

    The thing I don't understand is in what scenario they could actually even be useful:

    Scenario 1: Hydrant FF gets back on engine
    The firefighter gets out, wraps the hydrant, and jumps back on the rig. The remote hydrant valve is useless here, because there isn't time for the FF to dress the hydrant, open it, etc - they're just getting right back on the piece.

    Scenario 2: Hydrant FF stays at the hydrant
    The firefighter gets out, wraps the hydrant, and has the engine driver layout while he stays at the hydrant. He removes the caps, dresses the ports, opens the hydrant fully, flushes it (depending on SOP), arranges the hose, and charges the line. Still no use for an automatic hydrant valve.

  5. #5
    Forum Member
    nmfire's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    Maryland (DC Suburb)
    Posts
    5,738

    Default

    How do 4 AA batteries open an close a valve against a 40-90psi water main??
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

  6. #6
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Posts
    13

    Default

    The only reason we got interested in this, was due to our very limited staffing. Especially, with long lays, to have the plugman be part of the initial attack crew is very critical for us. Also, to allow the engineer the flexibility of either charging all that line on ground or not was a really big deal. Our initial concern of this piece of equipment had a lot to do with the electronics. Having seen a demonstration and the ability to operate it as easily in a manual mode, we all felt more confident. Would we use this and change our hydrant operational guidelines….yes. Having that extra hand up at the fire scene and allow the engineer to control his water supply were both very key benefits for us.

  7. #7
    Forum Member
    nmfire's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    Maryland (DC Suburb)
    Posts
    5,738

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by FireFuss View Post
    The same way a 9 volt battery shocks the **** out of you in a taser. Capacitors and what not.
    I don't think so. The concept and what the electricity is doing is just a little different.
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

  8. #8
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Penny Lane
    Posts
    390

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by BenFireFan View Post
    The only reason we got interested in this, was due to our very limited staffing. Especially, with long lays, to have the plugman be part of the initial attack crew is very critical for us. Also, to allow the engineer the flexibility of either charging all that line on ground or not was a really big deal. Our initial concern of this piece of equipment had a lot to do with the electronics. Having seen a demonstration and the ability to operate it as easily in a manual mode, we all felt more confident. Would we use this and change our hydrant operational guidelines….yes. Having that extra hand up at the fire scene and allow the engineer to control his water supply were both very key benefits for us.
    Ben, can you please explain to me how you would operate with this? Is the FF getting back on the apparatus after he wraps the hydrant, or is staying there to open and dress the hydrant?

  9. #9
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Posts
    13

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by BlitzfireSolo View Post
    Ben, can you please explain to me how you would operate with this? Is the FF getting back on the apparatus after he wraps the hydrant, or is staying there to open and dress the hydrant?
    The process we intend to use we believe will look like this:

    Have him dress the hydrant with our bag, rope set up to hold the hose (includes a smaller 2 1/2" gate valve on a side discharge port), charge the hydrant, flush quickly out the 2 1/2" valve and ride the rig to the initial attack position.

    A quick timing of this found one of our "less agile" folks could accomplish this all in about 90 seconds. Our thought was for the 90 second delay, it was more important to have him at the scene for initial attack. And still, the engineer can make the choice of actually charging a really large bunch of really big hose. We are still kicking this around, but for us, with many longer lays and 3 folks on the rig, it seems like quite an improvement.

  10. #10
    Forum Member
    nmfire's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    Maryland (DC Suburb)
    Posts
    5,738

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by BenFireFan View Post
    A quick timing of this found one of our "less agile" folks could accomplish this all in about 90 seconds. Our thought was for the 90 second delay, it was more important to have him at the scene for initial attack. And still, the engineer can make the choice of actually charging a really large bunch of really big hose. We are still kicking this around, but for us, with many longer lays and 3 folks on the rig, it seems like quite an improvement.
    I think this logic is sound and well thought out. The GAIN is the guy would have to stick around at the hydrant waiting for the engine to be ready for it is no longer wasted there. The longer distance does make the guy's time be wasted in this case.

