Equipment

Nozzles for Special and Unusual Situations

Issue 9 and Volume 25.

By Alan M. Petrillo

Sometimes the nozzle at the tip of the hoseline isn’t the right tool for the type of fire you are facing. That’s where specialized nozzles come in, whether piercing tips, aerating and flooding types, models for tight spaces, or some other configuration.

More and more departments around the country are carrying some of these out-of-the-ordinary nozzles to handle those special and unusual fire situations.


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Brian Podsiadlik, technical marketing manager for Task Force Tips, says TFT makes the Transformer PA2 Piercing Nozzle System that’s designed to deliver water or foam solutions to areas inaccessible to firefighters. He notes that a series of jets near the point apply a wide-reaching pattern at a rated flow of 150 gallons per minute (gpm) at 100 pounds per square inch (psi). The system includes a distribution nozzle that gives a wide, fully filled pattern, Podsiadlik says, and an adapter allowing the distribution nozzle to be used on any 1½-inch NST threaded hoseline. “Also included in the system,” he says, “is a twist-grip shutoff valve, a three-port junction block with striking head, pistol grip, two extension tubes, and the flow tube with the hardened steel-piercing point.”

he Task Force Tips Transformer PA2 Piercing Nozzle System delivers water or foam solutions to areas inaccessible to firefighters.

1 The Task Force Tips Transformer PA2 Piercing Nozzle System delivers water or foam solutions to areas inaccessible to firefighters. (Photo courtesy of Task Force Tips.)

David Gindlesperger, director of regional development for Akron Brass, a division of IDEX Fire & Safety, says Akron Brass makes both 1½-inch and 2½-inch cellar nozzles in all-brass construction for marine applications. “The 2½-inch nozzle flows 250 gpm and has three 3⁄8-inch orifices and six 16⁄32-inch orifices, while the 1½-inch cellar nozzle flows 95 gpm at 50 psi through three 1⁄4-inch and three 5⁄16-inch orifices,” he points out. “We also make 1½-inch piercing applicators, which we just changed to a black hard-coat finish, in three- and six-foot lengths that flow 125 gpm; an ultra-high-pressure (UHP) nozzle that flows from 15 to 30 gpm at a maximum pressure of 1,500 psi; and a SaberMaster™ monitor nozzle that allows you to change from smooth bore to fog without switching tips.”

Jerry Herbst, municipal product specialist for Safe Fleet’s Elkhart Brass, notes that Elkhart Brass makes the Bent Overhaul Tip nozzle “that’s great for getting into dead spaces, voids, and balloon-style walls. It’s a half-inch-orifice 90-degree bent tip that flows 50 gpm at 50 psi that’s compact enough for carrying in a turnout gear pocket.” Herbst says that Elkhart Brass also makes a cellar nozzle that has nine holes at the tip that turns the nozzle into a 400-gpm sprinkler when charged.

Chris Martin, director of product marketing for fire, EMS, and industrial for Safe Fleet, points out that Elkhart Brass makes a cockloft nozzle with a dual tip, essentially two 15⁄16-inch smooth bores in a T screwed onto a 1¾-inch bail that will deliver 185 gpm and can be dropped down from a roof or pushed up from the floor to get at a cockloft fire. He adds that Elkhart Brass is working on a high-rise nozzle for use above the reach of master stream devices that would be deployed from the floor below a fire and deliver 265 gpm.

Akron Brass makes cellar nozzles in all-brass construction

2 Akron Brass makes cellar nozzles in all-brass construction in both 1½-inch and 2½-inch sizes. (Photo courtesy of Akron Brass.)

The Elkhart Brass Bent Overhaul Tip nozzle gets into dead spaces, voids, and balloon-style walls.

3 The Elkhart Brass Bent Overhaul Tip nozzle gets into dead spaces, voids, and balloon-style walls. (Photo courtesy of Elkhart Brass.)

The C&S Supply Inc. PN-100 Piercing Nozzle delivers 120 gpm at 150 psi or 95 gpm at 100 psi.

4 The C&S Supply Inc. PN-100 Piercing Nozzle delivers 120 gpm at 150 psi or 95 gpm at 100 psi. (Photo courtesy of C&S Supply Inc.)

