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  1. #1
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    Default Tanker Fill Appliance - Draining LDH before disconnect

    Hello everyone,

    I'm looking for ideas on how to drain LDH before disconnecting it from a tanker that's just been filled. I would think that there would be an appliance out there somewhere purpose-built for this sort of thing, but I'm coming up empty. Ideally, I'd want an appliance with a single LDH inlet and two outlets (kind of like a gated wye) for filling two tankers simultaneously. The two valves would each have three positions: Off, On (fill), and Drain. In the drain position, the valve would disconnect the outlet from the inlet, but connect the outlet to a drain hole in the appliance. Actually, it wouldn't technically even need an "off" position, but that might be useful in some situations. I would think that this would be possible with a modified ball valve, but like I said, I've never seen anything like what I'm describing.

    Barring my fairy-tale valve, what are some other solutions for doing this? I'm sure it's been done before, but I'm drawing a blank when I'm looking at the fittings and appliances available in the various catalogs.

    Thanks in advance!

    Andy


  2. #2
    Let's talk fire trucks! BoxAlarm187's Avatar
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    Interesting thread. If I may...

    I'm very pro-LDH for everything except filling tankers. With all else being the same, check what the TOTAL tanker fill time is when using LDH (arrival, hook-up, fill, disconnect, and drive away) versus dual 3" lines. Through exhaustive testing, we've found that dual 3" lines will fill at the 1000gpm rate that most tankers are rated to fill at just as quickly as a 5" line -- and you don't have the massive weight of the 5" to fool with while trying to disconnect it from the tanker.

    As for the drain, I don't know that I've found anything exactly like your describing. Between work and the VFD, we use different appliances, but they're used in a similar fashion: Drop a manifold (or gated wye) at the tanker fill site, then the fill-site engine lays LDH to the actual fill site (hydrant, dry hydrant, pond, etc). A FF is positioned at the gated wye, where he's run dual 3" lines from the wye to hook into the back of the tankers. After a tanker arrives, is filled, and is ready to leave, the FF does the following:
    • Closes fill valve on the back of the tanker
    • Closes the valves on the gated wye
    • Re-opens the fill valve on the back of the tanker for a couple of seconds, then closes it again.
    By doing this, the access water and pressure between the gated wye and the tanker is bled into the tank, not only the personnel staffing the fill site.

    Hope this helps, let me know if I can give you any other information...
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by BoxAlarm187 View Post
    Interesting thread. If I may...

    I'm very pro-LDH for everything except filling tankers. With all else being the same, check what the TOTAL tanker fill time is when using LDH (arrival, hook-up, fill, disconnect, and drive away) versus dual 3" lines. Through exhaustive testing, we've found that dual 3" lines will fill at the 1000gpm rate that most tankers are rated to fill at just as quickly as a 5" line -- and you don't have the massive weight of the 5" to fool with while trying to disconnect it from the tanker.
    I'm not a tanker person but I've observed many and photographed several tanker strike team exercises in the western part of our county. From my own observations and discussion with the participants, I concur with 187's comments.

    But if you really want the type of valve you describe, contact Harrington, Inc. in Erie, Pa. They have a huge array of LDH appliances.

    Stay safe out there, everyone goes home!

  4. #4
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    Cool LDH On Tanker Fill Sites

    We will use LDH on some of our water points if the fill engine is a distance away from the fill site. We then go through a gated wye down to 3" lines to the tanker. You must beware not to fill the tank at a rate that exceeds the tank manufactuer's recommendation. Depending on you tank, you could void your tank warranty. Also, the 3 inch lines are much easier to handle than the LDH. The time you lose draining, disconnecting and moving the LDH will negate any perceived gain from using the LDH. Another thing we did in the interest of safety, we have removed the ball valves from our tank fill lines. We use clapper valves on our tankers. This prevents the firefighter(s)handling the fill lines from closing the fill valve while the line is charged and disconnecting the quick coupling. The pressurized lines can and have come back and injured firefighters. We found this to be our safest and fastest way to connect, fill, and disconnect. Hope this helps.

