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Steamer Cap Stuck! Help!

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  • Fireeaterbob
    started a topic Steamer Cap Stuck! Help!

    Steamer Cap Stuck! Help!

    This is the second of these pesky boogers I have run into in the last couple of years; The steamer cap that will not budge! Last night at a working structure, I bent a hydrant wrench on the steamer cap. I have used a cheater bar on a 24' adjustable hydrant wrench in the past to break a cap loose. THIS TIME, the bends. We have a truckie pry bar with the hydrant hex cut into the side of the bar. Super strong bar, but if the hydrant has any paint on the plug nut then the dang thing wont fit on it. Anyone run in to this? I'm leaning towards putting a 48'' pipe wrench on the engine for a possible solution.

  • jonroy
    replied
    everyone have to nice suggestion
    any person have an idea about good steamer which use to clean our things
    if you so please tell me about this

    Leave a comment:


  • Rescue101
    replied
    ONCE you get it off,try a little Neverseize. They won't stick then. T.C.

    Leave a comment:


  • TAFD00367
    replied
    Originally posted by Golzy12 View Post
    When you hit the sides of the cap do you hit to break them off, or just hit them to loosen the cap?
    Sorry for the late reply... We've done both before. First try to loosen it by striking while applying pressure with hydrant wrench and cheater bar, if it doesn't move then break them off. This year the water dept. gave us a tube of food grade lube to use on the caps. Also have found on new hydrant installs that the caps were so tight the rubber gasket had swelled causing the cap to stick not rust.

    Leave a comment:


  • Fireeaterbob
    replied
    We have a small percent of hydranted areas. We do a lot of drafting and a little (other than tanker fill) hydrant work. I have a tough time teaching pond mokeys to use a hydrant because thier first instinct is to drop a pond.

    Leave a comment:


  • THTMAN
    replied
    Even if you cannot schedule guys to go out and check them, check the nearest 1 or 2 hydrants to the incident on every response. If you are mostly a hydranted area I would hope that at least one engine stands by at a hydrant for a reported structure fire or automatic alarm.

    Leave a comment:


  • Fireeaterbob
    replied
    Thank you for the responses.

    Scouting hydrants is a bit dicey here because the city controls the water system. The water department is exceptional at opening, testing, and lubricating 2 1/2 ears on the hydrant system. FFs from the city fire department haven't reported this problem with steamer caps.
    However, on the outskirts where we operate, well, it has happened a couple of times on fires and a couple of times during training. Unless it is emergency ops the water department tries to nail our tails to the floor for opening a hydrant. They just don't communicate as well with us as they do the city department. (opps, did I say that?)

    If I can organize it, we will go on a stuck hydrant cap hunt and bust some caps loose. I just can't flow the steamer to test it. I have to take care and not destroy the caps (again, hell to pay unless it is under emergency ops).

    Leave a comment:


  • zzyyzx
    replied
    We used this to free a cap on a 2.5" outlet the other day that had become stuck. Don't see why it couldn't work with LDH connections also. We took our air chisel, put the dullest blade on it possible, and then used it to make the initial break. Depending on your hydrant wrench, you might need to fabricate something to act as a cheater bar and give you a place to strike with the air chisel. Not ideal, but the cap's already stuck so you can't really make it any worse.

    Since you all just started using the steamer port, I'd go around to as many as you can before winter and perform maintenance on them. At the minimum, at least break the seal and lube the threads. Labor intensive, but should be done.

    Leave a comment:


  • THTMAN
    replied
    Cheater Bar & strike the cap w/maul or flat headed axe like the others have recommended. Does not hurt to also double check to make sure the hydrant is "off" (yes off). A couple of times I have found that the hydrant was "on" and it caused a lot of pressure within the hydrant and made it difficult to remove the cap. Very rare occurence, but it has happened.

    Leave a comment:


  • dmleblanc
    replied
    Originally posted by Golzy12 View Post
    When you hit the sides of the cap do you hit to break them off, or just hit them to loosen the cap?

    In our case anyway, just hammer on the cap while applying pressure with a very long pipe wrench or a normal pipe wrench with a 3-4 ft. cheater pipe. It will eventually come loose. We have not had one yet that could not be removed with this method (although there were quite a few where we had our doubts )

    Leave a comment:


  • Golzy12
    replied
    Originally posted by TAFD00367 View Post
    We've them found stuck during hydrant testing, just use the sledge to hit around the sides of the cap. So far all have came right off and haven't damage threads ... Just watch using the sledge on older hydrant as we still come across some with leaded in nozzles.
    When you hit the sides of the cap do you hit to break them off, or just hit them to loosen the cap?

    Leave a comment:


  • RangerJake72
    replied
    done the above with a cheater pipe on a hydrant wrench while tapping all around the cap with a small sledge, finally the cap cracked in half, was a on a private high pressure system that never got maintained....

    if you (the fire department) are responsible for the hydrants, i would definitely suggest trying them all and once opened putting a good coat of anti-seize on the threads

    Leave a comment:


  • TAFD00367
    replied
    Originally posted by Golzy12 View Post
    I've heard of breaking the cap off with a sledge, although I'm not sure how to break the cap off without damaging the threads. Maybe if you hit the cap on the nut it would cause the cap to crack enough to remove it from the threads.
    We've them found stuck during hydrant testing, just use the sledge to hit around the sides of the cap. So far all have came right off and haven't damage threads ... Just watch using the sledge on older hydrant as we still come across some with leaded in nozzles.

    Leave a comment:


  • Golzy12
    replied
    I've heard of breaking the cap off with a sledge, although I'm not sure how to break the cap off without damaging the threads. Maybe if you hit the cap on the nut it would cause the cap to crack enough to remove it from the threads.

    Leave a comment:


  • ffp20
    replied
    try two ball peen hammers, one in each hand. hit the cap with the hammers at the same time, one on each side.

    or, just try one of the other caps and use an adapter to get the hose on. you would have a bit less flow due to the diameter restriction, but its better than nothing and certainly better than a busted hydrant.

    Leave a comment:

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