LTT-010

LTT-010
A Firefighter’s
Guide To
NOZZLES
Task Force Tips, Inc. - 800-348-2686
10 COMMON QUESTIONS ABOUT AUTOMATIC
NOZZLES
1) How is an automatic nozzle different from a regular (conventional)
nozzle?
2) How does an automatic nozzle work?
3) What pressure do we pump to automatic nozzles?
4) How do I know how much water I am flowing?
5) What is the flow from each “Click Stop” on the nozzle?
6) Can I use automatics with foam and foam eductors?
7) Why don’t all automatic nozzles have spinning teeth?
8) What type of nozzle is best for “Nozzleman Flow Control?”
9) Is it true that the stream from a “SOLID” bore nozzle hits harder and
goes farther than the “Hollow”’ stream from a fog nozzle?
10) What’s all this talk about low pressure nozzles? What are the trade
offs, is the compromise worth it?
Upon completion of this training booklet, you will be able to answer
these, and many other, questions pertaining to firefighting nozzles.
The ten questions and complete answers are listed in the appendix.
CONTENTS
EVOLUTION OF FIRE STREAMS ...................................................... 2
EVOLUTION OF COMBINATION NOZZLES ..................................... 3
UNDERSTANDING FIRE NOZZLE DESIGN...................................... 5
LIMITATIONS OF CONVENTIONAL NOZZLES ................................ 6
AUTOMATIC NOZZLES INVENTED ................................................ 10
BENEFITS OF AUTOMATIC NOZZLES .......................................... 13
SLIDE VALVE vs. BALL VALVE ..................................................... 16
TRAINING CONSIDERATIONS WITH AUTOMATICS .................... 18
USING LARGER SIZE ATTACK LINES........................................... 21
BOOSTER TANK OPERATIONS ..................................................... 22
SHAPING THE FIRE STREAM PATTERN....................................... 23
SMOOTH BORE vs. FOG TIP .......................................................... 24
FLUSHING DEBRIS.......................................................................... 28
NOZZLE REACTION ........................................................................ 29
DUAL-FORCE/MID-FORCE ............................................................. 34
AUTOMATIC NOZZLES & FOAM .................................................... 37
MASTER STREAM AUTOMATICS .................................................. 40
THE WATER TRIANGLE CONCEPT ............................................... 42
CONCLUSION .................................................................................. 44
LITERATURE 24/7 – Email or Fax .................................................. 45
APPENDIX ........................................................................................ 46
FRICTION LOSS COEFFIEIENTS.................................................... 58
FLOW AND REACTION CHARTS ................................................... 61
1
EVOLUTION OF FIRE STREAMS
17th Century (Bucket Brigades)
Leather buckets were passed from person to person forming
a line from the supply source to volunteers positioned near
the fire. The water was applied, by the volunteers, in the best
way they could.
18th Century (Hose Companies)
Leather hose and copper/brass playpipes.
Sewn leather hose gave way to copper riveted hose.
19th Century (Engine & Hose Companies)
2.5” Cotton Hose & Underwriters Pipe (1888).
20th Century
40’s & 50’s: 1.5” hose and assorted water spray nozzles.
50’s & 60’s: 1.5” hose combination, fixed and adjustable
gallonage nozzles.
60’s & 70’s: 1.5” & 1.75” hose, automatic nozzle introduced
by C.H. McMillan.
70’s & 80’s: 1.75” & 2.0” hose, wide spread acceptance of
automatic nozzles.
80’s & 90’s: Light weight 1.75” & 2.0” hose and introduction
of dual pressure nozzles and special application
attachments.
21st Century
Lightweight 2.5” & 3.0” hose and introduction of safe, offensive
portable monitor.
2
EVOLUTION OF THE COMBINATION NOZZLE
(FOG NOZZLE)
The combination nozzle used today in the North
American fire service is a simple variation of the straight stream
nozzle of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. A
standard smooth bore nozzle gives little in the way of stream
choices. One diameter, one flow... @ 50 psi.
1700's
To change streams required changing nozzle size.
1800's
The Int roduct ion Of St acked Tips
Allowed Quick Accessibilit y To Four Tip Sizes
The Addition of a Baffle (disc) added two features:
1) Flow Adjustment
1940's & 50's
The Baffle space changes for different gallonage.
3
1940's & 50's
Flow is determined by how far the baffle (disc) is from the
circular opening. The distance is preset in fixed gallonage
combination nozzles and is changeable in adjustable gallonage
nozzles.
2) Pattern Adjustment
1940's & 50's
Moving the shaper back widens the pattern.
1940's & 50's
Moving the shaper forward focuses the water and a tight solid
stream can be achieved.
4
UNDERSTANDING FIRE NOZZLE DESIGN
The purpose of any nozzle is to provide a restriction of
the flow to build pressure. This restriction, and subsequent
created pressure, provides a usable velocity to project the
water stream. For any one flow, there is one correct nozzle
size (restriction) to develop the optimum pressure and velocity.
Nozzles come in a confusing number of sizes, shapes and
styles. The large number of combinations greatly increases
the possibility of hydraulics problems being encountered on
the fireground.
Fig. 7
SMOOTH BORES:
Fixed opening sized from 1/2” to 1-1/4” for handline
firefighting operations
Larger stream (GPM) sized from 1-1/4” to 2”
For each flow, there is ONE CORRECT nozzle size to
develop optimum velocity and reach
FOG NOZZLES:
Fixed or very limited gallonage selections
Require adjustments that limit nozzle performance
Require correct pump discharge pressure for best
performance and GPM delivery
DESIGNED NOZZLE PRESSURES
Smooth Bore Nozzle - Handline 50 PSI
Smooth Bore Nozzle - Master Stream - 80 PSI
Fog Nozzle (all types) 100 PSI
5
Current conventional nozzles (“conventional” refers to
a nozzle with a fixed size opening or manually adjustable
opening) come in two basic types: 1. smooth bore and 2.
peripheral jet, more commonly known as fog nozzles (Fig.
8). To allow for changing water conditions and to add greater
flexibility (and often confusion), smooth bore nozzles are also
available with stacked tips of increasing size.
Fig. 8
Many fog nozzles, booster through master stream,
operate similar to a stacked tip by use of a gallonage ring that
manually adjusts the discharge opening (restriction) of the
nozzle. Though manually adjusted tips improve the situation
over fixed sizes (smooth bores), maximum efficiency is not
achieved. Complete coordination between the pump operator,
supplying the correct pump discharge pressure, and the nozzle
operator is normally impossible. Will the pump operator pump
to a predetermined setting? If so, is the nozzle actually set to
that position? Has the nozzle operator made a change in the
setting, assuming that it will change the flow delivered? The
problems multiply!
LIMITATIONS OF CONVENTIONAL NOZZLES
In order for a conventional nozzle with a fixed opening
(either smooth bore or fog) to operate at the
6
correct nozzle pressure, the proper flow (GPM), determined
by the correct pump discharge pressure, must be supplied
(Fig. 9).
Fig. 9
These flow requirements must include consideration of the
available water supply, hose size and length, and the pumping
capability of the supplying engine. IF all things go right, a
given flow of water passes through the nozzle to produce the
desired nozzle pressure and stream. A big IF!!!
