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  1. #1
    Forum Member confire's Avatar
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    Default Suction Strainer Question

    Does anyone know approximately how many GPM this strainer should produce? I do know that hose size, length and lift all have a influence on that. But what about the capacity of the strainer?

    We were conducting some water shuttle drills (for an impending ISO visit) and could not achieve even 500 GPM flow.

    As a rule we use both a front and rear suctions with this strainer and have no problems drafting more water then we can haul. Attempting to simplify the evolution we were only using the front suction. I was wonder if anyone has used this type of low-level strainer and what results you had?

    As stated above we used a front suction: 6’ of 5” hard suction hose, approximately 12 feet of 5” pipe to the pump and a 1500 GPM pump.
    The opening around the strainer is 8” X 1.5 times 4 sides.

    I notice when the strainer is at a angle to sit flat on the ground to allow the hose goes over the side of the tank that the opening is somewhat restricted.

    Any opinion, thoughts or comments?

    Thanks
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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Low Flow Strainer

    We use 6" suction hose and get around 700 to 800 GPM out of that strainer....

  3. #3
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    Just out of curiosity...have you tried using your side suctions? Or even hooked an 1 1/2 or 1 3/4 hose to the port on the front to see if it helps your suction and flow?

  4. #4
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    The problem my be the front suction, not the strainer. I have seen several front suctions that reduce flow. Try using it on the side suction, it may help your GPM.

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    We have an older version from fold a tank without the 1.5" and can get 1000 gpm with ease. I would look at the rig, try the side suction and see what happens.
    BTW how do you know you are getting 500 gpm?

  6. #6
    Forum Member Res343cue's Avatar
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    You may want to look at the "TurboDraft" style products if you really want to achieve high flows from "Draft". It uses only soft hose, so you don't really have to worry about hard sleeves. Quick to deploy, and they can be preconnected so they are even faster. Send them a supply of 250 GPM, and you can easily get >750 GPM back. Thats 3x what you send out. Sounds good doesn't it?

    Google "Isoslayer", and look for a few web pages by Larry Stevens. He was a master of getting low ISO numbers. He loved the TurboDrafts.
    Quote Originally Posted by ThNozzleMan
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  7. #7
    Forum Member Bones42's Avatar
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    Turbodrafts work well where normal drafting doesn't. Turbodrafts do not compare in GPM to normal drafting.

    Give it 250 and get back 750? Wow, that's a whopping 500gpm gain.

    We ran side by side against a Turbodraft. It simply didn't compare. However, they are very usefull when normal drafting does not "work" (long distances, higher lifts, etc.)
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

  8. #8
    Forum Member confire's Avatar
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    hvfd507, We have used it on the side suctions but have not noticed any problems although we never checked to see what GPM’s we were flowing, something we will do shortly. We will also try the front suction without a strainer to check that flow.

    ADSNWFLD , We used a Straight bore tip and a pito gauge.

    Res343cue , I have read a number of good things about the TurboDraft and would like to see on in operation, although I doubt we could use it.. Our water comes from hydrants and don’t really have anywhere we could set up for a drafting operation.

    Quote Originally Posted by Catch22
    Just out of curiosity...have you tried using your side suctions? Or even hooked an 1 1/2 or 1 3/4 hose to the port on the front to see if it helps your suction and flow?
    We do routinely us it to obtain draft but again never compared flow.
    We keep a 50 foot section of hose connected to the strainer. When drafting we found that by connecting the hose to a discharge and slowing opening the front suction, draft is achieved in about 30 seconds while never loosing water. Kinda like back filling the hose and a jet siphon all at the same time. This works very well for us particularly with an inexperienced pump operator.

    It’s also a great way to keep water circulating.

    Has anyone used this type of low level strainer as a jet siphon it to transfer water from tank to tank?
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  9. #9
    Forum Member Bones42's Avatar
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    Yes, in 2 training classes we used the low level strainer with a line attached for transferring. Worked well, but couldn't tell you how many gpm's it moved.
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

  10. #10
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    We have this style of strainer (as well as some homemade jet siphons) to move water from one dump tank to another...

    In my experience, with the home made jet siphons (think 1-1/2 outlet shooting straight into your hard suction line), we can usually move water from one tank to another at the same rate we're consuming it (usually two handlines operating). I'm sorry, I don't have hard numbers regarding transfer rates, etc.

    We can usually pull a draft and supply our deck gun full tilt from the front suction on our engine that's equipped with one. That should easily surpass 500 gpm.

    What kind of valving do you have controlling the front suction? The first thing I would check is to see if that is functioning properly. I believe the valve controlling ours is air controlled.

