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  1. #1
    Plug-Ugly Guest

    Question How effective is this stream?

    I've seen quite a bit of discussion here lately on the use of adjustable fog vs. solid bore nozzles. Some even quite heated at times. I just received the June issue of Firehouse magazine and I think the cover photo is very timely. I normally don't like to just look at a picture showing a split second in time and then trying to critique it but this picture got me thinking.

    Is the straight stream setting on this adjustable nozzle having any effect on this body of fire or would a solid bore nozzle be better? The hose looks to me to be a 2 1/2" and other than using a master stream, I think that is the correct line size for this volume of fire. I'm just wondering what everyone thinks about the nozzle choice.

    Please try to give your honest opinions without knocking what others say. If you can give a good argument for you choice, please do, but be open minded enough to listen to what others have to say. Thanks.

    Disclaimer: It is not the intent of this post to critisize the firefighters in this picture or the departments they represent. To the contrary, I think their operating tactics are excellant. They are fully suited up, down low, and both on the same side of the line.

  2. #2
    mongofire_99 Guest


    Is the straight stream setting on this adjustable nozzle having any effect on this body of fire or would a solid bore nozzle be better?

    Doesn't look like the stream setting is the problem.

    It does not look like it is being supplied properly - flow/pressure seems way too low.

    How soon into the fire was the pic taken? Maybe they were just getting started.

    I'm just wondering what everyone thinks about the nozzle choice.

    If it is a 2" or 2.5" line, good choice.

    If it is a nozzle capable of supplying more than the needed flow it is a good choice.

  3. #3
    ntvilleff Guest


    [This message has been edited by ntvilleff (edited 06-06-2001).]

    [This message has been edited by ntvilleff (edited 06-07-2001).]

  4. #4
    DCFD1051 Guest


    If the line is a 2 1/2", it is, in my opinion, a good choice. The nozzle, on the other hand, is not a good choice. A fog nozzle on a 2 1/2" line is much too difficult for two people to operate, let alone advance. That 100 p.s.i. nozzle pressure causes a lot of nozzle reaction. As a result, the operator of the nozzle shown in the picture may not have the nozzle open fully in order to maintain control. Or, perhapse there is not enough pressure available to develop the required 100 p.s.i. at the nozzle. If a
    1 1/8" or 1 1/4" smooth bore nozzle at 40 to 50 p.s.i. nozzle pressure were utilized here, a flow of 265 to 325 g.p.m. could have been developed, with less nozzle reaction and greater reach and penetration than the fog nozzle. This would result in a much quicker knockdown.

    [This message has been edited by DCFD1051 (edited 06-06-2001).]

    [This message has been edited by DCFD1051 (edited 06-06-2001).]

    [This message has been edited by DCFD1051 (edited 06-06-2001).]

  5. #5
    Plug-Ugly Guest


    Here's what Firehouse says about the cover:

    Firefighters from Freeburg, Il, were assisted by the Smithton, Fayettville and Mascoutah fire departments in battling a fire in a rural dwelling on april 14, 2000. Firefighters had to relay water from 1 1/2 miles away. during the early-afternoon blaze, firefighters were hampered by exploding ammunition and a liquid propane tank inside the structure.
    Cover photo by Robert Schield

    From the look of the picture, I'd say he just cracked open the bale and is adjusting the stream.

    I would tend to agree he is adjusting the stream but the bail appears to be fully opened and not just cracked. His hand is also not on the bail so this would suggest at least a few seconds have elapsed since the time the nozzle was opened. Like mongofire_99 says, maybe the water supply is just not adequate. Any other thoughts?

    [This message has been edited by Plug-Ugly (edited 06-06-2001).]

  6. #6
    mongofire_99 Guest


    With all due respect and with every hope of keeping this civil I submit...

    A fog nozzle on a 2 1/2" line is much too difficult for two people to operate, let alone advance.

    A properly handled 2.5" fog is not too much for two people to handle. Using a technique different than what the guys in the pic are doing it is a piece of cake.

    Advancing the line while flowing 300+ is another story, be it fog or smooth bore - knockdown, shut down and reposition. Either way, advancing while flowing in this case is not an issue.

    As a result, the operator of the nozzle shown in the picture may not have the nozzle open fully in order to maintain control.

    I believe the nozzle gate is full open.

    I would agree the hose team is not in a position to handle the line at the needed flow.

    If a 1 1/8" or 1 1/4" smooth bore nozzle at 40 to 50 p.s.i. nozzle pressure were utilized here, a flow of 265 to 325 g.p.m....

    50 to 350gpm flows are possible with the 2.5" TFT handline nozzle that should be on the line.


