I wanted to start a discussion on pump operations, and maybe get some of the more experienced MPO's to chime in with tricks of the trade.

I have had Pump Operations training but am not very skilled or experienced on the pumps as I am usually the one with the nozzle in my hands.  I am Captain, and want to be able to refresh my knowledge of the skill and maybe learn something new as well.  I was trained on the older style pumps with actuall mechanical pump parts and valves, with none of the electrical components you see dominating the field today.

One of the things I forgot how to set was the relief valves?  Anyone want to walk through that?


How about pressures and volume; moving water through LDH.  We have a 2 1/2" discharge on our pumper with a 5" adaptor so we can pump through 5" hose, does this still produce the required volume?  I was instructed to increase PSI through this hose to achieve the desired results but I am getting arguments from other officers that this simply will not work.  Advice or input?

How about the hydrant assist valves?  How exactly does that work as I have never experienced using one before?  I see that they are used for hydrants with poor flows, but how exactly does it work?


Any other discussion about this topic is welcome and I hope we generate a good discussion about Pump Ops.  Stay safe all.

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Here is my dealings ( a bad one ) with electronic pumps.  I had learned on the old Mack's. Those things would pump their guts out, the old gate & feather kind of engineering.  We got a new Pierce...had it for about two weeks and it was having problems engaging into pump.  We caught a good hit with fire blowing out the second floor on arrival.  Against my advice the crew went in with a dry 2 1/2 in line to the second floor.  As usual i engage the pump switch, put it in gear.  All my indicator lights are on both in the cab and on the panel that tell me I am in pump.  So I pull the valve open and begin to throttle up...no water...primed the hell out of the pump...still no water.  Take it out of pump and back into pump again.  This sequence went on about 5 or 6 times.  Still no water, but the lights said the dam thing was in pump.  Finally used the manual override and got water going. 

The lesson I learned is: With all the new electronics and computers, you need to learn your equipment inside and out.  After that I learned to listen to the pump ( you can hear when it engages and the change in the humm of the engine ).  With a good ear you can diagnose a problem and find a quick solution when something like that goes wrong but the computers and indicators are telling you that everything is all right.  Fall back on the basics and you cant go wrong.  To this day I still hate the electronic pump switches, but theyre all standard now.

John, not necessarily so anymore for Master stream fogs.  Some operate at 75 and some at 80 psi.  All of our new master stream fog nozzles at work are 80 psi.  The nozzle that came with our elkhart RAM isa 75 psi nozzle.

handline smothbore 50 fog noz. 100 but check your fog noz some are lower like 75. master stream smothbore 80 psi. fog noz 100 + fric. loss for the hose feeding a mass. or por. mont. with 4" line fric. loss is 1000 gpm 20 psi per. 100 ft  750 gpm 12 per 100 ft.feeding these with 3" or duel 3" you take the gal. per min,times it self    500gpm.  5 x 5 =25 25 psi fric loss per 100 ft. 300gpm 3x3 = 9 9 psi fric loss per100 ft

pumping large amounts of water your in vol. 5" ldh will flow 2000 gpm with a fric loss of 20 psi per 100 ft 1000 gpm fric of 5 psi per 100 ft..   also your pump running at 150 psi your pumping at 100 % capacity 200 psi your down to 70 % cap.  250 psi your at 50 % cap.

Charles, as I stated above, you can pump 1,000 GPM at 60 PSI through 800 feet of 5-inch with a PDP of only 86 PSI, using a single 2-1/2" discharge.  That won't get you anywhere near the pump capacity, especially if you have a 1,500 GPM pumper.


If you're pumping through more than 800 feet of 5-inch, it's a good idea to relay pump.

That's not necessarily the case any more - how to troubleshoot electronically-controlled pumps relies more on electronic warning indicators.


Example: We have a new fleet of Crimson/Spartan apparatus.  (8 engines for a little over 3 years and 2 quints for a year and a half).  These engines have the new "green" exhaust system that requires intermittent regeneration of the exhaust filters.  It requires a sustained elevation of RPMs to trigger the regen, which normally means either a sustained run over the road, or a sustained episode of pumping.  Unlike the same motor in an over-the-road truck, the short response times for fire apparatus typically mean that the regen starts during pumping.


When our rigs were new, a few of our drivers would notice the regen started while pumping and would take the rig out of service.  Fortunately this happened during training, not during fires.  Despite the fact that the drivers had been trained to look for the electronic indicators, they were not always doing so.


Now that the rigs have been here for a while, when this happens, the drivers simply open the driver's door, look at the regen indicator, and if it's on, they simply hit the manual override and stop the regen.


Once pumping is complete, they simply call the shop who comes out and forces a manual regen. 


Another example is that with the pump gear issue you discussed, just taking the pump in and out of gear won't fix the problem if the problem is gears that are meshed on the end of the teeth.  Instead of just taking the pump out of gear, take it out of gear, bump the transmission in and out of reverse, put the transmission back in drive, then re-engage pump gear.  That gets the tension off of the gear teeth and allows the gears to mesh correctly when you re-engage the pump.

This is why I love being on a Truck!

Then stop buying that crap...it messes up my comments, damn you. :-)


I apologize, PROFUSELY IN FACT, for being more aware of the cutting edge technology of nozzles in the fire service than you.

Do you feel better now?  I know I do!!

Take care Brother.

Oh boy, I was waiting for the truckies to chime in!!!

Would you like to talk about truck work too, make you guys feel wanted? LOL

How about forcible entry...Oh, wait, the engine guys usually do that while stretching in with the initial attack line, sorry!!!! lol

Stay Safe Truckies, just follow us in and you will be fine!! lol

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