  5. #5
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    Default

    Far be it from me to tell the rural water pros how to operate, since we're really out of that game now, but I agree with the twin 3" lines. Add in some cam lock fittings to speed things along, and you can really expedite things.

    You could put drain valves on the tanker fill valves, but I don't think they'd bleed off fast enough to make everyone happy. The drains on our direct tank fills do the job when we're filling the engines, but they certainly don't drain that excess pressure all that fast.

    I have another idea, but I'm on cold medicine, and want to think this out before I type something totally stupid.
    "Share your knowledge - it's a way to achieve immortality." - Stolen from Chase Sargent's Buddy to Boss program

  6. #6
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    Post Tanker/Tender fill

    My dept currently uses LDH to fill our 2 tankers when filling from a hydrant. If we fill in staiton, we use 2.5". We have a small drain valve on the inlet side of the valve to drain the pressure off so we can disconnect when done filling. We do however, have many depts in the area which fill off of dual or single 2.5". We are very fortunate that when needed, we can have several tankers on scene within 10 minutes and we have hydrants within 3-5 miles in our part of the county.

    Good luck and be safe!!

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by BoxAlarm187 View Post
    I'm very pro-LDH for everything except filling tankers. With all else being the same, check what the TOTAL tanker fill time is when using LDH (arrival, hook-up, fill, disconnect, and drive away) versus dual 3" lines. Through exhaustive testing, we've found that dual 3" lines will fill at the 1000gpm rate that most tankers are rated to fill at just as quickly as a 5" line -- and you don't have the massive weight of the 5" to fool with while trying to disconnect it from the tanker.
    Agreed. The disadvantage of the LDH is the weight, which is why I'm trying to come up with a way to drain it back at the manifold. If weight is no longer an issue (the LDH is drained), then LDH might speed things up considerably since only one connection is needed. This could be done by connecting three gated wyes directly together, but that seems like an expensive and clunky way of doing it.

    Andy

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pelican631 View Post
    Agreed. The disadvantage of the LDH is the weight, which is why I'm trying to come up with a way to drain it back at the manifold. If weight is no longer an issue (the LDH is drained), then LDH might speed things up considerably since only one connection is needed. This could be done by connecting three gated wyes directly together, but that seems like an expensive and clunky way of doing it.

    Andy
    If you use the factor of approximately 1 gallon of water per foot of 5" hose, it would look like it would take more time to drain even a short length of 5" than it would to fill by connecting one 3" line and starting it flowing while connecting the second one. Some companies are starting to go to 3" Storz couplings on their hook up lines to speed up operations.

    I have seen stuff in Harrington's catalog that would do what you want, and I'm sure there are competitors who have similar stuff. But most of that is heavy and bulky, and on the balance, might actually slow things down.

    It would be great if you could borrow enough stuff to conduct some experiments and find out what really works best for you. As I said in my earlier post with the disclaimer that I'm not a tanker person, the folks that I've talked to have concluded that two 3" lines works best for them. Our Engineers' association meets tommorow night, I'll try to revisit the discussion with the tanker guys who come regularly.

    Stay safe out there, everyone goes home.

  9. #9
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    Default

    We use to methods to address this problem. The first is that our tank-fill line is fitted with a valve that has a drain on it. As soon as the valve is shut, we open the drain.

    The second is that we use an engine to fill, even when operating of a hydrant. The engineer needs only to pull the discharge drain or open the tank fill to relieve the pressure.

    The biggest problems we've had were due the pressure, not the water. Once you start draining the water, you'll relieve enough pressure to undo the connection. The guy might get his feet a little wet, but it's easy to get the hose off and quicker than disconnecting two lines.