If the proper fire stream is attained, the flow to that nozzle
cannot be altered unless the discharge opening is changed
(manually adjusted) for the new flow, with a corresponding
adjustment in pump discharge pressure. Since conventional
nozzles cannot change size, or are very limited in adjustment,
one of two things must happen.
When a conventional nozzle is supplied less than the
rated flow, the result is a weak, less effective, stream. This
situation may be due to poor water supply, long hose lays,
improper selection of tip size, or pump operator error (Fig.
10). This under-pressured stream may waste water, because
the velocity needed to reach the seat of the fire is not
produced. This under pressure stream may cause the hose
to kink more easily, therefore, reducing the flow even more!
It may jeopardize the safety of the nozzle crew. Little, if any,
knockdown capability is achieved. Poor water supplies are
often blamed for poor fire streams. More often, poor streams
result from the inability to match the correct nozzle size to the
water supply that is available!
7
Fig. 10
On the other hand, if more than the required flow is
being delivered to the conventional nozzle, excessive nozzle
pressure will result (Fig. 11). This excessive flow will produce
a proportionally higher nozzle pressure and, therefore, a
corresponding increase in reaction, or “kickback”.
Fig. 11
The higher nozzle reaction will make the hose line more
difficult to handle. It may jeopardize the safety of the nozzle
crew in an environment that is already unsafe. This dramatic
difference in nozzle pressure can be shown graphically (Chart
A).
8
Chart A
Any attempt to control the over-pressured line, by the
nozzle operator cutting back at the nozzle, results in a fire
stream that is broken and erratic. A partially open ball valve
creates tremendous turbulence which reduces the stream’s
effectiveness. The nozzle crew must make a decision; fight the
hose line and the fire, or fight the fire with a broken, ineffective,
stream.
It becomes obvious when a handline is over pressurized.
What about a master stream device that is being operated at
a pressure higher than normal? We can’t “feel” the reaction or
kickback. The high flow rate of a master stream device, added
to the higher than normal pressure, may create a dangerously
high nozzle reaction. This may add unnecessary stress to
aerial ladders or elevated platforms.
In addition, the potential extra water available, evidenced
by the high nozzle pressure, is not delivered effectively. A
larger size nozzle for the extra water is required (changing the
tip size).
9
The high flow, if delivered through the correct size opening,
results in a reduction in nozzle reaction and also the required
engine pressure.
What if there was a nozzle invented that would
“automatically” size itself to the correct nozzle size for the
GPM being delivered to it?
AUTOMATIC NOZZLES INVENTED
The automatic nozzle, also referred to as a pressureregulating or a constant pressure nozzle, was developed in
the late 1960’s by Chief C.H. McMillan of the Gary, Indiana,
Fire Task Force and founder of TASK FORCE TIPS, Inc. The
nozzle was developed to solve the problems of using big
streams with limited water supplies. A benefit of the automatic
nozzle has been the many improvements of all aspects of
firefighting involving water. This has resulted in new improved
tactics, greater attack effectiveness, and greater flow deliveries
than ever before possible.
For example, let’s do a comparison that may make the
automatic nozzle seem less mysterious.
A fixed gallonage or smooth bore nozzle is similar to using a
manual transmission. As the vehicle speed (flow) increases or
decreases, the correct gear (nozzle opening) must be selected
and manually changed for proper stream quality.
The automatic nozzle is similar to an automatic transmission.
As the vehicle speed (flow) increases or decreases, the correct
gear (nozzle opening) is automatically selected, producing
proper stream quality all the time.
10
With current technology, the automatic transmission (the
automatic pressure regulating nozzle) is now the method of
choice. It is the simplest (from the operator’s perspective),
requires the least amount of specialized training, and is most
efficient at changing to the best gear at the proper time. For
whatever “speed” (flow) you choose, the automatic will adjust
to give you the proper “gear” (flow opening).
The automatic nozzle uses a principle very similar to that
of a pumper relief valve. The pressure control mechanism
senses the pressure at the base of the nozzle (Fig. 12). Slight
adjustments are made automatically to maintain the optimum
nozzle pressure for the flow that is being delivered.
Fig. 12
The primary baffle, attached to the pressure control unit,
varies the discharge opening of the nozzle (Fig. 13). In effect,
the nozzle is constantly changing “tip size” to match the water
being delivered. This allows the flow being supplied to be
delivered at the proper nozzle pressure and correct velocity.
11
100 GPM @ 100 PSI
NOTE: Baffle opening.
200 GPM @ 100 PSI
NOTE: Change in baffle opening as gpm increases.
300 GPM @ 100 PSI
NOTE: Change in baffle opening as gpm increases.
Fig. 13
This variable gallon-per-minute rating allows one
automatic nozzle to take the place of many conventional
nozzles. An H-VPGI, TFT Handline, automatic nozzle with a
flow range of 50-350 GPM, or a TFT Dual-Force with a flow
range of 70-250 GPM, can be used on any size hose from
1-1/2” to 3”. This wide flow range would require many different
conventional nozzle sizes!
The pressure-regulating principle used in the TFT
Handline automatic nozzle is also used in the Ultimatic 125
Booster (10-125 GPM), the Mid-Matic (70-200 GPM) the
Master Stream (150-1250 GPM), the Monsoon (300-2000
GPM) and the Typhoon (600-4000 GPM). The wide flow range
of the Master Stream nozzle allows one nozzle to be used,
rather than a wide assortment of conventional fog or smooth
bore tips.
Unlike the conventional nozzles, the automatic allows for
proper nozzle pressure under a variety of changing flow
conditions.
12
BENEFITS OF AUTOMATIC NOZZLES
Consistent hard-hitting streams
Correct nozzle pressure with available flow (GPM)
Maximum reach with available water
Capable of higher “initial attack” flows
“Nozzleman Flow Control” with patented
slide valve
Consistent Hard-Hitting Streams
To obtain the proper “punch” that is necessary for an
aggressive attack, an automatic maintains the optimum nozzle
pressure at all times. The fire stream pressure is unaffected
by upstream variables that may be unknown to the pump
operator or hose crew.
Proper Nozzle Pressure With Available Flow
With changing water supply, the automatic will adjust
to the flow available and use the water most effectively. If the
flow to the nozzle is increased, the automatic will increase the
opening size to accommodate the larger flow. In situations
where water supply is not adequate, or when sufficient lines
have not been established to move the water available, the
automatic will adjust to make best use of the supply until the
system can be improved. If the water supply to the nozzle
is reduced, the same nozzle pressure will continue to be
maintained by decreasing the baffle opening size.
Maximum Reach With Available Water
To gain the greatest reach with a fire stream, maximum
flow must be delivered at the correct velocity. By maintaining
nozzle pressure (and velocity), the automatic nozzle will always
produce the maximum reach possible with the available water
supply.
13
Higher Initial Attack Flow Rates
If the water is available, we normally attempt to deliver
the rated capacity of the nozzle. More water can only be
supplied to the conventional nozzle at the risk of a higher
nozzle pressure and reaction. Excessive engine pressures
would also be necessary to compensate for the increased
friction loss and the higher than normal nozzle pressure.
