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Thread: Fire hose connections

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    Isaac-1's Avatar
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    Fire hose connections

    Do any of you have fire hoses, and fire hose connections on your pool pumps? I ask because I bought the fittings and a lightly used 100 ft 1.5 inch fire hose and reel that came out of a closed factory off ebay (total investment about $150) with the intention of hooking them up to my pool pump just in case a year or so ago, and never did get around to it until this weekend when I changed out my pool pump. One big factor in my decision to go ahead and hook it up while I was working on pool plumbing is a nearby house burned down Friday afternoon, I don't know the details yet, but it took the fire department about 20 minutes to arrive, and by then there was no saving the house. I don't know that I will ever need it, but it is nice to have the option of delivering over a gallon a second of water, in my brief test I can say this certainly beats a garden hose.

    Ike
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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Fire hose connections

    I've thought about it and if you can isolate the suction to just the bottom drain it would be a good idea if you already have the parts.
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    Re: Fire hose connections

    I have a hose, nozzle and a hydrant out int the front yard. The hydrant was there when we bought the place. If it wasn't there and working already then I would do as you are. We're rural and it would take some time for the Trucks to get here and organized.
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    Re: Fire hose connections

    I am/was thinking about connecting up some type of fire hose to my pool pump? Did you ever connect your equipment and if so what kind of pressure or stream did you get from the hose? We have a two story house, they closed down the fire station for this town and now the fire trucks need to come from another town. A hydrent is located several hundred feet from our house.
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    Re: Fire hose connections

    The pressure / stream from the fire hose is lacking by professional standards but will still put out a stream of 15+ feet turned down to a modest stream, but is certainly much better than a garden hose in GPM of water delivery and time to hook up is comparable. For the roof of a 2 story house I am not sure if it would be much good, but that is not to say that it would be useless for other applications. My big concern would be nearby forest fires dropping hot embers on the roof and while my setup probably can't do a lot to put out a major roof fire, it can at least put enough water up there to wet it down to prevent it from catching, but mine is a single story house.
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    Re: Fire hose connections

    I also have a hydrant at the corner of our property and have thought on getting hoses, nozzle etc. Just a couple of months ago the replaced all hydrants in our side of the town, so no years of paint to go thru to open a port.
    But our volunteer fire department is just a couple miles away & they would get here in a friction of the time it would take me to get things flowing.
    I do dig up around the hydrant after any big snow fall, support the dept with $'s and a few beers when i can.
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    Re: Fire hose connections

    Fire department response time can be longer than you think, particularly if things go wrong, I have seen it multiple times where even though the fire station was nearby the structure was a total loss by the time the fire trucks arrived. On 2 occasions I know of this happening within 1/4 mile of a manned fire station, once I was the person that made the 911 call about the fire. It was an old gas station on the corner we were having moderately high winds thanks to a near miss from a hurricane and the wires going into the weatherhead shorted , I saw the sparks and the first bit of smouldering, called 911. The fire trucks arrived 5 minutes later, about one minute after the building had been engulfed in flames, of course that building was probably doomed no matter how fast the response as the wind was fanning the flames so much. The other case in point was a friend's family home, fire department 1/4 mile away, somehow screwed up and thought the fire was on east 3rd street not west 3rd and took 15+ minutes to arrive.
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    Re: Fire hose connections

    Biggest problem with that plan is that an electrical fire could trip the main breaker and your pump would have no power unless it has its own feed. My well pump isn't fed through my panel for this very reason. What a bucket of water can do at 1 minute might take 1000 gallons 5 minutes later.
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    Re: Fire hose connections

    1. Working smoke detectors
    2. Fire extinguishers in kitchen and garage/workshop
    3. A good insurance policy.

    Except for very small fires, leave it to the professionals. Is seen too many people injured. Firefighting is extremely dangerous, even for the trained professional with proper safety gear.

    When determining how much risk to take a pro always prioritizes.
    1. A life is in danger and there is a good probability of rescue
    2. Danger of serious injury
    3. Protection of property.

    If the goal is protection of property it is a low priority situation, and you shouldn't be taking risk of serious injury. Take all reasonable safety measures to prevent a fire and have good homeowners insurance.

    I have 40 years of experiance in fire services. Served a professional Firefighter, Paramedic, Leiutenant, Captain, District Chief, Deputy Chief, and Chief of Department, in sizable suburbs of Detriot, Chicago, and Boston.