  10. #10
    Forum Member Engine305's Avatar
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    Default Tanker Shuttle

    On my prior fire company in 1987 when we got our Mack S&S tanker, we went with 2 3' lines for tank filling. Th tanker carries 4- 20 foot long 3: ponies with NST female swivel and 3 " Storz; for connecting to the LDH manifold or directly to the fill site pumper. Also, we purchased 4 sets of 3" storz adapters that the fill site pump operator gives to the other tankers in the run, so all trucks have 3" storz fittings to fill while the incident is in progress. This procedure has worked like a charm since then. Moving a 5" line with anything in it is a bear, time consuming and a royal pain in the a@@.
    The truck is pictured on www.FDNYTRUCKS.COM , Other states, Passaic County, Ringwood Borough Stonetown. The new apparatus they recieved in 2007 is also on there. 2 tankers respond from 1 house now.

  11. #11
    MembersZone Subscriber dday05's Avatar
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    When we fill tankers we use the manifold just like we drop at the street for fires. What we do is flip it around so the end you drop at the street for a fire is facing the fill truck. Attach your LDH line to the manifold and then once your truck is full use another outlet as the drain.

    Now not to confuse you we have 2 different manifolds these days. We use to just have a 5" manifold with a 5" all the way through and 4 2.5 outlets on it. We also have a 5" jumbo wye manifold. We use this 99% of the time if we are operating as a fill site. With the jumbo you can lay it just like we do for a fire though at the fill site and use the other side as the drain. Either or it makes disconnecting alot better...

  12. #12
    Let's talk fire trucks! BoxAlarm187's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Catch22 View Post
    The guy might get his feet a little wet, but it's easy to get the hose off and quicker than disconnecting two lines.
    You make a good point about disconnecting the two lines. To address this issue, we set up every tanker in the county (all of them have dual tank fills on the rear) with 5" Storz on both rear fill, and these are reduced to a 2.5" female.

    This way, when each tanker arrives, the fill site officer only has to use a quarter-turn to connect each of the 3" lines on the rear, and the same to take them off. Huge time savings!
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  13. #13
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    Default fill lines

    We use 2- 3" x 50' lines off portable hydrant, most tankers in our area use this set-up with storz fittings on lines. we started using this set-up sometime ago. we have had the oppurtunity to attend several seminars over the years thru out the state and have tested the use of single 4" & 5" fill lines as well as dual 4". under timed conditions the dual 3" proved to be better for us. hope it helps. stay safe, stay low.

  14. #14
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    Andy,
    Take a look at a 4-Way hydrant valve.
    The Down side to this set-up is that you can only fill 1 line at a time & you would still need something like an in-line gate valve to stop the flow altogether.

    Using the following page as an illustration:

    http://www.akronbrass.com/uploadedFi...ate-Valves.pdf


    Port A would be your inlet side. The valve is then able to direct water to Ports B & C. Whichever port is NOT selected would automatically drain back through port D. (note I did not label these as "Inlets" and "Outlets" because the use of stortz fittings would in theory allow water to flow in / out what ever way you wanted).

    Still not exactly what you're looking for, but barring a large awkward industrial style LDH manifold with 3 (or more) 5" discharges - I doubt you're going to get much closer "off the shelf".
    Take Care - Stay Safe - God Bless
    Stephen
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    Quote Originally Posted by N2DFire View Post
    Andy,
    Take a look at a 4-Way hydrant valve.
    The Down side to this set-up is that you can only fill 1 line at a time & you would still need something like an in-line gate valve to stop the flow altogether.

    Using the following page as an illustration:

    http://www.akronbrass.com/uploadedFi...ate-Valves.pdf


    Port A would be your inlet side. The valve is then able to direct water to Ports B & C. Whichever port is NOT selected would automatically drain back through port D. (note I did not label these as "Inlets" and "Outlets" because the use of stortz fittings would in theory allow water to flow in / out what ever way you wanted).

    Still not exactly what you're looking for, but barring a large awkward industrial style LDH manifold with 3 (or more) 5" discharges - I doubt you're going to get much closer "off the shelf".
    Put a cap on "C", Supply thru "A", fill from "B" and drain thru "D" and I think exactly what he is looking for.

