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  1. #1
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    Default Hydrant Assist Valves

    How many of you use hydrant assist valves on your supply lines? Do they work well for you?
    Last edited by DFD34; 07-21-2002 at 11:31 PM.
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  2. #2
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    Ummmmmm, what is a hydrant assist valve? I have not heard of that.

  3. #3
    John_Ford
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    Default 4 way valves

    Hydro Assist is a name used by one of the LDH Vendor for their hydrant assist valve. Boston uses it for their 4" hose. LA City uses the Akron along with 4". DCFD uses the Humat valve on their 3". I don't see a lot of departments using it on 5" but a lot of 3 and 4 to boost pressure. Used in areas with domestic water supply where the 5 tends to predominate in rural supply settings with longer lays. The 4 works real well in shorter lays under 800 ft but you have to pump it to get the full benefit. Philly used to use 3.5" with the Humat valve and then went to 3" and 5". Some one told me that they have bought a lot of 3.5" here recently so it should be interesting to see what happens there.

  4. #4
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    Previous dept used a Humat on 5". Didn't use it typically on shorter forward lays which was most common supply line. A good part of the district was extremely loaded with hills however and in the more rural parts of the district if we had a long lay uphill - IC or attack engine pump operator would call for a boost using the Humat.
    Humat was pre-connected on 5" of all 6 engines. SOP had Humat connected if hydrant had a steamer, but not automatically pumped by supply engine. If no steamer, SOP called for removing the Humat and using 2 1/2" NH to 5" adapter on a single 2 1/2" discharge to connect the 5". When we used it, seemed to do the job. Of the hydrant assist valves I've used, prefer the Humat - most compact. It's been a while though, I assume the Humat is still on the market.

  5. #5
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    Just came to me - it's been a while. That particular Chief was one the best I've ever seen, he took the dept to 5" and from booster reels to preconnects in the early 80's. I think that when he went to 5" and the forward lay with a single engine, he added the Humat becuase in the higher elevations of a hilly distrcit, the hydrant pressure was pretty poor and a forward lay uphill made it even worse. I think he knew that in those cases, the forward lay without an engine at the hydrant would come up short and he added the Humat in there to take care of that potential problem.

  6. #6
    MembersZone Subscriber CFD Hazards's Avatar
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    We use the hydra-assist valve. It is used with 4" hose. It is a great tool for pumping a hydrant. If ordered to go back and pump the hydrant to increase pressure at the scene, you don't have to shut down the hydrant or supply line like you have to without it. You add two lines, turn a lever and that is it.
    A downfall is that it is very heavy and because of this, it can be difficult to hold up and thread on the hydrant.

  7. #7
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    Default HAV Valve

    WE use the HAV on all lays with our 4" hose. I agree with CFDE3, it can be quite heavy and is tough to hold with one hand and thread by yourself. We use to have quite a few hydrants in town that because of their distance from a possible scene would have required use of the HAV. NOt so much any more. However we still have the hydrants with low pressure but lots of water. It comes in handy!!
    Captain John

  8. #8
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    We use 5" supply line. (1500 feet of it on our engine.) We use a humat valve. We drop it at the hydrant and another engine hooks up if we need increased hydrant flow. It is very usefull on long hose lays. To pump 1000gpm. with 5" line,you have a friction loss of 8lbs per 100 feet. So you can see why you need a humat valve or 4 way valve. Simple math. First how much water do you need to supply the engine,second what is your intke preasure from the hydrant, third Figure you friction loss for the supply line you are using. and forth allow for elevation preasure loss or increase. after doing your math adjust your discharg preasure to compensate. hope this helps a little
    Last edited by mikemcdonald; 08-13-2002 at 11:33 AM.

  9. #9
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    Cool

    We use a hydrant assist valve called a "HUMAT VALVE" for both of our pumpers. We use a 5"LDH line that is connected to this valve. It is a great tool to use when suppling water to another engine or airel. It can provide immediate water supply at hydrant pressurewhile the engine can be set up to pressurize the LDH. It has saved considerable time & effort in providing a reliable water supply with the least amount of work when needed.

  10. #10
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    In Broad Brook, we have humat valves preconnected to all our 4".

