Thread: Breathing Air Compressors
05-29-2001, 02:29 PM #1LtDanCobbFDFirehouse.com Guest
Breathing Air Compressors
What kind of breathing air system (compressor) is your department using and how is it holding up? Do you have a 4500 or 6000 PSI cascade system and is it adequate for the job? I am researching the various brands and types of systems and I need your help. Thanks
05-29-2001, 04:21 PM #2firefighter26Firehouse.com Guest
We use a Jordair Breathing Air Compressor. I can not remember the model (I will check when I am at the hall next, and get back to you). We have three storage cylinders, each one is charged to 3500 PSI. I am not sure of there capacity, but we can fill around 8 SCBA cylinders on each storage storage cylinder.
Each cylinder is on it own line and independent from each other.
The compressor charges them pretty fast. When one is low, we switch over to another and have the low cylinder filled.
I'll get the model number for you. Good luck.
05-29-2001, 05:35 PM #3mfgentiliFirehouse.com Guest
Maco compressor set up for only 4500 now but can be retrofitted to 6000. This has proven adequate so far because we only used 2216 psi cylinders until last week and we could easily fill 35 to 40 of them. We also have a mobile air supply on the heavy rescue truck which is filled from this compressor and can also fill about 35 cylinders. We just placed a number of 3000 psi cylinders in service so it may become necessary to increase our compressor capability. Biggest problem we have is the guys keep stripping the nylon bushings and knobs. They can't seem to grasp the concept of "finger tight".
Mike Gentili, Capt.
New Bedford Fire Dept.
[This message has been edited by mfgentili (edited 05-29-2001).]
05-29-2001, 07:43 PM #4Squad33whackerFirehouse.com Guest
Our Co. has an 8/6000 psi cylinder cascade system, 14.2cfm on-board compresser made by Maco.
[This message has been edited by Squad33whacker (edited 05-29-2001).]
05-30-2001, 01:17 AM #5eyecueFirehouse.com Guest
Bauer 4500 PSI. Regulated down to 2215 for station cascade and tapped at 4500 for portable cascade.
05-30-2001, 07:12 AM #6FlochiefFirehouse.com Guest
We use a Eagle air compressor. This is a mobile unit, tandem axle. It has a 25 hp Lambrdini deisel engine. 4 ASME 6000psi cyl. 22 cfm compressor. dual regulators preset at 2216 and 4500 psi. It takes 1 hour to fill 1 of the cascade bottles if completely empty. This unit is very similar to the one used at the Ga Fire Academy.
Lt Dan come on down and we will show it to you. We are located 15 miles east of the academy.
05-30-2001, 09:22 AM #7Dalmatian90Firehouse.com Guest
We have a Poisedon (sp?) air compressor and 10 bottle 4500psi cascade (had the cascade before the compressor, that's why so many bottles.)
My experience is we can only fill about 6 30min 4500psi bottles adequately *if* the cascade is full *and* you run the compressor at the same time to replace air your using. After 6 bottles, you either
1) Wait 30 minutes for the cascade to fill up again
2) Start filling the bulk of the bottles with the cascade, and use the compressor to top them off.
I have seen it take us 2 hours to fill 40 bottles between us and mutual aid after a structure fire. That's a lot of time, especially at 02:00 hours on a workday.
The compressor can do 6000psi, and if we even had a 4 or 6 bottle 6000psi cascade, we probably could fill those 40 bottles and be done with cleanup in 30 minutes. Haven't upgraded to the 6000psi bottles for $$$$ so far though.
If you're running 4500psi SCBA, I'd say you'd either need 6000psi cascade or a 4500psi cascade with a booster pump to top the SCBA bottles. If your running 2200psi bottles, the 4500psi cascade will fill them till the cows come home!
05-30-2001, 11:36 PM #8FF103Firehouse.com Guest
We run five Bauer Mariner compressors (one at each station) rated for 5000 psi max. At all of the stations we have at least two 4500 psi 444 cu ft cylinders (except one which has three!)