    And an all around useful and appropriate appliance to have around.

  16. #16
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    Cool Tanker Fill Operations

    We use the cam-lock couplings on the fill lines on our tankers. We also eliminated the ball valve on the fill line by going to clapper valves. The fill site engine will either lay dual 3" fill lines, or if it is a longer lay, 5" to a manifold and the 3" lines from the manifold to the tanker.

    We went to the clapper valves for safety. The operator at the pump or the manifold will close the valve on the fill line, the clapper valve will allow the pressure to bleed off. We have seen injuries because the F/F at the tanker would forget and not wait for the pressure to bleed off the fill line when the ball valves were on the tanker.

    The time to drain LDH to disconnect from the tanker will negate any time saved while filling. Also, keep in mind that the tank manufacturers have started putting a limit on the fill rate or the pressure on the tank. Exceeding this number may void the warranty on your tank.

  17. #17
    MembersZone Subscriber N2DFire's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by neiowa View Post
    Put a cap on "C", Supply thru "A", fill from "B" and drain thru "D" and I think exactly what he is looking for.

    And an all around useful and appropriate appliance to have around.
    Yea - I thought about that too, except his wish for "filling two tankers simultaneously". Using a cap on the "C" port basically gives him the "modified ball valve" concept for one line (On-Off-Drain)

    Without getting a really large manifold such as what they use in industrial settings, the only other way to truly fill 2 tankers simultaneously (i.e. at the same time) would be to double the set-up you suggest and add in a LDH Wye.

    The next best option, and what I think he really meant, is to be able to hook up to one tanker while filling another. In that case the 4-Way valve is all you really "need".

    The problem becomes what happens when you have no tankers to fill? If you can shut down the supply pumper then you're all set, otherwise the gate valve becomes a necessity., maybe . . .

    While writing this, I was also doing a little more research and I found that Darly has an LDH Hydrant Valve that has a built in 3rd position for emergency shut-off. The only down side is that the "Inlet" (aka A Port) only comes in a threaded configuration which would (in Andy's case) most likely require an adapter.

    http://www.edarley.com/finditem/18072

    Andy

    If this solution looks like what you're after then you may want to contact Darly & see if they can substitute the Threaded Inlet for a Stortz coupling instead.
    Take Care - Stay Safe - God Bless
    Stephen
    FF/Paramedic
    Instructor

  18. #18
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    Yeah the valve that Darley has (I think it's actually a Harrington valve) might just do it. Being able to hook one up while filling another is probably all that's needed. Filling two at the same time doesn't gain much since you're dividing the flow between them and therefore it takes longer. Unless of course you have a 2000 GPM pump, which we don't. Good idea!

    Andy
    Last edited by Pelican631; 02-21-2008 at 11:47 AM.

  19. #19
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    Well maybe I spoke too soon. It looks like the Harrington valve operates a little differently than the Akron valve:

    http://www.harrinc.com/catalogdb/docs/inst_h700.html

    I'm a little fuzzy on the internal workings...the page says there's a clapper in there somewhere. I'm not sure this would work for the application we're talking about it, but I haven't sat down and tried to figure it out yet.

    Andy

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    My question is why would you want to fill two tankers at once? If the first tanker in is 3500 gallon and the second is 1500, then the second has to wait for the first to leave. At least where we are on the narrow country roads. We send a pumper at least 1250 or larger to the fill site and fill with 5" LDH. We fill one tanker at a time. All the tankers in the area have dual 4" pipe top fills with check valves. We have trained on this and from the time the tanker stops at the fill site, gets loaded and starts moving again is 3.5 minutes for our two 2000 gallon tankers and 5.5 minutes for our neighbors 4000 gallon tanker. We also use a 5" jumbo wye turned around bakwards to drain the fill line. Dumps alot of water fast.

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