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  • Hose Maintenance

    Looking for some input on how often other departments conduct hose maintenance on their fire hose. It is recommended that the hose be "exercised" (un-loaded from hosebed etc) every 30 days or so, and water run through them about every 90 days. We do not do that. Is it SOP in your department? What are some other guidelines your department has in place as far as care of your hose? Any other tips/ recommendations are much appreciated. Thanks in advance.

  • #2
    That's a pretty ambitious schedule for most volunteer departments. I don't know of any departments that "exercise" their hose every 30 days. At most, if we unload at a working fire 1-6 times per year (and that would not be every apparatus), that would be it. Hoses are hydrostatically tested annually (I think) by a professional company.

    But after thinking about it some more, if it was done at least once every 90 days, it would give drivers some good drill experience on laying in and/or reverse laying. The guys would be crying up a storm with packing all of that hose though.

    Where did this recommendation for 30 days come from? Manufacturer?

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    • #3
      Fires notwithstanding, our hose comes off once a year for testing. Tell folks we're gonna pull and relay 1000' of five inch and you'll be standing there all by yourself - everybody will hear their "honey-do" list calling.

      Back in the day, it was necessary to work with the rubber lined hose, but today's synthetics are much more tolerant.
      Opinions my own. Standard disclaimers apply.

      Everyone goes home. Safety begins with you.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by BigNozzlePumper View Post
        Looking for some input on how often other departments conduct hose maintenance on their fire hose. It is recommended that the hose be "exercised" (un-loaded from hosebed etc) every 30 days or so, and water run through them about every 90 days. We do not do that. Is it SOP in your department? What are some other guidelines your department has in place as far as care of your hose? Any other tips/ recommendations are much appreciated. Thanks in advance.
        In my practical experience, this sort of schedule would be overkill.

        We dropped the LDH at least twice a year for testing and an LDH drill. When you consider that we have almost 4000' of it spread out over our fleet, you realize the scope of the task....

        As for the cotton hose, that was a bit more frequent, but nowhere near that sort of schedule.

        Is that an NFPA recommendation?
        I am now a past chief and the views, opinions, and comments are mine and mine alone. I do not speak for any department or in any official capacity. Although, they would be smart to listen to me.

        "The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it's still on the list."

        "When tempted to fight fire with fire, remember that the Fire Department usually uses water."

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by BigNozzlePumper View Post
          It is recommended that the hose be "exercised" (un-loaded from hosebed etc) every 30 days or so, and water run through them about every 90 days.
          Says who????
          "Loyalty Above all Else. Except Honor."

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by BigNozzlePumper View Post
            Looking for some input on how often other departments conduct hose maintenance on their fire hose. It is recommended that the hose be "exercised" (un-loaded from hosebed etc) every 30 days or so, and water run through them about every 90 days. We do not do that. Is it SOP in your department? What are some other guidelines your department has in place as far as care of your hose? Any other tips/ recommendations are much appreciated. Thanks in advance.
            Back 30 years ago when we used cotton jackets and live rubber liners. You seriously need a new set of red books. With synthetic rubber liners and outer jackets routine inspections after use, repair, and at the annual hose test is good enough in most cases.

            Comment


            • #7
              Just for reference, in IFSTA #103 "Fire Hose Practices" 6th edition 1974; Page 16

              MILDEW AND MOLD

              Mildew and mold may occur on the woven jacket when moisture is allowed to remain on the outer surface. This condition will cause rot or decay and the consequent deterioration of the hose. Some methods of preventing mildew and mold are as follows:

              Remove all wet hose from the apparatus after a fire and replace it with dry hose.

              If hose has not been removed from the apparatus during a period of thirty days, it should be removed , inspected, swept, and reloaded.

              Some fire hose has been chemically treated to resist mildew and mold but such treatment is not always 100 precent effective. Regardless of this, hose should be exercised every thirty days, and water should be run thought it every ninety days to prevent drying and cracking of the rubber lining.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Acklan View Post
                Just for reference, in IFSTA #103 "Fire Hose Practices" 6th edition 1974; Page 16
                He nailed it on the head right there. I was reading it and thinking, "NO WAY. There can't be anyone that does this." I've been on 3 different Volly houses, and we never did this. Good to hear nobody else does it either. Sounds like everyone else is about on the same page as our house: Pull it for a fire, test it anually, and leave it alone.

                Understood that is rubber-lined specific then?
                Last edited by BigNozzlePumper; 11-02-2010, 02:19 AM.

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                • #9
                  We use to keep 5 changes of 2.5" in the station. We handled hose every day at work till about 1988 when, the then new, Chief of Operations agree it was pointless and costly. We started replacing our 2.5" supply with 5" and have not looked back. We still have 800' of 2.5' on the truck but we just wash and reload.

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                  • #10
                    Roger that. We keep both sizes on our truck as well. I think we still have less 5 inch than we do 2.5 inch, but I believe that falls under a funding problem. And like I said, we surely do not do any kind of hose maint. that is "recommended".

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                    • #11
                      We aren't even running 2.5" - we use 3" instead.

                      We do keep a full round of 1.75" rolled at the station so we can repack the preconnects with clean, dry hose and clean up the dirty stuff at our leisure (which is to say right away, but then we can let it dry and roll it).

                      The 3" generally only gets replaced from the standby stock if there's a reason, like it's filthy.

                      Back in the late 70's we replaced our "bridge" (supply) truck, including most of the hose. Some of the cotton jacket stuff off the old truck would stand up in a corner by itself.
                      Opinions my own. Standard disclaimers apply.

                      Everyone goes home. Safety begins with you.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by tree68 View Post
                        Back in the late 70's we replaced our "bridge" (supply) truck, including most of the hose. Some of the cotton jacket stuff off the old truck would stand up in a corner by itself.
                        Yep. You could tell when the hose was racked back wet. When you came back off your 4 days and the engine room smelled like a wet goat.

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                        • #13
                          Proably the most important thing in my opinion is to try and change the locations of the folds in the bed. We started making a hash mark (with a sharpy) in the bed when we reload after testing.
                          ?

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                          • #14
                            Yeah I have seen that. It's been sitting in the hose bed long enough it has the creases seem like they are permanent. I actaully saw a guy that was re-loading the hose and was trying to make the folds in the creases (he was new and didn't know any better). I kind of like the sharpie idea. I believe that's where most of your wear is going to be: right there at the crease. Good suggestion.

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                            • #15
                              Just for reference, in IFSTA #103 "Fire Hose Practices" 6th edition 1974; Page 16

                              The standard you are using is from a book written 36 years ago. the hose in question back then was a completely different product. If you check with the manufacturers specs on the hose you are using today you will not see these recommendations. We have some 30 yo 3 inch in the back of the station with brass couplings that you can hardly unroll it's so stiff. Makes great dock bumpers though.

                              Comment

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