Manufacturers are designing their hydrant valves to be easily affixed and quickly and efficiently deliver a water flow to a waiting apparatus.
Likewise, inlet valves on pumpers and tankers and dump valves on tankers (tenders) serve a similar function in keeping a water source in operation. Each of these various valves has different attributes that allow easy operation and smooth functioning.
Brian Podsiadlik, municipal firefighting channel manager for Task Force Tips (TFT), says TFT makes the Oasis hydrant valve, which can function as a regular hydrant valve to supply water to an engine at a fire and allow a second engine to boost pressure and water flow.
1 Task Force Tips makes the Oasis hydrant valve, which allows a second engine to connect and boost the pressure and flow in the supply line to the fire scene without interrupting the flow. (Photo courtesy of Task Force Tips.)
3 The BFVL butterfly valve made by Kochek Company comes in 5-inch and 6-inch sizes, with a slow-closing device (shown) or a quarter-turn lever. (Photo courtesy of Kochek Company.)
5 The Humat 4-Way Hydrant Valve made by Humat Inc. has a 5½-inch chamber controlled by a butterfly valve and a smaller 4-inch chamber controlled by a clapper valve. (Photo courtesy of Humat Inc.)
6 The 1050 Newton Kwik-Dump gate style valve, shown in the open and closed position with a top lever, is made of stainless steel. (Photo courtesy of A.H. Stock Manufacturing Corp.)
7 Company 2:10 makes the Dump Chute Fill Adapter, which bolts onto an existing dump valve and allows the operator to either fill the tank or dump through the chute. (Photo courtesy of Company 2:10.)
“The Oasis hydrant valve has two extra ports where the second-due engine connects to the valve and switches the operating mode of the valve by boosting the pressure and flow from the hydrant to the fireground engine,” Podsiadlik says. “The second engine can increase water flow and pressure from 25 to 60 percent, which is helpful on long lays and when feeding an aerial device.”
TFT also makes a wide variety of intake valves for engines, quints, and pumper-tankers.
“Our intake valves, from 2½-inch to 6-inch steamer valves, use a half-ball-style valve that looks like a crescent moon,” Podsiadlik points out. “It allows the user to gate to any size valve and is designed so that when left in a gated position, the water pressure will never slam the valve shut. Another benefit to the design is when it is open all the way, it swings completely outside the waterway, leaving a wide-open, unobstructed flow path for maximum water flow with the least amount of friction loss.”
Podsiadlik notes that TFT also makes the Jumbo Low Profile intake valve that’s popularly used on engines with space constraints.
“It has a swiveling elbow that allows it to fit behind a roll-up door and to be positioned easily to hook up to large-diameter hose (LDH),” he observes. “It also has the half-ball design and is double-coated, first being anodized and then powder coated. When the valve is in the off position, it keeps the water in the truck, with the inside of the valve being dry, which is important in climates with freezing temperatures.”
Gregg Geske, director of sales and marketing for Waterous, notes that Waterous makes several models of intake valves.
“We make butterfly valves in both manual and electric versions,” Geske says, “that go behind the pump panel for the side, rear, or front intakes.”
The Waterous Monarch Intake Valve is a package including an extra-short intake fitting, a Jamesbury Wafer-Sphere® high-performance intake butterfly valve, and an intake nipple with integral relief valve mounting pad, all designed to fit behind the pump panel. It features a provision for a pre-relief valve and is available in manual worm gear or pneumatic actuator or electric rotary actuator versions.
Geske adds that Waterous also makes an Auto Tank Fill System that maintains a constant low-pressure water supply at the pump intake by automatically filling the water tank and maintaining a water level between 20 and 80 percent of the tank capacity. The Auto Tank Fill can be used with any of the Waterous electric-actuated ball valves.
Rodney Furgison, Eastern regional sales manager for Kochek Company, says Kochek makes three versions of its intake gate valve—one straight and two elbow models, one with a relief valve and the other without.
“All three versions are slow turn opening and have a stainless-steel screen,” Furgison says. “All can be adapted to 4-, 5-, or 6-inch LDH.”
