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  1. #1
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    Default low psi nozzle question

    Greetings all!!! I am pretty new around here so I hope I am getting this in the right forum.

    I am was looking at different nozzles on MES's website... In particular

    http://www.mesfire.com/Portal.aspx?CN=F0837D7B396A
    Elkhart Brass Chief 1.5" F Base, 200 GPM, 75 PSI, w/ Grip
    and

    http://www.mesfire.com/Portal.aspx?CN=1E7C7F4E45AC
    Elkhart Brass Chief 1.5" F Base, 150 GPM, 50 PSI, w/ Grip

    A little background info on me:
    I am a member of a rural vol dept. Our members tend to be older, heavier and out of shape so we normally run a much lower PSI on our hoses than most pd depts. This means we are not getting the volume of water through our current nozzles that we could me getting.

    My question is does anyone use these or something similar? Do you get a good range on the water stream? What are the pros and cons to these nozzles?

    Thank you, Mike


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    look into using a breakapart with a smooth bore tip.
    ?

  3. #3
    Forum Member Bones42's Avatar
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    We use Akron break apart nozzles. Adjustable tip is 75psi/175gpm. Remove the tip and you have a smoothbore slug tip.

    We don't get pistol grips.
    "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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    We've moved away from the Chief's be cause they throw a ton of water and the droplet size is a bit large for gas cooling. But they seem easy to handle. The ones we hadare 150gpm at 75psi.

    We've moved to the TFT nozzle, adjustable from 30-200 and has a Standard and Low pressure setting. The droplet size on fog is between 1-4mm, and does a great light spray. But if you want more water you switch it to Low pressure and is will throw droplets the size of the Elkhart. The bail also notches so it's very easy to manipulate. Very nice nozzle, IMO.

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    Forum Member GTRider245's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GaiusPaul View Post
    We've moved away from the Chief's be cause they throw a ton of water and the droplet size is a bit large for gas cooling. But they seem easy to handle. The ones we hadare 150gpm at 75psi.

    We've moved to the TFT nozzle, adjustable from 30-200 and has a Standard and Low pressure setting. The droplet size on fog is between 1-4mm, and does a great light spray. But if you want more water you switch it to Low pressure and is will throw droplets the size of the Elkhart. The bail also notches so it's very easy to manipulate. Very nice nozzle, IMO.
    Where I come from the more water you put on the fire, the better. Nice to see you bought into the TFT nozzle game though.

    I am going to call BS on the whole droplett size argument. If you used that as a reason to completely swap nozzles, you have more money than sense. Still have your Chiefs? I know plenty of departments who would love to take them off your hands.
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  6. #6
    Forum Member CaptOldTimer's Avatar
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    Large fire, large amount of water.

    Small amount of fire, small amount of water.

    Never go in empty handed, always have at least 150 gpms in your hand.

    Stay Safe and Well Out There....

    Always remembering 9-11-2001 and 343+ Brothers

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    Quote Originally Posted by GTRider245 View Post
    Where I come from the more water you put on the fire, the better. Nice to see you bought into the TFT nozzle game though.

    I am going to call BS on the whole droplett size argument. If you used that as a reason to completely swap nozzles, you have more money than sense. Still have your Chiefs? I know plenty of departments who would love to take them off your hands.
    I'm just sharing what people higher and smarter than me have studied and made the decision to change.

    I don't know much, but I do know I don't need a 2.5" line with a smoothbore tip when advancing down a residential hallway. The nozzle seems to do a great job of throwing water on low pressure though.

  8. #8
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    Several years ago, Paul Shapiro did an excellent article in another trade magazine on this subject.

    He included some pictures of a side by side comparison they did with a 15/16" smoothbore, an Elkhart selectomatic auto tip, and an Akron Assault low pressure combo, and I believe it was a 75 psi knob. All nozzles were flowing the same gpm. The low pressure nozzle had a stream almost identical to the smoothbore, and a reach almost as good as the automatic. ( for raw distance, the highest psi always wins) All three had very good streams, and more than sufficient reach.

    He also reported that they achieve identical results with the Elkhart Chiefs.

    BTW, one of the advantages of the Chief, is that you can dial in the flow rating by simply swapping out the stem/stream deflector for another one. ( not in the middle of a fire of course.) They come in two basic sizes, and there are many different stems. The metal shut off bail is nice and rugged, too- a plus for handling all the abuse we can dish out.

    TFT's Metro series has a similar feature, using calibrated discs that can be swapped out to change the flow/pressure rating. I think they go underneath the stream deflector to change the size of the orfice. I can see a clutz like me losing those things in a heartbeat.

    I'll second the recommendation to go with a break apart with an integral slug tip. It's two nozzles in one, and the same shut off can be used with regular sb tips, ( or any other tip) as well. Also gives you the option to break and extend, or to add an "overhaul" length of smaller hose ( with the proper adaptor) for mop up.

