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Anyone have any input on 2-1/2" hi-rise packs. My department currently uses 1-3/4" and was possibly going to change this. Any info would be great especially as it relates to manpower/staffing of line and deployment . Current set up is building standpipe to 10' 2-1/2" to gated wye, to 150' of 1-3/4", to Akron Brass Chief low pressure nozzle. Thanks in advance for the feedback.

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We carry both 1 3/4" hi-rise packs & 2 1/2" hi-rise packs. The situation determines the pack we carry, on box alarms and reports of smoke with no obvious fire upon arrival and the initial engine company will carry 100' of 1 3/4" hose with a hi-rise bag that contains tools necessary for hooking up to the standpipe such as spanners, pipe wrench, adapters, door chocks, etc. The hose pack has a smooth bore nozzle with a 15/16" tip and a 2 1/2" to 1 3/4" reducer. If we have obvious fire conditions with visible fire or we are the back up engine we will deploy with the 2 1/2" hi-rise packs and bag.

One of the biggest concerns with the 2 1/2" line is mobility. With proper practice and enough firefighters the 2 1/2" can be moved efficiently and provide big water for extinguishment, If everyone is not on the same page and working together or the line is overpressurized the advancement can stall.

I am not a smooth bore only advocate, but they definately have their place and standpipe operations is one of those places. The debris that is present in standpipes has the potential to render your fog nozzles useless and the possibility of pressure reducing valves (PRV"S) limiting your ability to get the proper pressure needed are a couple of reasons to use the smooth bore nozzle. Another big reason for the smooth bore is operating pressure with the smooth bore your operating pressures are less which will help increase your mobility.

I hope this addresses what your were looking for!
Absolutely helped. I am going to Print and distribute your answer to our safety and R/D committee. Maybe we can find room in our already crowded Pierce Quantum engines for 2 hi-rise packs (maybe get rid of some of that ALS medical equipment...;-) ). Out of curiosity, how are your units staffed and how many FF's does it typically take you for the 2-1/2?
Hello Mike,
Several years ago my department did a study of hose lines for attack as well as for highrise operations. We consulted with the local fire sprinkler company that has been in the business for over 60 years. Their engineer, who also had some fire service back ground, was very helpful. We were also using 1-3/4 hose for highrise operations. We researched highrise incidents where firefighters were injured or killed and found some alarming information. In almost all the deaths, small hose lines (1-3/4 with automatic nozzles) were a contributer to the loss of life.

Here is what we determined. First and for most the standpipe systems were designed for high volume flow with low pressure. In order for proper fire streams to be developed by the hose team, hose with low friction loss and nozzles with greater reach must be deployed. We investigated 1-3/4, 2-inch and 2-1/2 using a varity of differant nozzles. Most wall hydrant outlets (2-1/2) are designed to operate at 100 p.s.i., older building will be less, around 68 p.s.i.. This 100 p.s.i. has to cover friction loss as well as nozzle pressure. We used flow meters as well as in-line gauges to conduct our test. We discovered that the 2-1/2 line with a 15/16 smoothbore or 1-inch smoothbore was our nozzle of choice. It take as crew of 3 to make it operate using 100-200 ft. of 2-1/2. With training it will work as smooth as clock work ( 50 psi nozzle pressure and 10 psi per 100 ft. 2-1/2 equals 70 psi total pressure), come to FDIC and take the highrise class offered in the hands-on-training, it will really open your eyes on manpower to operate and advance a 2-1/2 in a highrise operation.

A standpipe is designed to be tested using 2-1/2 hose with smoothbore tips at the highest point, the roof. To get maximum flow, why would you use a smaller line? As a friend put in plain terms (for those that hunt), the standpipe is a 12 gauge shotgun, it is designed to shoot 12 guage shotgun shells (2-1/2 hose). But firefighters are always looking for an easier way out, complains that a pocket of shotgun shell are to heavy. Why not use a 22 shell instead! We could take a 22 shell (1-3/4 hose), drill out the fireing pin of a spent 12 gauge casing to fit the 22 gauge shell (the 2-1/2 to 1-1/2 reducer) and we can now carry smaller shells (hose). The point here is, yes this may fit into the 12 gauge shotgun, it may fire the 22 bullet, but it will not be effective as the 22 bullet was not designed to fire from a 12 gauge shotgun.

The same applies to the standpipe. It is designed to operate with a 2-1/2 hoseline, if not all the wall discharges would be 1-1/2 instead of 2-1/2. Now you can still carry 1-3/4 hose with you to use in mop-up operations. Using the Elkhart Chief nozzle (with a small stream straightener) you will have an excellant fire stream. When the fire is knock down, screw off the tip and put the 1-3/4 hose line on the end of the nozzle for wash down. Also something we found was that a 2-1/2 tapered reducer to 1-1/2 produces a better flow than a standard
2-1/2 to 1-1/2 reducer.