Kochek also makes two versions of its BFVL model butterfly valve in 5-inch and 6-inch, one with a slow-closing device and the other with a quarter-turn lever.
For hydrants, Kochek makes the 09 Small Straight Gate valve in 2½-inch size as well as the HBV model quarter-turn hydrant valve in 2½-inch, Furgison points out. “We also make the 80K Hydrassist Valve that allows a second engine to hook to the valve and boost pressure along the supply line,” he says.
Hurley Matthews, co-inventor of the Humat 4-Way Hydrant Valve made by Humat Inc., says the Humat valve is made of hard-coated, lightweight aluminum alloy with a main chamber diameter of 5½-inch controlled by a butterfly valve with positive locks in both open and closed positions.
The valve also has a smaller chamber with a 4-inch interior diameter controlled by a clapper valve operated automatically by differential pressure when a second engine hooks to the secondary coupling to boost pressure and water flow in a supply line to the fireground.
“Simplicity of design is a main feature of the Humat valve,” Matthews says. “There’s only one manual control for complete operation and the handle position immediately indicates whether the interior butterfly valve is open or closed. Operation of the Humat valve is equally efficient with the smaller chamber in the up or down position, depending on the location of the fire.”
Humat Inc. also makes the Simpla Valve, Matthews adds, a 5½-inch bore butterfly valve that can be used as a tanker gate valve, a hydrant gate valve, an inline valve, or a remote valve.
Paul Carpenter, vice president of sales for Harrington Inc., says Harrington’s most popular valve is the Hydrant Gate Valve in 2½-inch size, followed by its H800 model 4-inch Straight Gate Valve.
“The H800 is excellent for hydrant discharge control because of its slow open/close mechanism,” Carpenter points out. “This lightweight gate valve has an air bleeder valve, a nonrising stem, an anodized gate, and a stainless-steel spindle.”
Harrington also makes the H700 LDH Hydrant Valve (Hydrassist), Carpenter notes, “which is excellent for boosting pressure on long hoselays or boosting low hydrant pressure. The H700 allows a second pumper to connect to the valve and start pumping to raise pressure and flow without interrupting the established water supply.”
For the steamer connection on pumpers, Harrington makes a low-profile, 12-inch-depth ball intake valve that has an integrated 30-degree elbow, a ¾-inch air bleeder valve, and a 250-pounds-per-square-inch (psi) field-adjustable pressure relief valve and also a stainless-steel piston intake valve with a pressure relief valve.
For tanker dump valves, it makes 5-inch flangeless butterfly valves that have a slow open/close ability and can be either lever or gear operated.
Larry Schetter, sales manager for A.H. Stock Manufacturing Corp., says his company makes the 10-inch square Newton Kwik-Dump Valve in two plunger styles and one gate style.
“The 1010 plunger-style valves are preferred when working in conjunction with a sump-style tank where the water is over the top of the valve,” Schetter says. “Our 1020 plunger-style dump valve is manually operated and, like the 1010 model, has a flow rate of 2,940 gallons per minute (gpm).”
A.H. Stock also makes the 1050 Newton Kwik-Dump gate-style valve made of stainless steel, as are all Newton valves, which is available in manual, electric, and air operation with handles on the left, right, or top, Schetter points out.
“Under ideal conditions, the 1050 gate-style dump valve can dump 3,500 gpm, depending on tank baffling, ventilation, and head pressure,” he says. “The hottest accessory departments ask for with our dump valves is the 180-degree swivel, which can dump from the driver’s to the officer’s side of the tanker at a flow rate of 2,500 gpm.”
Dennis Ford, owner of Company 2:10, says Company 2:10 makes the Dump Chute Fill Adapter, which slides over and bolts onto an existing dump chute and is engineered so the fire department can either fill up the tank or dump through the chute.
“Instead of filling the tank through a 2½-inch or 4-inch hole, you’re filling it through a 10-inch hole,” Ford observes. “We can adapt the device to 4-, 5-, or 6-inch LDH or reduce it to a 2½- or 3-inch if necessary.”
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.