1. #1
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    Default Aerial Water Supply?

    Hey, how many of you use an engine to feed your ladder? I have heard of some departments using an engine to provide water supply, even if the hydrant isn't that far away. If you lay a line straight to the ladder (only 150-200') what does it matter? Are there any advantages to having the engine relay (besides friction loss on a long lay), or does that just tie up an engine?

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    Quote Originally Posted by rmhinkle
    Hey, how many of you use an engine to feed your ladder? I have heard of some departments using an engine to provide water supply, even if the hydrant isn't that far away. If you lay a line straight to the ladder (only 150-200') what does it matter? Are there any advantages to having the engine relay (besides friction loss on a long lay), or does that just tie up an engine?
    This is again one of those comments I don't understand. How is it when an Engine Co. is employed and engaged at a fire, pumping to either handlines or to a large caliber stream, regardless it being a Akron New Yorker in the street or Tower Ladder does it become "tied up?"

    What did you pay all that money for a large pump and all that hose if all you are going to do is use it for a big red transportation vehicle? Engines Companies last time I checked are intended to secure water supplys and pump water through hoses and other assorted appliances (including ladder pipes) to play water on the fire.

    FTM-PTB

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    One of the reasons alot of big city depts use their engines to pump to their ladders is because there ladders dont have there own pumps. If your ladders are quints then you have other options. You should test both ways of doing things for your self and see what you find. I used to be a proponent of an engine must pump to an aerial until I actually tested both ways of doing it. We got more water with the truck getting its own supply line from the hydrant into it's own pump then with an engine pumping into the ladder. Another advantage to the ladder using its own supply line is you dont have lines operating at high pressure you only have hydrant pressure in your supply line. But like I said earlier, you just need to find out what works in your situation with what you have.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Squad1LT
    One of the reasons alot of big city depts use their engines to pump to their ladders is because there ladders dont have there own pumps. If your ladders are quints then you have other options. You should test both ways of doing things for your self and see what you find. I used to be a proponent of an engine must pump to an aerial until I actually tested both ways of doing it. We got more water with the truck getting its own supply line from the hydrant into it's own pump then with an engine pumping into the ladder. Another advantage to the ladder using its own supply line is you dont have lines operating at high pressure you only have hydrant pressure in your supply line. But like I said earlier, you just need to find out what works in your situation with what you have.
    How is it possible you can get more water from performing inline pumping? You are going to loose pressure in terms of friction loss that can't be gained back. By having a dedicated Engine pump operator at the hydrant and he can distribute water to not only the TL but also to any other handlines or hose lines if needed or if the Tower Ladder stream is shut down or needs to be moved which can and does happen at large fires. (all provided with necessary capacity)

    Here is another consideration...remember the aerials operations will be regulated by the speed of the Engine which now is tied to the throttle of your Quints pump. Ever move an aerial when the Engine RPMs dramaticly increase or decrease? It's not pretty, especally if one is in the bucket.

    This is why I don't understand why so many prefer to pay all this extra money for pumps and hose on Ladder appratus when they are going to have Engines with pumps sitting around doing nothing! It honestly perplexes me.

    FTM-PTB

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    Default thank you

    FFFred, thank you for that input. I didn't even think about the throttle from the ladder affecting the smoothness of the operation from the bucket/tip. That clears things up a little more. Also, when I said "tying up an engine" I meant having that engine 200' away with tools, bottles, gear, etc. It is also hard to easily stretch handlines from the engine at the hydrant, you would have to add some length.

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    How is it possible you can get more water from performing inline pumping? You are going to loose pressure in terms of friction loss that can't be gained back. By having a dedicated Engine pump operator at the hydrant and he can distribute water to not only the TL but also to any other handlines or hose lines if needed or if the Tower Ladder stream is shut down or needs to be moved which can and does happen at large fires. (all provided with necessary capacity)


    When we tested water flows, like I said, I was completely in the the engine must pump to an aerial camp, but there was greater flows when the ladder hooked to the hydrant on its own. I tried everything I could to match or get better flows with the engine pumping into the stick and it didn't happen. I am sure that there is a break over point where friction loss is a factor but with 5" hose I dont think you would see it unless you were in an area away from hydrants. Having an engine on the plug would speed up breaking down to move, but not every department has the luxury of having crowds of firemen at extra alarms.

