1. #1
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    Wink switching from tank to pump to draft

    what is the best way to swith from a tank to pump operation to a drafting operation once lines are flowing without losing a prime. also what is the best way to swith from a positive pressure operation to a draft with lines flowing without losing a prime. any information is greatly appreciated.

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    Red face

    Well, the short answer is "It depends".

    While you are running tank-to-pump you have a sealed circuit or closed loop. There is no air to contend with. Your tank water is running into the pump and then being discharged.

    The process of switching over is going to introduce some air. If you have a folding tank setup and you are using one length of hard suction, it's possible for an experienced pump operator using a gated suction intake to open the suction slowly enuf to pick up suction with minimal air intake and never hit the primer motor. If you are using multiple lengths of hard suction, OR have a significant lift OR don't have a gated suction intake, you will need to use the primer motor.

    And if you have to use the primer motor, you're going to lose pressure while you're picking up draft!

    Hope this helps.
    Remember, it IS as bad as you think and they ARE out to get you!

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    that about sums it up........
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    I would also submit that any time that you do lose prime, it would be better for those on the end of the lines, and the engine and pump that you return the engine to idle before attempting to re-prime. If you re-prime with the motor turning whatever RPM it is at 150 psi, as soon as you catch a prime you are going to slam the pump case and the people on the hoses with 150 psi plus of water hammer. As stated it can be done without losing pressure but to do this effectively you need to practice, practice, practice. And it is probably the safest policy to have no one in a situation on the nozzle where they are depending on having uninterrupted water when you go to switch from tank to draft.

    Birken

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    We have two primer handles (with one primer motor) on our new truck. One is the 'main' primer. It evacuates air from the pump case itself. The other primes to the outside of the steamer butterfly valve (it's a rear-mount pump). This allows us to pre-prime the hard suction while operating off tank water then just open the butterfly valve to transfer over to drop tank/drafting water.

    It was a low-cost simple solution. Another way would be to use a solution

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    I've been looking at this problem as well for our trucks. Both have a 1250 Hale midship pump, one has a rear intake (4"). When switching over from tank to draft, its always required shutting downs the lines momentarily ( at least until prime has been established). We have toyed with trying to slightly open the butterfly and use the venturi effect to attempt to prime, but 1000 gallons of water wasn't enough to make it happen. I hate to sound like a commercial, but Hale has make a butterfly valve that mounts in the Intakes ( one on either side). Thats not really new, but they also built ports into it where you can hook up a line from your primer with a second primer valve or a second primer motor altogether. This allows you to prime the line up to the valve, then all you do is open the valve when your ready, and viola, you are now drafting w/o shutting down. The valve is called the Hale MIV (Master Intake Valve). It is an electric valve, not air. It also has a relief valve built in and a port for the bleeder. I haven't tried one yet on our trucks, but I am asking for one in next years budget. I will say, it isn't cheap, (starts out at about $2,800 for a 6" valve) but it has some distinct advantages

    1.) Lessens the chances of leaving the firefighters w/o water in a structure when switching over.

    2.) Intake Relief valve built in (outside the valve from the pump).

    3.) No need to remove for pump tests (unlike some exterior valves.

    4.) Operator can operate from pump panel (doesn't have to move around truck if it is on the opposite side.

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    On our 2002 engine we have the Hale Q-MAX 2250 pump with one primer motor and three handle pull switches. One evacuates the pump case and then there is one for the front 6" suction(also a discharge) and one for the rear 6" suction(also a discharge). This setup allows for the pump to be flowing from the tank or a pressurized source and at the same time priming the desired suction line. I think adding a foot valve on the hardsleeve would be an added safety bonus as it would help prevent the loss of a draft, or greatly reduce the amount of priming time if the draft is suddenly lost. I have never used a foot valve on anything larger than our small man-portable pump that has a 1.5" suction line. Does anyone have any comments good or bad on the use of 6" foot valves?

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    One evacuates the pump case and then there is one for the front 6" suction(also a discharge) and one for the rear 6" suction(also a discharge).
    So these connections can be setup to get water OR Flow water out? Just wanting to make sure I'm understanding this. Or is it more of a "backflow" feature?

    Also, what is a "foot" valve? Probably just some terminology difference here, ust curious to know.

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    The "foot valve" that I referred to is a check valve at the bottom of the hard sleeve that prevents water from gravity dumping out of the hose if a draft is lost, it may have different names around the country.
    To answer your question about the combination suction/discharges;
    Both the front and rear of the engine are plumbed with 6" pipe connected to the suction side of the pump with 6" air butterfly valves. The same lines have a 4" electric valve from the pump discharge side piped in just outboard of the butterfly valves. This way either line can be used in either service, it works well with how we operate. Each section of line is plumbed separately to the primer to allow each line to be evacuated as needed. This idea came out of the fact that to get the full rated flow from the 2250 pump a second hard sleeve should be used (from Hale, anything over 2000=a second line). If we get a drafting water supply assignment we can get the first hard sleeve set up and in service from the pump steamer and once water is flowing we can deal with the second one from the front or rear and be able to prime it without interupting the existing flow.