    Hopefully Fyredup will add his 2 cents- his dept uses this combo on ALL their handlines.

    If your dept prefers automatic nozzles, there are low pressure versions of those available as well. I know TFT makes low pressure versions of theirs, not sure if Elkhart does or not. Akron doesn't even make autos for handlines anymore.

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    The 200 GPM at 75 psi are grea. We had the 50's and had lots of kinking issues because the pressure was to low so we had them restemed and now they're fine. Very little nozzle reaction with the fog on and when it's spun off for the smooth bore it's even better because it just gave us another option on the fireground.

  10. #10
    Forum Member FyredUp's Avatar
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    Did someone mention my name?

    Yes, I am an Elkhart low pressure nozzle user. Specifically, The 4000-24 Low pressure combination nozzle tip that flows 200 gpm at 75 psi attached to an Elkhart B-375GAT pistol grip shut off with a 1 1/4 inch slug tip.

    We use only 2 inch hose for handlines and have flow tested the nozzles to set our flows. We underpump the combination tip to get a starting flow of 160 gpm at around 55 psi nozzle pressure. We of course can go to 200 gpm at 75 psi nozzle pressure. Finally, if we go to the 1 1/4 inch slug tip we flow 300 gpm at just over 40 psi at the nozzle.

    We did major testing before we bought our low pressure nozzles. We`tested TFTs, smooth bores, and Elkhart Chief low pressure nozzles. The low pressure nozzles were the hands down choice. The officers liked the higher flow we were getting and the firefighters liked the easier handling. It doesn't take a genius to figure out that if you flow the same amount of water at a lower pressure it will be easier to operate.

    The greatest advantage the LP Chief has over the TFT is there is no spring to overcome to allow water out of the nozzle. Whatever water comes in, goes out. Whether in standard mode, or low pressure mode, there is spring tension to overcome. If that spring tension is not overcome the baffle will not open enough to make a useful flow. In a class I attended years ago we simulated a standpipe hook up with a pressure reduction device that would maintain 45 psi at the standpipe discharge. We attached 100 feet of 1 3/4 inch hose and put the "2 speed" TFT on it. In standard mode we got an amazing 13 gpm, when we switched it to low pressure mode we flowed an incredible 14 gpm. Why? Because there wasn't enough pressure to overcome the spring pressure and open the baffle. We attached a 15/16" nozzle to the same line and at the same pressure and flowed 118 gpm to a range of about 50 feet. So it wasn't that there wasn't any water available, it was that the TFT wouldn't let the water out.

    On top of that, a Chief nozzle is cheaper than an automatic nozzle, including the TFT.
    “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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  11. #11
    Forum Member FyredUp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GaiusPaul View Post
    We've moved away from the Chief's be cause they throw a ton of water and the droplet size is a bit large for gas cooling. But they seem easy to handle. The ones we hadare 150gpm at 75psi.

    Funny that what you see as a negative we see as a positive. We like the fact that they throw a "ton of water" with a more cohesive stream than a standard 100 psi combination nozzle does. You see we believe in applying the proper amount of water, in the proper form, to the base of the fire, to effect rapid as possible extinguishment by overpowering the fire. We create no more water damage than any other nozzle because our nozzle people are trained to shut down the nozzle when the fire darkens down.

    I agree the droplets are bigger. I disagree that you can't gas cool with a low pressure nozzle because I have done it.


    We've moved to the TFT nozzle, adjustable from 30-200 and has a Standard and Low pressure setting. The droplet size on fog is between 1-4mm, and does a great light spray. But if you want more water you switch it to Low pressure and is will throw droplets the size of the Elkhart. The bail also notches so it's very easy to manipulate. Very nice nozzle, IMO.

    Wow! What book or brochure did you copy that from?

    Read my post above about the TFT "2 speed" nozzle. If you like them super. I think it is unnecessary complication and expense that few firefighters will take the time to learn enough about to use them to there true capabilities.
    Funny thing is automatics seem to be losing favor in the fire service. Akron doesn't make one at all anymore. Heck, even TFT didn't list them first anymore in the last TFT catalog I saw.
    “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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    We use the Akron assault tip with Sabre-Jet cutoff (150 gpm at 75 psi). We have found we get 150 gpms at 75 psi, and 180 gpm by removing the tip and using the 15/16" smoothbore slug tip without changing anything at the pump panel. It also makes it quick and easy to extend the line if need be.

    Also, we do NOT have the pistol grip. If most of your guys are out of shape, I would definitely remove the pistol grip. It forces the nozzle out ahead of you (where it should be anyway) which keeps you from your using your "core" strength by tucking it in to your center, which is what happens with the pistol grip.