The American Fire Equipment Company Torpedo Nozzle A360N flows 200 gpm and reaches up to a 20-foot radius.

5 The American Fire Equipment Company Torpedo Nozzle A360N flows 200 gpm and reaches up to a 20-foot radius. (Photo courtesy of American Fire Equipment Company.)

Seth Larson, director of sales for S&H Products, says S&H makes the Twin Tip Forestry Nozzle in one-inch diameter with straight stream tip options of 3⁄16 inch, 3⁄8 inch, and ¼ inch and fog tip options of 3 gpm or 6 gpm. S&H also makes the solid brass construction Mop-up Nozzle in 3⁄4-inch garden hose thread that will deliver 4 gpm in spray configuration and 8 gpm in straight stream.

Nathan Hillinger, sales manager for American Fire Equipment Company, says American Fire makes the Torpedo Nozzle A360N with an overall 2-inch outside diameter and 1⁄8-inch wall. “The nozzle has 49 holes, each machined at a different angle progressively from front to back in 15-degree increments,” Hillinger says, “so you can hit every angle in a fire compartment, allowing for a short knockdown. The pattern reaches up to a 20-foot radius and flows 200 gpm; all fittings are 1½-inch NST; the tip is 15 inches long; and aluminum tubing extensions of 8, 10, and 12 feet are available.”

Charlie Slocomb, product manager for C&S Supply Inc., says C&S has been making the PN-100 Piercing Nozzle since 2008, which will deliver 120 gpm at 150 psi or 95 gpm at 100 psi. He notes the piercing nozzle’s holes are on the side of the nozzle, so there’s not a lot of reaction force. Two rows of forward-facing holes are cut at 60 and 40 degrees, while a backward row of holes is cut at 60 degrees. “We also have a Twin Tip Forestry Nozzle in one-inch diameter that has a top discharge of 3 gpm in spray pattern and a lower discharge of 6 gpm smooth bore,” Slocomb adds.

Michael Wielgat, president of Hero Systems Inc. and a battalion chief with the Chicago (IL) Fire Department, says Hero Systems makes the HEROPipe™ high-rise master stream system. “Previously, fires located above a high-rise’s 12th floor required firefighters to battle the fire either directly or from an adjacent building if possible,” Wielgat says. “The HEROPipe™ System is designed for fires that ladder companies can’t reach, allowing firefighters to effectively and safely battle a blaze from the floor below. Constant pressure stabilizers keep the system securely in place whether it’s on a building with a windowsill or curtain wall-style construction.” Wielgat says the system flows 700 gpm at 80 psi through a 7-foot 6-inch telescopic waterway with a remote-controlled articulating monitor that moves 40 degrees horizontally and 80 degrees vertically.

Justin Wright, technical advisor at Williams Fire & Hazard Control, says Williams makes the Ranger™ Automatic Hydro-Chem™ Monitor Nozzle that allows firefighters to deliver dry chemical along with water or a water/foam solution on a fire. Wright points out the nozzle is designed to extinguish three-dimensional or pressure-fed fires, discharging dry chemical at approximately 20 pounds per second through the center of the water/foam stream, resulting in a reach distance not possible with conventional dry chemical equipment. The nozzle can flow water or water/foam solution generated by various proportioning methods from 250 gpm to 2,000 gpm, depending on the model, Wright notes.

Dion LeMieux, owner of AFAST, says AFAST makes eight different types of specialty nozzles, including a piercing nozzle that flows 200 gpm and gives a 30-foot radius pattern; a Navy-style exterior nozzle that’s seven feet long with a 22½-degree bend; a basement nozzle with a 90-degree bend useful in cellars, crawl spaces, and cocklofts; a piercing nozzle for balloon construction homes; a model that fits in a high-rise pack; and an extension that fits on a booster line nozzle.


ALAN M.PETRILLO is a Tucson, Arizona-based journalist, the author of three novels and five nonfiction books, and a member of the Fire Apparatus & Emergency Equipment Editorial Advisory Board. He served 22 years with the Verdoy (NY) Fire Department, including in the position of chief.