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    Wow...That rocks.

    I'd love to see our future apparatus have some "common" lines like this.

    Here's a question for you though, what size LDH (if any) do you use? What are these intakes/discharges normally setup for? Intake or discharge? Do you have any photos?

    I'd love to see what this looks like, I'm really curious now. ;p

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    Thanks for the comments.
    We run 5", the good stuff Niedner(sp) 300psi service test.
    The lines are fitted with 6"female NST x 5"stortz adapters and the front bumper line has a 25' 5" preconnected, the rear has a cap on it to keep the gasket surface clean.
    The lines are not really "set up" for either intake or discharge, they are both available for what ever you may need, just a matter of what valve to open.
    Any Engine with a front or rear suction can be converted to a combi by adding an electric discharge valve and the required plumbing. If speccing out a new rig the cost is not that bad for the option.
    A big part of our having these lines was a desire to be able to set up on our old narrow two lane roads and keep all of the hose lines out of the other lane to allow access for other units to get by. Everyone has gotten so used to the combi lines that it is a rare sight to see a 5" hooked into the steamers or either officer side discharge.
    I'll work on some photos for you but they just look like 5" connections.

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    Talking DRAFTING...

    wait.... is that what those 2 sections of large black hose is for??? I knew they had some function!!!
    - Fortes Fortuna Juvat -

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    Deepember must be a city boy, who thinks water comes out of those stumpy pieces of pipe they put on the sidewalks in the city! We don't even have sidewalks!

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    Cool

    Yeah, it's a pain in the butt to park that suction EXACTLY 10' from that darn hydrant! Next time, I'm just gonna attach a big funnel on top of the tank so when it rains I'm set to go! Take care ya'll!
    - Fortes Fortuna Juvat -

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    Rather than actually draft, why not investigate the Turbodraft device. Theyve a website you'll find if you search. I've used the device and found it a great piece. Also, I've seen video of a 47' lift and maintaing a 600 gpm flow by a FD in NC. Using two of the tools, I've flowed 900+ gpm for 1/2 a mile.
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    I have have used a turbo draft also, they are a great little tool for for getting water in spots that are not accessable to engines for drafts. But I sure wouldn't use one in a situation where I can get the Engine close enough to draft and get the FULL potential from the pump.




    By the way........whats a sidewalk?

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    When I ran in a rural dept we never switched from tank to draft on the attack truck, it was too dangerous for the crew inside. 1st engine (1000gal) laid LDH down the drive and crew went inside to attack. 2nd engine picks up the LDH and feed's its tank (1000) to the 1st engine while setting up a dump tank. 1st tanker (2200gal) fills the swimming pool and drives to 3rd engine who's at the pond, or 3rd engine lays LDH to the pond if close enough. 2nd tanker (2000gal) fills pool as soon as there is room.

    Nowadays I just use the engine as a $400,000 self propelled gated wye as we have a great hydrant system in most of the town.

    I really like the primer to the outside of the intake valve, smart! Also the dual use front rear intakes!
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    Bump thread

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    Heh what do you want to know, they seemed to have pretty much figured out the problem here. I've operated a pump with a primer on the suction and it makes operation much much smoother.

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    Default Water in 5" hose.

    I read the thread after it was bumped. Anyone feeding 5" hoselines with a tanker beware>>>>>>>>>>>

    Rule of thumb, 1.1 gallons of water per foot of 5" hose..so.....


    1000 foot lay of 5 " hose with a 1000 gallon tanker/pumper feeding it equals no water getting to the fire, and possibly not even making it to the attack pumper.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stuart View Post
    We have two primer handles (with one primer motor) on our new truck. One is the 'main' primer. It evacuates air from the pump case itself. The other primes to the outside of the steamer butterfly valve (it's a rear-mount pump). This allows us to pre-prime the hard suction while operating off tank water then just open the butterfly valve to transfer over to drop tank/drafting water.

    It was a low-cost simple solution. Another way would be to use a solution
    That's what I was going to type. There is a suggestion in the Appendix of NFPA 1901 that recommends this.

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    Hopefully by the time you have your relay pumper hooked up to 5 inch and pushing all your water up the 5 inch you'll be pretty close to having a port-a-tank setup and a tanker shuttle started. But, the world isn't perfect.

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    its TENDER and thats why they hold 4000 gallons

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    Quote Originally Posted by txgp17 View Post
    That's what I was going to type. There is a suggestion in the Appendix of NFPA 1901 that recommends this.
    Guess he beat you by 3 and a half years.

    P.S. tenders are for eating.

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