1. #1
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    Question Pump Panel Discharges

    Is there anyone out there that has had some experience with the turn wheel style discharges? I know there are some Philly rigs that have this. Good or bad in lieu of the standard "T" handle pulls. I'm trying to get some info for our new quint spec. Thanks!.

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    Default

    We have turn wheels for discharges that are over 4" and T handles for anything less. Pro's/Con's - the turn wheels take up more space, other than that, no real preference. Guess it is kind of nice with the T's to see what is half way out, all the way out, and somewhere in between real easily.
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    Exclamation

    Any large discharge outlets, larger than the standard 2-1/2", shall have a wheel type opening type valve. This is not like the 2-1/2 valve where when you pull or move the handle to one side and a valve opens or closes. This works like you bath tub valve, opens slow and closes slow due to the large flow that is expected. You will find these on newer apparatus that have lines going to ladders, deck pipes and large diameter discharges. It is by the way, a NFPA standard. The ones on our apparatus works very well.

    I always preferred the hale pump type of valve, that moved from one side to another, rather than the valve handle that you pulled out or pushed in. It is just my preference and nothing to run into or strike you head on, if you had to bend down near the side step and raise up and catch a valve handle on your nose or head!

    Good Luck.



    Stay Safe & Well out there.....
    Last edited by CaptOldTimer; 03-12-2004 at 09:14 AM.

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    Talking

    Most of the trucks in the UK have turn wheel controls on the discharge outlets (at least they did when I was in the fire service there)I think that the main advantage over the "T" handle is they are less prone to sticking. I have never found any problems with the turnwheel type. One advantage is that there is less chance of water hammer than with the "T" or lever type controls.

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    Default Akron valves...

    Akron makes a turn wheel valve with a mechanical indicator to show how far the valve is open. Our newest Engine has them for all valves over 2 1/2". I believe NFPA requires all valves larger than that are required to have some sort of "slow close", which the hand wheel accopmlishes. Personally I like them for the greater control over the flow. That Engine also has a newer style t-handle valve for the crosslays and other handlines. It has teeth on the shaft of the handle that positively lock when you turn them.
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    Default Valves Controls

    NFPA and Valve Controls

    I thought I would drop an opinion (and yes the opinion is only mine, soley mine and geez I can be a picky son of a gun!) on the different valve controls that are available for those that are not so familiar with the HUGE list of types and sizes that are available from various companies. NFPA requires that a device be utilized to limit the open and closing rates of valves that are 3” and larger. Furthermore, valves that are on the discharge side of the pump are required to have a device to tell the operator where the valve is in its point of travel, ie: closed, part open or open. This can be accomplished many ways and several manufacturers have products to enable compliance to NFPA. Each have their own claim to fame and level of reliability. It is many times (in my opinion) that the actual truck manufacturer has a responsibility of ensuring that that these devices work properly. If not installed correctly, all can malfunction, including pullrods. The design of the apparatus i have worked with can vary and restrict good placement of valves in order to allow for a "clean shot" from the mechanical control itself to the actual valve. Proper installation is a must or NONE of them will work as designed. The following analysis is my own opinion and does not say that anyone is better than the other, except in certain applications. I also believe that commonality of stock service parts affects which model may be purchased on a new truck, as some departments stock a certain brand valve and may be limited in what controller must be used for simplicity of service. Hopefully the attached pictures might help some understand what each type is. Here are a few web sites of valve control builders.

    http://www.akronbrass.com/pages/products/valves.html

    http://www.elkhartbrass.com/ebmain.c...type=electric#

    http://www.haleproducts.com/products/other/default.asp

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    Default Pullrods

    Pull Rod Control

    This is pretty self explanatory. A T-Handle of various shapes by each manufacturer connected to a rod that is hooked to the top of each valve. Reliable and proven. Downsides include sticking, binding and little mechanical advantage of over coming water pressure and cannot control the open and closing rate of the valve which can create ‘water hammer” if opened or closed to quickly. Manufacturers many times “bend” rods in order to get the handle to the valve inside the pump enclosure which can adversely effect the smooth operation of these devices. This can easily occur on units that have 10# in a 5# bag and will impact operation for the life of the vehicle if not designed correctly. These can be “throttled” allowing for the valve to be open part way and it is pretty easy to tell where you are in the valve travel, making it pretty simple to operate, but do require maintenance over time.
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    Default Slo-Close Devices

    SLO-CLOSE Donuts

    The picture here is a hydraulic device that has a small orifice that restricts how fast the valve control handle can open and close a valve by forcing fluid thru the assembly. These are mounted directly on the valve and then the control rod connects to the pull rod assembly or trunion (side to side or up and down handle). These are (in my opinion) a very cumbersome device and make it incredibly hard to open and close valves with a pull rod. Some require the incredible hulk to be a member, the way some manufacturers install these things. The work and meet NFPA, but are not a real fun device to operate, most times.
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    Default Handwheel, No Lights