    Here is another consideration...remember the aerials operations will be regulated by the speed of the Engine which now is tied to the throttle of your Quints pump. Ever move an aerial when the Engine RPMs dramaticly increase or decrease? It's not pretty, especally if one is in the bucket.


    Our ladders must run differently than yours, the only danger in running the pump at the same time is that it will slow down aerial operations. Most hydraulic pumps are rated for a certain RPM which is lower than what the rpm is for the water pump. When the ladder is in pump and ladder operations at the same time, when the engine goes to a higher RPM due to pumping the hydraulic pump for the ladder will open a relief on the hydraulic pump to prevent overpressuization which will slow down movement. Its about the difference between high idle and low idle. So it is a little bit of a drawback, but you get more water flow so I think the trade of is a good one.

    This is why I don't understand why so many prefer to pay all this extra money for pumps and hose on Ladder appratus when they are going to have Engines with pumps sitting around doing nothing! It honestly perplexes me.


    I like FDNY and Chicago and StL and big depts and I am from an agressive dept but not as big. In my city we dont live on top of each other. I do agree that a ladder should not have a pump when it is stationed with another engine. Our tower shouldnt have a pump because it is stationed with an engine. But our other trucks have there own first in territories where they need a pump and there is no way we could get 2 companies in those houses.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Squad1LT
    When we tested water flows, like I said, I was completely in the the engine must pump to an aerial camp, but there was greater flows when the ladder hooked to the hydrant on its own. I tried everything I could to match or get better flows with the engine pumping into the stick and it didn't happen. I am sure that there is a break over point where friction loss is a factor but with 5" hose I dont think you would see it unless you were in an area away from hydrants. Having an engine on the plug would speed up breaking down to move, but not every department has the luxury of having crowds of firemen at extra alarms.
    Wow 5 inch. You use that on your daily operations? What are your flow needs that require that size hose? That might have some effect. However I do remember a fire at a RV dealer ship while in my former dept. The city we responded to had public safety guys and weren't that bright and they hooked up just as they always do and laid in the 4 inch LDH and they had **** poor pressure because they were loosing it all between the hydrant and rig in the form of friction loss. Everyone had to end up using smoothbores to allow for the lower operating pressures. (not neccesarily a bad thing)

    Remember we are talking about exterior operations you are going to need every bit of water you can get. In my experience and to my knowledge it isn't taught anyother way in Hydraulic books regarding which method gets one more water. I've never heard anyone teach that in-line pumping will get you more water...the physics to me just don't add up...I'm not doubting what you've seen but I could be missing something. It just doens't make any sense.

    Our ladders must run differently than yours, the only danger in running the pump at the same time is that it will slow down aerial operations. Most hydraulic pumps are rated for a certain RPM which is lower than what the rpm is for the water pump. When the ladder is in pump and ladder operations at the same time, when the engine goes to a higher RPM due to pumping the hydraulic pump for the ladder will open a relief on the hydraulic pump to prevent overpressuization which will slow down movement. Its about the difference between high idle and low idle. So it is a little bit of a drawback, but you get more water flow so I think the trade of is a good one.
    All I know is that is how ours with those damn governors would operate as lines were opened and closed..the RPM would fluxuate accordingly...and just as high idle and low idle have a differnent effect on the operation of the boom so does the RPMs of the Engine when regulated by the flow of water and pressures needed. Perhaps this problem is corrected in newer appratus.