With an automatic nozzle, an increase in pump
discharge pressure is all that is necessary to move a higher
flow. The nozzle pressure remains constant; and the extra
engine pressure is dissipated, as additional friction loss,
producing a higher flow.
The difference between engine pressure and nozzle
pressure (with the valve fully opened) is the friction loss
produced in moving the volume of water through a length of
hose. The basic formula for pump discharge pressure, PDP
= NP + TPL (total pressure loss = appliance friction loss +
hoseline friction loss + elevation pressure), still applies. With
an automatic, the nozzle pressure remains constant and the
formula can be rewritten as PDP = 100 + TPL.
For example (Fig. 14a), a 150 foot 1-1/2” automatic
preconnect can move 170 GPM at 200 PSI engine pressure.
Fig. 14a
This is a 50% to 70% increase in flow when compared to
a conventional nozzle. When used with the same length of
1-3/4” hose, automatics can easily flow 200 GPM for initial
attack (Fig. 14b). A higher flow rate from the first line on the
fire can make the difference between success and failure.
14
Fig. 14b
Nozzleman Flow Control
Higher flow rates and pressure regulation are not the
total answer and may present specific problems. Even with
pressure regulation, higher flow rates will produce higher
nozzle reactions and, consequently, require better control of
the flow by the hose crew. It may result in a greater waste of
water, possibly causing greater water damage, if proper care
is not used. The total answer? The automatic nozzle MUST
have “Nozzleman Flow Control”.
The automatic pressure control mechanism and
patented slide valve within the nozzle allow the flow to be
regulated, up to the maximum that is supplied by the hose
layout, without affecting the nozzle pressure or stream quality.
The use of the shutoff as a throttle also simplifies operation.
This gives the nozzle crew control that is not otherwise
available.
“Nozzleman Flow Control” with an exclusive turbulencefree slide valve, allows a nozzle operator to easily adjust the
flow to what is needed or what can safely be handled. This has
an effect of not only reducing fatigue and increasing safety,
but it instills greater confidence in the attack team. They know
they have the higher flow rate, if needed; and a much more
confident, aggressive attack can be made.
Individual nozzle crews can adjust their flow to what they
need. Water use is kept to a minimum, and water damage
can be reduced (Fig. 15).
15
TFT Slide Valve
OFF
1/2 THROTTLE
NOTE: Change in baffle opening.
FULL THROTTLE
NOTE: Change in baffle opening.
Fig. 15
Slide Valve vs. Ball Valve
Slide Valve
This innovative slide valve has been proven in the
Handline, Mid-Matic and Ultimatic styles. THIS VALVE
DESIGN CONTROLS THE FLOW WITHOUT CREATING
TURBULENCE.
16
The pressure control unit then compensates for the change
of flow by moving the baffle to adjust the proper tip size,
maintaining correct nozzle pressure. Because of this action,
the patented slide valve allows the nozzle to be operated at
any handle position without producing turbulence that can
affect stream quality.
Stainless steel slide valve
Will not bind or tighten with age
Will not tighten under high pressures
Is always easy to open
A Handline automatic, using a unique slide-type valve
design, controls the flow WITHOUT creating turbulence (Fig.
16a).
Fig. 16a
The pressure control then compensates for the increase or
decrease in flow by moving the baffle to develop the proper tip
size and pressure. A turbulence-free slide valve with automatic
pressure regulation add up to “Nozzleman Flow Control”.
Ball Valve
Ball valves have long stood as the primary means of
controlling water flow in the fire service. However widespread,
they still retain problems which cannot be ignored.
17
Designed to be operated in a fully open or fully closed
position
Positioning other than fully open produces a violent
turbulence within the nozzle
Turbulence destroys the straight stream
Turbulence results in surging, disrupted fog patterns
(Fig. 16b)
As nozzle pressure increases:
A ball valve becomes more difficult to open
The ball is forced harder and harder against the valve
seat
Fig. 16b
A nozzle, using a ball valve CANNOT control the flow without
creating turbulence. A ball valve is designed to work in the
fully open position. Any attempt to operate in less than the fully
open position, creates a violent turbulence within the nozzle
that results in poor stream quality and surging, disruptive fog
patterns.
TRAINING CONSIDERATIONS WITH AUTOMATICS
Any new technology or technique should be practiced
and perfected on the training ground if it is to be successful
in the heat of battle. Trained officers and firefighters are the
single most important resource of a fire department regardless
of equipment used.
18
When using the slide valve, the nozzle operator must
be aware that by using the shutoff handle as a throttle, the flow
can be gated back to a lower volume. And while working on ice,
a roof ledge, a ladder, or any position where nozzle reaction
is an added risk, the nozzle operator should throttle back to a
safe, workable volume. The nozzle will automatically adjust.
The nozzle operator now has a valuable “in-between”!
Rather than calculating a desired pressure for a given
volume and hose layout (which is nearly impossible in the
urgent rush of getting water), you simply pump to a standard
level of pressure. Pump pressures of 150 to 200 PSI are
suggested to deliver the increased, rapid knockdown flows.
The flow control feature of TFT automatics allows the nozzle
crew to then select the flow that is necessary. The difference
in engine pressure and nozzle pressure (with the valve fully
open) is the friction loss produced in moving the volume of
water in that length of hose.
The basic formula for calculating engine pressure, Pump
Discharge Pressure = Nozzle Pressure + Total Pressure Loss
(PDP = NP + TPL) still applies.
TPL = Appliance Friction Loss + Hoseline Friction Loss +
Elevation Pressure
With an automatic, the nozzle pressure will remain constant.
The formula can then be more practically rewritten:
Pump Discharge Pressure = 100 + TPL
Example:
For a 500 ft. length of 2-1/2” hose, what engine pressure will
be required to flow 300 GPM @ 100 PSI?
Since appliance friction loss and elevation pressure loss are
not applicable: TPL = FL = CQ2L
19
FL = Hoseline friction loss in PSI
C = Coefficient based on hose size
Q = Flow in hundreds of GPM
L = Length in hundreds of feet
2
TPL = (2)(3) (5)
TPL = 90 PSI
PDP = 100 + TPL
PDP = 100 + 90
PDP = 190 PSI
Rules of thumb, slide charts and tables (Appendix A) can be
used to convert a friction loss figure to a corresponding flow
(Chart B).
The pump operator should be aware that the pump discharge
pressure will fluctuate as a result of the nozzle operator
throttling the handline. Once the desired engine pressure is
attained, the relief valve or governor should be set. Avoid
“chasing” the pump pressure!!
Chart B
20
The rule to remember is that automatics do
EXACTLY as calculated with “standard” hydraulics when
calculations are correct. Natural laws cannot be violated.
Where conventional calculations and assumptions (such
as available water) are incorrect, if conditions are such that
desired calculations cannot be achieved, or other errors are
made, the automatic nozzle will compensate for the difference.
The pressure control mechanism adjusts for the actual flow.
This will provide the best possible stream for the supply and
conditions at that moment. Multiple streams are automatically
coordinated and can be controlled to distribute the available
volume most effectively.
