1. #1
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    Default RE: Filling a tender

    Question:
    Could we fill our tender (tanker to you East Coasters) faster from a hydrant with LDH hooked to the draft inlet? Or will the water be restricted by the impeller to the point where it will not help.
    Our options are: 2 21/2 fills on the back, or
    through the 5" draft connection.

    Has anyone ever tried this?

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    Here in my part of the country we carry water in our tankers and like our meat tender Sorry. Lets not start a Tender/Tanker skirmish.

    I assume by draft inlet you are referring to the 4, 5 or 6 main pump inlet, if so I doubt if the impellers would be the restriction. Your restriction would most likely be the size of your Pump - to- Tank piping. Unless when you ordered the truck you specified very large piping you probable have anywhere from a 1 to 3 inch pipe. Most likely a 2 inch pipe. Im sure the rear 2.5 direct tank fills will be faster for you.

    If you are using 5 hose I would bet a 5 x 2.5 elbow on one of your 2.5 direct tank fills would fill quicker then using 2 -3 lines.
    Only one way to find out, grab a buddy and get outside

    About 15 years ago we were running a tanker drill with five other departments. Things were going fine when a 1500 gallon pumper/tanker pulled up to the hydrant to fill. The only way to fill this truck was through the pump. It took 11 minutes to fill after the 5 was connected. That about 130 GPM! A 10 or 12 inch dump and no way to fill but through the pump, real smart. The sad thing about it was the fact that the truck was almost new.

    Go out and time it and come back and post the results, Id like to know how you make out.
    Last edited by confire; 12-01-2005 at 06:48 PM.

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    We fill our 3000 gal. tanker with 4.5 in. off the hydrant to a 2.5 in. inlet on the tanker. Normal time filling is 4-5 minutes. Of course it's going to depend on how much pressure your hydrant is putting out and the length of your fill hose(we use 25ft) as to how long it actuall takes to fill.

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    I am with confire. Go out and try it. You need to experience this first hand, not take someones advice and wait until a fire scene to find out you chose the wrong option.
    "Training doesn't make you a good fireman, fighting fire makes you a good fireman"
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    If you want to speed the operation up a little more, invest in a couple Tech-No-Check (I believe that is how they spell it) valves for the 2 1/2" connections. They have a check valve built into them so that you do not need to deal with a ball valve or gate valve when filling the tank on the tender (as opposed to filling the tend on the tanker???? ).
    Richard Nester
    Orrville (OH) Fire Dept.

    "People don't care what you know... until they know that you care." - Scott Bolleter

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    Thanks - our problem is the water system is sooooo bad --- (How Bad Is It?), that we fear collapsing the lines if we run the pump and draw a suction.
    We will give it a try.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sleuth
    Thanks - our problem is the water system is sooooo bad --- (How Bad Is It?), that we fear collapsing the lines if we run the pump and draw a suction.
    We will give it a try.
    I used to be a member of a department that still had some wooden water mains in town... so I feel your pain. One possible solution would be to set a portable tank at the hydrant and run a line from the hydrant to the tank. Then have the engine draft from the port-a-tank to fill your tankers/tenders. The key is to have port-a-tanks larger than the tanker you are filling and to keep the hydrant flowing while you are filling so that the water level keeps above your low level strainer.

    May not be ideal, but it beats collapsing the water mains.
    Richard Nester
    Orrville (OH) Fire Dept.

    "People don't care what you know... until they know that you care." - Scott Bolleter

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    I agree with Confire. Your restriction going through the pump will be your tank fill line and valve.

    I would seriously think of operator (firefighter filling the truck) safety with the weight of the fill lines. Breaking the LDH down with a manifold to two 2.5 or 3" lines to both of the fills would reduce the amount of weight they are dealing with tugging on the water filled LDH at the fill valve.

    As for the folding tank being used as a reservoir you can also use your booster tank as a reservoir if you have time in between tanker fills. Flow water into the folding tank, fill the tanker from the folding tank and booster tank. While connecting / moving trucks in out re-fill the folding and booster tank. It is not the best way but it is a way to maximize your water flow without spending more money. Your fill engine operator has to know what he is doing though.

    Another think to keep in mind is multiple sets of fill lines if your water supply is good enough to support it. That way discharges say 1 and 2 are filling one tanker while discharges 3 and 4 are being connected/disconnected to a second tanker....