    I wonder if the flow is low on purpose to conserve water....

  7. #7
    S. Cook Guest


    I agree, I think the problem is the water supply isn't adequate for some reason.

    Depending on how much of the building out of the picture is involved, a 2" could work for this as well. 300gpm is easily handled by a couple of rookies here:

  8. #8
    ADSN/WFLD Guest


    2.5" is the correct size line. The TFT is not the best choice, like other people have noted the stream doesn't look quite right. Having worked with TFT's in the past I'd say that the line isn't flowing anywhere near what it could. The bail looks open to me, so the lack of flow must be due to something else.

    I would personally use a smooth bore or a Vindicator Blitz Attack, WIDE-BORE NOZZLE (as coined by firehouse's article on water flow in this months magazine p. 72)

  9. #9
    Resq14 Guest


    I'd like to see TFT's BlitzFire battle that one. I bet it'd perform well.

  10. #10
    FireDoggy1404 Guest


    I agree with the Previous Comments. I think the flow was probably low to Conserve water. I know I have had to do it In My Very Rural Area.

    Firefighter C.M. Baker

  11. #11
    Dalmatian90 Guest


    The bail is or almost is all the way back, so it's open.

    So either the line is being underpumped or there's an obstruction. Most likely underpumped.

    Why we don't know. It could be there SOP is to keep a fairly low pressure while the line is initially positioned then up it. Could also be they just ran out of water and in a moment the stream will be piddling out.

    Let's see,
    Obviously no firefighters are inside on this on.
    Porch still looks structurally sound in the photo.
    First floor isn't compatible with life, and the second floor either isn't or won't be very, very shortly if the fire isn't put out.

    Open the pattern to a 30 degree fog -- much, much less reaction force, even than a smooth bore of the same flow. Knock down porch and fog the first floor. Once you've pushed the fire back, you can brace against the door/window/etc if needed and go to straight stream. Hopefully by then the 1.75" lines can mop up.

    Your bigger challenge isn't reaction force, but the weight of the 2.5" hose your advancing.


  12. #12
    fire-inst Guest


    This is definatly a 2 1/2" fire as a minimum. The problem I noticed when I got the magazine the other day was the inadequate stream then I looked to see what size hoseline they were using. Next I looked at the nozzle and saw the TFT. The nozzle is doing exactly what it is supposed to do, maintain a good looking stream regardless of water supply, This is the reason we sometimes get into trouble, we forget the basic principles on which the automatic nozzle operates. The salesmen will tell you that the automatic will develop an effective stream no matter what the flow. Now lets define effective, to me it is a flowthat is capable through reach and volume to overcome the BTU's being produced to extinguish the fire, without this the fire will continue to burn until it is small enough to be controlled by the water supply available. Fire flow MUST be matched to the size of the fire.

    One other thing I also noticed was the nozzle,, it is all the way open. I know some people who gate the automatic nozzle down to help them manage the nozzle reaction better. This cuts down on the flow but again the stream still maintains a good looking profile.

    Now my personal opinion is that the hose line waas the right choice as a minimum size but I would have used a smoothbore with an 1 1/8" or 1 1/4" tip for sure.

  13. #13
    resqb Guest


    Right line, wrong nozzle I think, although the fire might have needed a shot from a deck gun first though. It looks to me, as others have noted, that this nozzle has been open for at least a few seconds from the nozzlemans hand not being on the bale. I've seen this scenario several times in my career, the smaller drops of water from a fog nozzle, despite being in a straight stream, are evaporating before they get to the building. A solid stream nozzle would indeed be more effective on this fire, at least at this point.
    Why is it evaporating? Well, it may not be sufficiently pumped as some have said, or possibly this is a fire requiring more than 250 gpm. Looks like we've got more than 750 square feet of fire to deal with, which is what a 250 gpm stream can handle according to the NFA fire flow formula (length x width / 3).

    Now that I've thoought this out some more. Let's turn the deck gun on this one, we're gonna be here for a while.

  14. #14
    SFD-129-3 Guest


    May not be a bad idea to blast the deck gun on this one. Although the concept of water conservation baffles me. If the fire needs 1000 gal a minute to be extinguished and we apply 250, won't the fire eventually burn down to the required flow? The fire needs 1000gal (ex). Put it on it and put it out!

  15. #15
    Dalmatian90 Guest


    Oh come on folks, the problem is an inadequate VOLUME of water being delivered, and it would still be inadequate whether it's a smoothbore coming out and dropping on the ground before reaching the porch, or an automatic making a nice looking low flow stream. Without the water behind them, neither nob would be effective.

    Say you run a 1-1/4" smoothbore on your 2.5" line. Kick butt nob -- delivers about 325gpm @ 50psi.