A few things you probably should consider when looking at a compressor for your station.
1. What kind of SCBA cylinders are you plan on filling?
(½ hour 2216 psi cylinders w/h 45 cubic feet of air)
(½ hour 3000 psi cylinders w/h 60 cubic feet of air)
(1/2, 3/4, or 1 hour 4500 psi cylinders w/h 45 - 88 cubic feet of air)
And what about filling the mobile cascade system? Or maybe you are planning on filling cylinders for the all of the county departments.
2. How many SCBA cylinders do you need to be ready right away?
A large long duration fire is near by and you have mutual aid departments who must SCBA, but some use 30-minute 2216 cylinders and some use 45-minute 4500-psi cylinders.(Something to consider.)
All compressors we have; fill the storage tanks at about 7.0 cfm (slow if you ask me!) We also have a rescue / air truck that holds (cascade system setup) six 4500 psi 444 cu foot storage cylinders and it takes a hell of a long time to fill this rig if they have been drained!
3. Ensure that your filtration system is adequate for the job! Moisture destroys storage systems, internal SCBA components, and SCBA tanks!
We have what Bauer calls a P1 system on all of our compressors. Processes 15,000 cu feet of air . . . With our compressors pumping around 7.0 cfm our filters last about 30 hours under ideal temperatures. But we have virtually grown out of the system at one station.
Here is the scoop or mistakes we have made . . .
First off, when the compressor was installed at station one, it was placed in a wide-open area. Sometime later on dry wall was put up and the compressor was partly enclosed within. Well this resulted in the compressor running hot a lot! Not quite overheating (unless it is a hot day!) but it will warm up the area it is setting in up to 105 deg F even on a cool 60 deg F day within 5 minutes! There was an exhalation vent installed when the compressor was placed up there, but it is way too small to due an adequate job! (I am still working on a plan to resolve this issue!)
Second, the demand for air went way up at this station. Mainly because the air truck is stored there. . . Now we were supplying for not only the average fires though out station one’s two districts, but we are supplying air for any time there is a major fire, training, etc! The filtration system could not keep up! (This is also due to the high temperatures the compressor is running in! Which, by the way reduces the amount of time the filters are good for!)
Finally, before I took over as Air Boss (we have a air shop here that dose maintenance on the SCBAs,) the filters had gone bad (they were only changed when the air quality check was done). This resulted in rust in both storage tanks and the fill panel on the air truck . . . High $$$$$$ for repairs (because the moisture eventually got into the SCBAs too!) and I may still have to scrap the fill panel. The station's two storage cylinders had to be shot blasted clean and rehydro tested before we could do anything . . .
And all of the other problems I am still addressing as they come along!
Stay away from Bristol by the way, when their compressors go . . . They are DONE.
I would strongly recommend that you go with a compressor that can be serviced by people nearest to you. (Labor costs; mileage fees, and parts are high for these things! ) I also don’t recommend that you get a mobile compressor – they have a tendency to be high maintenance and you would have to watch out where you place the unit in relation to the fire. . You would not want the compressor to suck in the toxic air from the fire!
A system that seems to serve most departments well is to have the compressor at the station, use it to fill some large storage tanks at the station, (so you can fill SCBA cylinders there,) and have it fill a mobile cascade that is mounted in a truck or on a trailer of some kind.
Aw for crying out loud. I am getting a little long winded here . . . Anyway good luck and I hope you find the compressor that suits your needs!!!!
By the way, also consider purchasing a good full containment fill station (if you can afford it – or get it as a combination compressor / fill station.) And be sure that air quality checks get done at least four times a year. And if you plan on getting 4500 SCBAs go with 6000 psi fill tanks! (It will reduce your filling time!)
GOT TO GO!!!!
Message from the Air Shop
[This message has been edited by FF103 (edited 05-30-2001).]
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