We are a rural volunteer department, with 24 members. While shuttling water to the scene, the valves and dumps often freeze up during harsh Wisconsin winters. I was just wondering if anyone knows of anything, that's not too expensive since we are on a tight budget, that we can spray on or apply to our valves, dumps, doors to keep them from freezing up between filling and dumping? Any help is appreciated.


Casco Fire Dept

Casco, Wisconsin

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we put dawn dish detergent in all the tanks. it works for us. you can probably get a local grocery store or wal mart to order and donate some of the bigger jugs
I've heard of using dish detergent in water extinguishers to create a somewhat lightwater or foam affect, but never to keep valves and discharges from freezing. it sounds like a great idea! How much detergent do you use in regards to a 1,000 gallon booster tank?
to tell you the truth, i really dont know. one of the officers did it. i will have to check next time i see him. ( just make sure you empty it before fillin a swimmin pool in the summer) judging by my knowledge,that doesnt mean im right, maybe 3 gallons but i have no idea
Have you checked with your neighbors at all?...Luxemburg, Kewaunee, New Franken, Algoma, etc in what they do? Not that we run tanker shuttle ops too often in GB, but a pumper sitting idle or out doing inspections, training etc can face the same issues. We have a small spray bottle of antifreeze mix to spray on the discharge caps to prevent those from freezing and just use an all purpose spray lube for valves. Working the valves daily helps to ensure they will work when needed, for you guys, this may mean someone gets assigned some regular maintainence duties. For the most part though, a spray lube, even WD-40 (we use penetrating lube) and working the valve works fine.

I'm actually very wery of the dish soap in the tank bit though. Works fine for a piss can on the rig, but there may be issues with regular dish soap being used in a tanker shuttle, especially regarding use in a pumper. The issue is the manufacturer may recommend something else because the detergent may affect seals etc. I mean I know every engineer will flush their pump after any operation and all, but this would be something to check with the mfg on. Personally, I see the freezing issue as being something external on vlaves, dumps, etc where a spray lube and exercising the moving parts will go further than looking at the interior, where use of a detergent is mentioned.
I've never tried it on valves or dumps but I always apply some spray silicone to my truck doors before each winter to keep them from freezing. It really works great! I imagine it would work just fine on any metal surfaces. You can pick it up at any Menards for a couple bucks a can
but make sure you pump some water after puttin in the detergent so you get it through the pump
Incorrigible. (I don't know - the word just popped into my head.)
YIKES! I suggest you follow Kali's and John's advice. Thats about as crazy putting laundry soap into the fuel to get cleaner emitions emmissions?? oops sorry if its spelled wrong!
Thanks for the good info. I will pass this along to my chief. As for the other depts in the area, they are all having the same issue. Just to clarify: In order to fill the tanks, the "dogs" on the quick coupler are freezing, not allowing us to connect the hoses. And we need to open a door every time we dump our truck, which freezes shut after the first dump. It is not the water in the tank or the pump thats freezing. Thanks again.
See what I mean, Ralph? They're ALL like that.
Over here in freezing conditions we use Ethylene or Propylene glycol sprayed in valves and vents on pumps.
"Morrigan"? Sounds Irish. They got Goddesses, too? I bet Maureen O'Hara is hotter. Well, WAS hotter.

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