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Extreme Cold Ops?

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  • FWDbuff
    replied
    TC He would be the first person to tell you that I would get a hard-on at the opportunity to be able to pump one........We both have an old friend who is a retired Philadelphia Lieutenant and a well-known buff, that likes to tell people that I was born 73 years too late...........

    Not to mention the fact, that the very 1958 FWD that he rode on when he was 17 years old now sits out in my garage.......put aside the fact that the clutch is worn out, I could jump in it now and out-pump any modern day diesel powered electronic multi-plexed EPA fuel regulation meeting 1000GPM pumper anywhere, anytime anyplace........if only I had more than 4.5 steamers, I could do more than 1000 at draft.............But put me on a hydrant?? The sky's the limit......And the end of the throttle!

    I have a DEEP appreciation of the old days......I would have LOVED to have been a Philadelphia Firefighter from about 1900-1920 or so, enough to have been able to hitch up horses AND cuss that modern gasoline en-jine powered mechanical nightmare.......LOL

    But still......I have to give him a hard time......

    Leave a comment:


  • Rescue101
    replied
    Hehe FWD,be careful how you shake that bush.If we don't start paying attention to how many of those dead dinosaurs we pump out of the ground you just might get to experience that barley powered,coal burning water transfer device again.They WILL burn various fuels,wood,coal,dried corn,dried cow flaps etc.Or worse yet,tormentor rails and manpower.Very few good old Engineers left.Cherish the ones you have and absorb their wisdom. T.C.

    Leave a comment:


  • firefighter1962
    replied
    Listen to Mikey, he knows what he's talking about. Dry pumps and antifreeze. Here in oil country we're very familiar with keeping things from freezing up, 24 hours a day and 7 days a week, where it can get to -40 for weeks.

    Stay Safe

    Leave a comment:


  • FWDbuff
    replied
    T.C., dont let the old man fool you- when he was in high school there was no such thing as a "gas station." When he was in high school, pumpers had solid tires and you shoveled coal into them. And the propulsion fuel was barley and hay.

    Leave a comment:


  • shfd739
    replied
    You folks that do this stuff in cold weather have my respect.Ive wondered what yall do to keep things from freezing up when it is cold out.Our cold weather ops consist of a warm jacket as we might see 32 degrees only a dozen times a year.

    Leave a comment:


  • chiefengineer11
    replied
    I got a can of Alemite wheel bearing grease, too. Works wonders on sealing piston relief valves.

    Leave a comment:


  • Rescue101
    replied
    Zerone? I vaguely remember the stuff.Dad's probably still got a case or two of it around.Along with the good old Texaco water pump grease,the good stuff.What we use comes in a 55 gal drum,if memory serves correctly it's methyl alcohol. Our next door nighbor uses the RV stuff with good results.John bean? We've got two guns on our forestry,our neighbors to the east just retired one they repowered with a Chev 350.Ya want some foam with that?We had a good "worker"in Naples the other night with enough "pump bite"to go around.'specially since the H2O had to be imported from the lake.2F with a thirty mph wind so stuff sets up pretty quick.Delayed alarm so things were pretty warm when the first Engine arrived.Can you say "LIT UP"? T.C.
    Last edited by Rescue101; 01-24-2007, 10:15 AM.

    Leave a comment:


  • chiefengineer11
    replied
    Originally posted by Rescue101 View Post
    CE11,Did I hear my gong ringing?Here,we antifreeze our pumps with Alcohol. T.C.
    Bong, bong, bong, bong, bong. Not General Quarters, either.

    You mean like Zerone? I haven't seen that stuff since I sold it at the Mobil station I worked at while I was still in high school. For you guys at the North Pole, I can see doing something like that. Shouldn't bother mechanical seals. The good folks in South St. Paul, Minn. probably saw to that. It's really rare for our temps to get low enough for us to have to go that route. But for the last week or so, I've really been racking up miles on the odometer while sitting still.

    Any John Beans still around?

    Stay safe out there, everyone goes home!

    Leave a comment:


  • Rescue101
    replied
    CE11,Did I hear my gong ringing?Here,we antifreeze our pumps with Alcohol.Yah,yah I know, you naysayers are going to tell me how it dries out the pump seals.As CE11 alludes if you have a leaking tank valve,it will mix with the alky.In any event,we've been doing this since before my time here(and I've been here since '68)and I haven't seen any dire effects on the pumps.With the exception of a couple Darleys,we run exclusively Hale pumps and I haven't had a pump that wouldn't on arrival(flow water/frozen that is).I would suspect the new non toxic RV antifreeze would work even better.Like the others mentioned,a belly pan and pumphouse heater are both good ideas if you regularly make long runs or regular forays in cold weather. T.C.

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  • gunnyv
    replied
    Having experience with structural engines and military ARFF trucks, I've found it near impossible to keep every valve dry. Better to keep a wet pump and put it in gear on scene.

    With the ARFF trucks, we discussed storing them outside, and I vetoed it. We also discussed using RV antifreeze, but we couldn't find a reference allowing it, nor did we believe we could get it in every low spot in the piping. I knew the mechs would move them out anyway when we weren't around (reserve unit), so we drained them the best we could. However, there was still enough residual water and condensation to freeze up. Naturally, when we were mobilized, we found all 3 ARFF trucks outside (needed bay space for gear mount out), discharges frozen throughout, and cracked relief valves and windshield coolant valves. The worst one had 4 broken valves and 200 gals of frozen water in the tank-I assume the mechs used it to clean the apron between drills and didn't drain it. All 3 rigs were out of service for months awaiting parts, and it resulted in us being unable to perform a mission.

