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  1. #1
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    Default replacement electric actuator & controller for butterfly valve tank-to-pump

    Anyone know of an inexpensive kit or parts to replace a pneumatic butterfly valve acutator with an electric actuator that can be opened partially? We have a pneumatic tank-to-pump which is causing problems when trying to use the venturi principle to pull a draft when switching from tank water to draft (this is how we operate as we have 0 hydrants and not enough staffing/apparatus for a nurse pumper operation). the problem is the pneumatic valve opens/closes in under a second and causes a sort of water hammer on the pump from the sudden vacuum condition. With our older pumper we have a manual tank-to pump, so we are able to close this slowly to achieve a vacuum from the tank, and then crack open the steamer intake to venturi the air in the hard suction, achieving a seamless transition. Close the T2P a bit, open the intake a bit, repeat, repeat, etc.

    We are using an electric governor, so the sudden mass introduction of air causes a temporary loss of prime, even when "feathering" the switch rapidly and laying on the primer. A primer before the intake valve is not possible as the valve is external gated Siamese (we use dual 3" intakes). The feathering works, but i believe it is very hard on the pump, and am afraid it will cause the switch and/or pneumatic actuator to fail prematurely.

    All i want to do is replace the actuator, as this engine is a plumbing nightmare. I have contacted the builder to see if they can locate an inexpensive suitable replacement with the necessary controller.


  2. #2
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    it would probably be cheaper to tap in an air primer outboard of your master intake valve, and work better too.

  3. #3
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    Why don't you try an in-expensive brass needle valve in the air line to slow down the opening of the valve. Like a gage snubber valve. NFPA says a valve that size cannot open or close faster than three seconds. Make sure it's restrictive in both directions. Some are restrictive in one direction and free flow in the other. You would need two valves, one on ea. side of the tank valve with this type.

  4. #4
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    We looked into doing the same thing on our truck that has a similar fast-acting air-operated tank to pump valve (hate that thing). Our tank to pump valve is an Akron ball valve with a pneumatic actuator attached to it. Akron does make an electric actuator for that same valve. It's basically a motor and gearbox that attaches to the valve along with the electronics to drive it. We found that in our case it was less expensive to add an intake primer than to switch the valve to electric operation, so that's what we did. It was easier for us though because we have a Hale Master Intake Valve that was already plumbed for an intake primer, we just had to add another priming valve and tee it into the existing priming pump. List price we got on the electric actuator for the Akron 3" valve was $1700. Depending on what type of valve you have, you may be able to get something similar for it.

    Andy

  5. #5
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    Thanks for all the replies! I will take this to chief to talk about. This is what we are using, so It will take some work.
    http://www.akronbrass.com/suction-siamese

  6. #6
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    Any reason you wouldn't want to convert it to manual operation?

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by chiefengineer11 View Post
    Any reason you wouldn't want to convert it to manual operation?
    Its a mid-mount rear-control plumbing nightmare. The location of the valve requires remote assisted open/close.

  8. #8
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    Look at a Hydroshield Precon between the intake and your siamese intake. Will not have to fool around with the Tank to pump valve.

    Why are you using 2ea 3" suction rather than a normal 5" or 6" suction?

  9. #9
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    We are unable to sustain a flow higher than 400 gpm in a water shuttle, and dual 3" suctions will roughly provide this. They are lighter, more flexible, and currently allow us to switch back to tank water when draft water runs out In future i hope to keystone all 6" intakes and be able to exclusively use 6".

  10. #10
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    CCCfire09: We have been using this method since 1976 with a gated 2 1/2 X 6" siamese on our rear suction. We cover about 100 sq mi. of rural (summer & hunting camps) as well as heavy industry. We typically make initial attack with tank water, and back a 2,000 gal. tanker into the rear of the attack engine. Twin 3" X 2 1/2" coupled hard sleeves will supply about 700 gpm. This either gets the knock on a structure with enough left for mop-up, or the second due engine lays a line while the attack is proceeding. This set-up has been very effective through the years. We also carry a 2,000 gal drop tank if it is obvious that a shuttle will be needed. Helps a lot with narrow lanes and camp roads.

  11. #11
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    KuhShise, we have been doing this for years also, at least as long as i can remember (at least 8 years, but i can remember it as a kid). It has always worked and is really convenient. The only problem is the decreased flow rate and the need for several low level strainers to maximize the available water in the drop tank.

    Latest update is the MFG is sending us a a valve to slow down the air transfer (like mentioned by donethat). They researched the best way to slow it down and are sending it for free (its been over a year since delivery of the new engine). We have to install it, but service after the sale is coming through.

    Ill let you all know how it works out!

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