Like Tree13Likes
  • 1 Post By pcfrr2
  • 1 Post By chiefengineer11
  • 1 Post By Bones42
  • 1 Post By slackjawedyokel
  • 1 Post By RFDACM02
  • 2 Post By pcfrr2
  • 1 Post By johnsb
  • 2 Post By kuh shise
  • 2 Post By HBofCJ
  • 1 Post By kuh shise

Thread: Troubleshooting experiences, pumping problems and how you solved them?

  1. #1
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Posts
    8

    Default Troubleshooting experiences, pumping problems and how you solved them?

    Hi folks, I have a couple of great firefighters studying for engineer, can you please share some challenges you have faced while pumping (fire ground or training) and how you solved it.

    For example, citizen running over your LDH, debris in supply line (after flushing hydrant)...

    Hope to use some of these experience to learn as a crew. Thank you.

  2. #2
    Forum Member
    pcfrr2's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Small Town USA
    Posts
    6

    Default

    1. loss of water supply on hydrant-broken hydrant or pipe=switch hydrants
    2. pump came out of pump gear - was known mechanical issue= had to shut engine down and reset, once had to manually take PTO out of gear
    3. have had many cars and pickups run over 4" supply line never had issue
    4. have had a supply line not want to connect to piston intake using stortz = either have to switch side of engine, take stortz off (very time consuming) or (get some one to help) put enough 'butt' on it a make connection
    Look at NFPA 1410 drill for some set up ideas to drill on
    Biggie55 likes this.

  3. #3
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Posts
    8

    Default Thank you

    Any problem with apparatus running over the 4" hose? Thanks for taking the time to reply.

  4. #4
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Bryn Athyn, Pa.
    Posts
    1,623

    Default

    Understand basic, high school physics. Everything we do is rooted in physics. If we understand that and its application to apparatus and pumps, we can dope out problems that we've never seen or heard of before.
    Biggie55 likes this.

  5. #5
    Forum Member
    Bones42's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Location
    Pt. Beach, NJ
    Posts
    10,687

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Biggie55 View Post
    Any problem with apparatus running over the 4" hose? Thanks for taking the time to reply.
    Have had company drop their 4" bed prematurely, then police cars get stuck on the couplings.
    Biggie55 likes this.
    "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?

  6. #6
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Posts
    2,052

    Default

    electric actuated intake valve wouldn't open, had to pull piston intake valve off and move to other steamer.
    Biggie55 likes this.
    ?

  7. #7
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Northeast Coast
    Posts
    3,870

    Default

    Nozzle is calling for more water and the discharge gauge is reading at or above the requisite psi = check for kinks or closed valve.
    Nozzle is calling for more water and the discharge gauge is reading below requisite psi = burst line or if no burst line another open discharge.
    Knowing what the panel is supposed to be reading first, can help the pump operator immediately determine where the issue lies.
    Biggie55 likes this.

  8. #8
    Forum Member
    pcfrr2's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Small Town USA
    Posts
    6

    Default

    4" getting run over = none for me, but got lucky. had PD sittting right there when one person drove over 4" with front wheels, made them sit/leave car until we were done- about 45min. know of others that had cars cause small tear / pinhole leaks.

    like others said, learn the hydraulics - i know its math, then learn to operate the rigs (take aerial class if you have one). water comes in, water gets spun around, water goes to fire....break it down into those parts and see where a failure could occur. have a good understanding of the operation of the truck by knowing as much as possible, makes trouble shooting easier.we have a decent d/e training book. if possible sit and watch / talk to the mechanics during maintence and testing of truck and pump

    some of my biggest challenges....
    water supply - either failure or not enough for needs
    wrong nozzle / psi set up - didnt know they had changed nozzle
    mechanincal failure - see post above #2

    sorry for long post, kinda got on roll
    Last edited by pcfrr2; 08-11-2014 at 11:46 PM.
    RangerJake72 and Biggie55 like this.

  9. #9
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Posts
    1,185

    Default

    We use 5" so it's much more of a problem when cars run over it. If we catch them, we make them sit until the fire is out, and taking up the 5" will be the last thing we do, we want the cops to have plenty of time to write the citation.
    I've been on a couple of fires where the water main broke as well, they had to go to a different main.
    Biggie55 likes this.