    Handwheel With Mechanical Position Indicator

    These are currently manufactured by one company that I am aware of. Akron makes the one with a “clicking” multipoint position indicator that tell the operator where the valve is in its travel. The little black indicator is recessed into a notch in the bezal. It can be hard to see the little line in night time operations due to the recess. The bigger restriction I see is the fact that these have fairly small handwheels, making them sometimes hard to operate, when compared to models from Elkhart that have a bigger handwheels. The bigger the wheel the better the mechanical advantage is over the pressurized valve. While the smaller wheel size can help when placing a lot of them on a “busy” pump panel, they are tough to operate on anything larger than a 3” valve. Even with mechanical handwheels, controller to valve alignment is critical. If the angle to the valve is too extreme, these will operate very hard. If they work “hard” it is normally the blame of the apparatus design or installation, not the device itself.
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    Default Handwheel With Lights

    Handwheel With Light Indicator

    These are made by Elkhart. This device has a very nice size handle that works very well on all size valves. The three light indicators show, closed-in travel-open. This is a little restrictive in knowing where the valve truly is and is a point of contention with some operators. My point to them is: Why? We spend tons of money putting gauges on the pump panel, use them. Who cares where the valve is in travel? All we need to know is if it is closed or open. The stuff in between is why we have pressure gauges, opening and closing to set the desired pressure or flow. While some are leery of the “electrical” devices, I would profess that these are incredibly reliable. The actual electronic devices are what is referred to as “podded”. Podding” is done after the assembly is made. The unit is assembly and then actually molded into a plastic mould the 100% seals the unit. Connectors are either Duetsch or Packard, which are meant for high moisture and in some cases, submersible design. I personally have confidence in the devices and they work very well. If it breaks (which few do) throw it out and replace it. Being mechanical devices, the lights are typically the only service component. Again, correct installation is critical.
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    Default Electric With Lights

    Electric Control With Light Indicators

    These are the highest price of any device of course. They do supply excellent valve control and require no mechanical leverage or effort to control. These types are widely utilized on fire trucks outside of the U.S. and have been for years with sound performance. Benefits are many: Easy operation, no worry where a valve is in relationship to the control on the pump panel, allows for a more compact pump control panel, runs all valve sizes efficiently and ensures slow close and open of valves. Downsides would be that they are a little pricey. Work very well on valves such as tank suction valves, etc that can be hard to get a mechanical device or rod in to. They can have failures, but all have mechanical over-rides in case of failure. Again, these units come with “podded” casings and watertight connectors for enhanced reliability. Once again, if they break, throw them out and get another. In talking with users and the manufacturers, they have a VERY high reliability rate, making initial purchase cost more of a factor than service, from what I can see. The other nice option is that some have an option for built in pressure and flow controls, further allowing for “compact” packaging and allowing us to make the fire pump package a smaller and smaller design, opening up area for equipment compartments or smaller overall apparatus sizes.
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    Default Air Control

    Air Controllers

    While air is pretty reliable, they limited the “throttling” or speed of valve operation. Position indication is very limited. This are not utilized in any great amount currently from what I can see and if they are, I have seen them on very big valves for tanker dump valves where open and close rates are normally not as much of an issue.
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    The smallest Valve on our new truck (7 months old) is 3". We have T handles with the Akron Slo-Cloz device on them. I would never do it again. We put turn wheels on the 6" intakes and 4" tank to pump valve. I am considering pulling the Slo-Cloz devices off the 3" valves to make em a bit easier to open. They tend to encourage water hammer because they need so much more force to overcome them that the operator ends up using all the strength he/she has and cant back off fast enough to prevent the water hammer. There is the old liability issue then if something goes wrong. Yikes

    I would definitely go for the hand wheels if you cant afford to do the electric valves. I kinda wish we would have up graded to the electric valves. Hind sight is 20/20

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    Default Re: Pump Panel Discharges

    Originally posted by livewire09
    Is there anyone out there that has had some experience with the turn wheel style discharges? I know there are some Philly rigs that have this. Good or bad in lieu of the standard "T" handle pulls. I'm trying to get some info for our new quint spec. Thanks!.
    We spec'd all turn style wheels on our two newest engines. We really like them, they allow alot better control of all the lines. Water hammer is basically non-existant. The layout of the pump panel is lean and easy to use. We have previously had pull levers and electronic valves. I think most of my pump operators prefer this latest setup over anything else we own.

    Click the link for a pic of the panel layout.

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    Default

    Firefish1488:

    You left out Waterous

    www.waterousco.com

    Not much on the site about there valves and controllers, but they do have some unique controllers.

