The Fire Station, The Station Articles

Knowing Which Exhaust Extraction System is Right for Your Station

By Plymovent Staff

Every fire station is different in some way. Therefore, the installation of a vehicle exhaust removal system will vary based on the type of equipment, building construction and floorplan. Plymovent provides three basic system types and all necessary components for the installation and related support materials to attach the exhaust system to the building structure. The reason for this is so every installation, whether it is in California or New York, is done to the same standards and design. Obviously some stations will require some special structural attachments, and this is coordinated with the staff at Plymovent, the engineering or architectural company, as well as local officials. Plymovent authorized dealers handle the installation and have collectively installed more than 50,000 Plymovent systems. Plymovent is the only company in the industry that provides virtually everything required to complete the installation of a successfully operating system. Because of this, the local dealer has everything it will need, which reduces any challenges that other systems might present.

The first thing any department should consider when beginning the selection process is: What is the most effective method of removing a known carcinogen such as diesel exhaust from the breathing zone of the firefighter and other employees in the facility? There are several ways to “ventilate” the apparatus bays. However, numerous independent studies have demonstrated that “source capture” is the most effective. There are two basic types of source capture exhaust hose systems available on the market today. They are defined as “open nozzle” and “sealed nozzle”. The open nozzle does not enclose the exhaust pipe, therefore allowing diesel exhaust to escape from the exhaust pipe under certain conditions. The sealed nozzle system seals itself to the exhaust pipe, therefore sending all of the diesel exhaust outside the facility in a sealed continuous system. (See Uniform Mechanical Code, sections 401.9, 502.1, 502.9 & 502.11).

Plymovent offers a “pneumatic” and a “magnetic” source capture tailpipe connection system. The pneumatic system incorporates an inflatable “Grabber” nozzle that inflates around the exhaust tailpipe. The Magnetic Grabber® incorporates rare earth permanent magnets that securely attach (click and seal) to the tailpipe adaptor. Both systems provide virtually 100 percent at source capture and removal of the diesel exhaust and gases from a running vehicle. Therefore when properly used, it prevents any hazardous particulate or gases from escaping into the apparatus bay. 

Another solution that Plymovent offers is for vehicles that have a top exhaust stack. This is referred to as a Vertical Stack Rail (VSR) and it is the simplest system of all in that there is no hose or nozzle to hook up. The vertical exhaust stack is fitted with an adapter that allows the exhaust pipe to slide into the VSR upon the return of the vehicle to the fire station. While in the station, the vertical exhaust pipe stays in the VSR, and the exhaust is moved to the outside. As with all Plymovent firehouse exhaust systems, the fan automatically starts as soon as the engine starts. The VSR has a “catcher” at the end of the rail, and the rail is able to move upwards of 20 inches from side to side. This allows the VSR to move horizontally as needed to mate up to the vehicle tailpipe as the vehicle backs into or drives through the station. 

All Plymovent systems include an exhaust fan and a UL-listed system control panel. Both are manufactured by Plymovent. All firehouse exhaust systems are provided as complete turnkey installations done by the local Plymovent dealer/installer.

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