  10. #10
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Pa Wilds
    Posts
    590

    Default

    Pumping Problems:
    CE11 is absolutely correct… A pump operator MUST understand the physics behind the movement of water from the source to the fire. Then, when something unusual occurs, there is a good chance that the operator will be able to figure out the cause and devise a solution.
    If you draft, understanding how the water arrives in the pump will help the operator solve any drafting problems he encounters. This modern suction hose using Pyrolite couplings is prone to getting dirt in the swivels, or having the moving part of the swivel gall to the stationary coupling bowl. New firefighters helping to hook up frequently fail to tighten hard sleeve connections sufficiently, then when the primer is operated the gasket gets pulled inward, causing a leak. If you now tighten (rubber mallet) the connection you have just insured the leak stays there until the joint is loosened and then re-tightened. You won’t find this with the motor running as motor noise covers the noise of the leak. Shut the motor down and operate the primer (electric) and then listen for leaks. You can also find leaks in drains & especially in the modern relay relief valves with damaged seats.
    When you have been operating at draft and you suddenly find a drop in output pressure, but the engine RPM is still nearly the same or slightly higher, suspect that the strainer is getting plugged. We occasionally get to train on ponds with a large population of geese. These ponds quickly develop heavy concentrations of algae. The green stringy stuff plugs strainers and restricts flow. Fall leaves are another problem that results in plugged strainers. You might need to remove the hard sleeve at the engine to pull out algae or leaves from the intake strainer at the pump steamer connection. A grease pencil is a valuable tool for marking both RPM on the tachometer, and to mark discharge and intake pressures on the gauges, to keep track of changes and stability. This is also a great help when the need arises to change pump operators, since the new operator can instantly see if everything continues to run correctly. Some firefighters unintentionally cause problems when operating at draft by failing to eliminate the standard type of Storz fittings on the draft side of the engine. A standard Storz fitting is NOT designed to work at draft, and allows air to enter the suction side of the pump under vacuum conditions. When you have adapted an intake to a relay relief valve and Storz fittings, you must remove the relay valve and the Storz from the intake. Do not adapt your hard sleeve to 5” Storz, and think it will properly seal. The design of a Storz gasket is made to seal from internal pressure, and will leak under vacuum. YES, there are Storz connections designed for vacuum, but they are special gaskets with bumps molded into the rubber, and usually fold-out lug handles to aid in seating the couplings. (Vacuum Tanker Suctions)
    Recognizing cavitation is an absolute must when working from the tank or from draft. Try having a new pump operator feed a deck gun with a 1 ” tip at 110 psi out of the tank. He will quickly learn that this is impossible. (most engines have limited tank to pump capacity of about 600 gpm) It will allow you to instruct him to watch his RPM, and when rpm increases, without a corresponding increase in output pressure, you have reached cavitation. Cavitation from draft is a bit more difficult to discern, however a single 6” suction of 20 ft. and a lift of 8 to 10 feet will NOT produce more than about 1650 gpm. Hanging two master stream devices with 1 ” tips will allow you to demonstrate cavitation quite easily. Carry a piece of clear plastic (heavy) in your pocket. When he isn’t looking, slip the plastic into the drop tank and cover part of the holes in the strainer. Instant cavitation! Does NOT work well with a low level strainer, but with a little inventiveness you can find a way to cause problems for the operator. Pony suction drains and bumping the valve handle will cause loss of prime quite rapidly. Keeping a line or discharge operating back into the drop pond or source will be a great benefit to keeping the prime when doing mop-up or overhaul and low flow situations. A portable pump feeding the opposite side of the drafting engine will improve the amount of water you can send to the fire. Use this technique to get your prime in case of a primer failure. a. Connect your hard sleeve and place it in the water source. b. Get the portable pump operating and connect the output of the portable to the pony suction on the side opposite the hard suction. c. open a discharge on the pump and flow water out of the discharge. d. Slowly raise the rpm while slowly opening the discharge valve. As long as water is discharging through the output, the air can’t get back to the pump to break the prime. With a little practice this technique will get you a prime eventually. Do not allow the operator to use the primer.
    RangerJake72 and Biggie55 like this.

  11. #11
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    SW Oregon
    Posts
    62

    Default

    Excellent subject matter and thank you. Personal experience. Gas tanker on fire. 10 wheeler and pup. Fully involved. Theoretically we had four (4) green top plugs to use. Over 1000 gpm each. Four engines pumping, each from one plug. Problem was, nobody back then, (they DO now) had ever flowed more than one plug at a time for plug testing. It was felt it was not necessary! Yikes! After all, they were on 8-10" mains. Big mistake. It was very necessary. We did not actually have 4000-5000+gpm. AT FIRST we had no more than about 2500-2800gpm; or less? Dunno. Oh boy.

