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Old Hoses Won't Do With New Fires!

Posted by Feld Fire on 8/11/2014 to Fire Equipment

If you are someone who is in charge of supply orders for your department or your particular fire station, you have gained experience and appreciation that many tools that your firefighters use happen to wear out after a while, including hoses.

We know - how much easier would your job be if everything lasted 50 years? Alas, that is not the case. Even the fire hose you use so reliably every day for years will wear out after so long, and you have to replace it before it becomes a detriment to your department's ability to fight fires.

But hose selection is not as easy as one might think, especially now. If you are new to procurement and have not had to order hose before, or if you are a seasoned pro and had a certain standard for years, both of you will appreciate these tips for the best way to order fire hose for your department, because the process has become a little more confusing and complicated than in the past.

First, you have to know whether you are buying supply, attack, or dual-purpose hose. Attack hose is generally smaller in diameter (no more than 2.5 inches), while supply hose can be 3 inches or more. Supply hose is also single-jacket, while attack or dual-purpose hose is double-jacketed to provide pressure of 300 pounds per square inch or more.

Don't trust the diameter stamped on the hose jacket to be entirely accurate; internal diameters can vary pretty widely from what is stamped on the outside, so be very specific about the diameter of hose your need. Ask if the manufacturer has pocket cards that show some friction/pressure loss data.

You'll need to look at single- or double-jacket hose based on the type of hose and the type of jacket (rubber or woven). Synthetic woven seems to be much better for attack hose than natural woven, just for the record. Synthetic woven comes in nylon and polyester, and it's important to note kink resistance, yarn and weave when shopping for synthetic woven hose. Durability and flexibility are key elements, so be sure to make comparisons in the manufacturer literature.

There are also several options for hose liners, and you will have to look into each one for budgetary, durability and utilitarian considerations. The most popular ones are EPDM, thermoplastic and extruded.

Some hoses will have the option of a coating. Any colored hose you want to buy will have the coating, and coatings can be useful but they will add expense.

You will have 50- and 100-foot lengths of hose to consider. There are some 75-foot options available with certain manufacturers. It could be personal preference which length you choose and for what reasons, as both have their pros and cons.

And yes, you will have to look into the fit of the hose into the hosebed(s) of your truck(s). If you are changing manufacturer or diameter, you'll have to make sure you measure the volume of the hosebed and get specifics abut flat width of the hose and dimensions of the coupling as well (a different coupling size will affect how the hose is stored).

For more specific information, you can check out this article about hose selection.

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