USING LARGER SIZE ATTACK LINES
People vary in size and strength and may work
on various footings. Sometimes no more than one or two
firefighters are available to hold an attack line. To compensate
for these variables, a nozzle with a wide flow range and
“Nozzleman Flow Control” is essential. The question of
larger attack lines and higher flow rates has received a lot of
publicity in the past. Should we use them? Certainly, with an
increase in hose diameter, there will be a marginal increase in
the weight and size of an attack line. For its few drawbacks,
the larger line has two overwhelming advantages. Firepower
and Time! The 1-3/4” or 2” line, while retaining most of the
handling benefits of the 1-1/2” line, approximate or exceed
flows usually achieved of the standard 2-1/2”. A 2-1/2” hose
line is simply overkill for the flows a typical hose crew can
hold.
Let’s take for example: A certain fire will require 125
gallons of water to absorb the heat and to extinguish the
blaze. With a booster line at 25 GPM, an application rate of
five minutes or more will be necessary. A standard 1-1/2” line
flowing 125 GPM, requires 1 minute. A 1-3/4” line flowing 250
GPM requires only 30 seconds!
21
During the time of application, the fire generates additional heat
and consumes more fuel. The lower rates (the 25 GPM booster,
for example) may not stop it even after the full five minutes.
Firefighters can’t press the attack. As the flow increases, the
actual amount of water required will also decrease, so that
the actual volume required will be significantly less than the
expected 125 gallons. This is due to the effect of the blitz
attack--Hitting it hard and fast!
Nozzles with “Nozzleman Flow Control”, in combination
with larger size preconnected lines, add a new dimension to the
term “fire attack”. Big line flows, with fast, small line handling
are now available. Well-trained firefighters and teamwork are
still a must, but available personnel can now get in faster with
more attack capability.
With 1-3/4” line at 200 PSI pump pressure, flows are
available up to:
230 GPM on 150 foot preconnects
200 GPM on 200 foot preconnects
175 GPM on 250 foot preconnects
These flows are practical maximums for this size line.
With “Nozzleman Flow Control”, these flows can be reduced
at the nozzle to fit the need or situation.
BOOSTER TANK OPERATIONS
At first one may cringe at such high flow rate capabilities
or procedures. “But we’ve only got 500 gallons in our tank!”;
“Just two minutes on one line, one minute with a pair!” With
training and experience, that’s not the way it goes. After a
quick preconnect stretch to the seat of the fire, a blitz attack
flow is delivered. A 10-15 second blast produces a tremendous
effect, with steam penetrating the same channels as the fire.
A room of intense fire can be quenched using only 50 or so
gallons. By repositioning, another shot can be delivered.
22
A booster size line wouldn’t have phased it, and a
conventional 1-1/2” flowing continuously might have taken
several minutes and several hundred gallons of water to
control the first room, if at all. Two firefighters can maneuver a
1-3/4” far more rapidly than four can muscle a 2-1/2”.
Move-hit! Move-hit! Even the 500-gallon tank is spread
out over the first critical minutes with unbelievable results. By
that time, a supply line from a hydrant or tanker should be
connected. If this blitz attack hasn’t controlled the fire, or at
least bought time to supplement the supply, NO WAY could an
effective attack have been made with smaller lines.
SHAPING THE FIRE STREAM PATTERN
The automatic nozzle shapes the fire stream from
straight stream, for reach and penetration, to fog patterns, for
greater heat absorption, firefighter protection, and specialized
applications. However, there is more to shaping a fire stream
than turning the bumper.
Fog or spray-type nozzles have been in use since the
1940’s. Most of these fog nozzles had one trait in common.
They all relied on stream impingement or some form of fog
teeth to produce the wide fog pattern.
The earliest style of fog nozzles used had square-faced
metal teeth (Fig. 17a). Two problems existed: 1) the squarefaced teeth left gaps or “fingers” in the fog pattern which
allowed heat to pass, and 2) the metal teeth were susceptible
to damage when dropped or used as a “forcible entry tool”.
The next generation of fog nozzles used spinning teeth
(Fig. 17b) which appeared to eliminate the fingers of the wide
fog. The spinning teeth reshaped the fingers that were visible
(high speed photographs show that they are still there) with a
wider and thinner fog pattern.
23
The wide, thin pattern spreads the available water out beyond
practical use. Maximum width should be just wide enough
to cast a dense shadow of protection for the hose crew. All
droplets are extremely fine and can be rapidly carried away.
Spinning teeth do not direct water to the center of the pattern.
The teeth are often made of plastic and are easily damaged
or broken.
A later development, the double row of teeth (Fig.
17c), attempted to fill the gaps between the teeth by creating
another point of deflection. However, the second row formed
“fingers” of its own and, therefore, left gaps in the pattern.
17c
17b
24
17a
The latest innovation uses molded rubber fog teeth as
an integral part of the bumper. The strong, pliable fog teeth
resist damage by springing back to their original shape after
impact. The thick rubber bumper aids in protecting these fog
teeth, which are essential to producing a good fog pattern.
The use of computer-aided design in the development
of the TFT Handline automatic (released Sept.,1983) has
allowed the creation of the only fog pattern that has full-fill to
the cone without fingering (Fig. 18). Each fog tooth has been
shaped to form a small nozzle with the proper stream spread
so as to overlap the next tooth. The face of the bumper is
specially engineered to “pull” the water to a wider pattern. The
tremendous pulling effect can be seen when slowly moving
from partial fog to the wide fog pattern.
Fig. 18
The rubber tooth is designed to produce a wide range
of droplet sizes, from moderately coarse to extremely fine.
The pattern has maximum heat absorption, due to the fine
droplets, yet produces large droplets for maximum reach and
projection.
25
The combination of these two effects provides a
densely-filled cone of water. This outer cone blends with the
inner ball of water created from the fronts of the fog teeth to
form a “POWER FOG”.
For additional information, dial 800-348-2686 and talk to a
nozzle specialist.
SMOOTH BORE vs. FOG TIP
It is still mistakenly believed that for a high wind, or for
maximum reach, a “straight stream” or “smooth bore nozzle” is
required, though it does not have the flexibility of an adjustable
fog nozzle.
By design, a fog nozzle at proper pressure will produce
a straighter straight stream than a smooth bore tip. The
foundations of tradition quake! Why? A smooth bore stream at
correct operating pressure has a greater velocity at the center
of the stream than at the sides. This is due to the sidewall
friction or turbulence of the water along the sides of the tip
(Fig. 19a). As the water exits the nozzle, the stream has a
tendency to separate and peel away from itself. The stream is
truly “solid” for only a few inches. At very low pressures, the
separation is not as evident (the “glass rod”); however, the
stream is totally ineffective for firefighting.
Fig. 19a
26
A fog nozzle at proper operating pressure exits the
periphery at equal velocity across the stream. A partial vacuum
within the pattern is created which will focus the stream together
a short distance from the nozzle (Fig. 19b). The re-converged
stream has a uniform cross-sectional velocity which results in
a tighter, more coherent stream with more firefighting action.