    In Blue Hills, we use 5". All the engines, except Engine 4, are preconnected with elbows but have Humat valves on the rigs. Engine 4 is preconnected with a humat valve.

    IACOJ Agitator
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  11. #11
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    Post Hydrant assist valves

    My dept. has never used any kind of hydrant valve. When I started many years ago we had 4" hose. We found that up to 500' from hydrant, supply was adequate even when connected to s single 2 1/2 " outlet on a non-steamer hydrant. Over 500', we had 2nd engine hook-up to hydrant and pump the line.

    Some years ago we changed to 5" hose and the problems began. When hooked to a 2 1/2" outlet on a non-steamer hydrant, we do not get adequate supply even only a few hundred ft. from hydrant. Some of us MPO's have been pushing the idea that we need 2nd engine on the hydrant, WHERE THERE'S NO STEAMER but idea has been slow to catch on. Especially given current manpower problems in this all volunteer dept; we're lucky just to get a 2nd engine on the road in the first few minutes.

    A 4-way hydrant valve might be useful for us, but I don't think anyone's broached the idea yet.

  12. #12
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    SOP for us is to use our 4 way valve on any 5" lay from a hydrant. Our hydrants don't have storz connections so we have to put on some type of adapter anyway, so we put on the 4 way just in case the extra pressure is needed. Overall, we don't use it often, but it is there if we need it.

    The valve we use is a bit diffrent from the Humat. The supply hose to the fire comes off of the front connection, so it is situated the same way as if it wasn't there. With a Humat, the hose comes off from the side. (I am not sure if this is good or bad, just a point of difference.) Also ours' has the option to be set to a closed position, so that the hydrant can be opened but the line not charged. Saves a little bit of time if the hydrant man has nothing to do while waiting for the engine to get set up. You have to be carefull though that you don't open it too fast. (I sure wish I could remeber who the heck makes the thing though.)

    Question to Mike, what type of 5" hose do you use? 25 psi per 100 feet at 1000 gpm is horrible for 5" hose. Check out Angus hose, 3.37 psi per 100 feet at 1000 gpm per their bid specs. I am not sure if they are right on, but I am sure they are alot lower than 25.

    I am suprised by the comments of engine968. It doesn's seem to make sense that you would have flow problems with bigger hose. Anybody have any ideas on that?

    Chris

  13. #13
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    It sounds like you're talking about the Snap-Tite model, that's what our dept has.

    We went from 3" to 5" in the mid 80's and purchased the Hydrant Assist Valves at the same time. All of our pumpers with 5" carry one, and until about a year ago, they were preconnected to the first length of hose. We took them off and now carry them in the hosebed in case they're needed. We now have a 5" storz to 4.5" NST swivel adapter to hook up to the steamer connection of the hydrant. We did this because we rarely used the wrap-around function of the valve, and felt that it was burdensome to lug that heavy thing around.

    I guess there are obvious disadvantages to not hooking them up from the start...if you need it, you must shut down the hydrant, and it also has an emergency shut-off in case you can't shut the hydrant down (we've had that happen a few times and had to wait for the water company to come out, tying up the truck in the meanwhile).

  14. #14
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    Seriously evaluate your water supply situation before spending a couple grand on a hydrant valve. Chances are that you would be better off spending the money on the extra cost of the next-up hose size, or splitting your beds and buying a few hundred more feet of what you already have. Do you really have the apparatus/manpower to waste at the hydrant for a working fire?

    For those of you that always drop a 4-way valve but rarely (if ever) relay with it: ever checked the FL the valve adds when working straight off the hydrant? You may want to reconsider your SOPs.

    engine968:

    Do the math, buddy. What info are we missing here?

    1. You are using more water on average (no flow test data was ever presented)

    2. Some other aspect of the system has changed. Start at the hydrant (including pressures, flow data, etc.) and work your way right up into the pump. Anything different?

    Even the brand of the valves you use to gate the hydrant can make a difference. Ever compared the waterway of a Harrington 2 1/2" ball valve to an Elkhart or Akron?

    3. Some how the info here got messed up....any guesses?


    mike mcdonald:

    "To pump 1000gpm. with 5" line,you have a friction loss of 25lbs per 100 feet. So you can see why you need a humat valve or 4 way valve. Simple math."

