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  1. #1
    MembersZone Subscriber cdurden's Avatar
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    Angry Cold Weather Question

    At what outside temperature would it be appropriate to drain a fire pump in an engine that is housed in a heated bay?


  2. #2
    dazed and confused Resq14's Avatar
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    One of the more FAQ's.

    http://forums.firehouse.com/showthre...old+drain+pump

    http://forums.firehouse.com/showthre...old+drain+pump

    http://forums.firehouse.com/showthre...old+drain+pump

    http://forums.firehouse.com/showthre...old+drain+pump

    http://forums.firehouse.com/showthre...old+drain+pump

    http://forums.firehouse.com/showthre...old+drain+pump

    http://forums.firehouse.com/showthre...old+drain+pump

    Quote Originally Posted by jsdobson
    Bear with me, this post is a bit wordy but I think it's worth reading.

    In the 18 years that I've been a firefighter in the Anchorage, Alaska area, we have not drained our pumps.
    We leave our pumps wet as well. If we're going to be sitting in the cold for a while, we recirculate water.
    Last edited by Resq14; 11-19-2005 at 10:14 AM.
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    I'd like to throw in an additional question: How many departments have heat shields installed on their engines?

    Just this morning (20F) we were discussing putting our heat shields back on the pumpers. I'm not certain that they have a real positive effect on a truck that sits in a 68 F station all the time (that is manned 24/7). It would seem that they may contribute to pump overheating more than anti-freezing. For the record we leave our pumps wet 24/7/365 and recirculate water on every run when temps are below 32 F. Coastal Maine temperate zone.

  4. #4
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    I agree, Unless you are going to leave your rig outside for a very long time, there should be no need to drain your pump. There is more water in there than you may think therefore it will take a long time for it to freeze. If they are left inside you should be good to go.

  5. #5
    Forum Member Rescue101's Avatar
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    May not take as long as you think.While it will take the main body of the pump a while to "gell" up,it doesn't take long for the small lines,and gauge lines to freeze.Starting in late Nov,we drain the pumps and antifreeze them. Never had a treated pump freeze but I can't say the same about a just "wet" one. Heat shields are also put in place in Nov and a few rigs have hot water heaters in the pump compt. Part of the reason we're so fussy about the pumps is our response distance which can be quite a few miles on occasion.Antifreezing the pumps has been policy for the better part of Fifty years. T.C.

  6. #6
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    Tim is right about the smaller lines freezing while in route to a scene. Many times our gauges were froze on zero on arrival. This will be our first winter with new engines. Both will have a dry pump as of December. We just got rid of 31 and 37 year old pumpers, and too many valve leaks to drain a pump. A little RV anti freeze splashed in there wouldn't hurt either. We've always used it on our portables in the winter.
    There goes the neighborhood.

  7. #7
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    The engine assigned to my station has a very small leak in the pump. It is not worth the time and money to take it out and repack it and everything. That is quite a chunk of change. We drain our engine due to the build up of water in the pump. We make sure to close it before responding to a call but while in the station we do drain it. This has been done for many years and was done prior to my joining the department.
    Firefighter/EMT-B
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  8. #8
    Forum Member Co11FireGal's Avatar
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    We drain ours...have had them freeze up on us a few times enroute to calls. Better safe than sorry...no good to get to a structure and find they're frozen up.
    IACOJ

    "And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap it if we do not lose heart."

  9. #9
    Forum Member MetalMedic's Avatar
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    Does it actually get below freezing in Woodstock, Georgia????
    Richard Nester
    Orrville (OH) Fire Dept.

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  10. #10
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    We like to drain ours when it is below freezing for a full 24 hours.

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    MembersZone Subscriber ameryfd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by missingpattaya
    We like to drain ours when it is below freezing for a full 24 hours.
    In our neck of the woods, that'd mean we'd have to drain our pumps 300 days a year....whew....

  12. #12
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    Glad we don't have this problem here in TX! Our water comes out like warm bath-water. We are lucky if we see freezing temps for any amount of time at all.

  13. #13
    MembersZone Subscriber BVFD1983's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rescue101
    hot water heaters

    Why would you want to heat water that is already hot?
    FTM - PTB

  14. #14
    MembersZone Subscriber BVFD1983's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LRFPD60
    The engine assigned to my station has a very small leak in the pump. It is not worth the time and money to take it out and repack it and everything. That is quite a chunk of change.
    IMO, if there is anything wrong with a piece of apparatus, it should be fixed. Regardless of cost. Minute problems today will eventually get bigger, so why not fix them now?
    FTM - PTB

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    We have recommended it to the administration but nothing has been done. Our engine is a '97 International KME. No problems except that and that has only started about 4 or 5 years ago. My previous captain tried to get it taken care of as we do have a spare engine in my department but the Chiefs do not think it is that big of a deal.
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  16. #16
    Forum Member gunnyv's Avatar
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    Unless you can dry them completely, leave them wet. The less water that is left in it, the faster it will freeze. Condensation tends to form in relief valves, drains, and guage lines, even if you drain the pump. My dept has always believed better to leave it full, and put the rig in pump on scene.

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