    I like FDNY and Chicago and StL and big depts and I am from an agressive dept but not as big. In my city we dont live on top of each other. I do agree that a ladder should not have a pump when it is stationed with another engine. Our tower shouldnt have a pump because it is stationed with an engine. But our other trucks have there own first in territories where they need a pump and there is no way we could get 2 companies in those houses.
    Well then we aren't talking Truck Co. operations...I can't imagine the wear and tear on Ladder appratus from running Engine runs all day. All that comes down to is the failure of the Chief to conivince your city to provide you with the proper resources...enough Engines to cover everything and enogh trucks to support the Engines at the fires and such.

    FTM-PTB
    Last edited by FFFRED; 05-20-2006 at 08:54 PM.

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    They didn't ask me for a vote when they got 5" you are right it is overkill. We used to have 3" and that worked for the typical bread and butter house but they pulled that so now we are just left with 5". I would much rather have 4" but what you gonna do..

    We do run our quints on normal calls and they do get alot of beating. We just had to pull a front line truck because they found out the outrigger was rusted through.

    Stealing water is a good point, or being on a crappy hydrant. I would prob never want to get over 100' away from a good hydrant. I really dont know why we got more water, I was actually wanting to prove that pumping with an engine you got better flow when we did it. We were on a good hydrant and only about 75' away. We are actually getting a new truck in a couple months, if im lucky, maybe ill try to do it again but at greater distances and see what the result will be.

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    Hydraulic operations at different engine RPMs should be no issue with todays technology. (these items have actually been around for quite a while) A pressure compensating pressure reducing valve and a pressure compensating flow control valve would easily control hydraulic "jumpyness" in the bucket, or even an unloading valve to unload the hydraulic pump when the bucket is not in use.

    And i imagine that these items are already in use on newer trucks.
    Service is the rent you pay for having space on earth.

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    FFFRED / SQUAD1LT...

    My guess from what's being described is a plumbing issue with what I assume is a rear feed for a pre-plumbed aerial. Water coming from the Quint's pump is taking a slightly different path to the aerial; maybe there's a 90 degree bend from the rear feed; maybe the rear feed has a valve that's partly blocked or isn't opening fully because of some odd damage.

    So the Engine is having to overcome that additional friction loss which the Quint's own pump wouldn't.

    ------------
    Mix of rural / modest hydrant operations.

    Preferred layout is a gated wye on the incoming 5" supply line with a 4" line to feed the aerial, and a 4" line to feed the Engine-Tank that's handling any handlines or portable master streams. "Ladder" is a Quint, but runs as a ladder, well honestly, more of a water tower and equipment tender than a "TrucK".

    However, things can change to the specific situation.
    Last edited by Dalmatian190; 05-20-2006 at 11:28 PM.

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    Default Some thoughts from an old Aerial Operator in Australia

    Here in Sydney Australia we don't use Aerial Ladders with pumps.The reason I was given when I first started out as an Operator was that the weight of the pump in addition to the Aerial Apparatus was excessive to be licensed to drive on the road.
    As our 120 foot sticks max out at about 100,000 lbs there was a real issue with loading them up. In addition by adding more axles and trying to equalise our loads we sacrificed the ability to move into some of the more narrow areas in the older parts of the city.
    I guess its all a trade off wherever we are working.
    Later when we added the Hydraulic Platforms [later progressing to the Bronto style apparatus] these weighed in at 150,000 lb and even with 4 axles and twin steer capability were ungainly and damned hard to position effectively.

