1. #1
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    Default CAFS - retrofit ??? NO FLAMING PLEASE !!

    There are several threads going right now that mention CAFS being retrofit to existing apparatus. Unfortunately, they are shouting at each other so loudly that the subject matter has been tossed aside.

    Are there retrofit packages available for existing apparatus?

    What cost range are they in? We looked at CAFS several years back and it would have added 50K to the cost of an engine. Now that more and more units are being produced have any economies of scale kicked in yet?

    Appreciate solid, factual information (not what you think you heard from your brother in law who overheard 2 strangers in a bar mentioning what they were told by a friend); if you want to disrespect each other, go somewhere else.
    Last edited by Jim917; 03-14-2003 at 11:33 AM.
    Remember, it IS as bad as you think and they ARE out to get you!

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    I know for a Fact that the CAFS price has NOT came down on NEW apparatus. ($45K for a Waterous Eclipse).Therefore, I would also say they did not on retrofits.

    I did see a truck in Michigan that was sold without the Cafs and then retrofitted by the local dealership with a Pneaumax system and it worked out fine, but I do not know all the details.

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    Default Look at real cost.

    45K includes cost of the pump.2000 gpm on the Eclipse. Price one on its own. When you include the cost of the foam system, 15K or more for a good one, it really is not that expensive. What you get in return is a system that is 4 TIMES as effective as water. And many times more effective than regular foam. It is great for knockdown, killer on brush fires, and the best for anything involving flamable fluids. Only thing it won't work its magic on is propane tank bleeds and other times when massive amounts of water are needed. It also uses foam concentrate less than regular foam systems.

    Stay Safe All.
    Later.

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    I never said it was not worth the money. It has many other uses.

    1) Ice rescue - use the compressor to fill a LDH line.
    2) You can open a discharge and use the warm air from a 2-1/2" discharge as a hand warmer.
    3) Blow air through your hose to dry it out.
    4) Not to mention CAFS hose line is a LOT lighter than a water filled line.

    Got any other uses for CAFS. I do know, if I was buying a new truck today, I would insist on CAFS.

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    Default No offense taken.

    I was just saying look at all the costs and they really are cheap when you consider all the uses they have. And thank you for mentioning all those great ideas. I've never heard of using it for ice rescue. Thats a good one. Of course, we don't have many ice rescue calls in the valley of the sun. Maybe we could inflate the 2.5 lines and throw them across a flooded wash during flash floods. LOL.

    Stay Safe All.
    Later.

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    The cost of a cafs system is not $ 15,000. Its more like $ 40,000.00
    A pump may cost x dollars, but then you have to add in labor and material costs to plumb it, thats the expensive part.

    A simple Foam Pro system installed costs $ 15,000. alone.

    Ask FAMA about their report('s) on cafs. The first time they concluded it was something like 4 - 5 percent better than A or B foam systems. So they studied it again and got the same results. Pretty good system for a mere $ 40,000.

    Do yourself a favor, invest the money in personnel and forget the cafs. You will have much better results.

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    FAMA? Do you mean FEMA or is there another group with the acronym FAMA. So many acronyms flying around those of us with CRS are SOL.

    The last results study I saw comparing CAFS to Class A and plain water, was CAFS was 4-5 TIMES more effective than Class A (not 4-5%), and 10 times more effective than plain water. I have the study around here somewhere. If I find the link again I'll post it.

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    FAMA - Fire Apparatus and Manufacturers Association

    They did the study, twice. The numbers you heard probably came from the pump manufacturers who are trying to recoup their investment in CAFS. Why did Hale all of a sudden stop offering cafs, then they changed their mind a year later. Perhaps no one was buying it, then it became the latest fade.

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    Default 4 to 5 times is right

    The U.S. Forest Service and BLM both concluded that CAFS is 4-5 times better than regular foam or water. They pay contractors a premium for using CAFS.
    The 15K dollar foam system I was talking about is a conventional system. When you add the cost of the pump and conventional system together the difference in cost is not that much. I've never heard of a department that bought on of the current generation of CAFS and did'nt like it. None that I know of have ever been returned.
    Also, some states have ISO credit for CAFS.

    Hale not making CAFS? http://www.haleproducts.com/products...0CAFS%20SYSTEM
    They badly wanted the Phoenix Fire contract for the the new mid-engine ALFs. PFD bought Pnuemax on Hale rear-mount pumps.


    Stay Safe All.
    Last edited by helicopter722; 03-17-2003 at 01:04 AM.

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    If you are in an area like my department isin , where wildfires are likely, it is pretty silly to not use CAFS. It is an excellent device for structure protection. It is in our SOP for structure fires as well. It seems to work pretty good for that too. IMHO.
    IACOJ Military Division
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    "There are three kinds of men: The ones who learn by reading, the few who learn by observation, and the rest of them who have to pee on the electric fence for themselves."

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    JIM917,

    To answer your question, greater numbers of CAF systems being sold has not reduced the cost. There is quite a bit of labor involved in a retrofit, about 80-120 hours. It depends on the apparatus being worked on, the number of lines, and if it has a usable existing foam system. As more shops do retros they may become more competitive as they become proficient.

    There are kits available in different sizes. The ballpark price ranges would be $25K (80 CFM, 2 lines, FoamPro 1600) to $45K (200 CFM 4 lines, FoamPro 2001) including the foam systems. There are many options within the retro such as manual or electric air valves, air flow meters or not, and so on.

    I had budgeted $35K for each pumper when I had my departments done. I had existing FoamPro units on them and went with a 200 CFM and 4 lines.

