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  1. #21
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    Default Waste not, want not . . .

    An interesting (and informative, if a bit over-numbered) post, cilfd. Perhaps a step back and some simplification is in order. The basic premise here, if I am reading you correctly, is that many departments tend to overbuy where pump capacity is concerned. I agree.

    Your statements concerning engine horsepower are also correct. I must admit I have never seen a large-capacity pump spun by a mid-range engine ( but I'm sure there are MANY things I've never seen!). In any case, shame on the apparatus committee that would specify such a mis-matched combination.

    This ain't gene splicing, folks. The principles are simple to understand (and if you don't, contact Gary Handwerker at Hale Pumps and he will explain it all for you). Water on the fire is the result of a SYSTEM. This includes water mains, hydrants, pump stations, distribution grids, fire engine pumps, the vehicle engine and transmission, hose connections and fittings, supply line, attack line, nozzles, and (oh, yeah!) people who know what to do with their piece of the puzzle. Too much time (and/or money) spent on one component , or too little on another can compromise the efficiency of the entire system.

    Don't buy more fire engine than you can use. If you don't know how much that is, FIND OUT. Many departments would check the "million GPM" box if there was one . . . likewise the "million horsepower" box.
    This is inefficient, unwise, unproductive and unprofessional. You can do better, but it will take some work. DO THE WORK. It will take some time, too. INVEST THE TIME. Don't buy what I buy, or what your neighbor buys, or what the salesman wants to sell you.

    Know your business . . . your community is depending on you!


  2. #22
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    .An issue that hasn't been mentioned is how far oversized a 2000 gpm pump is for a room and contents fire.


    We haven't even maxed out a 1250 gpm and now we say we need 2000 gpm or more with 500 HP engines - I doubt very much the public is getting anything out of these purchases.
    So are you sugesting we go back to 500GPM pumps since most fires only need 1-2 handlines? Of course not, as I and other have mentioned here, the difference between a 1500GPM and 2000GPM pump is almost entirely horsepower. If the public is getting a 73,000lbs truck with an engine insufficient to move it at speeds greater than 35MPH are they getting their money's worth? The truck got a big engine because it needed it, it got a big pump because it was a "free" upgrade.

    You're right that our supply lines can be a limiting factor, but we carry lots of big hose these days and it is possible to overcome those limits by laying in another feeder. As to the big fire only using 3300gpm total, that was most likely an average for the entire period of the fire, since the water dept only meters water flowing into their standpipes, not how fast the standpipe is emptied. I'm sure at the start of that fire there were a large number of crews wishing they had more water. Have recently pumped a large heavy timber single building structure with a flow meter, I can tell you we were flowing between 1000 and 1500GPM for the start of attack phase and wishing the water mains were bigger. Once additional lines were laid in we flowed about 3000GPM between four trucks (two relaying) to knock down the fire. Once the fire was under control our water use probably dropped to 1500GPM for the next 1/2 hour then to next to nothing for mop up. If you ask the water dept they probably would have told us an average of 500gpm for the 3 hours we were working.

    Off my pumper I had 2ea 2 1/2", 2ea 1 3/4" and a 1 5/8" deck gun flowing. My residual was down to about 5psi so the pump was working that 150psi 1650gpm all on its own. Out back, the tower was flowing over 1000gpm through the stick, plus handlines. Had we been limited to 1250GPM pumps we would have been forced to shut down lines to keep our master streams supplied (as we did before additional lines were laid in), but once we had the water, we used it.

  3. #23
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    Fire304 Sorry it has taken so long to reply I have been away. Most of our buildings over her are brick veneer so we don't have complete buildings going up but due to internal damage most are demolished.
    The reason we have such small pumping capacity is the choice of cab/chassis we have . Unlike you guys we don't have custom chassis builders we can only choose from a small number of trucks eg isuzu, scania, hino,iveco, and they have limited hp most are 300hp so we put up with smaller pumps.
    These are my personal views and not those of my service.

  4. #24
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    Fire304
    The free upgrade your talking about is an 73,000lb aerial. There are plenty of 500HP/2000gpm engines being puchased. And to go from a 330 HP mid-range diesel with a 1250 on a mid-range chassis to a 500 HP premium diesel with 2000 on a premium chassis isn't free by any stretch. And yes, I would argue that these 500/2000s are a waste of taxpayers money and and in most circumstances it isn't buying the public not one bit of improved life safety or property protection.

    ANd you say lots of big hose? You mean 5" - 5" is tiny for a 2000 gpm if you are planning to max that pump out. If you are talking 1700-1800 gpm, than 5" and a 1250 or 1500 max is all you need.

