Anyone using the Vindicator nozzle? Your thoughts?
Anyone using the Vindicator nozzle? Your thoughts?
My #1 POC FD tested them and I liked the low pressure they worked at and the high flow they gave. We tested one on 1 3/4 inch hose where we got a flow of 167 gpm with a nozzle pressure of 25 psi with a range of about 50 or 60 feet.
I liked them, but we didn't buy them. Why you ask? Because a couple of guys thought they were too loud. I stood there in total disbelief...
My department has utilized them on a few engine companies in each battalion since about 2001. A few thoughts:
Their use was initially a "field test" to determine their suitability in our department. The field test never "officially" began and therefore, never ended.
To my knowledge, if the "field test" Vindicator nozzle becomes unusable due to damage or maintenance, it is replaced with a "standard" nozzle.
The Vindicator nozzles received mixed reviews: people either loved them and wanted to use them on every fire, OR they absolutely hated them (and would often take them off, replace it with a spare "regular" nozzle, and put it in a compartment).
I've never used one.
As a side-note, my department uses Task Force Tips nozzles and appliances exclusively and we love their products.
Different strokes for different folks. I would have loved to have a Vindicator on at least one line on my #1 POC FD for those times during the day when staffing was VERY limited and high flow was needed immediately. But I was out voted.
We bought the Vindicator Heavy Attack to evaluate and are happy with the results. We've not purchased any more as of yet, but most of the crews like it for the flow range offered. We tested ours and found we could flow 275 gpm on a 1.75" line with two guys and it was easy. They could take it to 300 gpm but it started to be work at that point. The max we could do was 340 gpm from the 1.75" but sticking it on a 2.5" went up to 430 gpm. It was much easier to control at higher flows than with our Elkhart SM-20F's or 15/16" smoothbores. For our guys it's a choice of the Vindicator or the smoothbore, the fog tips stay in the compartments for LPG issues.
We evaluated one a month ago. Currently use Elkhart SM30 on 200' 1'-3/4"pre-connect.
Tested ours first and it was hooked up to 3 different monitors. One at the connection to the engine that measured discharge pressure. Another measured GPM. The third measured nozzle back pressure.
Test with our SM30 pumping at our normal PDP 125 PSI. We flowed 167 GPM with 75 Nozzle Pressure. One person operating. It was manageable but difficult to move with ease or without strain. We all guessed prior to the test that we'd get about 200 GPM with 125 PDP. To get to 200 GPM with SM30 we had to increase PDP to 150psi. Back pressure on nozzle was 90 and totally unable to be moved while flowing by one person.
Vindicator test with same hose. PDP 150 PSI, 244 GPM, 32 back pressure on nozzle. Easily moved by one person. Reach was the same distance as SM30. At 125 PDP we reached 232 GPM with 30 back pressure.
Still waiting for field test nozzle. There are many factors that play into these numbers and each pumper needs to be individually calibrated to get correct flows.
We run a Vindicator Heavy Attack (VHA) on both my engine at work as well as the volunteer station.
Because of our water availability, station spacing, quick response times, and a number of other factors, we very rarely use ours at work. Fires that we can't bring under control with the preconnects are either handled by the BlitzFire or in worst case, the tower ladder that sits in the bay next to the engine. 90% of our fires are handled with the 1.75" (either 15/16" smoothbore or a 175 @ 75 fog) or 2.5" (1 1/4" smoothbore) preconnects.
Although we don't have nearly the fire load at my volunteer house because of our rural nature, we do use the VHA more. With a 53-square-mile first due, we naturally have a longer response times to our incidents, there's a greater chance for the fire to be well-involved, or become more well-involved as it becomes a ventilation-controlled fire prior to our arrival. It's nice to be able to have a manageable, high-volume (225+ GPM) handline to make a quick knock on a fire in it's advanced stages.
I would NEVER recommend more than a single Vindicator for an engine company. First, the number of times you'll likely use it versus your medium-caliber automatic, fixed flow, or smoothbore nozzles is very low. Secondly, if you have that much fire - put the high-caliber device in service!
A couple of you have mentioned not using the VHA due to it's higher flow? Isn't that the same argument we've used to up the gpm using 1.75" over 1.5" for years, saying the only bad thing about dragging a higher flow line is the relative ease? Surely we agree that more water means the fire goes out quicker? I hope our firefighters are better than years passed so we're not worrying about wasted water.
If the engine crew can deploy a 225 gpm+ line with the same ease as a smoothbore or fog tipped 1.75" line with a 180 gpm flow, what would be the downside?
Unlike Box187 I'd not have any issue with tipping out any 1.75" line that currently has a smoothbore as there'd be little difference. I'd ask why they get used so little? Those that still run fog tips will have the largest issues as they tend to "need" the hydraulic vent and pattern adjustment.
OK, I should concede that we found the VHA doesn't like low flows, the lack of pressure in the line coupled with the weight of the nozzle makes it kink at the connection very easy. So during overhaul it would not be the greatest tool for wetting and washing.
I haven't used the vindicator yet but it sounds like the rep is going to be coming in to give us his sales pitch in the near future. How can a nozzle with such high flow at so little nozzle pressure possibly have good reach. It seems like magic based on what some of you have said so far....;)
As for why high flow little break-up works on the Vindicator? Maybe because it's not trying to be a perfect laminar stream like the smoothbore, subject to any turbulence and it doesn't break the stream into tiny droplets that are as easily effected as the pattern widens?
In all seriousness though, it IS a training issue, but I've personally witnessed the Vindicator causing far more water damage on a simple kitchen fire than the fire itself did. I don't know about your departments, but mine certainly aren't running any more fires than we have in the past, so when we do catch of job and a different nozzle is added into the mix, it can be difficult for the members to adjust to the different approach to fire knockdown that's required.
As much as I am a proponent of the nozzle in some situations, I wouldn't use it as my every day nozzle. It's noticeably heavier and obviously much longer than my standard 15/16" smooth bore and its got that blasted pistol grip on it. Could I use it as my primary preconnect? Sure. But when I'm finding success in my fires with the standard no frills 185GPM smoothbore, that'll continue to be my choice.
But you're gonna float the furniture out the front door you bunch of barbarions!
I just don't understand why a Vindicator nozzle is able to have less reaction force than a smooth bore? I thought reaction force was directly related to the flow at specific pressures.
We have used the vindicator for years and it works very well. I don't care for the version on the master stream, even though it flows over 1000 gpm I don't feel it has the reach and hit that a solid stream has.
Never had a wind driven fire with it, but I have similar concerns about its ability to get deep to the seat