    We did an unscientific test using several different firefighters, and all of them said that they got tired more quickly by using the pistol grip, we assume because of having to use larger muscle groups to move the nozzle while it is tucked in beside you.

    Also, we have found we have to be slightly more diligent in stretching the kinks out of the line with the lower pressure...

    We love the setup that we have...

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    We use an Akron Assault 150 gpm@50 psi for one crosslay and a solid bore 7/16" (160 gpm@50) for the other one. Our 2.5" pre-connect has a 1.25" tip with a leader line tip to extend a smaler line. We have stayed away from having three nozzle pressures (100, 75, 50) by using all 50 psi nozzles. It makes it easier for the infrequent pump operator to compute the firegroud hydraulics. Reading some previous posts I notice some operate at different pressures to get different flows. One writer indicated they "underpump" to get about 160 gpm at 55psi. Thats close to the flow of the 7/16" at the correct pressure. It seems more efficient (to me)to determine the correct flows that can be handled by the personnel and then use them. You could "overpump" and "underpump" every nozzle to get almost any combination of flows, but the training can't be consistant. We don't use breakapart nozzles as we find they tips aren't taken "apart" when they should be. Plus now you have to keep track of the tip you removed. Each of our lines is progressively larger: the 1.75" @ 160 gpm, the 2.5" @ 265 gpm, the Blitzfire @ 500 gpm, and the deck gun @ 1,000 gpm. The only fog nozzle we carry is on our bumper line for Class A foam.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FyredUp View Post
    Wow! What book or brochure did you copy that from?
    It's called remembering training, just like anything else.


    Is there some TFT hate that I should have known about before responding? If so, I apologize, I was too busy drinking my grape Koolaid I guess...

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    Forum Member GTRider245's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GaiusPaul View Post
    It's called remembering training, just like anything else.


    Is there some TFT hate that I should have known about before responding? If so, I apologize, I was too busy drinking my grape Koolaid I guess...
    I personally have no use for anything TFT makes besides the Blitzfire. Thier nozzle operations completely throw out the fundamental basics you teach rookies. We operate all the way open or all the way closed here.
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    Quote Originally Posted by GTRider245 View Post
    We operate all the way open or all the way closed here.
    Amen... in my experience fog nozzles facilitate the idea that it is OK to operate the nozzle open partially when fighting fire. The fog pattern still looks good so it must be OK.
    "The nation which forgets its defenders will be itself forgotten." - (John) Calvin Coolidge
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    Quote Originally Posted by GaiusPaul View Post
    It's called remembering training, just like anything else.


    Is there some TFT hate that I should have known about before responding? If so, I apologize, I was too busy drinking my grape Koolaid I guess...

    yup, on this board, TFT is the Pierce of the nozzle world. Ie, the brand everyone loves to hate on. Don't take it personally.

    FWIW, their automatic nozzles are as good as anyone elses- they just market a lot more heavily. I cut my teeth on them, and we've put out a lot of fire with them. I've learned that there are other options out there that will put out just as much fire, cost less, and beat you up less. This is true for ANY automatic nozzle. Like Fyredup said standpipes with low pressures are an auto nozzle's arch nemesis.

    I agree with the prior poster that the bail should be all the way open in most cases. Cracking it is for minor jobs, overhaul, etc- when you don't need the full flow and impact. A 100 psi auto wide open has a TON of force behind it. using it on a recreational fire for example would blow burning debris and embers everywhere... Not to mention blowing the fire investigator's evidence at a suspicious building fire all over the place! ( yep- seen an over enthusiastic nozzleman do this during overhaul a time or two. )

    The slide valve is a nice idea, but can get you in trouble quickly. If the back pressure is too bad, a nice chat with your back up person or the pump operator is in order. As well as better handling techniques, or even a switch to a lower pressure nozzle. Gating back just reduces your flow- which is what puts the fire out and saves your butt!

  18. #18
    Forum Member FyredUp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prydentradition View Post
    We use the Akron assault tip with Sabre-Jet cutoff (150 gpm at 75 psi). We have found we get 150 gpms at 75 psi, and 180 gpm by removing the tip and using the 15/16" smoothbore slug tip without changing anything at the pump panel. It also makes it quick and easy to extend the line if need be.

    Also, we do NOT have the pistol grip. If most of your guys are out of shape, I would definitely remove the pistol grip. It forces the nozzle out ahead of you (where it should be anyway) which keeps you from your using your "core" strength by tucking it in to your center, which is what happens with the pistol grip.

    We did an unscientific test using several different firefighters, and all of them said that they got tired more quickly by using the pistol grip, we assume because of having to use larger muscle groups to move the nozzle while it is tucked in beside you.

    Also, we have found we have to be slightly more diligent in stretching the kinks out of the line with the lower pressure...