EQUAL VELOCITY OF FOG TIP
Fig. 19b
In all probability, many readers will be skeptical. So we
ask that you go out and prove it to yourself. A PROPERLY
TRIMMED peripheral fog nozzle delivers a straighter, tighter,
more far-reaching stream than the “smooth bore”.
Fig. 20a
Fig. 20b
27
Fig. 20c
Proper trim is the key, and that is the point where the
pattern is just closed. For example, for the longest reaching,
sharpest straight stream, the shaper sleeve is rotated toward
fog until the pattern starts to widen (Fig. 20a); then it is turned
back enough to close the stream to parallel (Fig. 20b). To
advance the shaper farther will cause the stream to cross
over the focal point and degrade the stream (Fig. 20c).
FLUSHING DEBRIS
Another necessary feature of a fog nozzle is the ability
to flush unwanted debris. Stones, gaskets, tank scale, etc., can
all seriously affect the operation of the nozzle. The pressureassisted flush allows debris up to 5/16” to pass through the
nozzle by a simple twist of the shaper past wide fog (Fig.
21).
Fig. 21
28
The built-in inlet screen “Gasket Grabber” is located in
the back of the nozzle and should be checked after each use.
Any debris caught in the “Gasket Grabber” should be removed
after each nozzle use.
Fig. 22
NOZZLE REACTION
Considerable attention has been given throughout
this booklet to nozzle pressures and the effects of reaction.
Newton’s Third Law of Motion states, “For every action there
is an equal and opposite reaction.” Nozzle reaction is best
known to firefighters as nozzle “kickback”. Simply, at equal
nozzle pressures, a higher volume will have a higher reaction.
At equal flows, a greater nozzle pressure will produce a
greater reaction. This law creates a problem with conventional
non-automatic nozzles. Once the rated flow is reached, slight
increases in GPM produce rapid gains in nozzle reaction.
1-1/2” Fog Nozzles
For example, let’s look at a conventional 1-1/2 inch fog
nozzle rated at 100 GPM. At the rated flow (100 GPM), the
nozzle pressure would be 100 PSI. To increase the flow to
110 GPM, a nozzle pressure of 120 PSI would be required.
For a flow of 120 GPM, the required nozzle pressure would
be 145 PSI; and at 130 GPM, the nozzle pressure would be a
whopping 170 PSI.
29
To translate these nozzle pressure/flow combinations to
nozzle reaction, the following common formula is used for fog
nozzles — NR = (0.0505)(QNP)
Where: NR
0.0505
Q
NP
=
=
=
=
Nozzle reaction in pounds
A constant
Flow in GPM
Nozzle pressure in PSI
With this formula we calculate that the nozzle reaction
for each of the above flows is:
100 GPM = 50 lbs. NR
110 GPM = 61 lbs. NR (+10% flow, +22% reaction)
120 GPM = 73 lbs. NR (+20% flow, +46% reaction)
130 GPM = 86 lbs. NR (+30% flow, +72% reaction)
With a conventional fog nozzle (Chart C), once the rated flow
is attained, nozzle reaction will increase at a rate more than
twice as fast as flow (Chart D).
30
2-1/2” Fog Nozzles
A conventional 250 GPM fog nozzle on 2-1/2” hose
exhibits the same reaction characteristics as the 100 GPM
fog nozzle when operated above its rated flow. For example:
250 GPM = 126 lbs. NR (100 PSI NP)
275 GPM = 153 lbs. NR (+10% flow, +21% reaction)
300 GPM = 182 lbs. NR (+20% flow, +44% reaction)
325 GPM = 214 lbs. NR (+30% flow, +70% reaction)
Shown graphically in charts E & F.
Smooth Bore Tips
Smooth bore nozzles are subject to the same rules
for nozzle reaction as conventional fog nozzles. Both types
of nozzles have a fixed size opening. Above the rated flow,
the nozzle reaction will climb faster than the increasing flow.
Neither will produce a significant increase in flow. The same
nozzle reaction formula for fog nozzles can be applied to
smooth bores, but is more commonly rewritten as:
31
NR = (1.57)(d2NP)
Where: NR
1.57
d
NP
=
=
=
=
Nozzle reaction in pounds
A constant
Nozzle diameter in inches
Nozzle pressure in PSI
Smooth bore nozzle reaction also increases at a rate
more than twice as fast as flow. In either case, with conventional
nozzles, the nozzle reaction and pressure increase drastically
to attain a marginal increase in flow.
Remember, the reason that the nozzle reaction
increases so dramatically with conventional nozzles is that
the nozzle pressure must increase with an increase in flow.
The discharge opening does not change. The real culprit in
nozzle reaction is the nozzle pressure!!
Automatic Nozzles
Automatic nozzles have the ability to keep nozzle
reaction at a minimum for any given flow by maintaining a
constant nozzle pressure.
Using the same flows as the previously mentioned
2-1/2” fog nozzle, and the same NR = (0.0505)(QNP) formula,
the nozzle reaction for an automatic would then be:
250 GPM = 126 lbs. NR
275 GPM = 139 lbs. NR (+10% flow, +10% reaction)
300 GPM = 152 lbs. NR (+20% flow, +21% reaction)
325 GPM = 164 lbs. NR (+30% flow, +30% reaction)
Note that with an automatic nozzle (Chart G), the
increase in nozzle reaction is equal to the increase in GPM.
A 10% increase in GPM produces a 10% increase in nozzle
reaction. A 20% increase in GPM produces a 21% increase in
reaction, and a 30% increase in GPM produces an equal 30%
increase in nozzle reaction (Chart H).
32
Just from the information above, it makes sense to use
an automatic nozzle. With the formula that is used to determine
nozzle reaction for fog nozzles (NR = 0.0505 x Q x NP), and
a constant nozzle pressure of 100 PSI, an easy rule-of-thumb
calculation would then be NR = 1/2 GPM.
The nozzle reaction from a fog nozzle will also vary
with the stream pattern. The greatest nozzle reaction will be
in the straight stream pattern.
As the nozzle reaction increases with any nozzle, an
equal or greater amount of counter-reaction must be produced
to keep the nozzle stationary. In most firefighting operations,
this counter-reaction is supplied by the firefighting crew. (See
Nozzle Reaction Chart at rear of book.) Just how much water
can this team flow and still maintain control of the hose line?
From past experience and experimentation, flows of 150 to 250
GPM are workable volumes for automatics on preconnected
hose lines with a two-person attack team.
33
Should the nozzle reaction become excessive for a
lone operator, the TFT Automatic is the ONLY nozzle that
allows the nozzle operator to adjust the flow and, therefore,
the nozzle reaction without affecting the nozzle pressure or
stream quality. Think about it the next time you are working
on a ladder or other dangerous location. Varying firefighter
capabilities and situations makes the ability to control flow
and resulting reaction a vital necessity in using the higher flow
rates to maximum advantage.
DUAL-FORCE / MID-FORCE
(Dual-pressure Automatic Nozzle)
TASK FORCE TIPS created the first dual pressure
automatic nozzle to address a new need in the fire service.
This need is to allow the firefighter to override the automatic
pressure control (100 PSI) and obtain an increased flow
(GPM) at a lower nozzle pressure in certain situations.