    Another random thought is remember to get the biggest pump you can to the fill site so you maximize the GPM you can potentially fill at. You will loose GPM capacity with moving trucks around, connecting hose and then travel times. I'll stop rambling now....

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sleuth
    Thanks - our problem is the water system is sooooo bad --- (How Bad Is It?), that we fear collapsing the lines if we run the pump and draw a suction.
    We will give it a try.
    I was going to suggest the port a tank setup but medic and dog beat me to it. Its an excellent way the maximize what water you do have available.

    Chiefdog brings up a good point about the weight of the 5 hanging off the tank fill. If you go that route you may want to add a brace to secure the valve and use a 30o elbow to avoid the pipe.

    For those who use 5 to fill you know disconnecting the storz couplings can be a wet and difficult job. (Sucks big time in cold weather). A trick we do is place two 5 cam lock to storz adp. One on the truck and one on the hydrant. When the tank is full the hydrant valve is shut and the canlock is popped off the hydrant first. The hose drains almost immediate eliminating the weight

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    all our tankers in this county are 3000 when we order we spec 2- 2.5 direct tank fills and below on the bumper we have troughs with 100 ft of 3 inch and a hydrant gate on each side pre connected to the fills . when were done filling we just leave the fill hose atached so the next tanker can just use those. on most hydrants around we can fill 3000 gal in less than 4 minutes. thats without a pumper on the hydrant.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sleuth
    Thanks - our problem is the water system is sooooo bad --- (How Bad Is It?), that we fear collapsing the lines if we run the pump and draw a suction.
    We will give it a try.
    How do you collapse a main using soft suction at the hydrant? Someone has been feeding you a line (the highschool dropout "engineer" down at the water dept?)?

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    No, the Chief does not want to buy soft suction, so all we have is hard suction (that, to my knowledge, has never been used other than training).

    We have been nursing our pumpers, but since we just got a new tender on a USDA Grant, we are going to be much more agressive about dropping the pool & getting more water.

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    It's a good idea to go out with your stopwatch and try a few different things.

    Our Pierce rigs don't have a check valve in the tank to pump line. Fill your rig with water supplied to the "steamer", open the tank fill and record the time. Next, see if your tank takes water with only the tank to pump valve open. If so you don't have a check valve installed, and you can fill your pump using 2 sources into the tank, the tank fill line and the tank to pump piping. Record that time to fill from an empty tank. CAUTION! I don't like to ram a zillion GPM into the tank when it gets full, you could pop the tank gasket on the top of the tank. As my tank reaches 3/4 full I close the tank to pump valve, and fill with the tank fill valve only. If memory serves, our tank to pump is 2 1/2 plumbing, and the tank fill is 1 1/2 plumbling.

    Of course you can compare using different methods, it's good training also. Most of the restriction filling a tank is in your rig, using 3" or 5" with a 25' section isn't a big issue for such a short distance.

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    You can easily collapse a water main with a soft suction...imagine this...you are hooked to a little 4" main with a 5" hose off a steamer...drawing the main down to 2 psi. Where does that water come from? Uphill of you. The pressure of water drops roughly .4 psi per foot so 30 psi higher you have a 10 psi negative pressure in the line, minus the friction loss between there and the hydrant of course so it will not really be -10 but it will be a negative number. And if another line goes uphill to other services and is supplied past the hydrant you are sucking

    That is why they say do not draw below 20 psi. Some places the water pressure is all that holds the ancient system together...you have no way to tell if that is the case where you are at and how low the pressure might be going at other, more elevated points...and if you break the system you will get no more water for your fire so better to shut down early and be safe about it.

    I prefer to fill the tender with a single 2.5 or 3" hose. Keeps the water system operating in the positive pressure mode.

    Birken

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    I'm going to give you an incredibly simple solution. On the rear of the tank, have a fabrication shop make a 5 or 6" hole. Weld a piece of pipe the same size to that hole, place 5 or 6" gate valve with a storz connection on the end of the pipe. Direct tank fill....done, simple. Use a 25ft section of 5 or 6" LDH to fill, you can also offload through the same opening. Can't make it any simpler
    FF/NREMT-B

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    Exclamation

    A word of caution here

    I (we) have no idea how your tank is constructed, it may new, old or even homemade so if you do add a 5 or 6 direct make sure the vent opening is of sufficient size to expel the added pressure (water & air). An increase in pressure could damage the tank or even cause to rupture.

    Im with 4life adding a larger fill would be a simple solution.