    I realize that is not exactly a common occurrence (no duty crew and trucks parked outdoors), but it does demonstrate the worst case scenario.

    Leave a comment:


  • firetdriver99
    replied
    you can also try a pump heat enclosure it is pretty much a metal box built around the bottom of the pump and the exhaust we have them they seem to work well, they also do pretty good at keeping dirt and rocks from flying up and hitting the pump casing

    Leave a comment:


  • Maverick21
    replied
    Many thanks for the great replies.
    First I'm certain the tank to pump valve leaks. When I'm on shift I'll pull it 6x's a day and always get water out. (Our mechanic know about this) We probably lose about 2-4 gallons. 2nd, I completely agree that there will be water in the pump regardless of a leak or not, and I agree this water will be frozen.

    If we left the pump drain open en route to a call it would freeze open. Engaging the pump and letting water flow through would un freeze it but we'ld be losing precious water.

    Agree that a wet pump will freeze slower that one we think is dry but isn't.

    Next, we do have a large tender that will pump and roll. That pump is engaged when it rolls so water won't freeze. Our Engine(Pierce) doesn't op. that way.

    Next, we roll a lot of calls on extreme cold days/nights when the pump isn't engaged. We can have long response times, up to 15-20 minutes at a worst case scenario. We can be on scene, not in pump(not SOP to engage pump for everything the Engine rolls on), for long periods of time. Certainly long enough for the entire pump to reach freezing temps, IMHO.
    One concern and reason for rolling w/ dry pump is that the discharge/speedlay valve won't freeze, but they do anyway! The Dry Pump SOP is rationalize b/c in theory the tank to pump valve won't freeze closed b/c warm tank water is behind it. Then tank water will warm pump and thaw frozen valves and all will be good to go. My primary issue is that we think the pump is dry but it isn't so why not just keep it wet?
    thanks again,
    Any more thoughts/suggestions greatly appreciated.
    M21

    Leave a comment:


  • RspctFrmCalgary
    replied
    While you're waiting for replies here, you might want to check out some of these older threads for info.

    http://forums.firehouse.com/showthre...ter+operations

    http://forums.firehouse.com/showthre...ter+operations

    http://forums.firehouse.com/showthre...ld+weather+ops

    http://forums.firehouse.com/showthre...ld+weather+ops

    http://forums.firehouse.com/showthread.php?t=85842 (this one is fairly recent - last post was in December)

    STAY WARM, STAY SAFE!

    Leave a comment:


  • firemanmikey
    replied
    My deptartment keeps pumps dry until we're going to use them. We keep the master drains open, just incase the tank suction valve is slightly leaking. We've had it before where the master was close and the valve was leaking. Drove a ways out of town and the drain and what ever else froze solid. We also let nozzles trickle. We make sure the tank supply gets cirulated as well. We carry RV anti freeze in spray bottles on the trucks too. We spray couplings and caps before putting them back together/on. It seems to help a bit. Are you looking for an SOG? I can send you ours if you like. It's pretty much everingthing i just said, but more formal. Hope this has helped.

    Mike

    Leave a comment:


  • Tiredoldman
    replied
    On the volunteer department I was on, all of our apparatus had a recirculation pump or a separate engine driven pump. Example - our rural trucks were brush/quick attack style that had small pumps driven by a gas engine. We would start these engines and open a recirculating valve OR stick a booster reel into the tank fill. Same with the tankers. We never did have any pumps freeze, and we had long response times in the district (10-20 minutes). Taking brush trucks to structure fires is another story for later

    We also had a 1,000 GPM pumper that had a separate engine driven pump. We would start the enigne like previously mentioned, but open the tank to pump valve and the tank fill. This would circulate water, and the heat from the engine kept the pump compartment warm. Smeal was a primary maker of this style of apparatus

    The military base I worked at did wet pumps on structural apparatus for the reasons mentioned in previous posts. Brush apparatus had recirculation valves and small engine driven pumps. There was one apparatus we had callled an Amertek that had a pump / water heater. It didn't work most of the time, but when it did, it was great.

    Now, the civilian department I am currently on is mixed. I've seen them "dry" pumps on city engines, but after 30 minutes, there's water dripping out again because the valves leak. If I'm driving, I wet the pump, spray some 50/50 antifreeze mix on valves and caps, and recirculate on scene. The problem here is rural trucks. They do not have recirculating pumps, and they try to "dry" them but there is ALWAYS residual water in there. We have had these trucks freeze tight on long responses, and have resorted to using brush trucks that had the small engines with recirculating pumps. Just yesterday, I saw two firefighters "drying" a pump on a county truck we have. There is no way to recirculate water even though this is a separate engine driven brush truck. Later that afternoon, I opened some caps and small amounts of water spilled out, the valves were still wet, and water dripped out of he pump drain. With temps in the single digits, I'm sure this would have frozen solid if we had to respond to a rural fire.

    I am all for the wet pump and anti-freeze treatment. I keep a bottle of 50/50antifreeze mix in a compartment when I'm driving. I do not believe the wet pump would work for the rural trucks with the response times we have, but I believe trying to dry the pumps would still result in a frozen pump. I am at a loss as to what to do with the rural apparatus. Perhaps if we did better PMCS, the dry pump concept would work.

    I seem to recall, that McMurdo Station in Antarctica runs wet pumps. Now that's cold, but they probably have short response times also.

    Leave a comment:

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