This latest feature allows the nozzle operator to very
quickly change the operating pressure of the nozzle from the
“STANDARD” 100 PSI to a low pressure setting of about 60
PSI. By changing the Nozzle Pressure additional friction loss
in the hose is overcome allowing more flow to pass. (Refer
to DUAL-FORCE and MID-FORCE flow/pressure charts in
appendix.)
Standard Pressure Operation
The Dual Pressure Automatic nozzles have a redesigned
pressure control unit that accurately and consistently maintains
the desired nozzle pressure of 100 PSI, as specified in NFPA
#1964 for automatic nozzles. The DUAL-FORCE has the
unique distinction of being “the first automatic nozzle to meet
NFPA #1964 flow standards for automatic nozzles”. Each
nozzle has been completely tested for total compliance by both
third party contractors and TFT’s engineering staff. Complete
test documentation is available by visiting our web site www.
tft.com.
34
Standard Pressure Operation
Fig. 23
Low Pressure Operation
Fig. 24
35
Low Pressure Operation
By a simple twist of the knob, located on the baffle at the
front of the nozzle, the DUAL-FORCE and MID-FORCE goes
into low-pressure between 55 PSI and 75 PSI (depending on
GPM flow).
NOTE: The initial opening of the DUAL-FORCE opens
wider to improve very low pressure operations. Think of the
low-pressure mode as switching the nozzle to the equivalent
flow of a 3/4” smooth bore. However, from 65 PSI on up,
instead of the nozzle pressure increasing drastically (like on
a smooth bore), the DUAL-FORCE increases the opening as
more GPM is delivered. The DUAL-FORCE acts like an elastic
smooth bore increasing in size as the flow increases (Refer to
the DUAL-FORCE flow/pressure chart in appendix).
Low Pressure Setting Applications
There are certain fireground situations when adequate
pressure cannot be supplied to the nozzle. When this occurs,
the nozzle cannot “open up” and allow for adequate flow. We
recognize that the ability to override the pressure control unit
would be desirable in certain unusual situations.
This may include one or more of the following:
1. Incorrect pump operation.
2. Pump transfer valves jammed or not fully changed
over.
3. Kinked hose line.
4. High elevation losses/long hose lays (high-rise).
5. “Pressure reducing valves” in high-rise building
applications.
6. “Stolen” flow by conventional nozzles or large
caliber streams.
7. Pumper breakdown/pump failure.
36
AUTOMATIC NOZZLES AND FOAM
Automatic nozzles can be used with great success for
foam applications providing certain guidelines are followed.
Foam-making is simply adding the proper amount of foam
concentrate to water. This solution of concentrate and water is
then mixed with air (aeration) at the nozzle to form a finished
foam product.
Foam Type
The types of foam that work well with a non-aspirated
fog nozzle (conventional or automatic) are synthetic AFFF
foam, “Class A” and synthetic detergents. All foams will work
much better when an aspirating attachment is used.
Foam Concentration
Once the proper type of concentrate is selected, it must
be mixed in the right proportion with water. Proper injection
of foam concentrate with water is the single most important
element to good foam-making. If a foam eductor is used for
foam proportioning, the nozzle flow must match the capacity
of the eductor, and the mixture setting on the eductor must be
set to match the foam concentrate.
Foam Proportioning
Eductors are pre-engineered systems and require
specific pressures for operation. The eductor manufacturer’s
recommendations for hose size, length, and pump pressure
should be followed. The automatic nozzle will adjust itself to
the GPM rating of the eductor.
Fig. 25
37
With ANY eductor system, the nozzle valve MUST be fully
open to allow proper flow across the eductor at the venturi.
This produces the vacuum necessary to pick up the foam
concentrate and mix it into the water.
This can be used to your advantage if only water is
needed at the nozzle. By partially throttling the nozzle, a back
pressure is created at the eductor, and the foam concentrate
is not picked up, allowing for water only to be discharged at
the nozzle.
Batch Mixing
The nozzle operator may operate the valve on the
automatic nozzle in any desired position and the concentrate
ratio will remain constant at all flows.
Around-the-Pump Proportioning Systems
High flow rates and multiple hose lines may be used.
Like the single eductor, the nozzle operator MUST keep the
valve on the nozzle FULLY OPEN.
Discharge-Side Proportioning System
The desired concentrate ratio is maintained at all flow
rates up to the maximum capacity of the concentrate pump.
Once selected, the concentrate ratio will automatically be
injected into the water stream and will not be affected by
variations in hose, length, pressure, or elevation. The nozzle
operator may operate the valve on the nozzle in any desired
position and the concentrate ratio will remain constant at all
flow rates.
Nozzle Operation
Now that we have the right type of foam mixed in the
right proportion, with either discharge-side or around-thepump proportioning, an eductor, pre-mixed in the booster tank,
or some other method, let’s focus on proper nozzle operation
for optimum foam-making capability.
38
Assuming operation will be from the pre-mixed booster
tank, the procedure will be similar to pulling a preconnect for
structural firefighting. A 150 foot 1-1/2” line can have a foam
flow of 150+ GPM at a pump pressure of 200 PSI; a 1-3/4”
preconnect can flow 200+ GPM at the same pump pressure.
A pre-piped deluge gun with a Master can flow in excess of
400 GPM. This option allows considerably more knockdown
potential than a 60 or 95 GPM eductor. Although this procedure
may not be necessary for every situation, it does give large and
small fire departments high foam application rate capability
without additional specialized equipment. In addition, with the
pre-mixed method, the nozzle operator using a handline can
now adjust his flow to what he needs, unlike operations with
an eductor.
To gain the maximum reach and, at the same time,
produce the maximum expansion ratio of the foam/water
solution, the nozzle should be adjusted to a very narrow
10-15 degree fog pattern. Wider fog patterns will result in a
thinner foam with a lower expansion ratio. The expansion
ratio is the amount of finished foam produced to the volume
of solution used to generate the foam. Foam manufacturers
currently recommend an 8 to 1, up to 11 to 1, expansion ratio.
For example, an 8 to 1 expansion ratio means 800 gallons
of finished foam is produced from 100 gallons of the foam
concentrate/water solution.
Fig. 26
39
With the use of a TFT Foamjet, TFT Foamjet-LX or TFT
MX-Foamjet aspirating attachment, automatics will produce
an expansion ratio between 8 and 14 to 1.
By maintaining a constant nozzle pressure, the
automatic will keep the velocity of the stream high. Large
amounts of air are pulled into the stream and mixed with the
foam/water solution at the end of the stream. This mixture of air
and foam solution expands and “snowflakes” down lightly on
the burning surface. Additional expansion can be created by
deflecting the foam stream on a horizontal or vertical surface
further entraining air and increasing the foam expansion. A
foam stream should not be directed into a flammable liqued as
this may cause splashing of the fuel and possible injury. TFT
automatic handline nozzles have an excellent performance
record when used for structural firefighting. If these guidelines
are followed, they will perform with excellent results as foammaking nozzles.
MASTER STREAM AUTOMATICS
During major fire situations, the quick application of
large volumes of water is necessary to effect control and
extinguish the blaze. Larger fires will also require the resources
of additional firefighters and equipment. The command and
coordination of these units become increasingly difficult as the
tactical plan is put into action. The incident commander soon
realizes that the success of his strategy is largely dependent
on the success of the fire streams.