The engineer we worked with brought up an area we had not considered, debris in the piping! When you began flowing water through the system, anything and everything in that piping is coming to the nozzle. There may be cigarette packs, paper or styrofoam cups and large pieces of rust will break loose and stop up a fog nozzle. In most cases, the debris will flow through the smoothbore and your stream will continue.

Hope this helps be safe and take care,

Bob Franklin
Great points Bob...

Many people overlook the importance of the PRESSURE issues with standpipes; sometimes volume isn't everything when it comes to Engine operations. 2 1/2" hose not only gives the desired flow rate, reach and penetration, it has a lot of "give" when it comes to getting adequate flow with low pressures. As Bob alluded to, pre 1993 standpipes (65psi outlet pressures [NFPA 14]) rarely give us outlet pressures to overcome friction loss associated with 1 3/4" hose and nozzle pressure (forget it if you're using automatic nozzles). I do have to disagree with your nozzle choice however Bob. While the 15/16" and 1" tips are ideal for 1 3/4" hose, and give you flows of 182 and 200gpm, respectively, I recommend a 1 1/8" or 1 1/4" tip. That will give you 266 or 320 gpm, respectively. Even at extremely reduced flows or malfunctioning, unadjustable pressure reducing valves, you'll still get roughly 200 gpm at 40 psi outlet pressure; or lower depending on the length of your stretch; save any debris in the piping, clogging issues,etc. Moreover, it is still manageable with the staffing level referenced in your post. You even hit it right on the head by stating a truism that training will make it clockwork. Great analogy with the "shotgun" approach. The shotgun approach also works well in getting Brothers married...
Thanks that information is GREAT !!!! Just have to check with out Fire inspectors to see how I go about finding out info on the majority of standpipes. We have a number of very old building that were grandfathered in to not haveing standpipes and some that were retrofitted to NFPA guidelines.

Erich, You are correct, my mistake! We use 1-1/8 tips on our 2-1/2. We use the 15/16 and 1-inch on our 1-3/4. I let my fingers do the walking and they took off running!. Sorry!!
Glad this helped. We are fortunate enough to run 4 person engine crews, an engineer, an officer and two muckers on the back step. With the Officer and the two muckers we can deploy our 200' of 2 1/2". I'm not going to lie and say it is easy you bust your rear, but with training it can be done. We are also lucky enough to have 4 person truck companies also and most truck crews are pretty good about grabbing some line and helping advance as they are moving forward to their assignments.

Our shop has done a great job creating brackets inside the cab of our apparatus that we hang our packs on, our packs are set up in 50' hoseshoe loads so they hang nicely on the racks as well as on our cylinders while we are carrying them and the brackets keep them out of the way.
We also have both. Typically we use the 2 1/2 for large commercial occupancies that are uncompartmented, and anything with stand pipe operations.

We use the 1 3/4 for leader lines (which we deploy mostly on multi family dwellings), and small compartmented commercial occpancies like food service etc.

I love the 2 1/2 and think it is one of the most underutlized and trained on tools in the fire service.

Shoot me your email and I will email you the Power Point presentation we used to introduce it to our FD and all of the testing we did with it.
thanks for the extra info. my email is if i can get a copy of that powerpoint presentation that would be awesome. thanks again for the info!!!

i would consider using a 2 1/2 inch line for all high rise building fire proof buildings. These fires have a tendancy to blow torch out of a room into the hallway, if wind driven. In studies that were recently condcted by the FDNY the recreated a wind driven fire using a large fan out side a window the tempture in the common hallway went from 73 degrees to 1200 floor to celing in 45 seconds! A 2 1/2 inch line will also deliver a larger volume of water which will reduce knowdown time significantly. hope this helps you out -john Ladder 104 F.D.N.Y.
Many departments choose 1 3/4 hose for standpipe operations for the wrong reasons. Can an 1 3/4 line extinguish a fire in a fire resistant building? Of course. But thats is not the problem. The problem as stated by others is the pressure needed to get 200' of 1 3/4 up and running. 2 1/2" hose is much more forgiving and will see you through the tough ones also. When you attach your wye to the riser so you can supply two 1 3/4 lines. Think about the pressure thats required. I would rather have one 2 1/2.
if your looking for info on standpipe operations Andy Fredricks and Dave Mcgrail have many great articles on this topic archived on this web site and on Doug

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