    We love the setup that we have...
    Using a pistol grip PROPERLY is a matter of training. If anyone is using a pistol grip nozzle and letting the pistol grip rest at, or behind, their hip they are simply NOT doing it right. I always ask people using a pistol grip when training if they are a pistol shooter, and then say do you hold the pistol at or behind your hip to shoot it? Of course not. In order to operate a pistol grip nozzle the nozzle must be out in front of you, either with your forearm extended from you with your arm going down your side and then bent at a 90 degree angle, or your arm held straight out in front of you.

    We use pistol grip nozzles, but some of our guys don't use the pistol grip, and to be honest, depending on what I am doing sometimes I don't either.
    “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 CaptOldTimer View Post
    Large fire, large amount of water.

    Small amount of fire, small amount of water.

    Never go in empty handed, always have at least 150 gpms in your hand.

    Quote Originally Posted by GTRider245 View Post
    Where I come from the more water you put on the fire, the better.
    Absolutely correct Gentlemen.


    Mike,

    I'm 100% sure you're correct when you say that because you're under pumping the nozzles that you're getting reduced GPM - but before you arbitrarily pick out a replacement nozzle based solely on lower required Nozzle Pressure - Take a few minutes to run the numbers on your current set-up to see how much (if anything) you're going to gain as well as to compare different NP / GPM combinations.

    For Fog Nozzles Reaction Force (in Lbs) = .0505 * GPM * Sqrt of Nozzle Pressure
    For Smooth Bore Reaction Force (in Lbs) = 1.57 * Diameter Squared * Nozzle Pressure

    So for your 2 picks the reaction forces are as follows:

    .0505 * 200 * Sqrt(75) = 87 lbs reaction force
    .0505 * 150 * Sqrt(50) = 54 lbs reaction force

    As a comparison the 250 GPM @ 50 psi model would be:
    .0505 * 250 * Sqrt(50) = 89 lbs reaction force

    Quote Originally Posted by mdsnider View Post
    Our members tend to be older, heavier and out of shape
    Trust me when I say I know where you're coming from and I applaud you for already recognizing that by under pumping that you're going to battle unarmed. However let me go out on a limb and suggest that in addition to changing nozzles, that you go back and train on some hose handling techniques to help combat the reaction forces.

    Good Luck & Happy Nozzle Hunting
    Take Care - Stay Safe - God Bless
    Stephen
    FF/Paramedic
    Instructor

  20. #20
    Forum Member FyredUp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigjim54 View Post
    We use an Akron Assault 150 gpm@50 psi for one crosslay and a solid bore 7/16" (160 gpm@50) for the other one. Our 2.5" pre-connect has a 1.25" tip with a leader line tip to extend a smaler line. We have stayed away from having three nozzle pressures (100, 75, 50) by using all 50 psi nozzles. It makes it easier for the infrequent pump operator to compute the firegroud hydraulics. Reading some previous posts I notice some operate at different pressures to get different flows. One writer indicated they "underpump" to get about 160 gpm at 55psi. Thats close to the flow of the 7/16" at the correct pressure. It seems more efficient (to me)to determine the correct flows that can be handled by the personnel and then use them. You could "overpump" and "underpump" every nozzle to get almost any combination of flows, but the training can't be consistant. We don't use breakapart nozzles as we find they tips aren't taken "apart" when they should be. Plus now you have to keep track of the tip you removed. Each of our lines is progressively larger: the 1.75" @ 160 gpm, the 2.5" @ 265 gpm, the Blitzfire @ 500 gpm, and the deck gun @ 1,000 gpm. The only fog nozzle we carry is on our bumper line for Class A foam.

    First of all, whether you use 3 different flows from the same nozzle set-up or 3 different flows from 3 different nozzles the pump operator still has the same amount of differing flows and pressures to account for. All of our preconnect gauges are marked with all three flows and the required engine pressure.

    Secondly, we have determined OUR correct flows. For one or 2 rooms, 160 gpm works great, for more than that we can go to 200 gpm, and if we need more than that we can go to the slug tip with 300 gpm. We have no problem removing the combination nozzle and in fact did it on 3 of our 2 inch handlines at a barn fire we had recently. As`far as removing it inside of a structure in the heat of battle, we have made it clear that if that is what they need to do then do it. If the combo tip gets lost or destroyed we can buy another nozzle, we cannot buy a new you.

    I don't advocate, tell, or expect anyone to do what we do. Frankly, we don't care if they don't like or approve of what we do because we know after extensive testing, and real world use, it works for us and that is all that matters.

    I do have a question for you though. First you say your preconnected 2 1/2 has a 1 1/4 inch tip, and then you say it flows 265 gpm at 50 psi. If it flows 265 gpm at 50 psi it would be a 1 1/8 inch tip. So which is it?
    “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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