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High Pressue

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  • High Pressue

    To you and me, it's obvious. The use of High Pressure booster lines for interior attack is just a bad practice. However..some of the old timers on another department i am on ( we all know how fun these people are) insist that since high pressure was good back in the 30's....it's still good today. My question in this. Do you know of any good websites or articles i can find raw facts regarding this to make a powerpoint, or the like, presentation for the old timers. Thanks for all your help =)

    [This message has been edited by YFRMdc51 (edited 03-29-2001).]

  • #2
    The essentials manual should cover it to some degree. About the only thing I can think of, good about high pressure booster lines for structural firefighting qould be the use of its fog, in a confirmed unoccupied, well involved structure, being attacked exteriorly, but how often does that happen? I would look into the properties of water (expansion of molecules when heated/surface area/heat absorbtion/retention), check out pressure/GPM charts most departments have (nozzle diameter/stream-hose diameter/type-length/friction loss-pressure/GPMs-- All ratio). It's all about GPM's, and not pressure always. GPM's v. BTU's is a great arguement to use, pressure doesn't play much of a role in that, other than getting the water to the seat of the fire. Hope that helps some.


    • #3
      Grandpa had the right idea. Small hose and high pressure. There is not reason it wouldn't work fine today. Simply use a modern nozzle and modern hose and you can blow well in excess of 100 gpm through a 1 inch hose. If you want 150 you can do that too.


      • #4
        Heh, I have quite a funny joke, from a once assistant Chief of a local department, who pokes fun at the use of 1" booster lines. I'll go find it and get a copy on here, You'll like it . BTW, he is from the 'old school' of firefighting, and doesn't like booster hose anymore.


        • #5
          I found it! This was writen by Jim Kron of the New Albany Fire Department. If any of you have taken any fireschool classes in Indiana, he is the founder of the "Dance with the Devil" class. Again, don't take this literally, he doesn't advocate booster hose!!! Anywho, without further adeu...

          Fast Attack 1" Booster Line

          The Attack Line of the Future - Here Today


          1. Saves Water - Return to station with most of your water still in the tank.

          2. Saves Time - Why spend your time breaking couplings, rolling, washing and drying larger hose. With the attack booster, just wipe, as you return to the reel.

          3. Saves Jobs - When people see most of the fires are major, almost all the houses burn to the ground, they will see how important we are.

          4. Saves Energy - Why spend all your time trying to move a larger line which is always to long or too short. Just pull-off what you need and go right to work

          5. Safer - Ever try to follow a larger line to safety, if you lose water the line goes flat. The fast attack booster always holds it's shape, making it easy to follow.

          6. Fast Attack - Why go inside-IT'S HOT AND SMOKY in there! Just place the super fog pattern in a window and let her rip!!

          7. Impressive - With larger size lines you run the danger of extinguishment in a few seconds, giving the appearance that the fire wasn't very big. Properly applied, the fast attack booster can keep that same fire going for hours. IMPRESSIVE!!!!

          8. Saves Manpower - Why waste manpower laying supply lines? With the fast attack booster set on 30 GPM a 1000gal. tank will last 30 minutes.

          9. Helps Home Owner - Ever had to stand-by helplessly as the family tries to find what they can salvage from a damaged home? Make it easy! With the booster, there will not be anything for them to find.

          10. Helps Builders - With larger lines, there is a good chance the home can be repaired, causing builders to lose money!

          Disadvantages (only two)

          1. Skin - You many notice a burning or redding of the skin. This is caused by STEAM and by upsetting the THERMAL balance. The pain will only last a few days.

          2. Death - You will lose a firefighter every now and then, BUT WE HAVE A LOT OF APLICATIONS!



          • #6
            It's all about GPM's, and not pressure always. GPM's v. BTU's is a great arguement to use, pressure doesn't play much of a role in that, other than getting the water to the seat of the fire.

            I probably wouldn't use that arguement with someone how knows the science & engineering behind fog attacks and/or high-pressure fog unless you want to have you have your hat handed to you.

            One gallon of water, for each degree in tempature rise, by definition, will absorb 1 BTU of heat.

            Let's your apparatus bay is at 65 degrees, so that's the temp of the water in your tank. And just about the temp of the water coming out of the end of your nozzle.


            If you're applying water at a rate the water gets as hot as possible, without turning to steam, it will absorb 147 BTUs per gallon.

