Thread: Wet/Dry pumps in winter time
01-05-1999, 11:09 PM #1dc45bFirehouse.com Guest
Wet/Dry pumps in winter time
Currently we keep our pumps dry during the cold weather. Does anyone have a better idea?
01-06-1999, 11:31 AM #2FyrtrksFirehouse.com Guest
Do You have a large response area and how big of a fire volume do you have. those are factors that play a large role in wet/dry pump ops.
01-09-1999, 06:39 PM #3Drive P17BFirehouse.com Guest
We keep our pumps wet in the winter on our pumpers in KC. The trucks usually drain theirs. All I do when arriving at the scene is to put the pump in gear and open the pump circulating valve and pull the tank to pump handle and also the tank fill handle. Other wise the rest of the rig is drained. Check your Apparatus book for details for what will work best for you.
01-10-1999, 06:08 AM #4adartyFirehouse.com Guest
The problem is usually not with the pump itself freezing up but the lines to gauges, relief valves, etc. The pump itself & the water it contains represent a fairly large thermal mass. It takes an extended period for the water in the pump itself to freeze. Lines, valves, flow control devices don't have that thermal mass so they freeze up quickly. My area usually doesn't receive extremely cold temps., but we often respond long distances which gives all the above mentioned devices plenty of time to freeze up.
We drain our pumps during cold weather. It takes an extra minute to get water once we get on scene, but we know the apparatus will function. Once we are pumping we keep tank fill & recirculating valves open.
[This message has been edited by adarty (edited 01-10-99).]
01-14-1999, 01:10 PM #5RedDgUNHFirehouse.com Guest
We keep our pumps wet in our department in Maine and so do most of the departments around us. We found that it takes longer for the pump to freeze with water then with out. It doesn't take much ice to freeze the impellars and when you drain the pump there is still water left inside. This freezes easier then a full pump. We also circulate our pumps at all scenes in the winter months. Right now we are experiencing temperatures around 10 to 20 below with wind chill, with no problems.
01-22-1999, 01:54 AM #6BKIELY 32 CHAUFFEURFirehouse.com Guest
IN MY DEPARTMENT IN CONNECTICUT WE RUN WET YEAR ROUND FOR SPECIFIC REASONS IE:COLD WEATHER AND CALL VOLUME.IT TAKES LONGER FOR A WET PUMP TO FREEZE VERSES A DRY PUMP WITH RESIDUAL WATER LEFT IN IT( YOU'LL NEVER GET IT ALL OUT)ONE THING WE DO IS LEAVE THE TANK TO HYDRANT ON TANK AND THE TANK FILL/RECIRCULATE ON,WHICH PROMOTES WATER MOVEMENT BETWEEN THE TANK AND PUMP WHILE YOUR OUT AND ABOUT IN THE ENGINE.AND WHEN YOU GO TO EMS CALLS OR NON-FIRE CALLS YOU PULL UP AND POP THE BRAKE,SHIFT TO PUMP,AND SHIFT INTO GEAR,AND YOUR CIRCULATING WATER RIGHT FROM THE CAB.MOVING WATER TAKES LONGER TO FREEZE.WHEN ITS DOWN IN THE ZERO'S,WE STICK THE BOOSTER HOSE NOZZLE IN THE TOPSIDE TANK FILL AND OPEN THE VALVE (MORE WATER MOVING!)ANOTHER TIP IS TO CARRY A LITTLE ANTI-FREEZE SPRAY BOTTLE ON THE ENGINE TO SPRAY ON FROZEN COUPLINGS AND NOZZLES.JUST DON'T TELL THE HAZMAT GODS!! MISSION:PUT OUT THE FIRE! BE SAFE!! GO HOME AFTER 24 !!
[This message has been edited by BKIELY 32 CHAUFFEUR (edited 01-25-99).]
01-26-1999, 01:44 PM #7Bob FoustFirehouse.com Guest
In Stoneboro,PA (NW PA) a little anti-freeze on the valves with a spray bottle usually works in cold weather. Watch front-mounted pumps if you have to travel a long distance, they have more exposure to the elements. Always circulate water when possible. Chief 76-2
01-26-1999, 11:10 PM #8q2fireFirehouse.com Guest
we run with our pumps wet here(outside kcmo)but when left outside we place them in pump with our tank fill valve and the tank discharge open, run rpm to about 7-9000. just enough to keep water thru pumpand keep it warm. Usually only have little lines freeze up in route to somewhere because they were not fully drained. Recently been running with recirc valve open in cold weather.
01-27-1999, 10:44 AM #9FSRIZZIOFirehouse.com Guest
We have two front mount pumps that we keep dry during winter. With a drain on the lower pump casings it seems to get all of the water out, however the supply line from the booster tank to the pump intake valve is always full.
With heated engine bays, and the relatively low volume of calls we have it works out O.K.
We have had some below 0 runs that we have to keep an eye on hoselines,valves, etc.
I understand some companies have problems with packings drying out on dry pumps, we haven't had that kind of problem.
Good Luck, Frank
02-01-1999, 08:19 PM #10CAFSFirehouse.com Guest
If you have a properly set up unit there is no reason to drain the pump in the winter. Like one fellow said, you never get all the water out and but even if you could, without protection your gauges would be ruined. A belly pan which hold the heat from the engine and or exhaust system goes along way to providing heat. This is augmented with an fan driven auxillary heater supplied with hot water from the radiator (same as in the cab but only a bit bigger core. I don't know how cold it gets where you are but the coldest we were out was -27 farenheit and havent lost a a pump or fitting yet. Inside the pump compartment it was still nice and warm.
02-11-1999, 03:27 PM #11LadderCo13Firehouse.com Guest
In Indy we keep our pumps wet in the winter. We were having a freezing problem when they were drained.
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