    Hope this helps you.

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    George, that is exactly what I was looking for. Thanks

    Several years ago, the cost for 200 cfm CAFS on a new engine was being quoted at 50K-55K. Based on the 45K you are citing for a retrofit, the cost new must now be down in the 35K-40K range.
    Remember, it IS as bad as you think and they ARE out to get you!

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    I have been looking into this as part of this years FEMA grant request

    Figure $35,000 to $45,000 for a structural engine plumbed for multiple outlets. Pneumax/Waterous, Darley and others do offer the retrofits. Everyone has told us two week turnaround.

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    1) Yes retrofits are available.
    2) The approximate cost for the Hale seperate engine system on our E-One pumper was about $30,000.00. This pricing was also based on, I believe, a multi-unit purchase of about 20 units.
    3) The weight was about 800-900lbs due to it having its own diesel engine.
    4) In the beginning it was unreliable and problematic to say the least. After a few minor/major modifications it is actually a reliable system. The modifications included a fuel pump, additional air intake and additional means of air cooling. Since then it has been good. The system now is what I would classify as reliable. I was the first one to pump on it after the final modification and put about 100 gallons of Class A foam through it at a huge, multiple alarm fire and it never missed a beat.
    5) Only drawbacks are 1) It is a big system and ate up the entire rear transverse compartment. 2) It changed the balance of the vehicle in terms of front to back weight displacement. This displacement is noticable when driving the rig as it handles differently but it just takes some getting adjusted to it.

    These are honest opinions from someone who has witnessed the evolution of a CAFS retrofit.

    Stay low and move it in.
    Stay low and move it in.

    Be safe.


    Larry

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    Just South of Station2's truck, Missouri City TX had the local Pierce rep retrofit a Husky 10 Foam System on their E-One Hush. All components are inside the pump panel and in the dunnage area above for no compartment loss. Cost was around $25K thru word of mouth from one of their guys. Which is less mostly because the Hale being a seperate diesel engine system.

    A bunch of our day crew guys pump the same truck as Station2 and they said it runs with no hitches as well. I trained them on our new pumper with the Husky and several asked about running the pump pressure at 200psi on ours like they had to with the Hale, so it sounds like there's no foam pump with that Hale, just an eductor. Station2 can clear that up, I haven't made it over to see their truck yet. Ours has a foam pump so master discharge at the panel is 50psi on a line with Saberjet nozzles.

    Whatever way you go, CAFS is definitely worth the investment. We only used 150 gallons on a fully involved car with a leaking gas tank, and that includes flushing the line to pack it up. The knockdown is amazing.

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    Originally posted by BC79er
    Whatever way you go, CAFS is definitely worth the investment. We only used 150 gallons on a fully involved car with a leaking gas tank, and that includes flushing the line to pack it up. The knockdown is amazing.
    Was that with a standard "A" foam?

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    Missouri City did a retro-fit on a 1993(?) E-One Hush with a system that the local Pierce dealer installed. It is a well functioning system as I work with some of there guys on the side job. Conversley, they recieved a 2003 Pierce Enforcer with a Husky system and it runs flawlessly also. They are a good example of having only 2 systems in the department, a retro-fit and a designed-in system. Just some thoughts.

    P.S.: BC79er, if you ever want to take a look at our E-One retro-fit at 68's let me know.

    Stay low and move it in.
    Stay low and move it in.

    Be safe.


    Larry

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    pfd3501: I believe we're using National Foam Class A. We have two tanks for foam, a 25 gallon and a 65 gallon, initially intended for holding both Class A & B. When we went to Pierce for the delivery checkout and foam class the guy said 98% of the time you'll use Class A anyway, and if you need B you need a ton more than you can carry, so why not lessen the confusion factor and just hold A and carry a couple of pails of B. The fun part is you can vary the consistency of CAFS foam by changing the amount of water in the line. Pull the discharge at the pump panel 1/3rd, you get shaving cream for exposure, 2/3s less thick for surround and drown, all the way out makes milky water for attack. We've drilled for pulling 1 attack line to go right in, the 2nd to cover the exposure with shaving cream, then engineer pulls the discharge all of the way and 2nd line goes in as backup or 2nd attack. No need to change percentages on anything. All are still run at .3-.5%.

    The Husky is also nice because it will draft foam from a pail just as easy as pulling from the onboard tanks. It also has draft inlets to fill the onboard tanks, so no more carrying pails up to the top of the truck to refill. Others may have that as well on newer systems, I haven't looked.

    Station2: I'll swing in as soon as I find some of that stuff they call free time. Others have told me about it but I've never seen any. Kinda like a unicorn.

  19. #19
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    Default expectations

    BC79er

    As I am getting quotes for a CAFS conversion for our front line engine, I am learning more. Imagine that.

    Practically speaking, due to packaging the compressor, the biggest practical compressor for a retrofit is in the 125CFM range - enough for our two crosslays and possibly a 2-1/2 outlet. And we probably won't be able to run the 2-1/2 & both 1-3/4s at once. But we might. Its not realistic to expect to plumb cafs into each line on an existing truck.

    And CAFS is not at it's highest efficiency in a booster reel line. Ok, we can get it plumbed and use it for foam only, or less efficient CAFS usage, or not plumb that line.

    It was good to speak to reps that do the installations, vs salesmen.

    We just ordered a new rescue, and the front line pumper is not due for replacement for another 5-10 years if the current usage holds up. So would I put just our money into CAFS for 2-3 lines? probably not. But it is worthwhile as a grant proposal.

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