    So, I think what you should consider here is what happens if the thing doesn't work? Will there always be a second due engine or someone coming down the road that can hit it manually in a minute? Or do we need to now lose an interior team do one of the guys can run down the road and override the piece of crap?
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

  11. #11
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Mass
    Posts
    1,037

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by nmfire View Post
    I don't think so. The concept and what the electricity is doing is just a little different.
    They have a crane load release that can support 25 tons and will release with a solenoid powered by a 9 volt battery. The hydrant valve would be a non issue. It could operate with a screw drive, hydraulic assist (water) from a solenoid valve, a spring with an unlatch solenoid, etc. All of which require little power and little force despite the weight being held back. Clearly they found a way to do it reliably or the product would not be on the market.

  12. #12
    Forum Member
    nmfire's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    Maryland (DC Suburb)
    Posts
    5,738

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by WD6956 View Post
    They have a crane load release that can support 25 tons and will release with a solenoid powered by a 9 volt battery. The hydrant valve would be a non issue.
    Two completely unrelated concepts.

    Quote Originally Posted by WD6956 View Post
    It could operate with a screw drive, hydraulic assist (water) from a solenoid valve, a spring with an unlatch solenoid, etc. All of which require little power and little force despite the weight being held back. Clearly they found a way to do it reliably or the product would not be on the market.
    Yes, clearly they found a way. Which is why I asked. I want to know what that way is. The valve can open and close which is a significant task order for a few AA batteries and I think wondering how it handles it is a rather valid inquiry. Peoples lives can depend on those AA batteries.
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

  13. #13
    Forum Member
    CVFD9LT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    99

    Default

    I can see how this could be beneficial BUT it comes down to the peas and carrots of cost vs times used....granted it could be the greatest thing since sliced bread and prove beneficial but as stated in other posts peoples lives are depending on this piece of equipment, and we all know how electronics like to fail at the worst possible time... I am also confused as to what you mean by the pump operator deciding if he wants to charge the supply line or not

  14. #14
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Penny Lane
    Posts
    390

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by BenFireFan View Post
    The process we intend to use we believe will look like this:

    Have him dress the hydrant with our bag, rope set up to hold the hose (includes a smaller 2 1/2" gate valve on a side discharge port), charge the hydrant, flush quickly out the 2 1/2" valve and ride the rig to the initial attack position.

    A quick timing of this found one of our "less agile" folks could accomplish this all in about 90 seconds. Our thought was for the 90 second delay, it was more important to have him at the scene for initial attack. And still, the engineer can make the choice of actually charging a really large bunch of really big hose. We are still kicking this around, but for us, with many longer lays and 3 folks on the rig, it seems like quite an improvement.
    I guess that explains a lot. I cannot IMAGINE delaying response of the first due engine company by a minute and a half (or more) while somebody dresses a hydrant. If it takes one of my guys 15 seconds to jump out and lay out when I have fire blowing out of a building, it seems like forever.

    Tactically, our first priority is to take steps to establish a permanent water supply. But at the cost of a 90 second delay in putting water on the fire or making obvious rescues, I think your tactical priorities may need to be re-thought in relative terms.

    Three questions to help get a better picture of your situation:

    1. How far out is your second company (or even a chief, ambulance, or POV) behind the first engine, typically?

    2. How many gallons in your tank?

    3. What is your average hose lay and/or total amount of LDH in the bed?

  15. #15
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Northeast Coast
    Posts
    3,860

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by BlitzfireSolo View Post
    I guess that explains a lot. I cannot IMAGINE delaying response of the first due engine company by a minute and a half (or more) while somebody dresses a hydrant. If it takes one of my guys 15 seconds to jump out and lay out when I have fire blowing out of a building, it seems like forever.
    I have to agree here. If I was inclined to trust these valves I'd at least want to drop the hydrant firefighter and lay out leaving him to hustle to the scene after making the connection. This way the line could be pulled and a wrap taken, then the apparatus could proceed. Then the firefighter could dress and flow the hydrant before connecting the line. The time gained from current ops would be whatever it takes to set up the engine and request water.

    Of course anytime you layout without opening the hydrant you run the risk of being totally f***ed if the hydrants dead for any reason.The other part to this is still the trust factor in relying on these valves, because when one fails (and it will as do all mechanical devices) it could be a significant issue.