    (That's what the Chief is in chiefwej)
    chiefwej
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    Re: Fire hose connections

    JohnT, I can one up you on that one, my pool pump is wired to the standby generator and has its own separate transfer switch (it shares the same breaker panel with the well pump which sits about 3 feet away) Also house has a master cut off switch mounted to the service entrance post about 75 feet from the house (near the generator and pool pump) so I will add flipping it off as part of my fire response plan since it is only about 10 feet out of the way of the hose run and has a big external lever since this does instant take electrical shock inside the house of of the equation.

    Chiefwej, You do have a good point, when in doubt don't risk your life.

    Ike

    p.s. when I set up the generator a few years back the electrician thought I was crazy for wanting the pool pump on the generator backed panel, personally a green pool is the last thing I want to worry about in an extended outage after a hurricane.
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    Re: Fire hose connections

    This thread interests me as something I had NEVER given thought to. As a rural resident I'm actually miles from a hydrant so I may look into this as an option. Especially since the pump is currently leaking and we may soon be needing to service it. It also just so happens that our well and pool pump are on a separate electrical meter than the house. This scenario seems like a potentially good reason to keep it that way.

    We do have two main drains in the deep end and valves for each skimmer and the main drain. Does that mean we could isolate the water from being pumped from the skimmers I wonder.
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    Re: Fire hose connections

    Fire hose comes in 1"-3" in increments of 1/4", then 5". They have different threads than standard pipe threads, the type of thread is called National Standard. Most hydrants have two 3" outputs, and one 5". The 5" is a different type of connection called a Stortz connector.

    Call local fire departments and see if they will sell you any old hose. We have to take hose out of service every few years, so almost any firehouse is going to have some laying around.

    To hook a fire hose up to your pool equipment, you need a part to convert whatever you are hooking up (pipe threads/no threads) to national standard. I ordered one from this store on special order: Shop for firefighter helmets, shields, flashlights, boots, and badges!
    since it is right down the street from me. They take MONTHS to special order things and do not have great customer service, so you can always look elsewhere.
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    Re: Fire hose connections

    Just read the rest of the posts here, hooking a hose directly up to a hydrant is a HORRIBLE IDEA.

    Fire hydrants never feed the nozzle of a hose directly, they are strictly for keeping the tanks full on the firetrucks. The pressure that comes from a hydrant is CRAZY, if you hooked a hose directly up to it you would never be able to control the line, it would get away from you immediately, and probably hurt you or someone standing close. The pump on the fire truck regulates the line pressure down to something reasonable.
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    Re: Fire hose connections

    ,
    Quote Originally Posted by pinguy View Post
    Fire hose comes in 1"-3" in increments of 1/4", then 5". They have different threads than standard pipe threads, the type of thread is called National Standard. Most hydrants have two 3" outputs, and one 5". The 5" is a different type of connection called a Stortz connector.

    Call local fire departments and see if they will sell you any old hose. We have to take hose out of service every few years, so almost any firehouse is going to have some laying around.

    To hook a fire hose up to your pool equipment, you need a part to convert whatever you are hooking up (pipe threads/no threads) to national standard. I ordered one from this store on special order: Shop for firefighter helmets, shields, flashlights, boots, and badges!
    since it is right down the street from me. They take MONTHS to special order things and do not have great customer service, so you can always look elsewhere.
    Yes, most hydrants are NST treads, but some municipalities have their own thread spec. Most hydrants have two 2 1/2 inch and one "steamer" port, which is usually 5 inch. 2 1/2" and 3" fire hose have the same size couplings on them.

    Quote Originally Posted by pinguy View Post
    Just read the rest of the posts here, hooking a hose directly up to a hydrant is a HORRIBLE IDEA.

    Fire hydrants never feed the nozzle of a hose directly, they are strictly for keeping the tanks full on the firetrucks. The pressure that comes from a hydrant is CRAZY, if you hooked a hose directly up to it you would never be able to control the line, it would get away from you immediately, and probably hurt you or someone standing close. The pump on the fire truck regulates the line pressure down to something reasonable.
    This is wrong. Fire hydrants are connected directly to the water supply main. The pressure on a hydrant is the same as the domestic pressure supplying your house. The volume available is the only difference. However you are correct that you wouldn't be able to handle a hose connected to it. The reason an engine connects to the hydrant is to BOOST the pressure. 1 1/2" hose line is usually pumped at 100 psi and will flow about 125 gpm. Also it typically takes at least 2 able bodied trained firefighters to safely handle it (3 men are normally assigned). A 2 1/2 line is 500 gpm and requires 3 to 5 men, depending on if it's held in one place or if you are advancing the line.. A typical engine has a capacity to pump 1,000-1,500 gpm. Most carry water on board, but that's only 500 gallons, so you can need a hydrant in a hurry. In rural (no hydrant) areas they often carry more water on board and can draft water from a swimming pool.
    chiefwej
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    Re: Fire hose connections

    Quote Originally Posted by chiefwej View Post
    ,

    Yes, most hydrants are NST treads, but some municipalities have their own thread spec. Most hydrants have two 2 1/2 inch and one "steamer" port, which is usually 5 inch. 2 1/2" and 3" fire hose have the same size couplings on them.


