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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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Kirk "The Vindicator ... 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"
My engine company field tested the Vindicator nozzle for FDNY and what you say is true, however while those three factors are important they are not the only factors that need to be evaluated before making a purchasing decision..
You are so correct. Many factors must be considered and that is why I said they should establish their goals first. Some of those, as I hope every fire fighter agrees with should be the factors I mentioned as well as suppression capability (heat absorption), stream impact (penetration), stream foot-print deliver. All play a role and some other factors are tactical related. Ventilated structure or not, victims or not, etc. Those are what most would call critical decision making points to evaluate. Price, within reason should not be one of the first things we look at but I know we all understand that.

One of the challenges I see acrross the nation that truly effects these decsions is the lack of fire behavior experience and /or training and its role on our interior attacks. Less fires, less expereince. More Government (EPA) less live fire training, thus less experience. Granted, large departments like FDNY, Chicago, LA, etc tend to have far more actual experience you would agree that the vast majority of our departments in this country just dont see that many fires, nor have the training fires to learn from.

I took over as Chief locally three years ago. Living in a farm community we have old farm houses all over the place. I applied for the permits to use them for trianing and to my shock, I got them! Why was I shocked? Becuase everyone I talked to about the permiting process, including IFSI personel told me it was next to impossible to get a permit to burn. I just recieved our third house burn permit in 13 months. I had to jump through some paper work but with less than 5 hours of work our guys have had the chance to learn some fire behavior matters and their relation to stream choice as well as many other tactical issues.

I belive that once we define the purpose of the primary attack line the rest is simple. Can we agree that primary attack line should offer superior suppression efforts with as little effort as possible, both mentally and physicaly? If so then the target would be to search out a prodcut that meets the goals established. The challenge comes with making those decisions based on facts not emotions and/or tradition.

Cincinnati recently did just as I described and made three choices. Remove their automatics from service, replaced them with Elkhart LP Chief fog nozzles, which we highly recommend, and complimented the arsenal with Vindicators. Nothing more than tools for the tool box. Pick the one for the job at hand. We work with a giant tool box, yet the very item that plays a major role in our firefights tends to get about as much attention to fact based performance as the tires on the rig.

In 18 years I have heard numerous times where people complain about this nozzle or that nozzle then blame the product but each and every time I looked into those matters the product was doing excatly what they were suppose to, both ours and others, with the exception of the automatics. Nightmare plumbing that the engine spec committee failed to write a spec for, garbage high friction loss hose that the city bean counters purchased because they "think" they know something about hose yet we know it was a decision based on price in most cases. Schools who teach the text book then send kids out only flowing half of what they were told it was going to be. Well all of those factors play a role in whether the nozzle selected is going to do what we want it to do.

For example, a downstate IL department wanted 250 gpm fog nozzles for their attack lines. They purchased them and for some strange reason they just dint knock down their fires any faster than they had before. The bad mouthing of the new nozzles was rather comical. I heard it all when they asked me to solve their dilema becase we have the flow meters and pressure gauges etc. Fact based testing proved open butt hose would not flow more than 125 gpm with an EDP of 200 psi. First indicator is the flow rate and its relation to the pressure. Open up the panels and presto, the rig they purchased from a northern Illinois department had pre-plumbed 125 gpm foam eductors. Their decision to by new nozzles was filled with sound reasoning but no one took the step to establish some fact based numbers before they purchased anything.

I know when we did our presentation for Chief Ganci and Chief Turi we identified 2 1/2" hose FL that was double the numbers being used, which were text book calculations. 1 3/4" hose that had almost 20lbs more FL than calculated. Your own R&D proved Reaction numbers with fact based measuring devices that conflict with the text books. Are we changing the books? Are we implementing fixes for the FL differences from text book to real measurements? How about the rigs where the engineers pump the same pressure for a 200' line as they do for a 400' line? When that happens performance results change and its always easier to blame a product than to look into a mirror and realize we might need to re-think what we are doing and evaluate why the perforamce was so different.

I dont get to wrapped up in whether a department chooses our product line or not and anyone that has sat through one of our fire behavior/hydraulic class's knows this. My first comment is awlays: "Whether or not you every buy or use our product, the information I am going to share may one day save your life".

What I do get wrapped up with is emphasizing the importance of proper evaluation and testing and how that testing may one day save our lives and even offer some protection in a court room. Again, whether its our product or any other we must do this.