    Everything was fine until that 4th Engine hooked up its four 2.5" lines and started to pump them. Multiple 2.5" hand lines and a couple of Stangs with initial 500 gpm tips. My residual pressure crashed from 30 psi to less than 5 psi. We were sucking the water mains dry. Luckily the Assistant Chief Incident Commander had changed tactics and backed off a bit until the 5th and 6th incoming Engines could lay 3" pumped supply lines from further plugs. The water company emergency pumps saved the day. The shortage was short. Maybe 10-15 minutes. Then back to 30-35psi.

    A physical runner had to be employed to verbally tell my Captain what was happening with my residual pump pressure. I still do not know to this day if all of this was pure blind luck with my having NO water to pump and having the incident commander, (the A/C) switch from hand lines to a defensive nature with the aforementioned Stangs. It is possible he knew what was happening. Pretty sharp guy. Long dead today. Or...it could have been pure blind luck that his switch of tactics dovetailed with all of his four 1st alarm Engines having practically NO water. Crazy how things work out.

    I also could NOT get through the pump panel radio to any command authority. Another problem. He had switched frequencies and I did not know it. We got the gas fire out and the three houses close to the tanker did NOT burn, which was surprising. The problem was that just after the fact, nobody understood exactly what had happened. It has been corrected now with ISO help. This is ancient history and may not help today. Today my old outfit has water and safety officers who automatically go on such fires. Not then. Things have greatly improved. HB of CJ (old coot)

    PS; They also carry 6" LDH and usually reverse lay and pump the 6". End of problem. Fire Department Delivered Water Supply hopefully will prevent stuff like this from happening. That plus better communications. This happened about in 1976. Vacuum tube era. Tailboards. Open cabs. Manual trannies. You get the idea. A very long time ago.
    RangerJake72 and Biggie55 like this.

  12. #12
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Posts
    8

    Default

    Excellent feedback, thank you. I appreciate the detailed scenarios.

  13. #13
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Pa Wilds
    Posts
    590

    Default

    biggie: I just went back to the original post and looked at your questions. Driving over LDH is a problem with any POV or apparatus. Imagine the forces being exerted upon the jacket and lining as the tires begin to make contact. 5", if it is filled, usually skids on the pavement before the vehicle finally jumps up on it. Tears in the jacket from abrasions, catching the under-carrage or contacting the catalytic converter or exhaust can cause rupture. This puts your interior crews in great danger. Least understood, but most dangerous is driving over dry, flat hose. As the tire climbs (pinches) the edge between the tire and pavement, it places internal forces on the lining bond that may be enought to loosen the lining from the weave. Now you have a disaster waiting to happen at a critical time when large volumes of water are flowing through the hose & rip a piece of loose liner off the inside of the joint. This ends up plugging the strainer, valve or nozzle in a second operation weeks or years after the initial damage was sustained.

  14. #14
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Pa Wilds
    Posts
    590

    Default

    First, I do NOT like hose clamps for LDH; however they do have a place under certain circumstances. Insist that your engineers do a proper dressing of hydrants when hooking up. By this I mean they should put at least one and maybe if there is enough time, install two - 2 1/2" valves on the hydrant while hooking with soft sleeve to the steamer. If debris then blocks the intake (steamer) on the engine, it will be possible to patch in one or two short pieces of 2 1/2" between the hydrant valves and pony suction on the engine. One 2 1/2 will handle about 300 gpm with 15 psi loss in 50 feet from the hydrant to the engine. Turn off the steamer intake valve and use the 5" clamp on the soft sleeve at the hydrant. Disconnect the soft sleeve at the engine and remove the debris. reconnect and reopen the clamp. If you do not have a valve on the steamer intake to the truck... place the clamp on the soft sleeve and close. Choke back the pony suction(s) until the pump intake is slightly negative & then it is possible to remove the steamer connection for the several seconds it takes to shake out the stones and/or debris from the end of the soft sleeve. Key to making this work is... When you start to unscrew the steamer connection, water should NOT forcefully squirt out of the threads. If it does, choke back the pony suction a little more, or open another discharge until the intake reaches zero. (no squirting)
    RangerJake72 likes this.