    Yes, quite simple, but only if you have the right numbers to start with. Try 4-8 psi/100'@1,000gpm.

  15. #15
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    Post Doing the math

    Math was never my best subject. Luckily you don't need a calculator to see that a single 2 1/2 inch hydrant outlet seriously crimps the available flow. The only thing that I'm aware of that has changed was having gone from 4 to 5-inch hose. Still using same number and size of hand-lines, etc. You understand, the problem is only with non-steamer hydrants, or when we can't get the steamer cap off. We don't use any gates on the outlets, BTW.

    We operate in 3 different water districts, all of them good; typical static pressure in all areas is 60-70 psi. In fact, until recently an ex-chief of my company was the manager of our largest water dept; he ran a very tight ship.

    I think a good answer (other than using the 2nd eng. at the hydrant) would be to siamese 2 short lengths of 3-inch hose into the 5-inch. Actually we used to do that, 20 years ago with the 4-inch hose, but it was an awkward arrangement and we discontinued that when we found that one 2 1/2 outlet did adequately supply that size hose. But we've been slow to realize that you need a lot more volume to fill a 5-inch line. Probably 'cause it doesn't happen that often; most of our hydrants have steamer outlets.

  16. #16
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    Many years ago, when our region was switching to 5" supply line I converted our Humat valve over. Many other depts. did the same. Some, however, bought The Hydra Assist valve. These seem to be bulky and have caused some confusion with hooking up to. Over the years, I have come to the conclusion that in our resonse area, with our average lay of less than 600' and a hydrant pressure of 60 to 80 psi, that we don't need to pump our lines.

  17. #17
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    The hydra-assist valve will cost you 30% of the hydrant pressure to move water when used in a forward lay off hydrant pressure and 25% of your flow. So unless you pump that thing alot you might consider not using it in a forward lay.

    At $2000 you can always buy the next size hose up and flow more water than committing two pumpers to supply one flow.

  18. #18
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    engine968:

    True, 2 1/2" ports will restrict your flow (good hydrant maintenance and dual steamers are a good fix to that problem), but so does using 4" over 5". How about conducting some flow tests with both and then sharing the results with us?

    "I think a good answer would be to siamese 2 short lengths of 3-inch hose into the 5-inch."

    The 3" will swallow up everything you gained by using the extra port. It doesn't get any better by siamesing 2 5" lines either; most clappers have tiny waterways with two lines flowing in. The only way to truly fix this would be to use a gated 5" wye with full-flow valves, but the extra time and money is hardly worth it.

    I'd lay dual lines before messing around with any costly relay or siamese junk.

  19. #19
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    We recently had a fire where we needed a large amount of water. We laid dual 5 inch lines 1,700 feet in length. The supply pumper at the hydrant used a hydrant assist valve and was supplying us with 3,500 GPM in short order.

    The characteristics that seem to make the valve work are where you have a lot of water available (this plug is on a 24 inch main passing through town) but low pressure. On it's own, the hydrant would probably flow about 1,500 GPM. The valve lets you create a draft using the venturi effect - sort of like the Turbodraft device used by some departments to supply water from ponds and pools. The draft is supplementing the flow created by whatever pressure is at the hydrant.

    We're checking prices now. Harrington Inc. [URL=http://www.harrinc.com] lists their version for $1,470. Akron Brass [URL=http://www.akronbrass.com] does not show a list price, you need to contact one of their dealers.

    Seems to be well worth the money.
    Last edited by Jim917; 08-29-2002 at 12:10 PM.
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  20. #20
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    Jim
    Could you provide us some additional details on supply arrangement on the fire you described? You mention 3500 gpm through dual 5's over 1700 ft. Thats 1750 per line and the friction loss for 1700' of 5" at 1750 gpm is in the 200 to 280 psi range. And on a low flow hydrant the pumper would need to create probably 90% of that pressure to get 3500gpm to the attack rigs with 0 psi left. You were using 1 pumper to flow 3500 gpm @ 200 + psi or so. What capacity pumper was the supply pumper and what type of 5" were you using? Just curious.

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