    Our procedure is to dedicate a pump to each Aerial, wasteful sure but effective in that each Aerial has control over their water,both pressure and volume.
    We routinely run 4X3" lines from the pump into the Aerial and adjust the flow as required,our aim pressure-wise is to provide between 80-100 psi at the nozzle.
    The optimum used to be running the Darley or Waterous 1250gpm pumps for Aerial work but the powers that be [none of whom have ever run an Aerial or a pump at a big fire {sound familiar?}] decided to opt for an English pump which is allegedly idiot proof but unfortunately doesn't give near enough water [either volume or pressure] to make the big Aerials work to full capacity

    The one thing I know is that either or both methods can and will work.
    We very rarely if ever tie up our "quint" equivalents by using them to supply unpumped Aerials.
    Waste of good capacity and great pumps!
    [These are the only ones that currently run the Waterous pumps,American made and good powerful pumps to play with particularly when you give them plenty of horsepower to drive with!!! ]

    Regards to you all.......Stay safe and keep smiling

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    Our standard aerial masterstream operation will always include putting an engine on the plug. With water pressures all over the board and low flows in many areas we cannot afford to lose any to friction loss. Given a basic 100' aerial with a smoothbore gun at full elevation without any friction loss you need to start with 130 psi at the base. That's just elevation and nozzle pressure. We might have a handful of hydrants with over 100 psi capabilities, so an engine inline is procedure. Our SOP is the engine must be within 100' of the aerial its supplying (4" LDH only rated for 200psi). Our new tower will have "attack rated" 5" LDH to be supplied by an engine.(no pump/tank).

    As for 4 or 5" LDH being "overkill" for fireflow factors? The real benefit is the distance you can flow the water due to friction loss. Our hydrants are not well placed and 600-1000 ft. lays are quite normal. Try that with 3" or duals in todays understaffed dept.s!

    FFFRED: you lost me on the Public Safety guys that laid 4" and couldn't get pressure from friction loss issues? Obviously there is significantly less friction loss in LDH over smaller diamter hose, and if the gpm is there the engine can boost the pressure as long as the dischages don't try to flow more than whats coming in.

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    Quote Originally Posted by HFRH28
    Hydraulic operations at different engine RPMs should be no issue with todays technology. (these items have actually been around for quite a while) A pressure compensating pressure reducing valve and a pressure compensating flow control valve would easily control hydraulic "jumpyness" in the bucket, or even an unloading valve to unload the hydraulic pump when the bucket is not in use.

    And i imagine that these items are already in use on newer trucks.
    It is, at least on our 02 Pierce quint. The pump has absolutly no effect on the operation of the ladder.

    5" overkill? I look at it as easier to use. One line in place of duals, better flow at lower pressure, drain it and load it, no hanging it in the tower. I guess it all depends on how you look at it.

    As for the flow question, Im at a loss as to why there is a flow problem when pumping the aerial with an engine. The only thing I can think of is friction loss in the plumbing thats not in play when useing the pump on the aerial. Our quint has a direct connection to the aerial waterway on the rear (doesnt go through the pump). When we use this to pump the aerial from an engine, the flows are the same as if useing the pump on the quint itself.
    Last edited by Dave1983; 05-21-2006 at 01:12 PM.
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    Plumbing issues: a trip to a large companies plant this winter revealed that there were (9) 90 degree turns in the "water way" between the inlet and the bottom of the turntable where in changed to braided hose! Talk about friction loss!!This on a rear mount tower with twin guns and no pump. I guess maybe this is another reason people wants pumps on their trucks? I believe part of the issue was the "need" for the area to be useable space for ground ladders, so the waterway layout took the backseat in layout.

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    We have a new aerial due on Thursday. We will have it supply itself (yes, has a pump) and an engine supply it as well. This is due simply for the fact that our hyrdant system can't flow enough water through 1 hydrant to supply the 2000gpm bucket. No, it won't be the first due engine. It may be the 2nd or 3rd.
    "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?

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    Our reasoniong for supplying our ladder from an engine is simple. The ladder controls can control the speed of the engine unless the pump is engaged. If the pump on the truck is engaged, the ladder moves very slowly because the controls cannot put the truck in high idle. Therefore, for master stream deployments, it is much better to have an engine pump the tower and have easy and rapid movements with the ladder.
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    Default Ladder supply

    All good point. Just going to add my 2 cents to the topic.