  16. #16
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Penny Lane
    Posts
    390

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by RFDACM02 View Post
    I have to agree here. If I was inclined to trust these valves I'd at least want to drop the hydrant firefighter and lay out leaving him to hustle to the scene after making the connection. This way the line could be pulled and a wrap taken, then the apparatus could proceed. Then the firefighter could dress and flow the hydrant before connecting the line. The time gained from current ops would be whatever it takes to set up the engine and request water.
    I think we're pretty much on the same page here. However, the way I learned to operate - if fire is evident - is to dress the hydrant, flush, and send water. I have yet to find a firefighter that can dress a hydrant and charge the line faster than I can jump out and throw a hose clamp behind the engine - if not fully connect to an intake. Because of this, I still see no application for a remote hydrant valve - even if they were cheap, simple, and reliable!

    Quote Originally Posted by RFDACM02 View Post
    Of course anytime you layout without opening the hydrant you run the risk of being totally f***ed if the hydrants dead for any reason.The other part to this is still the trust factor in relying on these valves, because when one fails (and it will as do all mechanical devices) it could be a significant issue.
    Agreed - that's the downside of the forward lay. Another reason why a good engine company has more tricks up their sleeve and will (near-)seamlessly adjust their operations accordingly.

  17. #17
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Posts
    13

    Default

    Thank you for the comments. The thoughts about battery life concerned me a great deal, so I did a little research. While this remote control hydrant valve is not a new product, we found a design from some time ago, and it looks like battery life was a problem for the very reason stated. Further investigation into this recently introduced unit shows that its design is a little different using smaller batteries to open only a small pilot valve. Actually, it is the water pressure that opens and closes the valve. And with a manual control of the valve also a consideration, we are a little less concerned. We liked the fact that it provides the hydrant pressure to the operator before even opening the valve. Also, while I appreciate some of the operational considerations offered here, with the long lays we have, and the very limited staffing we work with, it just seemed like a tool we could draw upon when the situation presents itself. Am I just deluding myself because of the cool factor?

  18. #18
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Penny Lane
    Posts
    390

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by BenFireFan View Post
    Also, while I appreciate some of the operational considerations offered here, with the long lays we have, and the very limited staffing we work with, it just seemed like a tool we could draw upon when the situation presents itself. Am I just deluding myself because of the cool factor?
    Just to be clear - none of my posts have been meant as an attack, simply (hopefully) a dose of realism. How long is your typical lay?

  19. #19
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Rural Iowa
    Posts
    3,106

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by BlitzfireSolo View Post
    I guess that explains a lot. I cannot IMAGINE delaying response of the first due engine company by a minute and a half (or more) while somebody dresses a hydrant. If it takes one of my guys 15 seconds to jump out and lay out when I have fire blowing out of a building, it seems like forever...
    Interesting thread. We have not a single hydrant in our district but in our Mutual Aid neighbors, looking to learn.

    As I recall; a recent article in one of the major trade pubs discussed an upstate NY FD that developed similar R/C hydrant valves in the 70s and have been using since. So not really a new concept.

    If hydrant man completes hydrant hookup and then hoofs it to the scene (either afer opening hydrant and water is flowing or or before opening an R/C valve is opened): Wasn't the LDH screw clamp developed so so hydrant man can head to scene before engineer has his pumper hookup complete? That is hydrant man opens the hydrant as soon as pumper stops at the scene and pumper crew has placed a clamp on the LDH. Engineer then completes his hookup while hydrant man is walking in. Seems simple theory.

    Do the LDH screw clamps work (stay put when arriving water hits the clamp)? Certainly much less expensive equipment than the TFT R/C valve. I've talked to several FD that have LDH clamps but none that are actually are using. But none that could tell me why/why not.

  20. #20
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Northeast Coast
    Posts
    3,860

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by neiowa View Post
    Interesting thread. That is hydrant man opens the hydrant as soon as pumper stops at the scene and pumper crew has placed a clamp on the LDH. Engineer then completes his hookup while hydrant man is walking in. Seems simple theory.

    Do the LDH screw clamps work (stay put when arriving water hits the clamp)?
    This is the way we've being doing it for years and have found that the only issue was with the cheaper LDH clamps. The (sorry I forget the name) newer versions of the tall silver clamps that hinge to the side and have the smaller crank handle move when water is applied. It appears that they used to have a valley cut into the bottom of the clamp that caused a crease, not just a flat spot. The larger red clamps with the long eared handles also have this crease and don't move a bit. When we made the complete switch from 4" to 5" LDH we tested three clamps and bought the more expensive red ones. Again sorry I don't have the name handy.