    And you made my point very well in your fire - you said 1000-1500 and wishing you had more water and when you had the additional lines you had 4 engines pumping a total of 3000 gpm with 2 relaying. That's just the point, you maxed out the water supply at 3000 gpm and were flowing 1500 gpm engine. You could do that with 4 - 1000 gpm engines with a Cummins 5.9L 210 HP - that's right 4 Dodge Rams. You could flow this amount of water with 4 mini-pumpers. Check out the Hale pump selection data - 5.9L 210HP will drive a 1000 gpm and a 1000 gpm can flow 1500 gpm off a hydrant no problem. So you are saying we need some 500HP premium diesel pushing a 2000 gpm pump -I don't mean any disrespect, but to me this borders on absolutey ridiculous.

    I've been designing fixed fire pump systems for quite a while and I can drive pumps up to 2500 gpm @ 150 psi with a 8L diesels with no problem. And those pumps will flow out to 3750 gpm. I have 8L choices up to 375 HP and I can almost squeeze a 3000 gpm @ 150 psi into an 8L. The more typically size 750-1500 gpms, I spec a lot of 4L and 6L diesels. I have a job right now, a 1500 gpm @100 psi, using a John Deere 4045, that's a 4 cyl/4L @ 130 HP and I can drive that 1500 gpm no problem.
    And your saying the fire service needs 13-14L premium diesels to drive 1500-2000 gpm pumps? You may need it for road performance, but your way overboard for pumping requirments. Hale approves of the ISC 350 out to a 2000 gpm pump and a 330 for 1750 gpm pump. The only time I've had to go beyond an 8L is for 4000gpm + pumps. Typically that would have been 8v-92 in the past - today I would probably spec a CAT 3406.

    I've got that Waterous 1250 gpm pump curves right in front of me. That pump will do at least 2100 gpm @ 150 psi and probably out to 2300 @ 150. Hale approves an ISC 230 HP to drive a 1250 gpm pump. Thats 230 HP and I can pump at least 2100 gpm @ 150 psi.

    If I have a 2000 gpm job, I'm probably going to spec a mid-200 HP 6-8L to do it and the pump suction will be a minimum of 10" (that's 3-5" or 2-6") and I can guarantee flow to 3000 gpm. A typical fire service pumper with a 2000 gpm pump will have a 11-14L premium diesel and single 5" supply (maybe dual 5's). Something is out of whack - they are both 2000 gpm centrifugal pumps.

    And one last comment - you mentioned you were flowing some 1 3/4" handlines; that Holyoke fire I mentioned, you think 1 3/4" handlines have any useful purpose at a 9 alarm fire that destroyed 11 buildings (and some of these were very big bldgs)? Just my opinion, but if you're concerned about using multiple 2000 gpm pumps maxing out to 3000 gpm + and your also trying to flow 2 - 1 3/4" handlines per engine - in my opinion your just wasting away a good volume of water on streams that amount to no more than a garden hose on the volume of fire we are talking about in a Holyoke size fire. Combine 2 or 3 engines worth of handlines and put another master stream in service or just leave the handlines on the truck. I guess that goes at the strategy/tactics issue I've mentioned before, if the fire service wants to start trying to stop these big-volume fires in their tracks - we've got to get out of that handline mentality.

    Good luck to you Fire304, I enjoy a good debate and don't mean any disrespect by anything.

  5. #25
    Forum Member Fire304's Avatar
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    cilfd, I do enjoy being challenged on my thoughts, so no worries about our back and forth.

    I should have clarified the pumping situation, the water was flowing out of 2 pumps, mine tied to the hydrant, the tower being fed by 2 other trucks to keep the water moving. In all we were moving 3000gpm through 4000gpm of pump capacity. You're right about the handline, in hindsight I would have never pulled the 1 3/4's but I don't wear a white hat and once they were in use we were committed to keep feeding them.

    I know what you're talking about with driving pumps beyond their rated capacity, I've seen it done many times, but you cannot use a 500gpm pump and get away with calling it a Class A pumper because you'll be using hydrants which means you can get 1000gpm out of it.