    But if your pump op is only giving you 100gpm, your nozzle pressure is only gonna be 5psi. How far is that stream gonna go?

    Fundemental problem in this pic is inadequate volume to supply the nozzle, not which nozzle is being used.

    To expand a point of mine from last night (cut short when we got toned for a Heroin overdose...grrrrr)
    Your bigger challenge isn't reaction force, but the weight of the 2.5" hose your advancing.

    I don't object to a 2.5" line being pulled. Looking at the fire, a 2" or 2.5" would be appropriate for the flows.

    But what strikes me funny is a lot of people who support smoothbores 'cause they have lower reaction force also want the big hose.

    Say you run a 150' 2.5" line with a 1-1/4" smoothbore running 50psi and 325gpm. The reaction force on the nob is 123lbs. And the hose has 300lbs of water in it, plus it's own weight!

    You could switch to 2" hose, still achieve those flows with very reasonable pump pressures, and cut the weight of the hose down to 195lbs -- still heavy, but still easier to humb than 300lbs!

    Where it might make a difference is if your on a short-handed crew you may flake and charge the 2.5" to start knocking down the fire, but find your crew unable to advance the line for lack of muscle. 2" you've probably reduced your manpower by 1 or 2 guys to hump it forward.

    150' of 1.75" by the way contains 150lbs of water, and 150' of 1.5" weighs in at 115lbs.

  16. #16
    S. Cheatham Guest


    Like SFD said the idea of water conservation is baffling. This picture is a prime example of why it should not be done. For years, my department has done just this sort of thing on rural, non-hydrant supplied fires, "conserve water." In actuality, as you can see in this picture, water conservation is actually water wasting.

    I must add that like everyone else, I don't know what exactly the situation is, and I do not want to be an armchair fireman, but conserving water does not work, it only wastes water and conserves fire!

  17. #17
    mongofire_99 Guest


    I must add that like everyone else, I don't know what exactly the situation is, and I do not want to be an armchair fireman,

    Me neither, I am certain that the picture does not tell the complete story and the guys are very early into the incident and doing the very best they can with what they have on scene at that moment.

    but conserving water does not work, it only wastes water and conserves fire!

    In my experience, conserving water just means the fire would have went out faster if we didn't show up at all.

  18. #18
    newguy Guest


    I have to agree with ADSN/WFLD Vindicator Blitz Attack or maybe a 2 1/2 line with a smooth bore nozzle

    [This message has been edited by newguy (edited 06-10-2001).]

  19. #19
    interiorcommando Guest


    As a veteran career firefighter of nearly 28 years service, all of which has been spent in the field,I seldom feel the need to
    "monday morning quarterback" other departments fires. After careful study of the posted picture I have come to a few general conclusions.
    This is apparently a wood frame structure
    obviously well involved.The smoke condition evident on the second floor indicates that it and the attic area too will soon be showing a large volume of fire. The line that is in position in the photo tells an interesting story. The fact that the firefighters pictured are kneeling may indicate a lack of pressure and or volume exiting the fog nozzle they are operating. This could be due to a malfunctioning nozzle and or low water pressure in the area. At any rate this fire , in my opinion is beyond the capabilities of even large handlines. But if large handlines are all that were available here, smoothbore nozzles would be a more desirable choice to bring this incident to it's inevitable conclusion. I would prefer large caliber master streams to try to darken down this heavy volume of fire. I also find it rather striking that the firefighters pictured do not seem to be experiencing radiant heat to the point of discomfort. In any event, in my opinion as an officer, this structure would be marked as a defensive operation.
    Since it's a slow Sunday morning around here and my breakfast hasn't settled yet, let me throw a bit more food for thought out there.
    We,ve all heard debates concerning "straight stream vs. fog stream" application when entering structures that are well involved in fire. Many of you hose humpers out there that have time on the job know that there's a time and place for straight stream, narrow stream,narrow fog and fog patterns during interior operations.
    After being "lobstered" a time or two in the past I'm not sure the old-timer that told me this was right but it stuck with me.
    He said (after I had complained about some moderate steam burns after a job)" Dont worry kid I havent met a firefighter yet that perished from first degree burns and furthermore when was the last time you saw a room full of steam flashover".
    I definately don't advocate the firefighters on my crew practice what that guy preached but I'll tell you one thing.After reviewing case studies of fatal flash-overs and reading firefighters accounts of thier pain and suffering after getting caught under those circumstances, I'll take the steam burns anyday if a wide fog stream, swirled in a good old fashioned "O" pattern, applied to heavy heat or flame will knock the fire down.