  21. #21
    MembersZone Subscriber
    voyager9's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Southern NJ
    Posts
    2,007

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by neiowa View Post

    If hydrant man completes hydrant hookup and then hoofs it to the scene (either afer opening hydrant and water is flowing or or before opening an R/C valve is opened): .
    One advantage to the RC valve is that the line is uncharged while the hydrant man is hoofing it up to the scene. This means he could move the line to the side of the road before it weighs 32,000 lbs.
    So you call this your free country
    Tell me why it costs so much to live
    -3dd

  22. #22
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Posts
    13

    Default

    Everyones' comments here are very helpful. We are just trying to find some simple solutions to do what the military terms, create a "force multiplier". The remote controlled hydrant valve seemed like a simple way to get one more person into our initial attack crew. I know the comments about holding the rig for 60-90 seconds at the plug while it is being set up are very valid. That is critical time. We have continued to do research into this new valve and are willing to give it a try. Some of the old dudes on the department had some serious heartburn about the electronics, but they got in their trucks, started them and turned on the radios, scanners, and gps. I know the harsh fireground can be much more unpredictable, and the manual override, even if we ignore the low battery warnings, still lets it function manually. Right now, we think it will be a good tool to use. I have a new question though, who is using a hydrant assist valve either on the hydrant to boost flow or in-line in long lays??

  23. #23
    MembersZone Subscriber
    voyager9's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Southern NJ
    Posts
    2,007

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by BenFireFan View Post
    I have a new question though, who is using a hydrant assist valve either on the hydrant to boost flow or in-line in long lays??
    We have hydrant assist valves attached to the LDH coming off the back of all our apparatus. The only time it isn't used is when the piece is close enough to the hydrant for a pony length (aka, no hose off the back), or when mutual aid gets assigned to the hydrant and goes "WTF" and takes it off when they get there.
    So you call this your free country
    Tell me why it costs so much to live
    -3dd

  24. #24
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Penny Lane
    Posts
    390

    Default

    Ben-

    I see that you're trying to do the best thing for your department's situation, and that is respectable. While you certainly shouldn't ignore any potential options, I would strongly recommend these simple procedures:

    1. Offensive fire (moderate water is required): Firefighter jumps out, wraps the hydrant, and jumps back on the piece. You arrive with a full crew and a supply line in the road. Begin your attack off of tank water and now anybody can charge the hydrant line. This could be another incoming company, a FD ambulance crew, a chief officer or a firefighter in a POV. Worst case scenario, the engineer can run back and make the hook-up, if necessary (not ideal, but far better than letting the fire grow for an extra 90 seconds before you put water on it).

    2. Defensive fire (high flows immediately required): Firefighter jumps out, wraps the hydrant, and stays while the engine drives off. The engineer throws a hose clamp on as soon as they arrive on scene, allowing the hydrant FF to charge the line as soon as he is able. The engineer stretches the necessary attack line(s) and charges them while the hydrant FF hoofs it up to the scene.

    For scenario 2, if you know that another company happens to be shortly behind you, you can operate as in scenario 1.

    Both guarantee your water supply while ensuring that you do not have to delay fire attack.

  25. #25
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    16

    Default

    i like the idea and approach of the device. but on the other hand im not a fan of replacing man with machine to cut costs and avoid staffing issues. this gives the penny counters one more thing in there arsenal to "downsize" your platoons.

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 23
    Last Post: 08-06-2006, 02:25 PM
  2. Hydrant Assist Valves
    By DFD34 in forum The Engineer
    Replies: 35
    Last Post: 10-05-2005, 12:39 PM
  3. Finding ISO Department Data
    By 640SATFD in forum Apparatus Innovation
    Replies: 12
    Last Post: 03-11-2003, 12:05 AM
  4. Operating valves under hydrant pressure.
    By Doogie in forum The Engineer
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 07-22-2001, 08:14 AM
  5. RFP's
    By D Littrell in forum Apparatus Innovation
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 09-08-2000, 06:36 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts

Log in

Click here to log in or register