    Surely someone on here with more experience in the art of drafting (we don't do it much here) will chime in with better info.

  11. #11
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    Default Low level strainers have limitations

    If you will look, somewhere on that low level strainer is a number stamped on it. It is not a model number, but the maximum gpm that the particular strainer will allow a pump to deliver. Most low level strainers will decrease a pumps capacity from draft significantly (some up to 60%, most around 30%). Only a lake strainer (barrel strainer) will deliver the pumps rated flow and then only from a side suction intake.







    If you are going to do battle with the devil, you had better have a bigger pitchfork.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by npfd801

    What kind of valving do you have controlling the front suction? The first thing I would check is to see if that is functioning properly. I believe the valve controlling ours is air controlled.
    We have air controlled ball type valves on our two newer Pierces, I think they were made by Kochek, but I could be wrong. Anyway, the way they are designed, is the ball swells or gets cocked somehow, chassis twist from normal driving will do it, it does not open all the way and restricts the flow. Though your indicator lights may tell you is wide open, it may not be. Find the valving, and make sure it's WIDE open, and don't trust the light, physically look to make sure. If it is, then look at how the intake is plumbed, if there are a ton of bends, it's going to restrict the flow. The next thing is..try the same setup on a side intake, or rear intake. Then measure the difference. Also, use a deck gun, or some other sort of measuring device to see how close you are to your GPM flows.
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  13. #13
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    When you say your conducting water shuttle drills...are you refering to tanker shuttles and thus trying to supply 500 GPM to a pumper on scene? Or are you simply trying to produce 500 GPM from a 1500 GPM pumper at draft? If the first is true...then the strainer wouldn't be the first thing I'd look at. If the second is true there is something definately amiss.

    I notice your strainer has a 5" Storz coupling. First I'd make sure your suction hose, strainer and pump connection all have the proper Storz suction gaskets. They are slightly different than the pressure types found on soft LDH hose. Air leaks could be costing a little if the wrong gaskets are used.

    If your trying to get 1500GPM at draft...you'll never do it using a low level strainer and a front suction. You'll also need 6" suction hose...not 5".

    Generally...a single 5" is considered acceptable up to 1250. 1500 needs 6" hose. 1750 and larger require double 6" suctions. All these need hooked straight to the steamer connection. A butterfly valve the same size as the intake is OK for use...but I'd take it off if your going for max flow.

    Front suctions are notorious for causing a loss of flow. They are convenient for sure. And OK if your fighting a house fire using a portable dump tank...and your generally dealing with a couple handlines flowing. But if it were a warehouse fire and you needed all the water you can get...don't use it. Low lever strainers are also notorious for a loss of flow. The are designed to draft a tank low and use all available water...not give you UL pump capacity. Water has a hard time flowing into a low level strainer in great quantities. The are restrictive. But the do what they were designed for. You need the proper barrel strainer for full flow...or no strainer. Unless your 100% sure your low level strainer will give you the capacity...don't use them when testing for capacity. I wouldn't bet on a low level strainer past 1000 GPM depending on the model.

    If your pump is working properly, your suction hose is 6" and sealing, and you have a barrel strainer or no strainer...there is no reason you can't get 1500 GPM.

    But if your talking about 500 GPM flows from a remote pumper in a tanker shuttle...thats a different ball game with way more vairables then the strainer on the pumper filling the tankers.
    Assistant Chief

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by fpvfd502
    But if your talking about 500 GPM flows from a remote pumper in a tanker shuttle...thats a different ball game with way more vairables then the strainer on the pumper filling the tankers.
    I'm with you on everything else you said, but why are you only expecting 500 gpm from tanker shuttles?? Our District Tanker Task Force trains for and is capable of sustaining 1000 gpm (and more) flow to the fireground with shuttle operations.

    Just curious

  15. #15
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    I'm not expecting any particular flow. Each department will perform differently depending on a whole myriad of variables. Some may acheive a 1000 gpm flow and others cannot sustain 100 gpm after setting up.

    The original post sounded as if 500 were simply not enough and they couldn't even get that. So I was thinking if they are trying to sustain 1000 GPM on scene using a tanker shuttle (or water shuttle) it may have alot more to do with things other than a strainer. Such as distance to water sources, on-board water carried to a scene and how many tankers (and of what size) are doing the shuttling.

    I wasn't trying to indicate 500 gpm in a tank shuttle is out of the question. The only way that strainer would cause a problem in a water shuttle operation would be if it were taking way too long to fill tankers.

