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We are in the process of purchasing new nozzle's. Are sales person has quoated us with Akron Assualt model 4720 or 4820. We have used TFT for the last 14 years and are ready to upgrade to new nozzle's. Trying to find any information on the Akron nozzles. We love the TFT but are sales person said the prices will be double what the akron's are.

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Jason,
I don't have any information about either of those nozzles specifically, but just be careful when it comes to listening to the salesperson's "rap" about their product. Ask them for nozzles to try out and make sure you are getting the flow you need (at least 150g.p.m. for interior attack). The best way to do this is an in-line flow meter. A lot of sales reps talk about stream shape and reach, but not about flow rate. One is a psi issue and the other is a gpm issue. It's gallons per minute that put the fire out. Automatic nozzles can fool you by having a good looking stream without the proper gpm. Good luck, and as I like to say to the sales folks, "prove it!"
What are these nozzles for. Hand lines or heavy attack. Check out the Vindicator nozzles. Lots of GPM with less nozzle reaction. They are an air aspirating nozzle and work well with both A and B foam. The ability to flow large GPM with one person on the nozzle is great.
We found that to be true with TFT as well. We still use the TFT Mid Range but we put a smooth bore nozzle from Akron on each crosslay as well. We have a choice of a tip or the TFT nozzle. When we did a flow test, we realized that we were not getting the stated flow out of the TFT nozzle. It is suppose to flow up to 300 gpm's but does not achieve this goal. We also learned that every 2 years the nozzle is suppose to be torn down and have maintenance done to the internal spring inside that controls the flow. This is something that the sales rep failed to pass on to us.

Akron is a simplier nozzle and more cost effective in the long run.
Hey Jason,

As Chris stated, get the Akron sales person to loan you nozzles stated to field test for 30 days as well as asking a TFT sales rep to loan you nozzles that are comprable to Akron for 30 days and test the life out of them and do flow tests with a pito gage and calculate for yourself. Money does not come easy and the last place to discover the nozzle is not what you are looking for is in a fire. By doing this you are learning about your salesmen,(who's bulls#%&ing who) and what nozzle fits your true needs. List all the facts you compile at the field tests (comparison) and and put together questions to get answers and USE THEM TO YOUR ADVANTAGE, to get the BEST PRICE POSSIBLE, thats why they are salesmen !!!

STAY SAFE !! Dennis
I like the suggestion of getting loaner nozzles to try out. I purchase most of my stuff from LN Curtis. They have been well below list price. Price all depends on who you are buying from. As long as you are purchasing a well respected brand what I think is most important is what type of nozzle have you been using and why. If you are looking at a different type of nozzle why did you change. There is a great debate going on with straigt stream nozzle vs. smooth bore nozzle for interior attack. Some departments like the 75psi nozzle vs. the 100psi nozzle. Some like the break apart nozzle to have choises. There are also now some nozzles that have smooth bore and straight stream all in one. How about spinning teeth vs. fixed teeth. Get some company reps to come to your department and demo there stuff. After you have made your new purchase it would be interesting to find out what you bought and why.
Hey Jason,
Several years ago we did an extensive study into hand line nozzles in regard to flow and nozzle reaction (pressure). We had nozzles from Akron, TFT and Elkhart that we tested. Using flow meters and in-line gauges, we found that our target flow was 150 GPM. This was based on an in depth study into 1-3/4 hose and the history to which it was developed and information from other departments.

We found that the Elkhart Chief nozzle with a 150 GPM at 50 psi stem, gave us an excellant stream with a good reach and low nozzle pressure. This study took over a year with the busiest engine companies using the nozzles and documenting the results.

Bob Franklin
Do you keep the hose hard enough not kink it at 50 psi?
I found that 50PSI is too low and the hose will kink around corners in a house. Any Issues?
Daniel Barr said:
Do you keep the hose hard enough not kink it at 50 psi?
I found that 50PSI is too low and the hose will kink around corners in a house. Any Issues?