    Thanks for letting me get my nickels worth in
    and stay low............Capt.T.J.Richards

  20. #20
    BIG PAULIE Guest


    It appears that the problem in this picture is a underpumped engine pressure. Would a smooth bore do better in this situation. No it would fall short just like the automatic. Don't blame the nozzle for the pump operators inability to develope the correct flows.( I am not saying that is what happened here. ) If you want to compare smooth bore at 50 psi vs a automatic at 100 psi both at the same flow then I would tend to believe that the automatic would hit harder and deeper simply because of the 50 psi increase in nozzle pressure.
    The question that I have is why we are so hung up on the 50 psi nozzle pressure for smooth bore tips. I could take the same two firefighters in this picture and use a 1-1/8" tip or a 1-1/4" tip at 100 psi nozzle pressure and get flows of 375 and 460 gpm respectively with a harder hitting deeper penitrating stream and deliver a bunch more water.

  21. #21
    BLACKSHEEP-1 Guest


    let's say that they do have enough pressure, the stream is not getting to the fire. I've seen this problem before using fog nozzles. The nozzles do just too good of a job breaking up water for indirect type attacks. Even on straight stream it just won't do it. Sometimes the nozzle operator is not even aware of it because of his position. The smooth bore with whatever tip you would like(I prefer a 1-1/4 330 gpm) would be a better choice just because the stream would make it to the bldg before it evaporated. The stream can be managed by the same number of people because the reaction force is less for the same amount of gpm.
    O.K. I'll bite on S Cook, If you have a nozzle that requires 40 lbs to operate and you have 25psi, you just go to a smaller tip.(25psi through a 7/8 tip is still 110gpm, it won't help these guys, but it might help someone) If you have an automatic nozzle that rquires 100 psi and you only have 25 psi, you just look goofy. It has been my experience, every time, that an automatic nozzle will use more psi to operate than any other nozzle. If the nozzle is gpm adjustable, you can still get a stream by going to the smallest gpm setting. There are automatics out there that take more than 25 psi to just activate the nozzle, forget about any type of stream.
    [This message has been edited by BLACKSHEEP-1 (edited 06-10-2001).]

    [This message has been edited by BLACKSHEEP-1 (edited 06-11-2001).]

  22. #22
    S. Cook Guest


    I've seen the problem Blacksheep-1 talks about too. Only in my experience, it happens on both autos and smoothbores every single time a nozzle is opened as it's getting up to operating pressure or, is pumped incorrectly or, gets kinked or, pinched because a truck parks on it or, when the nozzle is operated incorrectly.

    It is obvious that at the moment the picture was taken there was not enough pressure at the tip for some reason. To assume there was or blame the lack of reach/volume on an auto is nonsense. If someone wants to use this to prove a point for the smoothbores, you have every right to do so. But what kind of reach would you have had in this case? You don't know. We have no idea what the pressure is at the time the picture was taken, it could be 25psi for all we know (remember the standard arguement that autos give a good looking stream at any pressure so you never really know what's being pumped). What kind of a smoothbore stream would 25psi give through a 1-1/8" or 1-1/4" tip. What would the reach be?

    The simple truth is that operated correctly, the right size nozzle flowing the required volume of water in the right pattern will put this fire out in short order. It makes absolutely no difference if it is a smoothbore or an auto.

    And if you're wondering, we use both - autos for flows to 300gpm on 1-3/4" and 2" lines and smoothbores to 600gpm on 2-1/2" lines (the Big Paulie nozzle). If this was our fire, as long as the crew pulled at least the 2" on this one, I'd have no problem with their choice.

    And Big Paulie, I wish you great success at the Firehouse Expo! With any luck, I may see you there.

    [This message has been edited by S. Cook (edited 06-10-2001).]

  23. #23
    Fire Eater 07 Guest


    i agree with a 2 1/2" blitz line, but as another poster said, the pressure doesnt seem to be that great on the nozzle. Ive seen more water come out of a booster line.
    stay safe brothers

    Engine / Squad Co.# 7

  24. #24
    Parafiremedic Guest


    OK, I guess no one saw the part about the live amunition, and propane tank INSIDE the house. Forget the Fog vs. Smooth bore, and the 1 1/2" vs. 2 1/2" debates. What are you really trying to save here? The entire first floor is fully involved, with heavy smoke on the second floor, and fire fire possibly venting from the roof. I'd go with an un-maned monitor to protect exposers. That house is a total loss, why risk your people?

    All comments are the opinion of the author, and not of any service they are a member of.

  25. #25
    rudedog Guest


    An unmanned monitor on a single family house,partially involved?????????????? HMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM-guess ill let this pass without further comment.

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