    This is wrong. Fire hydrants are connected directly to the water supply main. The pressure on a hydrant is the same as the domestic pressure supplying your house. The volume available is the only difference. However you are correct that you wouldn't be able to handle a hose connected to it. The reason an engine connects to the hydrant is to BOOST the pressure. 1 1/2" hose line is usually pumped at 100 psi and will flow about 125 gpm. Also it typically takes at least 2 able bodied trained firefighters to safely handle it (3 men are normally assigned). A 2 1/2 line is 500 gpm and requires 3 to 5 men, depending on if it's held in one place or if you are advancing the line.. A typical engine has a capacity to pump 1,000-1,500 gpm. Most carry water on board, but that's only 500 gallons, so you can need a hydrant in a hurry. In rural (no hydrant) areas they often carry more water on board and can draft water from a swimming pool.
    What isn't true? It's obviously different from area to area, and I'm not here to argue, but what I'm trying to say is the pressure that comes from a garden hose is nothing like a hydrant. I would never connect a hose directly to a hydrant knowing the how high the pressure is around here.

    In fire Academy they forced us to learn to handle a hoseline solo, our companies policy requires 2 men/women on a line though.
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    Re: Fire hose connections

    For my setup I have a 1.5 inch brass NPT to NST fire cabinet type cut off valve connected to a T between my pool pump and my filter (I think I paid about $25-$30 for the valve new in box off ebay), I also have a Hayward cut off valve going into the filter so I can force all the water from the pump out the 1.5 inch fire hose. Given that it is a pool pump max pressure is limited to around 30 psi and with my 1.5 HP pump it will only flow somewhere around 40 GPM with 20 psi of pressure on the line. Part of the problem with this is there is not enough pressure on the line to force kinks out so once much be careful running the hose out.


    Ike

    p.s. for expected emergencies like forest fires, I also have a small military surplus 4HP diesel powered water pump that will pump minimum of 65 GPM at 50 ft of head (22 psi or so), here are a couple of pictures of my son trying it out by the pond.
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    Re: Fire hose connections

    Since fire hydrants are connected to the water mains, the pressure will not be greater than the pressure in the main. However if you compare the diameter of the hydrants barrel to the usual 3/4 inch line that may be feeding your house, you can see how much more volume you can get. Greater volume yes, greater pressure no.
    There are very few places with high pressure hydrants. San Francisco did have a separate high pressure system, but I think it is no longer in use. Some military bases also have high pressure systems, but that's about it. It requires a completely separate set of mains and a complete separate water system.
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    Re: Fire hose connections

    Quote Originally Posted by chiefwej View Post
    Since fire hydrants are connected to the water mains, the pressure will not be greater than the pressure in the main. However if you compare the diameter of the hydrants barrel to the usual 3/4 inch line that may be feeding your house, you can see how much more volume you can get. Greater volume yes, greater pressure no.
    There are very few places with high pressure hydrants. San Francisco did have a separate high pressure system, but I think it is no longer in use. Some military bases also have high pressure systems, but that's about it. It requires a completely separate set of mains and a complete separate water system.
    If you think it's safe for a homeowner to hook a fire hose directly to an unregulated hydrant just say so instead of telling me I'm wrong. I can only speak for the hydrants in my area, the West philly suburbs. I'd never do it, it's simply not safe.
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    Re: Fire hose connections

    I did not suggest it was safe. The small connections on a hydrant are 2 1/2 inch. A 2 1/2 line takes 3-5 trained firefighters to advance safely. Even reducing it to a 1 1/2 line, you should have two men on the line.

    But, what you said was that the pressure was higher than in your house, which it isn't. You also said that a fire engine reduced the pressure which is the opposite of what happens.

    If you go back and read my first post what I recommend was smoke detectors, fire extinguishers and a good insurance policy. Leave firefighting to the pros. It's extremely dangerous, even for those who are properly trained and equipped with safety gear.
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    Re: Fire hose connections

    Seemed like a perfectly fine thread.....educational and interesting.

    Suddenly, the conversation goes South and is no longer TFP material.

    I or one of the other Mods will lock the thread if necessary.
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