NFPA 1410 outlines flow requirements of 100 gpm and 200 gpm for our initial attack lines and back up lines, yet in 18 years of testing I have yet to find more than a dozen agencies who have measured their flows "and" established procedures to ensure their back up lines at least meet the minimum. Just doing it on paper offers us a crutch to lean on if we get drug into court by some lawyer. Nothing worse to answer Yes, we test our hose every year, Yes we test our pumps every year, Yes we test our ladders every year, then have to answer, I Dont Know when asked what our measured flow rates were, or No I have not measured the gpm in our attack line. Calculations dont cut it when things get legal. Wouldnt you agree that we might just need to take the time to measure the vary thing we depend on when we go into a fire?

While in Plano last week we did a day of training/testing and what was so exciting about it was the young LT taking the class truly cared about "knowing" the facts about their flow rates, both from thier fog nozzles and their Vindicators.

Why our educations system in this industry fails to spend any time on this is beyond me but had it not been for Ron Rach, retired Chief Engineere Instructor for Chicago Fire Department I probably would not be in business. That man was from the old school of hydraulics and the vast majority of what I know came from years of working with him. He knew plumbing, he knew hose, and he know nozzles. In 1992 that man pulled out a flow meter, pressure gauges, and scales and made us prove everything we said. Thats the way it should be! Says Who, with What Proof. The sad part is, in these past 18 years I can count on both hands the number of departments that had flow meters or pitot gauges when we were asked to do a presentation. Of the few that had them, Chicago was the only one that knew how to calibrate them.

I think way to much time is being spent on which nozzle we should buy or which is better. If we would spend that energy on testing our flows we may find that the nozzles we have are just fine, provided we fix all the garbage problems leading up to it. I cant type the emotion I have on this topic but I will try. WE HAVE A FLOW PROBLEM and outside of the automatics, its not the nozzle, its the equipment in that line.

Henricho county VA recieved two identical pumpers a few years back. Same spec, same manufacture, delivered the same day. Why on Gods Green earth should one rig have to pump 40psi more EDP to get the same flow as the other rig from the same pre-connect? Or Dallas having 25 rigs all flowing the same gpm but having EDP's that ranged from 130-257 psi to get that same flow from the same 200 feet off the same back pre-connect. Phoenix, front bumper primary attack line flowing 200 gpm but in order to do that they had to have 338-psi EDP. A FL of 110-psi was identified in the plumbing. This type of stuff should never happen. Its borderline criminal!

Plumbing, hose, bad valves, etc. We must start testing this stuff like our lives depend on it, because they do!
We did end up going with the assault nozzles the only thing we do not like about them they are a little shorter then what are TFT were but they put out a lot more water and have better streams. We have used them from House fires and car fires. And everyone has loved them with the exception of the length.
Jason, Am I to understand correctly that you and your people prefered the longer length versus the new shorter nozzle? What did you like about the greater length?
Kirk Allen said:
Jason, Am I to understand correctly that you and your people prefered the longer length versus the new shorter nozzle? What did you like about the greater length?

I enjoy the nozzle myself but there are some of the new guys that were use to the TFT which are a tad longer and have more to hold on too.
A couple years ago one of our members saw the Zero Torque nozzle from Akron and was sure we had to try it out. We borrowed one from a rep and used it for a house burn. The Zero Torque works and makes the nozzle easier to handle, the pistol grip gets tucked in tight to the body but the bale is out in front where you can use it. All our 1 3/4" preconnects now have them. Our 2 1/2" preconnects have a Zero Torque with 1 1/2" threads which we carry a solid bore on but can change to a combination for exposure protection. You can convert your Akron nozzle to a Zero Torque for about $120 since you already have the nozzle.
Akron also makes a Saber Jet nozzle that combines a solid bore with a combination nozzle.
As you have probably guessed our department uses Akron so that's what I'm familiar with. With that said, nozzles are like most the stuff on your apparatus, just another tool in the toolbox. You need to look at them all and compare, then decide which tools you'll have to work with.
The comments about actual gpm and psi are accurate. TFT makes a device called the Sho Flo that goes in line and gives you both.
I know this discussion started last year and you probably already bought nozzles, but hopefully I can stop someone else from making the same mistake my department made. Don't get 50 psi nozzles! My department had 150 at 75 Elkhart nozzles that worked great! They kept the hose hard at a lower pressure. A couple of years ago the Elkhart rep talked one of our Chiefs into buying 150 at 50 nozzles because they were his "latest product"! Now our hose stays limp and I have to tell my driver to add 10 to 20 psi to his calculations. The problem with this is that the nozzles are designed to get the most productive stream at 50 psi. If you get 50 psi nozzles just understand that more than one kink will effect your fire stream and God forbid something falls on your line or a door is not chaulked correctly!

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?

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