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I voted on todays quick vote on the magazines homepage,

What kind of nozzle do you have on your high-rise pack?
Smooth bore

These answers actually are disturbing. There is a great lack of understanding in the fire service when it comes to standpipes. I have 2 pictures and I hope they come through. One is D.C, and the other is my own department before we switched to smoothbores. Any thoughts on this?
PS, I don't consider "break away" nozzles with slug tips smoothbore. Who is going to think of doing this in the heat of battle?

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Replies to This Discussion

Many departments see this issue as smooth bore vs. fog, which it is not. The facts are simple when we operate off a standpipe system we are hoping for success from a system we do not maintain. Our equiptment is checked and rechecked on a routine basis standpipe risers are not. Yes some are maintained I know. Do not kid yourself about this very good hiding place, garbage bin. Flushing a system can provide many surprises. Even with a system thats flushed smaller debris can clog the nozzle. In addition smothe bore nozzles operate at lower pressures which compliment standpipe systems and allow scale to pass through the tip.
We are all on the same page I agree 100% with Ray. I just came back from Santiago where I gave a seminar on Engine Operations in Fireproof Dwellings. The Bomberos in Chile all use Fog in their packs. We actually had a news crew following us and they asked me about how we tackle High Rise fires. I explained about the 2 1/2 inch hose with a smooth bore nozzle. I explained how we come from an attack staitway etc....As we walked around the city we found many Fire Department connections open with no caps. Inside there was garbage, even something as small as a cigarette butt would be a problem. It seems lots of people in Santiago use the connection to deposit butts. I do believe that some companys carry 2" inch or the equivilent in millimeters. But with the fog nozzle it negates that advantage. As a side note, I was informed that the one of the heads of their national fire academy responded on the news and was not happy. They also think it is ok to fight from outside, but that is a whole other discussion.

We have recenlty purchased 1 1/4" smoothbores for our High-Rise Kits. However, the nozzle that was sent to us is a slug tip without the fog nozzle attachment. What do you recommend and why? Thanks.
I personally like the Akron 1400 series smoothbores. In side by side comparisons, they had the best stream. Every slug tip I have seen at work had a terrible stream. I am not an engineer, but I do not believe the taper is right for the tip. The Akrons have 4 splines cut into the entrance of the nozzle that seem to act as stream shapers. Also they have larger ball valve openings. Using other nozzles side by side, with digital flow meters and inline gauges, the Akron smoothbores were superior. I know that some people complain about the handles being too flimzy, but I never broke one yet. They also actually flow better at lower nozzle pressures, (40 psi) and that put out 175 GPM with about 60 lbs NR (1 3/4") and 256 GPM ( 21/2" with 1 1/8" tip and 79 lbs NR). We used a deer scale to measure NR. There was an article in FE either last year or the year before that explain how to select your nozzles and fire flows, and that is where we came up with the tools for the side by side comparisons. Lastly, the members liked the Akron the best.
Be safe
Who has to carry this?! You know what is scary? Many jobs in the US have the same set up. I am not 100% sure, but I think New Rochele had a job last year or the year before, where the gate valve was kicked shut by passing companies with the result of members getting hurt. I guess lack of knowlege of standpipe operations are not limited to the US.
Be safe
Thanks for the information brother. You're handy to have around
I wished my wife felt that way!!!
Okay, let's just say there were a hypothetical situation where a well intentioned FD just purchased a boat load of smoothbore nozzles and they happen to be slug tips. Is this hypothetical FD screwed or is there a way to get a better stream from these nozzles?
What company made the nozzles? I believe slug tips are press fitted in. If you see the picture I uploaded in the first message, that is a slug tip. What size hose? I don't think they make slug tips for 2 1/2", so I think you are stuck with them. A good friend of mine who is a BC in a big city once told me when we got a certain type of apparatus that all of the firemen felt we did not need (read: quint!) "You ain't givin it back, so make it work!" I am curious, why did they go to a slug tip, for size and weight? The Akron 1400 series 2 1/2" shutoff weighs less than 2 lbs.
The only option, which should be the ONLY option in standpipes it to switch to 2 1/2" hose. Now you can get new nozzles for that!
If this department even existed.... let's say they purchased TFT 2 1/2" slug tip nozzles. They may have gone to this nozzle because they didn't realize the difference in solid bore nozzles? Would it perhaps improve the stream if a straightner and nozzle extention were placed on the slug tip? And let's say this highly hypothetical department wished to keep orfice size of the nozzle to 1 1/4"...
If you added just an 1 1/4 or even a 1 1/8" ( to create a taper) to the slug tip, with all the added oriface, it might act as a stream shaper. The problem now becomes the length and the weight of the nozzle. Do these slugs come with a treaded end? Were the treads added to put on a fog tip? I love Chiefs who buy fogs so they can "ventilate"! I guess they take for granted the fire will go out!
The problems with slugs is that they break up really soon after the water leaves the tip. Try running it at 40 PSI NP. Less nozzle reaction, better stream, and it will still be 300 GPM, (remember a 1 1/4" nozzle actually puts out 340 GPM with about 80 LBS NR. Sixty gpm shy of a master stream is a boat load of water for a single engine company to move. Let me know how you make out.
2 1/2" with 1 1/8" tip for me. We have had this for a few years now and it was hard fought effort for the members on the nozzle committee. Thanks JAY!

The Volunteer company that protects my house just went to an elkhart chief nozzle. Its not a slug tip, it has the 7/8" SB built into the bail. I played with it and it has a great stream like a regular SB. The bail is threaded w/ 1 1/2" and they run a 150 @ 50 combo tip for car and rubbish fires. They drop that tip for all structure fires and use the 7/8"SB. Seems to work great for them so far. (this is for their 1 3/4" lines) They run 1 1/8" SB on all their big lines no combos.

Be Safe,


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