In a fire situation where the water supply is known to
be less than desirable, it would be necessary to begin the
attack with a small tip size to deliver the available flow. If the
water supply is improved, will the tip size again be changed
to accommodate the new flow? What if the supply available
is shared with other fire streams? Will the correct tip sizes be
selected to make the best use of the water supply for that
40
moment? Can the proper pump pressure be determined
quickly for each layout?
The TFT Master Stream automatic nozzle was
developed out of the need to coordinate master streams at
multiple alarm and mutual-aid fires. The water supply and
pumping capability at these incidents varied from unlimited
to virtually nonexistent. In addition, it was not unusual for the
water supply to fluctuate as pumpers tapped into common
sources or when relays were established to improve the
supply. The scenario has changed little, but the automatic has
had a significant effect on the outcome.
Master Stream nozzles have a wide flow range of
150-1250 GPM. Like all automatics, the pressure control
mechanism of the Master Stream will maintain a nozzle
pressure of 100-105 PSI throughout the wide flow range of
the automatic nozzle.
The combination of the wide flow range and pressure
control make the Master a practical choice for aerial ladders,
aerial platforms, portable monitors and pre-piped deck guns.
A single Master can take the place of several different nozzle
sizes (Fig. 27).
Fig. 27
41
The coordination of master streams is greatly simplified
when using automatics. For additional information, dial 800348-2686 and speak to a nozzle specialist.
THE WATER TRIANGLE CONCEPT
The simplified hydraulics of the automatic nozzle can
easily be remembered as a “Water Triangle” (Fig. 28).
Fig. 28
Each side of the triangle represents one of three limits
to any pumper setup. They are 1) water supply, 2) pumper
power, and 3) maximum allowable working pressure. Working
the pumper to whichever of the limits is reached first produces
the maximum possible delivery for that particular layout.
42
When pumping into an automatic nozzle, the pump
operator throttles out until he reaches a limiting side of the
triangle. These limits would show as:
1) WATER SUPPLY: indicated by 5 - 10 PSI on the inlet gauge
or by the suction hose going slightly soft. It can also show as
the engine tending to “run away” (speed up erratically).
2) PRESSURE: indicated by the limiting pressure, usually
200 - 225 PSI showing on the pumper discharge pressure
gauge.
3) POWER: indicated by running out of throttle.
While these limits will yield the maximum for a particular
layout, this is not to say that the layout shouldn’t be improved!
If working against the pressure limit, adding parallel or largediameter lines will greatly increase flow. If water supply is the
problem, improvement is necessary on the suction side of the
pump. This can be accomplished with larger suction lines,
additional lines into the pump, or receiving water from an
additional source (relay pumping). The power limit is reached
only at high volume, usually when supplying over-capacity to
one or more streams. The load can be shared with a second
pumper by shifting lines. The second pumper can be worked
in tandem off the same hydrant with the first. Additional parallel
or large-diameter lines can be used to reduce friction loss.
Although the same limits apply to a pumper when
working with “conventional” tips, merely working to the system
limit does not produce desired results unless the tip size is
exactly correct. If the regular tip size is too large, a poor, underpressured stream is all that can be obtained. If the regular
tip is too small, the stream will be over-pressured, failing to
deliver the volume available using the correct size tip.
43
With automatic nozzles, the pump operator can achieve
maximum efficiency as fast as he can adjust his throttle. The
automatic is simultaneously adjusting the “tip size” to best
deliver the available water.
All this is very simple: YOU DON’T FOOL MOTHER
NATURE! Working with automatics will maximize Mother
Nature’s laws to the ultimate with optimum results assured
faster and more accurately than with conventional nozzles.
CONCLUSION
Increased fire loads, hazardous materials, and reduced
personnel are serious problems which we face in the 21st
Century and beyond. However, we must still respond. Saving
lives and protecting property continue to be our primary
objectives.
Recent changes in hose sizes for both supply and attack
has allowed more water to be applied in less time. Only with
an automatic nozzle will you benefit from these changes. The
TFT family of automatics can improve your fire-suppression
capabilities and, at the same time, simplify and standardize
fireground operations.
An effective fire stream is the desired end result of any
water, pump, hose, and nozzle combination. The automatic
assures you of this by making constant adjustments to match
the current water supply.
No matter how fine your firefighters, equipment or
training, the success of your efforts depends on the working
ends of your hose lines. Either you have the best possible
streams with maximum control, or the rest of your efforts are
in jeopardy.
For additional information, call 800-348-2686 and speak to a
nozzle specialist.
44
EMAIL & FAXABLE LITERATURE
With the implementation of TFT’s ON LINE LIBRARY, you
can receive valuable information 24-hours a day through your
computer or fax machine.
Information on new products, current products, maintenance
procedures, product specifications, product comparisons,
firefighting techniques, reports, and new ideas is as close as
your fingertips.
To access this service, go to www.tft.com and enter the On
Line Library. Find the information you need and decide if you
want to view it on line, email yourself a copy or send it to your
fax machine.
For additional information on our On Line Library or any other
firefighting topic, call 800-348-2686 and speak to a nozzle
specialist.
45
APPENDIX
10 Common Questions About Automatic Nozzles
1) How is an automatic nozzle different from a regular
(conventional) nozzle?
Conventional fog nozzles are nozzles that have a fixed or
selectable GPM setting. These GPM settings correspond
to a particular discharge orifice or “tip size”. In order for a
conventional nozzle with a fixed opening to operate at the
correct nozzle pressure (100 PSI), the proper flow (GPM) must
be supplied. For example, a selectable gallonage nozzle with
settings of 30-60-95-125 GPM will only deliver these flows at
100 PSI nozzle pressure.
If the proper fire stream is attained, the flow to that nozzle
cannot be altered unless the discharge opening is changed for
the new flow (larger for a higher flow and smaller for a lower
flow). Since conventional nozzles cannot change size and are
limited in adjustment, one of two things must happen.
The first possible result occurs when the conventional nozzle
is supplied less than the rated or selected flow. This results in
a weak, ineffective stream. The situation may be due to poor
water supply, long hose lays, improper selection of tip size,
or pump operator error. This under-pressured stream may
waste water because the velocity needed to reach the seat of
the fire is not produced. Little, if any, knockdown capability is
achieved.
The second possible result occurs when the conventional
nozzle is supplied more than the rated or selected flow. This
results in excessive nozzle pressure. The excessive flow will
produce a much higher than normal nozzle pressure and,
therefore, a corresponding increase in reaction or “kickback”.
This higher reaction will make the hose line more difficult to
handle and may jeopardize the safety of the nozzle crew.
46
In addition, the potential extra water available, evidenced by
the high nozzle pressure, is not delivered effectively. A large
size discharge orifice for the extra water is required (changing
gallonage setting). The high flow, if delivered to the correct
size opening, results in a reduction in nozzle reaction, a
reduction in the pump pressure, and produces a fire stream at
the proper pressure. With an automatic nozzle, the discharge
orifice is continually variable depending on the flow to the
nozzle. This allows the flow being supplied to be delivered at
the proper nozzle pressure and correct velocity for maximum
extinguishing capability. Some of the benefits of automatic
nozzles are as follows:
Constant Hard-Hitting Streams: To obtain the proper “punch”
that is necessary for an aggressive attack, an automatic
maintains the optimum nozzle pressure at all times. The
fire stream is unaffected by upstream variables that may be
unknown to the pump operator or hose crew.