            Let's say you're applying 250gpm to a fire, and most of it is running off the fire floor hot enough it's uncomfortable for you to be crawling in it -- that's probably around 150 degrees, or in other words it's absorbing 85 BTUs per gallon...after all if the water was actually coming off the fire at 212 degrees you'd be scalding anyone crawling in it (yourself), or underneath it's dripping on. 250gpm x 85BTUs = 21,250 BTUs/minute.

            Now let's take the same situation and fog it.
            Fog present smaller droplets to the fire, raising the possibility any given droplet is converted to steam.

            One gallon of steam, raised one degree from 212 degrees, turns into steam. Conversion to steam absorbs 970 BTUs. Let's take the same size fire you where controlling above with a 250gpm stream, and hit it with a conventional 100gpm fog stream. Let's even figure only half the water is converted to steam -- that'll absorb 50gpm x 970 BTUs = 46,000 BTUs plus another 5,000 BTUs or so for the other 50 gpm left on the floor. You're already sucking more than twice as many BTUs than the 250gpm solid bore.

            The Steam also has two additional advantages -- it physically displaces oxygen suffocating the fire, and it physically disrupts airflow in the fire area (ever blow out a candle?)

            High-pressure fog takes the principal one step further. Using the extra high pressure to produce a particulary fine fog, even more if not all the fog is converted to steam. Here, 30gpm x 970BTU = 29,100BTUs/min, or still more than a 250gpm line with most of the water running out the front door.

            The "Danger" in any of these isn't with the science or engineering behind them -- low pressure and high pressure fog both work. You can have hoses and pumps that safely handle the pressure. Fog WILL absorb more heat, more quickly, and put out most fires more effectively than solid bores.

            The "Danger" comes from mixing tactics.

            In recent years, many FDs have wanted to emulate "the big boys" like FDNY and other old, urban cities. These cities have significantly higher life hazards, and higher manpower levels, than your average suburban or rural fire district. There is nothing wrong with their tactics, they work well. But they are incompatible with using fog attack early on in the fire. So they advocate smooth bores.

            In many suburban and rural areas given lower life risks, lower staffing, and often poorer water supplies using fog streams is an effective way to put out the fire quicker. Stop the fire, stop the hazard. Then complete the search.

            Nor are fog operations dangerous on the interior. They are dangerous if you stay in an unvented room with the nozzle open -- you'll steam yourself. With a vented room, open up a narrow fog pattern (30 degrees) and push the fire out the vent hole -- it's an old fashion version of Positive Pressure Ventilation. With an unvented room, open the door, fog the ceiling quickly, and close the door as the steam starts to come out. Wait a few minutes, and repeat. The fire will smother out. Very little water is used, and the fire is no longer threatening to extend to other parts of the house.

            Using high-pressure fog, there is a caveat. It turns to steam SOONER than a low-pressure fog. This means you have to use more caution with it to avoid steaming yourself. It also may mean you have to get closer to the seat of a fire. While solid-bores and low-pressure fog aren't as efficient, you can use them further from the literally "hot zone." In this case, pressure indeeds reduces the penetration of the water -- it vaporizes before it might reach the seat (of course, it may very well smother the seat of the fire!)

            The "raw facts" really have to do more with TACTICS and how your department operates, because from a scientific standpoint, high-pressure fog is nearly 10 times as effective as smoothbores in terms of GPM, and more than adequate for most single, two, and three family residential buildings.


            • #7
              Use a 1 inch high flow line keep the nozzle in the straight stream position if you choose to use a fog tip and/or have the best of everything.


              • #8
                Dalmatin90: no need for the long explanation, that's basically what I was saying :P


                • #9
                  Think about what the living room looks like in some of the old Lucy reruns on Nick at Night. What do you see? Cotton, wood, wool, etc. Look around your living room what do you see? Plastics, plastics, plastics. You are talking about a heat release rate probably 5-10 times higher than 30 years ago. That is why we don't use high-pressure anymore. Pressure doesn't mean squat. A gallon of water can only absorb so much heat.

                  You also don't see urban departments using high-pressure fog. Hell, the trens now is to go to larger attack lines like 1 3/4" and 2"! High-pressure fog is a bad and dangerous idea.


