Thread: Booster reels

  1. #1
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    Default Booster reels

    This is probably going to come off as a dumb question, but does anyone know if its possible to pump CAFS through a booster reel? All answers will be appreciated.

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    Should be no problem as long as it's plumbed for it.

    Niedner makes a light-weight, rigid hose called ReelTex specifically for this application. It's lighter than traditional booster hose, and has a "rougher" liner which supposedly helps keep CAFS agitated nicely. Friction loss isn't a significant factor in CAFS, so the liner roughness doesn't matter.

    The only drawback to it (we have it on our mini-pumper) is it seems to burn through kind of easily. Not that I've used much booster line (we phased ours out a few years after I joined), but it's not as "heavy" as the old booster. And it's not "wet" like single jacket forestry hose. So you have to use the same care you do with conventional double jacketed fire hose to not let hot spots burn through it. Not a deal breaker IMHO, just something to be aware of.

    Oh, and one more bit of advice -- drain the line when you're done.

    Two reasons. First and foremost, the water/foam and air will seperate in the reel. This leaves pockets of water at the bottom of the reel, air at the top. Try to pump CAFS through it, you'll get "surging" while CAFS builds up behind a water pocket, then blows by. If this happens, you turn off the compressor, flow straight water & foam through the line until it's coming out the nozzle, then turn the air back on. This lets you build CAFS behind the now liquid filled hose...it will push out the slug of liquid, then you have nice CAFS again.

    The other reason is a safety one, so that you don't by accident (or by smart ***) hit the bail on the nozzle and have the air pressure and water blow out on someone back in quarters
    Last edited by Dalmatian190; 03-25-2006 at 11:12 PM.

  3. #3
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    Firefighters in Europe are taking CAF into structures now using 33mm or 35mm internal bore booster lines. The 33mm version is specially strengthened for higher water pressures than those used with CAFS. This aids in preventing kinking of the line. We are effectively flowing around 60 gpm (water in the CAF) through these lines.

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    Ah...Paul reminded me...

    The Niedner ReelTex has a "helical coil" -- think stretched spring. It's a piece of wire that keeps the fabric stretched rigid (and kink free).

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    We don't use CAFS, but we do have 1 1/2" Reeltex on our reels. Best thing we did to cut down on the abrasion/wear was to put 50' of hard rubber line on the nozzle end-much more resistant to burns, dirt, or abrasion.

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