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    I think I'd remove the check valve in the tank-to-pump line and use it as an additional fill before I cut a hole in my tank. Just make sure you shut down your tank when you start to pump off a plug. Heck depending on how old the tender/tanker is it might not even have one. Thats just one thought.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BirkenVogt
    You can easily collapse a water main with a soft suction...imagine this...you are hooked to a little 4" main with a 5" hose off a steamer...drawing the main down to 2 psi. Where does that water come from? Uphill of you. The pressure of water drops roughly .4 psi per foot so 30 psi higher you have a 10 psi negative pressure in the line, minus the friction loss between there and the hydrant of course so it will not really be -10 but it will be a negative number. And if another line goes uphill to other services and is supplied past the hydrant you are sucking

    That is why they say do not draw below 20 psi. Some places the water pressure is all that holds the ancient system together...you have no way to tell if that is the case where you are at and how low the pressure might be going at other, more elevated points...and if you break the system you will get no more water for your fire so better to shut down early and be safe about it.

    I prefer to fill the tender with a single 2.5 or 3" hose. Keeps the water system operating in the positive pressure mode.

    Birken
    A hydrant may not legally be installed on anything less than a 6" main (at least most of the US, including Iowa). A soft suction hose will collapse when you start to pull a vac. IE before you have a vac in the main.

    The major grades of PVC main (DR18, SDR, Sch 40) are rated safe for a full vac (if you could actually pull) without damage (subject to properly engineered installed etc). Within the safety margin for the pipe. Ref on this is staff engineer at UNIBELL (the PVC pipe mfg trade association). I've been down this road on a seperate project (a BS rural water project). Urban myth. Perhaps should be on snopes.com

    Now if someone has 1st hand knowledge/can show photos/AAR that demonstrate this information to be incorrect (6"+ PVC main collapse while performing soft suction). Please send them to me. I've been looking for such for 2+ years and not out there in the water trade or pipe industry. Unibell would also be very interested in such a discovery as they don't know about any such.

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    How about 40-50 year old cast iron pipe - how easy is that to collapse?

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    Eh, just crank it up until the pump starts to cavitate, then back it down a few PSI. If the water company asks, you were in road at the time and the pipe must have just failed by coincidence

    Our 3000 gallong tanker has (2) 4" pipes on the back for direct tank fill. Each one has a wheel valve. We have couplings stacked on it so you can hook anything up to it very easily... 5" -> 4" -> 3". With one 3" fill, it takes a few minutes. With two, it is very fast.
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by neiowa
    A hydrant may not legally be installed on anything less than a 6" main (at least most of the US, including Iowa). A soft suction hose will collapse when you start to pull a vac. IE before you have a vac in the main.
    Before you pull a vacuum in the main AT THE SAME ELEVATION that you are at, it is surely true. However in hilly areas like ours I can personally take you to areas where if you open one 2.5" hydrant discharge nozzle fully, another one will show negative pressure. And this is on a looped system. The water department doesn't care, they tell us don't use that much water then.

    Other parts of this system show flows at 20 psi residual of 1200+ GPM but they tell us we are limited to 300 because of this one area.

    As far as main size, we have lots of 4" in the ground. Maybe it is not legal for installation today but they sure aren't in any hurry to dig it up now....

    The major grades of PVC main (DR18, SDR, Sch 40) are rated safe for a full vac (if you could actually pull) without damage (subject to properly engineered installed etc). Within the safety margin for the pipe. Ref on this is staff engineer at UNIBELL (the PVC pipe mfg trade association). I've been down this road on a seperate project (a BS rural water project). Urban myth.
    Pipe in this area is cast iron, ductile iron, asbestos concrete, unknown material, as well as PVC...whether it was rated for vacuum at the time of its installation, and if it is still in any kind of condition to accept anything other than its normal operating pressure, is unknown to me....

    The main reason for the 20 psi residual, however, is to provide enough safety margin to ensure that all leaks in the system, even if they are a bit higher than the elevation they are being used at, are OUT OF the pipe, and not INTO the pipe...groundwater contamination of the drinking water....

    ....

    However I could see using a LDH to fill in an area that has lower system pressures than ours though. But the way it is here even if you fill with the short 3" which is what we always do the tender gets filled in a couple of minutes anyway, and if you leave the valve wide open you will blow the tank filler lid wide open...way more than the 4" overflow tube can handle...there is a cheesy plastic splash preventer up there too and I suspect with a 4" fill that it might get blown out by the voume of water that would be going in there.

    Birken

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