    As for intakes, there are 2 on each pump, if we need that much water we can use it, but I was getting 1600 through one 100' section of 5". Was I maxing out the hose? Hell yeah, one hand was on it feeling for dips in pressure and the other hand on the tank-to-pump valve to compensate for those dips. Had I taken in another 5" I could have flowed over 3000 GPM, but by the time we had the man power to set up the fire was contained with what we had and it was decided to let it burn down a little before putting it out. One point I will conceed to you, it's pretty tough for one truck to move 2000+gpm unless you are feeding multiple master streams. In our case we had all but one preconnect pulled plus the deck gun flowing and were making 1600GPM. Even then there were three towns helping man all those lines. But I still maintain that in the large industrial fire you can move a lot of water and we could max out even our over blown 2000gpm pump feeding 3000gpm to it via 2 5" lines.

    Tactics, now there's something we can agree upon. It's not just the fire service, anyone can fall into a preprogramed response and not take the extra time to truely evaluate the situation. Start putting the wet stuff on the red stuff, no matter how little you've got is the mind set. There is one fire which haunts me from my probie days, where had I known what I know today I could have saved the building, but I pulled the line the LT told me to pull and wasted our tank water waiting for the tankers to set up the shuttle. We all get programed to do things, like hit the brakes in your car when you see trouble ahead, most of the time it works, occationally its the wrong thing to do, sometimes it a dangerous thing to do.

  6. #26
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    It has a very good water system - if the FD tapped into the bigger mains, 15,000 gpm+ could have been available. How much did they flow - water dept data indicated about 3,300 gpm total - 17 engines, 15,000 gpm possible and 3,300 gpm was flowed.

    Four and a half years earlier I was at a fire in a town with a hydrant system that could deliver 900gpm. 30 minutes after the initial 911 call somewhere in the neighborhood of 13,000gpm was being delivered onto the mill and no conflagaration occured, although it was starting to get hairy for a few minutes with siding sliding down the multiple wood-frame exposures on two sides, telephone poles on fire, and even the first two 5" lines laid to draft melted about 45 minutes into the fire from radiant heat. Amazing what can happen when you combine a bunch of rural departments that know long lays & drafting with an excellent water supply pre-plan and some good on-the-spot modifications to the plan (since the original game plan focused on cutting off extension from one wing to the other, and actually both were ignited simultaneously by an arsonist).

    It is interesting however to look at CILFD's 1250 arguement.

    Had all the source pumps been 1250s, we probably would've been down into the 10-11,000gpm range.

    Had all the source pumpers been 2000s and 6" hose used, we'd easily be into the 18,000gpm range, and probably pushing into 20,000+. And yes, we could have delivered it to the fire.

    Don't know if 20,000gpm would've helped. But I don't know if 10,000 would've been enough either -- as Ladders were retreating from one of the streets, 1.75" and 2.5" lines were being stretched through alleys in anticipation of multiple wood-frames becoming involved very shortly...13,000gpm flowing and the fire was doubtful. My corner had 3,000gpm flowing, and if we had another 1,000 it would've been well appreciated.

    I'm not too familiar on engine sizes, but our '95 Spartan/Marion with a 350hp Cummins has pushed 1800gpm from draft, so I'd think engines in the 350-400hp range should be able to drive the 2000gpm pumps. Our area already looks at engines in that hp range for the pumpers since most have 1000-1500 gallon tanks and come in at 40,000# on single rear axles with rolling to sometimes long & steep hills to climb.

    (By the way, I got lost in Holyoke once. It was a surreal experience -- you expected tumbleweeds to go rolling down some of the streets, just lots of big, abandoned buildings and no one around for blocks at a time. Just me, my truck, and some garbage blowing through the streets...weird. At least in other distressed cities I've driven through I always saw signs of life, sometimes scary life, but at least life!)

  7. #27
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    Default Apples vs. Oranges . . .

    Many excellent points raised here, and good food for thought for apparatus committees. cilfd raises some valid points, however remember that experience with "fixed pumping systems" is not entirely transferable to mobile fire apparatus (I have worked with both). While the basic principles, hydraulics and physics are the same, nearly everything else is not. It was correctly pointed out that many of the "high horsepower" diesel engines are specified more for road performance than for pump power. The variables of water supply, terrain gradient, and application systems (not to mention "pilot error") are just a few of the reasons that so many different combinations of chassis, engines and pumps are offered and sold. This increases the possibility of "getting it wrong", and what is correct and usable for one department may be a horrible mismatch for another.

    Again, you must do the work. You know your local conditions and capabilities, the rest of us don't. 2000+ gpm pumps are not overkill if they are appropriate. Likewise, a 1000 gpm pump for certain high-fire-volume applications would be like bringing a knife to a gunfight.
    This is not a "one-size-fits-all" subject. Buy the size that fits.

    A good topic, and interesting reading. Thanks to all who contributed.