Daniel, Our nozzle presssure was 50 psi. Our actual pump discharge pressure is 90 psi. We have 20 psi friction loss per 100 feet of 1-3/4, we carry 200 feet, so 40 psi friction loss plus 50 psi nozzle pressure gives us our 90 psi pump discharge pressure. We have no had any problems with the line kinking.
Mr. Fleming is right on about sales rep, skip them, do your testing, then call them and tell them specific models you want, thats what I did, and there was no controversy. Also 2 salesmen, myself, and many other firemen I know hate and despise TFT, due to springs, bad GPM ratings, streams that look good but don't put fires out etc etc etc...
At my job we used Elkhart Chief 150gpm/50psi Model 4000-14. They are superb for a fog nozzle. We have a 7/8 slug behind them (160gpm), and I personally carry a 15/16" tip in my pocket. (we pump our chief nozzles w/200' 1.75" hose at 140psi, we found this due to our piping, that makes 9 bends b4 it exits the pump)

I just ordered a handful of Akron 2129 shutoffs w/ 15/16" tips for my volly house, we are very excited about getting these.
To add my two cents to some already very good comments:

Make sure that try different types of fog nozzles too, that is if you are considering fog nozzles. I would suggest if you want fog nozzles to make sure you look at constant gallongage nozzles verses constant pressure nozzles. The constant gallonage are much simpler and reliable.

But what ever you do, follow the advice given by the others, take the sales rep out of it, get the nozzles and try them out side by side and don't get in a hurry to decide if you can keep from it.
Jason,

I'm sure you have already covered these things but just in case...

--what is your target flow??? how much water do you want out of your first interior attack lines?
--can your water supply handle that flow and sustain it?
--can your members operate the lines at the pressures and flow you have selected?
--consider looking at low pressure nozzles such as Elkhearts 50 psi at 150 gpm, or 175 gpm at 75 gpm...these give the flow you need at less nozzle reaction...which helps with reduced manning issues
--consider solid bore tips...they are fireman proof and flow substantial water even at incorrect nozzle pressures or kinked lines
--do you ahve a problem with debris (water main scale, catfish from drafting, etc) clogging your nozzles?? if you do think about a smooth bore
--you may want to talk to Jerry Herbst or Mac Mcgarry from Elkheart...they can help you answer some of these questions and help select the correct nozzle at the right price for your fire attack situations

Sorry for carrying on so long...

Jerry Knapp
As a manufacture it would be inapropriate for me to post without full disclosure. I am the President of First Strike Technologies, Inc, which manufactures the Vindicator line of nozzles. As the Chief of our local department I think I have a pretty good perspective of some things to look for and I will share those from that point of view as well as from one who has tested 1000's of variables in flows and nozzles all over the country.

To directly answer your question regarding info on the Akron Assault I can only tell you, as have some others here, dont listen to the sales person (in most cases)!

I have been in the nozzle business since 1992 and one thing we found out early on, sales people dont do you much good if they dont understand the dinamics we face on the fire ground. The other problem was the sales people were only going to present "their" side of what they had to offer.

I would encourage you to first establish some goals on what your trying to accomplish. Looking at the price of nozzles as the priority does your department and community a diservice. Are the TFT's you have had for the last 14 years no longer doing the job you want them to? Upgrading because you have had them for several years is not always the right thing to do. If they work, why change them out?

If they work is a key question. How do you know if its working or not. How do you know the new stuff you looking at is working? In order to know if its working you MUST have a calibrated flow meter and inline pressure gauges to either prove or disprove the flows and pressures your looking for. In 18 years of flow testing equipment all over the country I have found the biggest problem with our flow rates, with one exception, is the obstacles in getting the correct pressure to the nozzle. The one exception is with Automatic nozzles. Akon recognized the problems and dangers of them several years ago and did the right thing by taking them out of their product line. My hats off to them for that!

Most nozzles will in fact do what they are suppose to provided it gets the right pressure, and in the case of the automatics, you must also ensure regular maintenance is performed as well as testing.

Lets go one step beyond the common flow and pressure issues though. Is it working is the question?

How would you define if the nozzle is working? For me it was defined by its suppression capabilities. Does it put the fire out faster? Many will say at the same gpm the suppression is the same for all nozzles. I appreciate that but beg to differ. Suppression is a science that seems to be overlooked in this industry. More importantly, what happens in that suppression environment may or may not lead to numerous other problems. Thermal balance/imbalance, steam conversion, visability, ventilation etc.