  15. #15
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Posts
    2,052

    Default

    just thought of another odd ball incident -- had an engine drafting from a porta tank on top of a hill, had a 3" line feeding a second engine down in a hole (valley) -it was at least 400 feet or more drop. Even with the drafting engine at a low idle (I think it was 50 psi pdp) -and the intake gated down on the "attack" engine there was still to much pressure on the handlines. (we were mopping up)What I did was open the tank fill let the water fill the tank (and "absorb" the pressure) and then pump from the tank. I ued my tank fill valve to regulate the tank level so it wouldn't overflow.
    I have since been told , I could have taken the attack engine out of gear and let the impellor help lower the pressure and also taken the drafting engine out of pump and let it siphon , reducing the 50 psi.

  16. #16
    Forum Member
    FFWALT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2000
    Location
    Nebraska
    Posts
    362

    Default

    Regarding someone driving over the LDH. Since law enforcement is nice enough to get all their information we send their insurance company a bill for the section of 5" they ran over. If they hit a coupling they buy both sections. Have had the driver questions why they had to pay for an entire 100' section since they only ran over a small part of it but the insurance companies haven't questioned it. Especially since they can find the police report.

    Second engine in, layed the supply line and helping make the connection. Pump operator calls for water, we get pressure then nothing. Pressure again followed by nothing. Heard the hydrant was bad. Ran back and was told the 2.5" cap would blow off when the hydrant was charged. Quick check showed that the cap threads were bad but the male threads were good. Since this was before we carried a 2.5" valve in the hydrant bag we simply put a 2.5" nozzle on the hydrant with the bale closed. No problem.

    Work with them to find all the ways you can get water into the pump. Do they understand and have they practiced parallel pumping where two unused intakes from separate engines are connected with LDH and they can "share" water. Basically it completes the above ground loop. Do they understand that by using adapters LDH can connect to 2.5" intakes?

    Do they fully understand what everything does and how it operates on the pump? Not just what to do but why it's being done. Do you have two computerized pump operators that only understand "if this then that" or do you have two thinking pump operators that have a solid understanding of the pump along with accessories and can think outside of the box to solve problems? One of the best ways to accomplish this is by "war gaming" various scenario's that you and your crew come up with. See what the student comes up with and then have the crew throw in their thoughts.

    Have each of them explain to you in their own words how the pump and its components work. Are they simply regurgitating the information they were given or have they thought it through, comprehended it and able to fully explain it to you?

    When it comes to training operators I always like when they say things like, "Now, the other day we were discussing XXX. What would happen if you did XXX?" That means they are truly trying to learn the art.

    Hope this helps,
    Walt

  17. #17
    Forum Member
    Johngagemn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Woodbury, MN
    Posts
    100

    Default

    Take pride in your craft. Take classes, pay attention, take notes, and ask questions. Read and understand the manuals for your apparatus, your pump, and any other associated systems. If you have questions about what is in the manual, call the manufacturer's or dealer's service department and ask. Seek to understand why, not just to know how to do.

    ****DO NOT assume that just because someone tells you they "have been doing it that way for years since they were taught by someone who had been doing it that way for years" that it is the best or correct way to do it.****

    You wouldn't believe the number of people who have been trained improperly and then pass on the bad information to everyone around them like a disease.

  18. #18
    Forum Member
    FWDbuff's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Pee-Ayy!
    Posts
    7,412

    Default

    Have seen an aerial run over 5" couplings and getting them stuck in between an inside and outside tire.....Had to use the outriggers to raise it up off the tires, then let the air pressure down, and finally use the spreaders of a porta-power to spread the two tires apart enough so that the coupling could be yanked out........(after a bowie knife was employed to cut the hose off each side......) The coupling was painted gold and then presented to the driver of the aerial at the next banquet.

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

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

Similar Threads

  1. Interoperable radio solved
    By LVFD301 in forum Firefighters Forum
    Replies: 11
    Last Post: 04-29-2011, 02:44 PM
  2. Interoperable Radio solved
    By LVFD301 in forum Technology & the Emergency Services
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 04-28-2011, 03:53 PM
  3. Global Warming Cause Solved!
    By Steamin441 in forum The Off Duty Forums
    Replies: 21
    Last Post: 04-16-2008, 06:13 AM
  4. Air chisel troubleshooting
    By kevinw in forum University of Extrication
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 05-27-2004, 08:59 AM
  5. Fire Stream Troubleshooting
    By KirkAllen in forum Firefighters Forum
    Replies: 26
    Last Post: 11-27-2002, 10:02 AM

Tags for this Thread

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