  8. #28
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    Must agree with the posts that stated a department should spec out apparatus that meet their requirements. Many apparatus committees fail to realize that their needs are totally different then the demo that was brought around or that new piece that another city just purchased.

    A department with a good hydrant and water main system should consider purchasing 2000 GPM pumps. With the proper hose evolutions and training a department can easily utilize a 2000 GPM pump at certain incidents.

    As far as wasting taxpayers money,a 400HP engine is about $1800 more than a 350HP engine and if a department is purchasing equipment for the future a larger capacity pump goes alot more toward fire protection than some of the other items that we feel are necessary on apparatus. Who knows what will happen with water supplies in 10 years. If we aren't progressive we still be using apparatus with 300 gal. water tanks.

  9. #29
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    [QUOTE]Originally posted by BCRJP
    Many apparatus committees fail to realize that their needs are totally different then the demo that was brought around or that new piece that another city just purchased.[QUOTE]

    Not only different from the next town or demo, but possibly very different from the other pieces sitting in the barn. I am lucky to work in a very progressive FD where the chief and officers are not afraid of new stuff, that overkill 2000GPM pumper is also a CAFS truck with built in Amkus system, unlike anything anyone else uses around here. We've all seen the dept, or maybe work in one, where the chief believes there is only one way to work it, they way he learned, so the troops are charging into a building with 1 1/2 lines fed by dual 2 1/2's because that new stuff (1 3/4" and 5") is too damned expensive and the old stuff was good enough when the old man was a pup.

    It has just occured to me that the 500HP engine on my tower could probably drive that Q-max to 3000+ GPM but it is probably limited to 2000 by the 2 6" intakes we have on it. The HP is required to drive the truck, yes it cost a lot, but when trying to merge onto the interstate some times I wish I had 600HP.

    Good posts by all, I didn't realize what a hot issue this would become when I started this thread, I thank all who have posted, and I do enjoy being called out to defend my thinking, its the only way we can move ourselves forward. Bravo to all!

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    Does anybody have any problems doing the annual pump test on these large pumps ? Joe T

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    You know a significant part of this thread is made up of conjecture not facts. A 350 HP engine, a small motor with a small transmission will in fact spin a 1750 gpm pump all day. Or with dual suctions 2000 gpm. So where is the added cost? There isn't any. YOu don't have to add any discharges. A 370 hp will spin a 2000 at draft.

    Electronically controlled engines and transmissions will not make use of a centrifugal pumps ability at a positive pressure source like a hydrant, they are limited electronically, unlike their older brothers.

    A hale, waterous or darley pedestal pump 2000 gpm always costs less than a traditional midship 1250 pump, ALWAYS.

    As far as big hose having trouble supplying big pumps, our shift does a 2000 gpm two master stream drill every other shift using 5 inch hose. We have flowed 8000 gpm with four rigs and 12 guys. ISO syas the downtown water systems rates at 12,000 plus. All three times we have helped supply our 1x4, 1x5 ladder pipe 1 x 6 and 14 guns (4000, 5000, 6000 and 14,000 gpm) we never had any problem either at draft, via relay or using the water systems.

    Our neighbors have two 6000 gpm pumps on order (INSTEAD OF RELYING ON 2750 TO 3500 GPM ENGINES), with 500 hp motors, they will lay dual 7 1/4" hose instead of todays, triple 6 inch lines. The water is there, have you figured out how to move it effectively? The little volunteers to the right of us have 6 - 3500 gpm pumps, guess what? They were the same cost of a 1500 gpm midship pump. The motor selected was selected to move the rig down the road not special to spin the pump(like most fire trucks)I think two of their rigs spin two Hale 8 FG's on the same shaft. So horsepower isn't a limitation. If you don't draft a modern pump you have 30% more horsepower than needed to operate off a fire hydrant system. So what does that mean? Any 300 horsepower engine will spin a 2000 to 2250 pump from a hydrant system, that is ANY 300 or larger hp motor.

    Hose is just as important as the pump, I guess that is why we have 12,000 feet of 6 inch (soon to be 7 1/4 or double 5 brand) chasing us around on one rig when needed.

    Waste of money? Hardly, better use of spending less money.

    Now the issues of pumping 100 gpm versus 3500, with a fleet of 16 2750's to 10,000 gpm pumpers, not stationary pumps, I think I can state the facts, we use 175 rpm less at 100 gpm as we do at 2750. Ya think that will wear the rig out prematurely???

