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Thread: intake valves

  1. #1
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    Default intake valves

    What is the best intake valve for either suction or hydrant hookup? We have alway used 1/4 turn butterfly valves because of drafting, but now we have added 5" LDH. Our split is about 50/50 drafting vs. hydrant. This will be on a new engine we are spec'ing. Why don't you want to use 1/4 turn butterfly valves with a pressurized source?

    Also, we are thinking about spec'ing a rear suction, mainly for drafting from a portable tank. Usually we have to set up the portable tank behind the engine and use 30' of suction hose to reach. What type of valve should it have and does it need a seperate primer?

    Thanks in advance, Hose21


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    Quote Originally Posted by hose21 View Post
    Why don't you want to use 1/4 turn butterfly valves with a pressurized source?
    A few moons ago I was witha dept. that exclusively drafted for its water supply, they too used 1/4 turn butterfly valves exclusively. The 1/4 turns work great for drafting ops, but whenever we'd go do training on hydrants or relay pumping the 1/4 turn valves were a problem. Basically the water pressure against the gate makes it difficult to operate safely. Also, NFPA requires all valves of that size to be "slow acting" as with handranks or electric/air operated. Very similar to trying to operate a lever control under high pressure, it is much harder to open and can lead to trouble controlling the speed. The potential for a large water hammer exists with the 1/4 turn or lever action.

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    Not to mention that unless you have a built in suction relief valve,there is no "shedder"on the quarter turn valve.Not particularly important for drafting but critical for pressure feed ops. T.C.

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    While I don't know how well it'd work on a rear suction, we use TFT ball intake valves. We have them specced with 6" males, then adapt it down to our Storz connections. If we want to draft, we simply take off the adapter and screw it onto the intake valve. Works well for us.

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    We have been using the Hale MIV and most recently the Waterous Monarch electric intake valves. They are a butterfly valve. They work flawlessly, take up little room since they are behind the pump panels and are easy to get at if service would be required. We rarely draft unless called for mutual aid. We did have a second primer valve installed that pulls vacuum on the outside of the valve. This does promote a very smooth transition from tank water to draft water as the suction hose and valve are already primed. Just open the valve while closing the tank valve. If you are not worried about cost, they are a great setup.

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    Why do you need 30ft of suction? Thats an awfull lot of suction line. Couldnt you use 8-10ft and have less friction loss?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ledebuhr1 View Post
    Why do you need 30ft of suction? Thats an awfull lot of suction line. Couldnt you use 8-10ft and have less friction loss?
    They set their dump tank up behind the truck. Where it's positioned and due to the length of the truck, they have to use 30' (assuming three sections of 10') to reach it. We have the same problem. This is why they're looking at putting in a rear suction on the truck.

    In regards to your rear suction, zfdtruckman's post made me think of something. I've seen a couple of departments that have either rear or front suctions will put a seperate primer beyond the valve at the pump. This allows them to prime the suction while pumping off of tank or other water sources and easily swap over to the draft intake.

    If your dump tank runs dry, you simply close the draft intake, pump from the tank and when you're ready to draft again you prime the intake, close the tank-to-pump while you open the intake. No having to idle down and prime or use a siphon. Siphons are great, don't get me wrong, but I'd love to have that extra primer set-up to make things easier and have one less hose on the ground to operate the siphon.

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    Forum Member nmfire's Avatar
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    We put a piston relief valve with 5" stortz on one side of the truck and a 1/4 turn butterfly threaded for drafting on the other side. Effort is made to arrive and hook up with the appropriate side facing the water source. Piston relief valve is easy enough to take off for drafting and the 1/4 is easy enough to take off and put on an adapter to take LDH.
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

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    Forum Member zfdtruckman's Avatar
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    This second primer control is the pull valve and switch control only with piping to the ouside of the valve. You still have only 1 primer pump. It is not an expensive setup.

    When we go from tank to draft or back and forth, it is so seamless no one on the line is aware.

    Each of the side intake valves also have a built in relief valve along with an Elhart relief valve on the pump.

    Both intakes are 5" storz with 5" to 4" reducer and cap. We use 4" LDH. Some of our incoming companies from other departments use 5" so they only need to remove the reducer and not chase around for adapters.
    Last edited by zfdtruckman; 02-14-2008 at 12:11 PM.

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    If you're going to mount an intake valve external to the steamer, the TFT valves mentioned are absolutely great stuff. We have a couple of the TFT intake valves that we've added to some older units, and they operate smooth and easy. You aren't busting knuckles trying to crank the thing open... If friction loss is a concern, their jumbo ball intake valves could be the answer.
    "Share your knowledge - it's a way to achieve immortality." - Stolen from Chase Sargent's Buddy to Boss program

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    Default Rear suction set-up

    We have been using rear suction (6") since 1974. Mostly because of tanker operations on long driveways and the need for a drop tank on dump and run operations. We cover 102 sq mi of about 50% city and 50% rural. We placed a 6" by 2- 2 1/2" gated siamese on the rear and can either drop two 10 ft sections (parallel) of 3" hard suction into the tank or directly nurse off the tanker for car fires or small brush fires. The 3" hard sleeve set-up can provide about 700 gpm out of the drop tank and is more than enough for single family dwellings and camps. Do not allow the apparatus manufacturer to talk you into reducing this line to 4" or smaller, since it will adversely affect the water movement into the pump should conditions force you into using this intake to supply 1250 or 1500 gpm on a large fire. We typically carry 4 sections (25 ft) of 3" hose with 2 1/2" couplings on each engine. It is possible to drop a portable hydrant in the rear and feed the engine with 2 pieces of the short 3" hose. At 1400 gpm (700 per line) the 25" of 3" has only about 12 psi of friction loss. This is a great place to bring in water from portable pumps when an additional water source is available to suppliment when drafting or when already being supplied by a relay pumper.