                  • #10
                    Think about what the living room looks like in some of the old Lucy reruns on Nick at Night. What do you see? Cotton, wood, wool, etc. Look around your living room what do you see? Plastics, plastics, plastics. You are talking about a heat release rate probably 5-10 times higher than 30 years ago. That is why we don't use high-pressure anymore. Pressure doesn't mean squat. A gallon of water can only absorb so much heat.

                    You also don't see urban departments using high-pressure fog. Hell, the trens now is to go to larger attack lines like 1 3/4" and 2"! High-pressure fog is a bad and dangerous idea.


                    • #11
                      Since my name has already be brought into this topic, I'll add my 2 cents worth.
                      This is my oppinion, based on many live burns every year.
                      ANYONE who advocates the use of anything less than an 1 3/4" hoseline for interior fire attack is a danger to themselves and anyone around them.
                      Give me the flow of a "good quality" 1 3/4" line, and yes there is a difference, and I'll have most residential room & content fires out in 5 - 6 seconds - with little stean being generated.
                      Anything less is like going Bear hunting with a cap gun.
                      Jim Kron (Dance With the Devil)
                      New Albany Fire Dept

                      Asst Chief Jim Kron


                      • #12

                        My mistake I thought it was gpm that put put fire not hose diameter.

                        So many FD's are pumping 100 to 150 psi on a 1 3/4" line. A bunch are in the 100 to 120 psi range. They aren't moving gpms. Unless you are in the 200 psi EDP range you aren't either.

                        So a 125 gpm 1 3/4" is superior to a 160 gpm 1" line??? One is gonna get there quicker.

                        Question, Two lines flowing the same gpm, which one wins???


                        • #13
                          Mr. Kron! I had no idea that you were a member of this board . First I wish to apologize bring your name into something such as this, if you had not wishd it to be. Second, I see it nessecery to thank you for the great Dance With the Devil course you put on last August at the New Albany Fire School. If I were eligble to take the course over again, I would in a heart-beat. By the way, I attended the Jasper Fire School a couple weeks ago, taking the auto extrication course, your class was the talk of the group . Some of the people who were in my class took the same August course, and were very pleased with the experience/knowledge gained. I think that is a testiment to the great job you and the rest of the instructors are doing for us inexperienced firefighter's. Keep up the good work!


                          • #14
                            I think I'll stick with 1 1/2" (or bigger) for anything with a foundation, no matter how much sense it makes on paper to use anything smaller. I love the booster line for vehicle fires, brush fires, dumpsters, and the like. Nothing personal but, I think I'll stick with my own personal experience to pick the best line and that experience tells me that if it's a house fire I'm not pulling a rubber hose.


                            • #15

                              I am usually a passive reader of the forums here, but after reading this one I have to say my piece.

                              After reading Larry's posts, I have determined that Larry fights alot of fires on paper, instead of on the street.

                              I am wondering from some of the things you say, if you have even been on the end of a working hoseline INSIDE a structure fire.

                              Some of these ideas you come up with are humerous at best.

                              I can't believe I am actually reading what I'm reading.

                              Advocating a BOOSTER LINE for an attack on a structure fire???

                              I have been in the fire service for almost 20 yrs now. Paid and Volunteer. I have taken my share of lines and nozzles into building fires including boosters, and I am telling you your crazy and irresponsible to stretch or instruct anyone, to take that size line into a working structure fire.

                              I see alot of young and inexperienced firefighters coming into a vocation thats main purpose is STILL fighting fires.

                              Thats probably hard for some of you to digest, given all of the "vests" we have to wear today.

                              Many of our younger members I'm sure, are reading these forums to gain knowledge, or provoke discussion for learning.

                              And you are telling these people to take a booster line in a building fire???

                              What are you thinking man???


                              Everyones actual fire load is way down.

                              Nothing can take the place of expeirence and live fire training to teach our younger members the correct and "as safe as possible" way to fight fires.

                              We must train train train.

                              Chief Kron's idea about booster lines was a made up JOKE!! That was NOT to be taken seriously folks!

                              I'm sorry Larry. I don't buy your booster idea, or very many of your other ideas for that matter.

                              I sincerely hope no else does either, and tries what you are advocating here.

                              This idea is about as good as painting fire trucks green, or changing what everyone in America knows as the "fire department" to calling it something different. (Article in Fire/Rescue magazine.)

                              If you readers out there decide to try this, I hope you have nomex skin and your insurance is paid.

                              A BOOSTER LINE???????????!!!!!!!




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