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    Default What Diameter hose do you use to feed your Tower Ladder??

    This question is geared for those that don't have pumps on thier aerial apparatus.
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    Default Aerialscope

    We use four 21/2 inch lines to supply our truck, althought two is sufficiant the other two are there as back-up lines.

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    4" or 5" LDH.

    Our 4" is High Pressure (300 PSI Test) and the new tower ladder will have several lengths of 5" High Pressure Hose.

    When we do pump classes we use 3" to a siamese (trimese) rather than using supply grade 5". Most companies do not have high pressure (attack grade) LDH, so it limits your ability to overcome pressure loss in the aerial due to the 185 PSI limit of the hose.

    I am pretty sure most aerial waterways need close to 180-200 PSI at the inlet to get a high flow at the tip once you get past all the elbows in the turntable.

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    not to start a fight here but 180 to 200 psi seems like alot. yeah I know 5 lbs loss per floor or 10 feet but at 100 feet you have 50 lbs of friction loss. The rest of the friction loss is the supply line between the pumping apparatus and the truck Using 5 inch there technically is no friction loss so your only loss is the aerial device. Truthfully go out and set it up if your aerial has a flowmeter your golden in not a portible flowmeter will have to do and see for self what engine pressure you need to reach your desired GPM, between that and an inline pressure gauge you can tell exactly how much f/l you have.

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    There is actually quite a few places where friction loss occurs in an aerial device. Using the truck I'm assigned to for example; There is the friction loss within the gated wye at the intake, friction loss from the (2) two elbows that lead to the turntable coupling, the turntable elbow, the piping itself, and then the master stream device itself. Our starting pump pressure is 175psi. We adjust from there. There was another thread on here about how to measure the true friction loss due to piping, extension, and elevation. Had alot of good info in it.

    To answer the original question. 2 3" lines is what we use to feed the aerial pipe.
    Last edited by jlcooke3; 10-08-2009 at 04:16 PM.

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    We use Attack Rated 5" LDH (300 psi). Like MG pointed out, inlet pressures of 180-200 are pretty standard from what I've seen. Our last aerial purchase was midmount tower and in the bid process we asked all bidders to supply us the calculated inlet pressures for flowing 1250 gpm through a Smoothbore at full height. The numbers we got back from three of five bidders were: 190, 200, 280!! The two others failed to enter a number on the spec doc. In practice we flow 1000 gpm at 170 psi inlet pressure at 93' elevation. NO FOG NOZZLES.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TRUCK61 View Post
    not to start a fight here but 180 to 200 psi seems like alot.
    Well it's not. Our trucks require 190 psi at the tailboard to get what they are rated for at the tip.

    We supply our engines pumping to aerials with either 5" if they are being supplied by another pumper or 6" if they are connected to the hydrant through a front suction. The engines in turn supply the trucks with (2) or (3) 2 1/2" lines that are no longer than 100-150 feet in length.
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    5" LDH, but we have a pump on our rear mount 100' stick.

    From the pump up the ladder we use 3" hose with 3" couplings.
    I am now a past chief and the views, opinions, and comments are mine and mine alone. I do not speak for any department or in any official capacity. Although, they would be smart to listen to me.

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    I have a question for all you posters: why not use 5 inch between the pumping engine and the ladder, less F/L and equal if not more GPM, just wondering.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TRUCK61 View Post
    I have a question for all you posters: why not use 5 inch between the pumping engine and the ladder, less F/L and equal if not more GPM, just wondering.
    Because standard 5" hose has a maximum working pressure of 185 PSI. To overcome aerial piping friction losses you often need more than 185 PSI, and you push the hose past its maximum safety margin.

    Yes, the 5" has very low friction loss, but the elbows in the aerial turntable as well as the narrow diameter of the fly section waterway require high pressure to overcome. I found a hazen-williams calculator online and figured the fly section of most aerial waterways to be 3" pipe with a roughness coefficient of 100. 1000 GPM in 3" Pipe is 51 PSI of FL if the section is 35 feet. I'm figuring 35 feet with the vision of a 3 section 100' aerial. The mid section is 33 PSI FL (if 3 1/2" pipe) and the base section is 25 PSI FL if its 4" pipe. Not factoring in the bends in the turntable we get 109 PSI of FL in the pipe. Add 80 for your smooth bore pipe (2" tip) or 100 (for all you fog users/abusers) and we are looking at an inlet pressure of 189 for the smooth bore pipe or 209 for the fog abusers ( ). We didnt even add in pressure loss for elevation either.

    Sure the FL in 5" is only about 8PSI/100', but the pressure requirement comes from the losses in the aerial piping.

    VERY ballpark, but just an example. If anyone knows the exact lengths and dimensions of aerial waterway piping it would be interesting to plug in exact numbers and try the formulas again.

    Put a pump on your aerial and using 5" is fine, because you can use the aerial pump to acheive the required high pressure to overcome the FL in the rig, but the ladder controls/speed now become a slave to the pump throttle speed. A major drawback, especially if incoming pressure doesnt require much throttle on the pump. Also requires adding a second operator to the truck.

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    While I was typing my last post, it occurred to me that based on stories I hear, looking at the nozzles on many aerials and some questions posed....its probably lucky that many departments ever flow more than about 500 GPM from an aerial (many are rated for at least 1000 GPM). Obviously it isnt necesary at all fires, but there are some fires that require it and it just doesnt happen, when it could.