    Engine supplying Truck
    If the truck is any substantial distance from the hydrant, you will normally maximize your flow by placing an engine on the plug.
    5 inch supply will have little friction loss and is a benifit in that regards. However, keep in mind what nozzle pressure your aerial requires, friction loss for elevation, and friction loss in the pipe, and then go find out what your hose is recommended to be pumped at. I believe NFPA recommends a max normal pressure for LDH as 185psi, if you have a 100psi nozzle pressure, you will most likely need to exceed that pressure. You might even be close with 80psi nozzles.

    Also if you supply your aerial with a single 5 inch line, and that line bursts, you will lose your flow. This could have a negative affect if the elevated stream is protecting exposures. If you supply your aerial with multiple 3 inch lines and one bursts, you still have flow. In addition, if you need to move the lines you can shut one down, make your move, replace that line, shut the other down, make your move, and be done.

    Quints,
    I know that some of you are limited on resources and have no other choice, but one more point. If you supply your aerial with a single supply line and pump heavy hand lines and master streams at the same time, what do you do if you have a pump failure? If you supply from another pump, it can always pump through.

    One last side track, the lower operating nozzles, will have less nozzle reaction, which is less force on your aerial. Maybe safer.

    As always, I enjoy everyones thoughts.

    Take Care, Stay Safe

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    I learn this interesting fact in pump class, so please forgive me if some of the details are off.

    how much pressure is your 5 inch supply hose hose handle? enough to handle the pressure of the water from the hydrant to your engine, right? now, calculate the pressure needed to supply water to the tower when it's 75 feet in the air (assuming 102 ft stick). you will probably find that the pressure needed surpasses the amount that your hose is certified to function at. that means if you burst a line, and someone is injured or killed, the hose company won't owe you a dime, as you were using their hose outside the safe guidelines that they recommend.

    there solution is for you to purcahse 5 in attack hose, which is much more expensive than supply hose. and we all know how budgets are getting tighers.

    now, if you hook the supply line up directly to the quint, you don't have to worry about that detail.
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    MOST supply style 5" line's have a burst pressure of 400psi.

    I would hate to be involved with a department where a Chief would say not to supply the aerial cuz if someone got hurt by the hose bursting, the hose company would not pay up.
    "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?

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    Quote Originally Posted by DrParasite
    I learn this interesting fact in pump class, so please forgive me if some of the details are off.

    how much pressure is your 5 inch supply hose hose handle? enough to handle the pressure of the water from the hydrant to your engine, right? now, calculate the pressure needed to supply water to the tower when it's 75 feet in the air (assuming 102 ft stick). you will probably find that the pressure needed surpasses the amount that your hose is certified to function at. that means if you burst a line, and someone is injured or killed, the hose company won't owe you a dime, as you were using their hose outside the safe guidelines that they recommend.

    there solution is for you to purcahse 5 in attack hose, which is much more expensive than supply hose. and we all know how budgets are getting tighers.

    now, if you hook the supply line up directly to the quint, you don't have to worry about that detail.
    Most LDH supply hose have a service pessure of 300 psi.this is more than enough for relay pumping or supplying a quint...One brand I can think of that has a lower service pressure is Angus Hi-Vol at 225 psi.

    By the way why do calculate friction loss in the supply hose for ladder elevation when it is a quint?

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    It is our policy to dedicate an engine as a supply for a water tower. (We run no quints) More than likely it will be a third due, or second alarm company that will have this detail. Without exception, we are supposed to reverse lay with our first two engine companies; the first due positions just past the fire building, and the second due backs down the street to supply the first. As such, both of these companies are not able to do any other tasks.
    The largest line that we operate on a daily basis is three inch. Water is rarely an issue, even in the inner city where hydrants are nothing more than sprinklers for the neighbors. We are very fortunate to have an excellent infrastructure in place, and most hydrants will give you 60-80 psi. More often than not, you will have two hydrants a block, at a minimum.

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