    Kuh Shise

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    Default We use TFT BIV

    My department has been using the TFT BIV for a couple of years the TFT Ball Intake Valve performs great under drafting conditions as well as a pressurized hydrant. Our configuration is 6" male on the BIV and then adapt a 6" F c 5" Stroz for pressurized hydrants. you can go the other way, (I would not recommend it) if you use a Storz on your suction/Intake valve you need to make sure to spec suction gaskets. They make removal a lot harder.

    We did some testing using Stoz fittings on our low level strainer, 6" PVC hard suction, and BIV. We started out baseline Drafting from a 3000 gallon Folda Tank, using 6" NST threads on low level strainer, Hard suction and BIV we were flowing 1500 GPM

    We added Storz to strainer, we got 1250 GPM, we then added Storz to BIV, and it dropped below 900 GPM. Huge difference

    TFT Has improved their BIV since we purchased ours, They have a lot of great info on friction loss and flow on there products. They offer an externally mounted electrically controlled BIV, I like this set up to internal intake valves. If you have a problem with an internal valve your engine is out of sevice, an externally mounted vlave, pop it off screw on a cap and get it fixed, the rig can still be in service. I highly recommend taking a look.

    I'm not a TFT rep ,just like their BIV design. The only other PIV valve I would recomend is the Akron Black Max great flow, but if you have an older engine you may have to modify or position the Akron Valve at an angle. I have used Kochek and snap tite, we had lots of problems, especially with flow restriction.

    Stay low!!

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    Default A little of everything

    We don't do much drafting, but we do use LDH with rear suctions and intake valves. He's been my experience with both.

    All our pumpers have rear suctions with air-operated valves. They have caused some maintenance challenges but nothing major. I personally think you're better off just hooking into the panel master intake; less friction loss and less moving parts.

    As far as the intake valves, we've used ball,piston, butterfly, and gate valves from probably eight different manufacturers. The one's that give the least amount of trouble and operate the easiest are the gate type. Yea, I know they're kinda old fashion, but we've found them to be the most reliable. If one does start to leak, we can repair it in-house.

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    Thanks everybody for the info. I am going to check out the TFT ball valves.

    zfdtruckman - Do you then have (2) primer handles, one for the pump and one for the suction side of the valve? Both operating off of one primer pump and plumbed to to two different spots?

    It would be great if we could use a piston releif intake valve and always hook to the side intake or even to alway draft from the side with (1) 10" suction hose, but it doesn't alway work that way with narrow county road that you have to keep open for tanker traffic.

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    A obvious alternative to the rear suction (a great improvement for a rural FD) is to step up to a rear mount pump. Include a squirreltail suction preconnect (see the Rattlesnake, Annadale etc trucks).

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    If you have high hydrant pressures, be very selective about which piston or ball valve you buy. Our experience is that no matter how tightly its threaded on to the pump inlet casting, the hose, when charged the will swivel the valve body to wherever it wants to. Actually, that's not a bad thing because it usually takes a kink out. But, the valves that have their crank or handwheel on the side can wind up with the wheel jammed up against a discharge or some other item on the pump panel. That makes it somewhere between difficult and impossible to operate. We have been using AWG piston relief valves which have the handwheel facing out. No matter where the valve swivels to, the handwheel is always in the same place. Some others including Akron and, I think, Snap-Tite are set up the same way.

    Stay safe out there, everyone goes home.

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    Default HaleMIV and Primer Selector valve

    Our newest truck has a MIV-E on the right side, MIV on the panel and front suction. We set our trucks up for LDH intake away from the pump panel, draft at the panel or Front.

    We have a selector valve to pull a prime from 4 places. Full pump, like they have been for ages, front ahead of the front intake valve, ahead of both MIV's. (3+4)

    We have not had a lot of real working fires since delivery. I have put over 20 hours of pumping etc from draft with this. You can run off your tank, draft and not see a difference. I have been running draft off the front, primed ahead of the side MIV and switched over with out a hitch multiple times.

    We did have a little glitch on the front suction for the placement of the vacuum port on the front piping but with a little work by the dealer, factory and Hale it got figured out and works slick.


    We found that the MIV cost vs. hanging valves on the outside were both pricey and the MIV's gave other advantages....
    Last edited by ChiefDog; 02-15-2008 at 08:44 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ChiefDog View Post
    Our newest truck has a MIV-E on the right side, MIV on the panel and front suction. We set our trucks up for LDH intake away from the pump panel, draft at the panel or Front.
    We put a Monarch valve on one side of our new engine. Really a nice setup. I now have a spare AWG sitting on the station floor.

    I wish that I had been aware of the Trident Air Primer when we spec'd the truck. It's a really slick item. And the company's 4 miles away from us. For those of you who prime from different locations, it has several ports on it that can be plumbed to wherever you want.

    Stay safe out there, everyone goes home!

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    We switched to the TFT Ball Valves on the suction last year.

    According to our engineers it is the best thing since sliced bread.

    They open easy, they don't like, work well with hydrants or with suction.

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    We use various brands of intake valves. A really good feature on our TFT is that it is an indicating valve. The best feature I've found though is that you can adjust the direction of the intake. I've found that sometimes piston valves have to be turned to one side of another to allow access to drains and bleeders, or the steamer intake is too low compared to the running board and the valve won't fit unless it's turned. If the line is laid from the opposite direction of the turn, it can lead to kinks. With the adjustable opening you can move the valve to meet the hose instead of the opposite.
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