    If most departments actually used inline gauges (thats really all you need) or a flowmeter if available to run a test, the results might be surprising. I predict they would be especially surprising to those using automatic nozzles on aerial master streams.

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    MG is right on the money. When the inlet pressure of an aerial waterway is already at or above the maximum pressure for standard supply LDH, you're screwed. Any friction loss is too much.

    When our tower was being built, we were at the factory looking over some other aerials and saw a couple of rearmounts whose configurations led to large numbers of tight elbows in the piping just to the turntable! Most coupled with a $3500 automatic fog gun on both guns (yeah two is rarely better), a few with one fog and one smoothbore. And guess what the intake was piped to? LDH Storz connection. I guess a smart thinking person would add an siamese to Storz? But really these trucks had little hope of seeing big flows from their guns. And this was noted on trucks from both a small vollie outfits as well as one large city FD mind you.

    Now, it seems the straight truck is a rare sight, with so many opting for quints. This issue would be the only reason we'd ever consider putting a pump on the truck, and even then the attack rated hose takes up less space and is cheaper. Engines are a dime a dozen at big jobs around here.

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    Default Yes, 200 PSI

    Quote Originally Posted by TRUCK61 View Post
    not to start a fight here but 180 to 200 psi seems like alot. yeah I know 5 lbs loss per floor or 10 feet but at 100 feet you have 50 lbs of friction loss. The rest of the friction loss is the supply line between the pumping apparatus and the truck Using 5 inch there technically is no friction loss so your only loss is the aerial device. Truthfully go out and set it up if your aerial has a flowmeter your golden in not a portible flowmeter will have to do and see for self what engine pressure you need to reach your desired GPM, between that and an inline pressure gauge you can tell exactly how much f/l you have.
    Our flow testing confirms 180-200 PSI to get 1250 GPM from a 100' elevated ladder or platform. We use supply grade 5" hose.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TRUCK61 View Post
    not to start a fight here but 180 to 200 psi seems like alot. yeah I know 5 lbs loss per floor or 10 feet but at 100 feet you have 50 lbs of friction loss. The rest of the friction loss is the supply line between the pumping apparatus and the truck Using 5 inch there technically is no friction loss so your only loss is the aerial device. Truthfully go out and set it up if your aerial has a flowmeter your golden in not a portible flowmeter will have to do and see for self what engine pressure you need to reach your desired GPM, between that and an inline pressure gauge you can tell exactly how much f/l you have.
    Having reread your post, its seems like you may not realize that friction loss occurs in the aerial piping, and is different based on the flow. The loss you speak of is head or elevation loss only. The aerial pipe has friction loss just as any other hose or pipe would, and that amount of friction loss is goverened by the length, diameter and texture of that pipe as well as its elbows, bends and other restrictions and the friction loss is different per flow and IN ADDITION to elevation loss.

    http://www.houstontx.gov/fire/firefi.../June00CE.htm\

    http://www.elkhartbrass.com/files/aa...ion%20Loss.pdf

    http://www.toadspad.net/hydraulics/p...dbook-2005.pdf

    Not understanding friction loss is a very common issue, that results in drastically underpumped or overpumped handlines, supply lines and aerial streams, daily, everywhere. Read up and learn guys, it will make a huge difference at the next fire.

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    We use A rated 4" line with 5" stortz couplings.
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    Add 80 for your smooth bore pipe (2" tip) or 100 (for all you fog users/abusers)



    We actually have a low pressure fog that runs at 80. Don't use it that much though.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JMac73 View Post
    Add 80 for your smooth bore pipe (2" tip) or 100 (for all you fog users/abusers)



    We actually have a low pressure fog that runs at 80. Don't use it that much though.
    Good point to remind us of, there are low pressure fog master stream tips, in fact we actually have one on my engine. Easy to forget about them when using rules of thumb!

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    Quote Originally Posted by MG3610 View Post
    Good point to remind us of, there are low pressure fog master stream tips, in fact we actually have one on my engine. Easy to forget about them when using rules of thumb!
    I know,I forgot about it too and it is on my Truck. One old crusty "Lou" reminded me the other day(the hard way lol) . We have them on our engines also.

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    We use woven jacket 5" hose, tested to 250, and the newer hose to 300 (I think). SOP is to start with 200 psi at the base of the ladder. If the water supply system is healthy enough, we will pump two 5" lines into the tower ladders and both people in the bucket can play.

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    3 1/2" Line
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    We use one four inch to the piston intake on the pump, supplied by a engine or another quint at the hydrant. Yea i know our two tower ladders are quints. We are Quint City USA everything is a quint. We make it work but that is another thread. If the ladder pipe is supplied directly then two 2.5 inch lines wyed into the pipe (policy just changed this summer). We do not have attack rated 4 inch. However with having a pump on the tower this would be rare.

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    To add to all the responses on here, if you ever get a chance to go to a good fireground hydraulics course, you'll get all the info you need to know the best lines and what psi to pump it at. I took one a few years back, but it's been two years since I've touched an engine or a truck, time for a refresher, haha. But I do highly suggest a hydraulics course for anyone starting out learning to pump an engine or a truck.
    Last edited by firefightinirish217; 11-29-2009 at 12:40 PM.

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    Default Supply line for Tower

    all of the Departments in our area carry 4" LDH and this is what is used to supply any Tower operations. Our neighboring Departments in the next county use 5" and this is what is used to supply tower ops in their neck of the woods. We have found that it is quicker and easier for us to get one LDH line going than it is to get 2 smaller diamerter lines going and with less friction loss.

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