All the key elements we deal with on an interior attack must be taken into consideration when we make a decision on what nozzle and or pattern we use. Knowing and understanding fire behavior in an interior structure is vital to surviving and getting the job done. When to use a smooth bore, straight stream or a fog, or in the case of a Vindicator, an aspriated stream requires us to have a pretty good grasp on the performance capabilities of nozzles.

I by no means believe one nozzle will do all but all over the country I see sales people try to convince you that you need to buy what they are selling as if that will cure the problems we face. Sorry, but it wont happen.

In our department we utilize Vindicator Heavy Attack and Blitz Attack nozzles, Elkhart fog nozzles (both Chief and SM series), and smooth bores. Does that make us right? NO! What it does make us is versital. Depending on the situaiton and the experience of the people taking on the fight, serveral options are available. The Vindicator is our Bubba Proof tip. It flows more, with less pressure and less reaction than any other nozzle on the market and this was proven independantly by both FDNY and Montgomery County MD. Anyone of our VOL can grap it and its proven to get the job done with little thought to tactical applicatoin.

The Elkhart Chief, which is the only brand of fog nozzle I would ever recommend, is leaps and bounds better than any other brand fog nozzle I have used and/or tested, either in the Air Force or in my civilian experience. The limiting factor is the knowledge of its capabilities.

Having vistited fire schools all over the world the one thing that truly fries my back side is how so many schools use one brand of nozzle. In most cases its based on which manufacture was providing the equipment. I know this because we have been confronted by dozens of them. They want us to provide our product and by doing so that will get us more exposure. Sounds great. The problem lies with the fact that even a vast majority of the fire schools I have visited, none of them are tying fire behavior to nozzle selection let alone fact based flow rates. When I insist that when using our product, the very one they want us to give them for free, they must utilize flow meters and pressure gauges, they take two steps back and come up with reasons why they dont have time to use that equipment in their training schedule.

One school in particular refused to use smooth bores and Vindicators becasue all their props were designed around fog pattern fire fighting. What does that do for the young energized kid who graduates and goes back to his local department that has smooth bores or Vindicators? It does several things. First it limited the students learning to a single application and all because the props the school has used for years have only one application. Secondly, it causes the student to question the decision made by their Chief or other officers when it comes to nozzeles because the Chief is doing something different than what the "SCHOOL" tought them. Thirdly, and probably the most concerning, this questioning of the descision made can create termoil and lack of confidence within the orginazation.

We see that all over Illinois because of the teaching by one university that smooth bores is the only tool you should ever need on an interior fire fight. We have kids coming back from fire college all over the state who then question the chief as to why they dont have smooth bores. That leads to so many other problems that could be a thread all by themselves.

Why is it so hard to train our future fire fighters on each and every brand of nozzle on the market? Thats education!Anything less is nothing more than promotion and thats not fair to the people we ask to risk their lives day in and day out.

Case and point. 36 graduating seniors at Oklahoma state (IFSTA) were sitting in a classroom and nozzle flows was the issue. When asked how many have used a flow meter and pressure gauge to confirm their flow rates not a single one of them had done so throughout their entire schooling. When asked what they flow from their training pumper with their nozzles they all spoke at once. "150 GPM @ 100 PIS.

When their numbers were tested with calibrated flow meters (they calibrated them the morning of the test) they were flowing 80 gallons of water! That is almost half of what they just got tought was right. Why is it our eduation system is not teaching fact based edcuation.? Tradition? Lazy? I dont know the real reason but it has to change.

The point is, know the capabilities of all the equipment you may encounter and select the one that does the best job for the task at hand, whether its our product or anyone elses.

What happens when you take your crews to a mutual aid fire and they get put on a line that has smooth bores and all they ever got exposed to was your new Akron nozzle? Do they flow the same? Is the reaction the same? Do they have a clue on the tactical applications that must be used from one type of nozzle to another?

I think its time we education our people on fire behavior and suppression to a point they truly understand those dynamics and from that they will have a much better understanding of which nozzle to use and why.

If my posting in any way offended anyone I am sorry. That was not my intent. I just beg of people to start testing what they use against its primary application, which is suppression. If its not putting the fire out faster why are we buying it?

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