    The pumps are designed to do an entire flow range and do so well. We pump test them every year using 8 inch hard suction without any problem.

    As far as your own needs go, starting with a 2000 gpm pedestal pump with all stainless plumbing is probably the smartest thing you could do. It will last the test of time, make full use of any static or pressurized water source without a cost penalty. Certainly any quint should start with a 2250 minimum.

    Three guys can make 3000 gpm flow easily if someone lays the rig out right. I believe something like 10% of the fires account for 90% of the dollar loss due to fires. So why not setup for the big as well as the small fire? Now if you believe the "what difference would it make comment"?? Then why respond on a fully invloved building?

    Can one 5 inch line supply a 2000 gpm pump, sure can, the issue is hydrant pressure, hose length and flow, we do it every few days.

    I doubt the fire cares how "OVERSIZED" the pumper is, the hydrants are, the water mains or water storage in town are. The real issue will the fire go out with a 2000 or a 150 gpm pump, yes. I guess we could fill our stations full of say 10 sizes of apparatus or one do anything piece, the choice is yours, this is America.

    Oh those corpus rigs that flowed 4750 gpm, are offically rated as two pumps per rig or one 2750 and one 2000 pump off the same engine because NFPA stops at 3500 pn their rating system, but the same test was done at 4750 gpm for the same time periods and lift. They lay four 5 inch lines each, all 1250 feet long to supply the rigs.

    Using Hale valves their LDH discharges only flowed 2250 gpm. Kinda limited with only five LDH discharges per rig though.

  12. #32
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    My turn to drag one out of the past.

    Any change in thoughts or ideas since this topic was originated back in the stone ages?

    My POC FD has a 2000 GPM Hale Q-Max pump in our newest pumper. We haven't got a chance of supplying it with our hydrant system and frankly we knew that when we bought it. BUT, we can supply it easily from draft from the creek that passes through town, OR we can supply roughly 1400 gpm at 200 psi at the pump. We bought it mainly to utilize the 2000 gpm pump from draft for some target hazards where we knew the municipal supply would never be enough if a good fire got going. Our hydrants suply it just fine for normal residential, or merchantile type fires.
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    It sounds to me like you have 2000 gpm pumps for the right reasons. I see some urban departments who never draft and don't even carry hard suction run 2000 gpm pumps, why? You can get over 2000 gpm out of a smaller pump with good hydrants. Spend your money on big power and big brakes.

  14. #34
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    I can go along with FyredUp's post. We have many areas we can (and do) draft from as a supply engine.
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

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    We have 2-2250gpms pumps, 1-2000gpm pump. Public water system won't supply it. We do have an extremely large target hazard with their own water supply that will easily put that much out, with plenty to spare.
    A Fire Chief has ONLY 1 JOB and that's to take care of his fireman. EVERYTHING else falls under this.

  16. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by FyredUp View Post
    My turn to drag one out of the past.

    Any change in thoughts or ideas since this topic was originated back in the stone ages?

    My POC FD has a 2000 GPM Hale Q-Max pump in our newest pumper. We haven't got a chance of supplying it with our hydrant system and frankly we knew that when we bought it. BUT, we can supply it easily from draft from the creek that passes through town, OR we can supply roughly 1400 gpm at 200 psi at the pump. We bought it mainly to utilize the 2000 gpm pump from draft for some target hazards where we knew the municipal supply would never be enough if a good fire got going. Our hydrants suply it just fine for normal residential, or merchantile type fires.
    Can you supply it from draft via one steamer connection?
    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 think that is what most departments that purchase pumps larger then 1500 gpm don't understand, you can't produce more then 1500 gpm from draft with only one 6" hard suction. If you want 2000+ gpm you need to have two 6" suction going into the pump. How many Engines with pumps rated larger then 1500 gpm do you see carrying four lengths of 6" hard suction?

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    We have a steamer connection on driver side, officer side, and front. Same setup on both our engines. All engines have 2 or 3 lengths of hard sleeves.

    Getting water into it is not a problem and though we have tried many times....we have yet to make the ocean go down an inch.
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bones42 View Post
    We have a steamer connection on driver side, officer side, and front. Same setup on both our engines. All engines have 2 or 3 lengths of hard sleeves.

    Getting water into it is not a problem and though we have tried many times....we have yet to make the ocean go down an inch.
    How much hard sleeve do you carry on the engine?
    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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    2 or 3 lengths on each. Minimum of 20'

    Not a big deal to get hard sleeves from the other engines...we aren't miles apart and if a draft is needed for that volume, there is a few minutes available to get them.
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

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