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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you know kali. he asked for advice and i gave it too him. i talked to the officer who did it and we have never had problems with it. no i havent been around the fire house that long but thats why i ASKED. you aint got to follow it but maybe it will work for him
Josh, you're 15, you are in NO position to be giving advice about anything (other than maybe pimple creams), certainly NOT technical advice about something you know absolutely nothing about (asking a grown-up doesn't count). On top of which you respond back in what can only be described as a snarky, snot-nosed attitude. Let's hope KGoD is in a benevolent mood.
Where's over here? Just wondering how cold it gets by you.
No, do not use penetrating fluid, what you can use is a silicon based lube, like wd-40, stay away from top quality penetrating fluid, which has a tendency to eat rubber.
When the temp gets below freezing we spray down every discharge, intake, and nozzle with antifreeze. We do this every nite right before we eat dinner. When there is precipitation (snow, Ice, freezing rain) we cover the intakes, and exposed nozzles with plastic baggies (typically trash bags). This keeps the snow and ice from freezing directly to the intake, or discharge, and also assits in keeping the road salt or sand dropped from the plows out of the moving parts. We also maintain a spray bottle of antifreeze on the rig in case something does freeze up. This really helps breaking down from the incident.

Something we also do for our pump which may or may not be kinda odd. We do not run our pump dry when its gets cold. Instead we engage the pump and circulate the water on every run while we are sitting still. The water moving and the collateral heat from the pump will more than keep the water from freezing. No matter what kind or technology of pump you have there is no way to ensure that you have gotten all the water out of it. A little bit of water is worse than a whole lot.

When the snow goes away we will detail the rig and do a complete overhaul of all the moving parts with penetrating lub.
If it's below freezing we turn on the pump before we leave the station (if you have engines/tenders that have dual pump & drive capabilities), so that helps keep them warm. And there is a "pump heater" switch which helps... but in the colder nights in Montana... it doesn't help much. We've started pushing in the "Tank-Fill-&-Recirculation" (I think that's the one... don't quote me on it) lever part way, therefore restricting the valve opening which causes friction and heat. We use it to keep our pump (and therefore the valves, etc. on the pump) from freezing in the 0° type cold.

Also, we put antifreeze in the preconnected lines on our bumper hose bed (essentially the only lines we use).
im 16 and i responded in my opinion.im sorry, i thought thats what these are for. but i guesse every department is different.
not tryin to be smart, but we dont have those problems. just sayin
A spray lube should still help with the freezing factor, but the other option may be using more of a grease (something like a white grease or similar) to the door and dogs, which should last a cold freeze.

Otherwise think spring.....last few days have been pretty nice.
The issue is that such a detergent can and has caused problems in the past, even if you haven't experienced anything, yet. That is why it is important to check with a mfg etc before just arbitrarily doing something like that.

The other issue is that a detergent in the tank doesn't do anything for the outside operations of valves, dumps, etc. The amount of water compared to detergent will still freeze.

What you are referring to is for a pumper and keeping the pump from freezing up. The issue is is regarding water shuttle operations and issues with valves and dumps freezing up on a tanker.
Where are the valves in question? We use the same method for the Water Tenders that we use for shuttling water (we don't have many hydrants available in our district)... keep the "Tank-Recirc" valve only partially opened to create heat which both keeps the pump warmer and heats up the water and keeps anything the water comes in contact with from freezing up as much. As far as I understand at least...

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