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    Default Waterous

    Yes, I did leave out Waterous, kinda for a reason! While they have a few decent products and a reliable, mechanically controlled, rack and sector control..they ultimately lack diversity with their standard offerings. Additionally, their website is like their valve control offerings - VERY limited. Their website is not real user friendly or educational. From what I currently see, Akrona nd Elkhart have the broadest diversity.

    But thanks for including them in the discussion!

    Stay safe and good fishing.

    Fish

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    Default Valve Controls

    All these valve controls and handwheel controls are wonderful, if they are installed the right way, Bottom line it all comes down to the manufactor building your vehicle. That is why it is important when you buy a new vehicle to do a pre-paint inspection, Due to during that inspection your Cab should be painted, your plumbing should just of been completed , hopefully your tank is placed in your vehicle, but that somtimes is tough due to tank company delievery, and your body should be primered, not painted, that way if you have any plumbing to run through you body, it can be properly painted and you don't have to worry about your body getting hammered during plumbing and have to go get touched up again. plus if you want to change anything on your body you still can without haveing to re-paint the entire body. During that inspection you will get to see a handle lay out on your pump panel, talk with the people who plumbed your vehicle, let them show you how the handles will work, make sure it is what you want, this is important, due to once the pump panel is made and on, it is tough to change, handle controls, pull handles work great, just make sure they work freely and clearly, not hitting other valves and not having big bends in them to work, that is not good, handwheel controls have to work the same way, no big bends and flow easy, no hitting other valves electric valves are nice, but expensive and costly, somtimes you have to use them due to space restraint but make sure your manufactor consults with you before adding any electric valves, that is why IT IS IMPORTANT TO BE INVOLVED IN YOUR HANDLE AND PLUMBING LAYOUT. you have to work the vehicle and use it, you want it to be user friendly for all your operators, your pump, make sure they use all the ports on your pump, that is why they put them there, not to close them off and use a manifold, i know manifolds have to be used in plumbing with some foam systems, but it is important to use all the ports, just not one or two, get the use out of them and a good manufactor will use all the ports on the pump to its fullest, don't fall for the manifold system plumbing for water and get fooled by your manufactor, be involved and you tell them what you want, you are the customer

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    Default Manifolds no good????

    Mr. Fireman,

    While I agree whole heartedly on inspections (although some departments find the cost a little prohibitive) I do not understand the comment below?

    make sure they use all the ports on your pump, that is why they put them there, not to close them off and use a manifold, i know manifolds have to be used in plumbing with some foam systems, but it is important to use all the ports, just not one or two, get the use out of them and a good manufactor will use all the ports on the pump to its fullest, don't fall for the manifold system plumbing for water and get fooled by your manufactor, be involved and you tell them what you want, you are the customer
    If one looks at a midship pump casting, the pump body is nothing more than a HUGE cast manifold, allowing for water to be routed to different taps on the pump sides, front and rear. The pump casing is "flooded" and the water is routed to each hole, no different than any manifold. The utilization of manifolds, infact helps keep valve controllers aligned in a straight row and make straight throws possible on the valve linkages.

    I would agree that there are manufacturers who do not use the appropriate sweeps, horns or fittings to provide the best flow, but if desgined correctly, manifolds are VERY reliable and also make service very easy. The best thing I have seen in plumbing systems in a long time is the utilization of "flange mounted" valve assemblies. The valve ends (the threaded end caps) are eliminated and the valve body is bolted directly to the manifold plate. This allows for NO threaded fittings! Simply take out the bolts and swing the valve for o-ring replacement, or take out the last bolt and drop out the entire valve for repairt and replacement! Threaded fittings are JUNK and I defy you to unthread a valve fitting inside the pump enclosure, once it has been in there for a year, let alone twenty!

    If anyone knows about simple flow rates and hydraulics, a manifold off the top of the pump (4" is available from all pump manufacturers) it can flow more than the rated capacity of the pump in 99% of the time, based on what you can get into the pump. I have seen several manifold arrangements that have dual feed on each end of the manifold, supply flow capacities to 4000 gpm! Additionally, USE STAINLESS STEEL PIPE AND MANIFOLDS! If you favorite manufactuers is not uising it standard yet, make them put it on your truck. In most cases it adds little to no money, if they are using the schedule 10 #304 stainless type piping, verses the older schedule 40 galvanized or black iron pipe used in the older trucks. If the manufacturer is legitimate, most are offering substantial warranties on piping now. I have seen several that offer 20 years standard....

    I firmly believe in manifolding, but don't deal with a "Harrys firetrucks, pest control and overhead door company" or you may get a 2" line feeding a 4" manifold. LOL! Manifolds assist in clean piping installations, from my experieince and they work.

    Stay safe and good fishing......

    Fish

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