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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In Finland http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Finland

I live in southern parts of Finland, so it´s only -26°C. At northern parts, this winter record low temp is -43,1°C
Thank you very much for the insight and it makes perfect sense. I know that as far as detergent in the the water cans, I can attest to that. It increases the water's surface area and cooling properties but as far as detergent into the booster tanks of the apparatus, I think that I'll leave this to the Engine Officers to decide and I'll stick to the Truck where I belong. Thank you again for the insight!
Agree with Ted, that would be my guess as well, the issue is not the water inside the tank, but the exterior valves and doors.
I live in southern parts of Finland, so it´s only -26°C. At northern parts, this winter record low temp is -43,1°C

And in Fahrenheit terms, that equals freaking cold.
Finn Volunteer, do the people who supply your apparatus take into account the hellish cold and add features or modify parts to help deal with that? Branching from that, what about you Mr. Charles? Did your department anticipate this problem before getting the tanker(s) that you're having problems with? I don't have any ideas for you, because we only run 5 tankers in the county, and the weather here, besides the freak snowpocolypse that happened this winter, are generally pretty mild, I'm just curious.
I can't speak for the OP's dept, but there are numerous fire apparatus manufacturers in the state of WI where the conditions are well known. The issue can be from a refurbish or just an older apparatus and plain wear and tear. The issue comes, from what I gather here, is residual water after a fill or dump freezing to the exterior components, thus making it difficult to fill/ dump the next time.
Hey Guys, I know you all have a more harsh winters up there in the Badger State than we do here in N.W. Ohio, but we still get down below 0 many times in a winter!! We have had Fires in the 35 yrs. that I've been on the dept. that was Way below Freekin' ZERO!!! Never had the tank valves freeze but we have taken some old turn out coats and wrapped them around the valve to help protect them from the cold going down the road!! One way on Christmas Morning, house fire, and it was -22 below that morning!!! Its was a Cold B....ch that morning!!! The only other thing that I can offer is after you dump your tank and you can do this on a meeting night is to go get some White Lithium Grease in a spray can.Open your valves up ,spray this on your ball valves and work it in REAL Good!!!! The grease is non petroleum bases and will stick around in the valve and not get washed out.I f you have a valve hangin' up, this will also make it work more free!!!
This is an idea for ya'll to try!! Hope it works for you!! Winter is about over!! I HOPE We've had a long winter down here also!!! I am , besides a Fireman, Transportation for our local school system. Also Mech and what ever hat they want to through at me!!!!! We Are a rural Dept. like you are up there, and Yes we Pinch a Buck till it bleeds ,also!!!!!
You guys take care up there,Stay Safe and think before you go into any place that might put you in Harms Way!!!!

We All Love the BrotherHood!!!!
Gale Jordan, Capt. Antwerp Vol. Fire Dept.
Adding anything to the tank is out of the question since when we shuttle water, we will haul multilple loads. Our dump valve, which I don't know what kind it is, does not freeze up, but the door that we have to open to access the dump does freeze after the first dump when the door gets closed to travel to and from the fill site. Also the dogs on the quick connects freeze which will not allow us to connect our hoses to fill.
EXACTLY!!!! I couldn't have said it better! Thank You!!!!!
I like your idea of thinking spring, but that still don't help for the following years, lol. Which fire house are you at? We work ALOT with station #2. Without saying our company name (starts with a p and ends with a g) cause I don't want to start another topic of discussion, I've been on the company ERT for 15 years now. I know alot of the guys down there by face, but few by name.
Right now I'm at 5's so we don't really go to the "company" too often, but we tend to shift around from station to station. I was also at 1's for a year and spent a lot of time that year on the roof of your neighbor. You guys do a good job with the ERT, not too often the FD has to stay around there for a fire. If the tones drop for your place, we figure we will be back in service soon enough.
Okay, so its not like the manufacturers could have really done much about it. Thanks for the concise answer.

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