1. #1
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    Default frozen fire pumps

    Being from canada we get some cold weather and i am just looking for some ideas on how to keep the pumps from becoming this way. Any input will be a big help.

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    Our new Luverne has a panel under the pump and a small hot water heater in the pump compartment that turns on if the pump gets near freezing.Takes hot water right off the engine.Nice set up,T.C.

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    On all of our trucks we have pump heaters we can turn on,also draining the pump after every call will help.
    HELL YEAH!!!
    The comments made by me are just that. Not of the Fire dept or Ambulance squad I am on.

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    has anyone ever tryed thermal siphoning (leaving the tank to fill and tank to pump open)all of the time the pump is not in use.

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    Pump heaters on each unit and salamanders on each pumper when the weather gets real cold.

    We leave the pumps wet at ALL times. There is more of tendancy for them freeze when you run them dry.

    Seems to work great for us, but then we don't see the extremes that our brothers to the north see.
    These views/ opinions are my own and not those of my employer/ department.

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    It has been my experience, operating in cold climates, that it is the little things that give you trouble, such as the line that runs from the primer to the pump, discharge caps that freeze on, etc.

    I've already had drain valves that upon arrival were froze open, as the pump and tank lines had been drained, but because there was enough water flowing from a leaky tank valve, this small amount of water froze while enroute, making prime very difficult.
    Therefore, I advocate keeping the pump wet.

    Even front mount pumps have the "frost proof" feature of circulating the engine coolant through the pump casing, and with a canvass bra over it, reduces the chance of freezing from the "wind chill" while travelling to the scene. The pump operator can also engage the pump and recirculate water to the booster tank, in operations during sub-zero weather where only limited firefighting resources are used, and the apparatus is otherwise standing idle.

    A small coating of automotive or RV anti-freeze on the threads of suction and discharge caps will ensure easy removal and a can of De-Ice handy in the compartment always helps during winter operations.

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    We run our pumps wet year round and circulate the pump whenever it is near or below freezing. Never had a problem that I know of.
    _________DILLIGAF

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    Leave the pump wet and circulate the water. Moving water won't freeze and the pump will actually generate it's own heat. The heaters and pump covers underneath help. Leaking ball valves can pose you problems though with the water freezing in the discharge port, if thats a concern and you can't get the leak fixed remove the caps and let the water drain out,loses some water but avoids freezing up. Its the same with a hose line in the winter let the water keep moving and you are trouble free.

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    Being from Vermont with midship pumps and fairly short runs from station to scene, we have been running wet pumps for years and just recirculate water when standing by on scene without a problem...
    However, if you happen to have front-mounted pumps with long runs to the scene, there could be a problem...
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    The best method I've found for recirculating uses the booster line if your truck has one. Open the nozzle and place it in the top tank fill. When you arrive on scene, place the truck in pump, open the discharge for the booster line, & leave the truck at idle. It's worked for several hours on temperatures down to 0 degrees F.
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    Operate with the pumps drained during winter months. Also have two salimander heaters that are carried to all fires. Place these next to the engine around the pump compartment. Have had no freezing problems.

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    We always used to drain our pumps every winter, but we're going to stop. We've found it takes longer and is more of a hassle to have to keep priming them in the winter and maybe have THAT frozen than it is to just remember to circulate the pump when we get on scene, whether we're going to actually squirt water or not.

    I say keep 'em wet and just engage the pump and let it churn.
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    In Toledo we do the water circulation method. It works pretty good. Drains are left open and pump operating if sitting still to circulate water.We have not put heat pans on in 5 years. [quote]Originally posted by keirstead:<br /><strong>has anyone ever tryed thermal siphoning (leaving the tank to fill and tank to pump open)all of the time the pump is not in use.</strong><hr></blockquote>

    <img src="biggrin.gif" border="0">

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    Default BUMP

    Cold weather is here again (well, for those of us that have cold weather I guess). I've bumped up similar threads in other categories... just trying to get as much current thought on the matter as possible.

    We're having some differences of opinion on this one... for years we've left 'em wet... now a few want to make them dry in the winter.

    I say wet, for all the reasons mentionned here and in the other threads (as well as our manufacturer's recommendation). We circulate water on scene regardless..

    Thoughts?

    And another question... would opening the "Pump Cooling" valve actually warm the pump in the winter?
    Last edited by Resq14; 12-04-2002 at 12:53 AM.

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    And another question... would opening the "Pump Cooling" valve actually warm the pump in the winter?
    Opening the pump cooling valve will circulate tank water in the cooling lines around the pump housing. The tank water absorbs heat from the housing. It's fairly unlikely that the tank water would ever be warmer than the pump housing.

    We have drained our pumps for years. It's been our experience that just the extra cooling from the draft when traveling down the road can be enought to freeze up the pump. Once we get on scene, open the tank-to-pump and the tank-fill, hit the primer for 10 seconds and we're ready to go.

    You mentioned the manufacturers recommendation. What does your operators manual have to say? From which company? I've never really seen one that wanted to be quoted one way or the other.
    Last edited by Jim917; 12-06-2002 at 08:44 AM.
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    Default Re: BUMP

    Originally posted by Resq14
    We're having some differences of opinion on this one... for years we've left 'em wet... now a few want to make them dry in the winter.
    Hey, just doing what one man with the red hat told me to do, now another is telling me not to do, man am I confused.

    And another question... would opening the "Pump Cooling" valve actually warm the pump in the winter?
    I've though about this too, I've also wondered about the aux engine cooler, but since that cooling line runs to the tank, you'd have to heat the whole tank up along with the pump, and in the meanwhile you might over cool the engine (depends on where the cooling line runs from) which would be a problem. My guess would be that it would not amount to much of a difference.
    Last edited by Fire304; 12-10-2002 at 06:05 PM.

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    laff

    just picking the brains of others out there. if there's a better way, i'm open to it.

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    We leave them wet. We have had a problem with one guy draining the pumps. The problem is, since that is usually never done the drain valve sticks open a hair and creates problems when drafting water... because all of sudden you not drafting water any more.


    I wouldn't change the normal practices for a few months a year. just my 2 cents.

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    Just interested in knowing what anybody is doing for their skid-unit type brush trucks?

    Could some RV antifreeze be used or would that be a problem when pumped onto a fire?

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    When drafting from a portiable tank, never run out of water. Keep enough water in the onboard tank to recirculate water through the pump.

    A few years ago, we had a house fire when it was well below freezing. After the portable tank went dry and the pump was shut down, it froze up and could not be used. Also, a neighboring department, had thier grass rig at the fire and it froze up and broke a fitting or line.

    We run pumpers wet, but grass rig dry. Not much use for grass rig in the winter, but they do run because they carry lots of other equipment.

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