    Otherwise we'll need Confire to tell us...are you trying to pump 1500 GPM...or sustain 1500 GPM (on scene) in a tanker shuttle drill. I"m in Indiana too...I can come up there and show ya how to pump
    Last edited by fpvfd502; 08-16-2005 at 11:35 PM.
    Assistant Chief

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by fpvfd502
    The original post sounded as if 500 were simply not enough and they couldn't even get that.
    Gotcha. Missed the train of thought, but at least I had my tickets...

    Quote Originally Posted by fpvfd502
    So I was thinking if they are trying to sustain 1000 GPM on scene using a tanker shuttle (or water shuttle) it may have alot more to do with things other than a strainer. Such as distance to water sources, on-board water carried to a scene and how many tankers (and of what size) are doing the shuttling.

    I wasn't trying to indicate 500 gpm in a tank shuttle is out of the question. The only way that strainer would cause a problem in a water shuttle operation would be if it were taking way too long to fill tankers.
    Yea, strainers generally aren't the weak link in an operation like that. Based on what he said about how they were set up, I'd have to concur with you and look first at the front and rear suctions as the source of the problem, and then work my way out from there. You can get front or rear suctions that will flow 1000 gpm (maybe more), but they need to be functionally spec'ed when the rig is built. Our engine has a 1000 gpm front suction/discharge and it delivers both ways...but the engineers weren't very happy with us when the rig was in the design stages. On the other hand, I personally know of 1500 gpm engines that have front suctions rated for flows as low as 600 gpm because of the way they are piped.

  17. #17
    Forum Member confire's Avatar
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    Positively Great comments thanks everyone.

    BUT…….. I’m sitting here with egg on my face, I must now confess my stupidity to all of you. Something that should have jumped right out at me from the beginning.
    As I was checking the front valve to see if it would fully open (as suggested) it just came to me why we had the flow problem.

    Let me explain.
    First some background; The drill was to run a tanker shuttle using ISO criteria to fine tune our operation at both the flow and fill sites. We used a 3300 gallon tanker and a 2500 gallon tanker/pumper both with 12” square dumps and 5” fill. No mutual aid was used.
    Our longest distance is 2 ½ miles from a fill site, round trip 5 miles. Using ISO formula each truck was required to wait 4.25 minutes before entering the dump site and before entering the fill site (1.7 + 0.65 x 2 ½ = 4.25) to simulate driving time.
    We had performed this drill several times in the past weeks. This time not concentrating on delivery rate but loading and off loading. Here’s were I screwed up.
    When we ran the drill with mutual aid we would use the deck gun/s to measure flow, as well as two drop tanks one in front of the engine one at the rear. Knowing we would not produce a great flow from this drill only the front tank and a RAM (mini monitor) was used. All went well. Towards the end of the drill we shorten the wait time to increase the flow. At the time no one considered that the RAM was the only appliance flowing. With the limitations of the RAM at 500 gpm. add the FL of 150’ of 3” hose, 500 gpm is all one could expect.

    I can’t imagine why this did not occur to me sooner. Somebody kick me in the ***


    Question, do you need a suction gasket on both the hose and suction valve or just the hose when using Storz?

    Side note; Checked both brand of strainers and found no numbers on them to indicate flow rating.

  18. #18
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    I'd make sure the flex hose for suction has the proper gaskets...and go ahead and put one on your intake. A suction gasket will still work with LDH hose but will be a little tighter. Keep spares of both in bags clearly marked which is which. Keep the one on the intake well lubricated. I use a 3M valve lubricant that looks like typical silicon in a tube but doesn't dry.
    Assistant Chief

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    Remove the 4 bolts that hold the bottom plate on. Replace them with longer bolts and some spacers. You will increase intake capacity of the strainer, but will lose some of the "low-level" capability. We upped ours to 1000gpm by doing this.

  20. #20
    MembersZone Subscriber N2DFire's Avatar
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    O.K. All you drafting wizards set me straight because I'm confused about something.

    The achievable flow in a pipe is based directly on cross sectional area (which is based on pipe diameter).

    Using the formula (Pi * D^2)/4 to calculate area of a circle we find that:

    a 5" diameter hose would have a cross sectional area of (Pi * 5^2)/4
    (Pi * 25)/4 = 19.6 in^2

    a 6" diameter hose would have a cross sectional area of (Pi * 6^2)/4
    (Pi * 36)/4 = 28.3 in^2

    Given the measurements provided for this strainer - it has one opening on each of four sides. Each Opening is 8" long X 1.5 " high or 12 in^2

    Therefore the total area of opening is 48 in^2

    So (without accounting for turbulent vs. laminar flow, surface friction of materials, and so forth) - why it it that the strainer is labeled the "choke point" of drafting when it clearly (mathematically speaking) has more intake surface area than we will ever use ?
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