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Thread: Front Suctions

  1. #1
    S. Cook
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post Front Suctions

    I hear the friction loss in front suctions is high and I know their cost is, but I'm wondering...

    For drafting purposes, is there any benefit to front mount suctions vs. a few more sections of suction hose and going of the side?


  2. #2
    e33
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Thumbs up

    Keeps the suction outta the road to allow tankers to pass by!

    Well, actually the squirrel tail off the bumper or rear is a seriously nice idea, but it is useless if you pipe the line as 3" with 20 different bends and twists.

    By the way, good job with that article in fire-rescue magazine Scott. I am going to try to implement something similar if I can...we shall see.

    [This message has been edited by e33 (edited November 12, 1999).]

  3. #3
    ChapCapt
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    We have a hard time getting a draft off the front of one of our engines. To be honest, have not tried on the other two. The pipe goes off the bumper, down under the bumper, back up over the frame rails and back to the pump. Off the side intake we get a draft no problem. In our town we find we can get closer nosing the engine in and going off the front, but harder to get and keep a draft.

  4. #4
    Bob Snyder
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Talking

    We spec'ed the front suction inlets on both our engine and quint with 5" pipe and no elbows all the way from the cap to the pump. With that straight shot, the flow and the priming time from the front are no different than we get from the sides. I highly recommend this, if you're working on specs for a new rig at any point.

    Since we've eliminated the friction loss problem, we end up drafting off the front much more than we do any other inlet on the rigs. In fact, we use the driver's side 5" inlets for drafting so rarely that they're fitted with external piston valves with Stortz connections for easy supply line hook-ups.

  5. #5
    e33
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Question

    Bob (or anyone), can you draft thru an intake relief valve? Sounds silly, but we dont have them on the engines..dont laugh!!

  6. #6
    Dalmation90
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Cool

    Our pumper is equipped with a 30' 6" Squirrel Tail preconnected front suction, with dual 3" piping to the pump -- dual 3" only 'cause that was all that could fit. Basically, nose in and your eight feet closer to water than coming from the center of the pump -- and where we draft heavily from ponds, that extra distance helps get you out into better water.

    It limits us to 1400gpm so we need to hook up a second 30' length to the steamer inlet on the pump if we want the full 1500 gpm. But from a practical standpoint, if we're going much over 1200' without a relay pumper, that doesn't matter and usually we just use it and don't worry about the extra 100gpm. A two man crew can deploy the squirrel tail and have water flowing in just about a minute. Hooking up the second suction can easily be a five minute job for two people.



    More photos on the truck at http://http://www.mortlake.org/drills/June1999drill.htm and http://www.mortlake.org/Engine_190.htm

    Matt

  7. #7
    Dalmation90
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Cool

    Oh yeah, E33...we can hook up our second suction to the relay relief valve on the driver's side steamer connection (with a Storz to 6" adapter), so it works OK.

  8. #8
    SNOWMAN
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    e33 - As Dal says, you can draft with the intake relief valve BUT you need to be sure that the relief valve is sealing properly. It's no big deal, if you're hooked to a hydrant or other source of water, that the relief valve "dribbles" a little, but it will cause you all kinds of problems trying to make draft. As the valve ages, it can sometimes be difficult to get it to seal airtight. We prefer to draft without our valve attached ..... eliminates one more potential source of air leaks.

  9. #9
    e33
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    Thanks guys.

  10. #10
    DD
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    Don't forget to close the air bleeder pitcock on the intake dump valve.

  11. #11
    Chief Sanborn CFR
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Thumbs up

    On our new engine we wanted the option of being able to draft from other than the sides, so we went with a rear suction. It's a straight shot to the pump, so full capacity, and was considerably cheaper than a front suction. Ours is also preconnected, with 20 feet of flexible hard suction. It comes off the back and makes a gentle curve up over the typical side mounted extension ladder. As a side note, when we were looking at our spec drawings we noticed that the sides of the hose body would be about 13 feet long. Rather than going with just a 10 foot length of suction on the drivers side, we made it a 13 footer. So with just 2 lengths of hose we have in excess of 30 feet. We carry a couple lenths of 2.5 suction, should the MPO have to fill up by himself.

  12. #12
    Dalmation90
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    On the same idea as the 13' lengths, what I see around here a lot now are 1 -- 20' length of flexible suction with a strainer attached -- it loads on the bottom tray, loops up and the rest is on the top tray. The a single 10' length on the middle tray. I wish I had a pic online of one of them but hopefully you get the idea! Coupled with a Storz fitting on it, it only takes on quick turn to put a 20' suction in service.

  13. #13
    Dalmation90
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    On the same idea as the 13' lengths, what I see around here a lot now are 1 -- 20' length of flexible suction with a strainer attached -- it loads on the bottom tray, loops up and the rest is on the top tray. The a single 10' length on the middle tray. I wish I had a pic online of one of them but hopefully you get the idea! Coupled with a Storz fitting on it, it only takes on quick turn to put a 20' suction in service.

  14. #14
    e33
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    I searched near and far for a picture of an engine with one of them wrap around flex suctions..damned if I could find one. Chester Conn. has it on their pierce though (half sits on the bottom shelf and it turns up so the other half sits on the top shelf). I would assume that some depts do..but I cant seem to find one. (I have too much free time at work).

  15. #15
    S. Cook
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    Thanks for all the replies. I've seen the wrap around squirrel tails, and they look pretty handy.

    I guess I should clarilfy a little bit. We use piston intakes and flexible suction on our rigs (midship pumps), so the hose lays right down next to the apparatus, not much more than a foot or so required.

    I know that some like the front/rear suction and some don't, I'm wondering if it is worth the extra $7,500 to $10,000 to add it?

  16. #16
    Dalmation90
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Red face

    You do have too much time on your hands e33 since your 80 posts ahead of me!


    Our 1969 pumper, now with the Callicoon Center, NY, Fire Department


    Our 1986 pumper

    And I have a pic like you described of a suction hose setup like Chester's...just haven't gotten it scanned yet!

    As for Scott's question, well, here's our times for deploying with the 1986 pumper above:
    1 man -- deploy suction to water 1 minute, prime, 10 seconds from 10' lift (we use a hydraulically driven pump normally used on septic tank pumpers to prime with)...1400gpm flowing in under 1 and a quarter minutes. 2 men can get that to under a minute to start flowing. No connections to make or break, just take the hose off the side. And that's the advantage to use of the front suction -- it allows everything to be preconnected. If you're not preconnecting, not sure if there is an advantage to them unless you nose into water supplies a lot (which is how we usually have to!)

    Matt

    [This message has been edited by Dalmation90 (edited November 15, 1999).]

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