1. #1
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    Question To Drain or Not to Drain... Cold Weather OPS...

    What is the Answer? Should pumps be drained in cold weather? At what temperature? Any other precuations that should be taken???

    Just throwing it out there for discussion.

    Lt.

  2. #2
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    I say drain them! We just had a car-fire the other day and by the time the rig arrived on scene it had frozen up, and this was only 5 miles away from our 72 degree station.

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    Leave em wet. You wont get all of the water out of the pump when you drain it. So you might as well leave it full so there is more water there(i.e. the more water in the pump the longer it will take to freeze). As soon as you get on scene engage the pump and circulate the water.

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    We leave them full and the pump heater on at all times in the winter.
    Proud to be IACOJ Illinois Chapter--Deemed "Crustworthy" Jan, 2003

  5. #5
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    We drain and then add anti-freeze

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    If you add anti-freeze, what's the point of draining?
    We keep ours full and the pump heaters on, when we arrive on scene the driver will engage the pump and circulate.
    David Brooks,
    Captain, NRFR
    Newmarket Fire & Rescue
    Newmarket, New Hampshire
    http://www.NewmarketFire.com
    (All opinions are my own)

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    I think that it is always better to get rid of access water that could damage your pump or freeze your other pipes. You were never clear on the area and condition in with your pump was parked. Station ( Inside or Outside ) and what type of pump? T. Sims GRFD.

  8. #8
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    Default Cold Pumps

    As we don't have pump heaters her in Ohio. We drain the pump
    It only takes a few seconds to prime it. Thats what we teach every
    year in pump class.
    AKA: Mr. Whoo-Whoo

    IAFF Local 3900

    IACOJ-The Crusty Glow Worm

    ENGINE 302 - The Fire Rats

    F.A.N.T.A.M FOOLS FTM-PTB

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    The 1st department I was with in New York (on the CT line) would drain the pumps in the winter and keep the drains open till we got to the scene. During a call we did have a problem closing a drain once we believed a little water froze in the valve.

    I reloated to a dept in New Hampshire who never drained their pumps and never had problems. Their though was if a valve freezes they'd rather have the drain closed.

    Thanks
    ex2561

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    Default Cold weather ops

    Our SOP is to drain the pump after use...It doesn't matter if it +30 or -30 (celsius) we still drain. We also have digital temperature readouts of our pump and tank so if the storage tank starts to cool off we can circulate to keep the temperatures up.

    I would also be interested in seeing any other tips out there for cold weather ops...Especially with reference to SCBA operations. More than once I have had to sit out after one bottle of air because my harness and/or mask is frozen beyond use. I have also seen others run completely out of air in bad air environments because their bells have frozen solid....Any ideas...I have one to put out there:

    Our department is currently in the process of purchasing some hair dryers and heavy duty inverters to provide mobile heat sources on the fire scene for thawing out equipment. I have been at calls where we are using a civilians little tiny hair dryer plugged into a ball of extension cords being dragged through snow and water...Probably not the safest thing in the world...

    SubArcticFF

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    We used to drain our pumps in the cold weather but now keep them wet. We were told by a pump technician that we were better off keeping them wet, I guess it's easier on the gaskets or something. When we get to a call we just circulate the water if we're not using it.

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    Thumbs up

    LEAVE THE PUMP FULL... WHEN YOU GET ON THE SCENE, ENGAGE YOUR PUMPS AND CIRCULATE WATER IF IT IS ANTICIPATED THAT YOU'RE GOING TO BE ON THE SCENE FOR A LONG TIME WITHOUT PUMPING. THAT WAY IF ANYTHING GOES DOWN, i.e. FIRE CALL, YOU HAVE A TANK FULL OF WATER READY TO PUT ON THE HOT STUFF.

    BE SAFE... AND STAY LOW!!

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    Leave em wet and recirculate while on scene.

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