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  1. #1
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    Default Engine Operator Reference Card

    I made this reference card a while back when I was learning to be a pump operator. I try to carry a laminated copy of this in my bunker jacket or in my station pants when I'm at work.

    Anyway, I thought I'd share it. It was made for my own reference, so I'm certain many will find faults in it. I encourage suggestions (I mean, imagine what the ORIGINAL looked like...) and of course you are welcome to use it as is or as a template for your own references (please share).

    Feel free to stop reading right here.

    I'll try to give a brief explanation of the "why's" for some of the items on the card:
    -The card is meant to fold in half so that it can be laminated with a front/back.
    -I like to have the formulas available to fall back on. I'm willing to do a few operations in my head if I'm doing more complicated multi-line operations with wye and siamese adapters and whatnot.
    -Not everyone has seen this pressure drop reference table. I've seen it in a few different places as a rule of thumb for operations with a pressurized source. Note your intake pressure before flowing water, then open your first line and note the pressure drop. If there's a 10% drop, you can probably flow about three additional lines of the same or very similar flow.
    -The second table is broken up because I couldn't fit them the way I wanted to. Our department carries a variety of smooth bore appliances and we keep stacked tips on most of our pre-piped deck guns, so I wanted to have a reference available for how much water those tips should be getting. I figured you had to be crazy to put a 1 1/4" tip on a handline, but someone might do it, so there are two numbers. One calculates GPM from the 50 psi handline nozzle pressure and the other calculates GPM for the 80 psi master stream pressure.
    -The numbers in the other table are coefficients I might want to have handy if I have a lot of hose on the ground and a minute to really look at the numbers. The grayed-out numbers are hose sizes that our department does not carry.

    Notes for anyone who may not be familiar with the formulas used:
    -FL is Friction Loss, C is the Coefficient used for the hose you're flowing (listed in the table), Q is the flow in GPMx100, and L is the hose Length in ftx100. In other words, if you're flowing 150 GPM through your combination nozzle attached to 200 feet of 1 3/4" hose, Q=1.5 and L=2.0.
    -My understanding is that the coefficients given for 1 3/4" hose and 3" hose account for the 1.5" and 2.5" couplings you would typically see on them. These are general "book" numbers for typical hose lines.
    -Smooth bore nozzle flows are determined by their tip diameter and the nozzle pressure. Hand lines should receive 50 psi at the tip and master streams should receive 80 psi.
    -D is the Diameter of the nozzle tip, NP is the Nozzle Pressure, and GPM is the flow in Gallons Per Minute that should be delivered.
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  2. #2
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    All our engines have all the preconnected lines listed with a chart showing the range of gpm's at various pressures, and the same for supply lines. There's no need to do any math because EVERYTHING is already figured out. You don't have any supply line info listed, I'd do that. All you have to do is have the flow charts for the specific brand of hose you are using and the size. Even the pressure drop percentages are on a chart. Ours are laminated and in a binder so the font is bigger so the numbers are easy to see in low light and if you did'nt bring your reading glasses to a 2am fire.

  3. #3
    Forum Member FyredUp's Avatar
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    Our pre-connects are all flow tested with a flow meter and a pitot gauge, depending on the nozzle, and label tape is placed by the discharge gauge with flows and needed engine pressure for those flows. We flow test them on the preconnect discharge so we can account for any piping friction loss.

    To me your chart has a lot of information that is almost useless in the heat of battle. Unless you can do that math quickly in your head there is often no time to do those calculations at a scene. Having a chart with flows that you do and the friction loss associated with them would be more practical.

    By the way, I love doing this friction loss math and I can do it in my head, I can list the co-efficients without a chart. But I know that I am not the norm in that ability.
    Crazy, but that's how it goes
    Millions of people living as foes
    Maybe it's not too late
    To learn how to love, and forget how to hate

  4. #4
    Forum Member Bones42's Avatar
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    To echo FyredUp's comments about flow testing....all hose is different. Flow test yours to get true readings. Published numbers from manufacturers and such are not always too accurate.

    Do all the calculations. Then run flow test meters. Almost guarantee you will see decent differences.
    "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?

  5. #5
    Forum Member FyredUp's Avatar
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    Bones, we chose to test the hose on the pre-connect discharges because of past experiences with high friction loss in the piping on some older rigs.
    Crazy, but that's how it goes
    Millions of people living as foes
    Maybe it's not too late
    To learn how to love, and forget how to hate

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