Proper Nozzle Pressure With Available Flow: With changing
water supplies, the automatic will adjust to the flow available
and use the water most effectively. If the flow to the nozzle is
increased, the automatic will increase the discharge opening
to accommodate the higher flow. In situations where water
supply is not adequate, or when sufficient lines have not been
established to move the water available, the automatic will
adjust to make best use of the supply until the system can
be improved. If water supply to the nozzle is reduced, the
automatic will decrease the size of the discharge orifice and
the same nozzle pressure will continue to be maintained.
Maximum Reach With Available Water: To gain the greatest
reach with a fire stream, maximum flow must be delivered at
the correct pressure. By maintaining the nozzle pressure at
100 PSI, automatic nozzles will always produce the maximum
reach possible with the available water supply.
47
Higher Initial Flow Rates: The limiting factor to maximum flow
delivery with conventional hose lines is usually the nozzle. If
the water is available, we normally attempt to deliver the rated
capacity of the nozzle. More water can only be supplied to the
conventional nozzle at the risk of higher nozzle pressure and
kickback. Excessive pump pressures would also be necessary
to compensate for the increased friction loss and the higher
than normal nozzle pressure. With an automatic nozzle, an
increase in pump pressure is all that is necessary to move a
higher flow. The nozzle pressure remains constant; therefore,
the extra engine pressure overcomes additional hose friction
loss produced by the higher flow.
2) How does an automatic nozzle work?
The automatic nozzle uses a principle very similar to that of
a pumper relief valve. A highly dependable spring, connected
to the baffle which forms the discharge orifice, is balanced
against the water pressure in the nozzle. The pressure control
(spring) senses the increase or decrease in pressure within
the nozzle. It then moves the baffle in or out to maintain a
particular “tip size” necessary to keep the nozzle pressure at
100 PSI. In effect, the nozzle is constantly changing “tip size”
to match the water being supplied at that moment. This allows
the flow being supplied to be delivered at the proper nozzle
pressure and velocity.
3) What pressure do we pump to automatic nozzles?
Automatic nozzles greatly simplify pump operation. Since
automatic nozzles are designed to operate at 100 PSI nozzle
pressure, this becomes the minimum starting point for any
operation. The basic formula for calculating pump discharge
pressure is PDP = NP + TPL, where PDP is the pump
discharge pressure, NP is the nozzle pressure, and TPL is the
total pressure loss (hoseline friction loss + apparatus friction
loss + elevation pressure).
48
With an automatic, the nozzle pressure will remain constant
and the formula can be rewritten as: PDP = 100 + TPL.
Example: For a 200 foot preconnect of 1-3/4” hose, what
pump pressure will be required to flow 150 GPM? (Friction
loss in 1-3/4” hose for 150 GPM is about 28 PSI per 100 feet
of hose.)
PDP = NP + TPL
PDP = 100 + TPL
PDP = 100 + (2 x 28)
PDP = 100 + 56
PDP = 156
To flow 150 GPM in the above layout, a pump discharge
pressure of 156 PSI is required. The required pump pressure
will vary depending on the friction loss produced, the amount
of flow desired, and the length and size of the hose lay.
Your department can determine specific pump pressures in
advance for various flows required for different operations. A
well-involved house fire will require a higher pump pressure
for initial knockdown than the same fire during the overhaul
stages.
Once standard operating procedures (SOP’s) are established,
standard friction loss tables for various hose lines can be used
to develop pump discharge pressure criteria based on the PDP
= NP (100) + TPL formula. One department in particular, that
uses 200 feet of 1-3/4” preconnects, uses the following SOP
for pump discharge pressure... 200 PSI for initial attack when
a working fire is found with a visible flame, 150 PSI when
nothing is showing and a line is taken in for investigation, and
125 PSI during overhaul. These pump discharge pressures
will provide flows of approximately 200 GPM, 150 GPM and
125 GPM respectively.
49
The advantage of using TFT automatic nozzles, in the
previous application, is that any flow can be delivered by the
pump operator and still be controlled by the nozzle operator.
Variable flow, constant nozzle pressure, and “Nozzleman
Flow Control” are three essential elements to successful fire
streams and fire attack.
4) How do I know how much water I am flowing?
Much of the information in question three can be used to
determine flow from the nozzle using standard hydraulics
calculations. We have already determined that, with an
automatic nozzle, the nozzle pressure will remain at or near
100 PSI. By subtracting the known nozzle pressure of 100
PSI from whatever the pump discharge pressure is (assuming
there is no pressure loss due to elevation), the friction loss
can be determined. By dividing the friction loss by the number
of hundred feet of hose in the hose lay, a value for friction loss
per hundred feet is determined. This can then be compared to
any standard friction loss chart for the size of hose being used
and a corresponding flow found.
For example: A hose lay consisting of 300 feet of 2-1/2” hose
and an automatic nozzle is being pumped at 145 PSI. The first
step is to subtract the known nozzle pressure of 100 PSI (for
automatics) from the pump discharge pressure (145 - 100).
This leaves 45 PSI for friction loss. The next step is to divide
the friction loss by the number of hundred feet of hose; in this
case, 45/3 = 15, or 15 PSI friction loss per 100 foot of hose.
By referring to a standard friction loss chart for 2-1/2” hose, 15
PSI loss per hundred feet corresponds to a flow of 250 GPM.
(All we have done is rearrange the formula used in question
three to determine pump discharge pressure.)
Then PDP = NP + TPL becomes TPL = PDP - NP; and since
NP is always 100 PSI with automatics, it is more simply written
as TPL = PDP - 100.
50
The rule to remember is that automatics do exactly as
calculated using “standard” hydraulics. Natural laws cannot
be violated. Unlike conventional nozzles where the nozzle
pressure changes with the GPM flow, automatics will maintain
the nozzle pressure at 100 PSI. This known factor can be
“plugged in” to the standard formulas to deliver a certain
amount of water, or be used to determine the flow when pump
pressure and hose lay are known.
5) What is the flow from each “Click Stop” on the
nozzle?
All TFT handheld automatic nozzles have a feature called
“Nozzleman Flow Control”. The slide valve in these nozzles
is unique. In addition to acting as a shut-off valve, it can also
be used to regulate the flow at the nozzle without affecting
the stream quality. The handle, on these nozzles, controls the
valve movement and, therefore, the flow. Where the handle
contacts the valve body, a series of six detents act to maintain
handle position at any of the selected settings.
Moving the handle from the fully closed position, six detents
or “click stops” are felt. Since TFT standard and dual-pressure
automatics are variable flow nozzles, the maximum flow (fully
open) is determined by the pump engine pressure and hose
lay. It is possible for the same handline automatic nozzle to
flow 95 GPM if used on a 1-1/2” line, or as high as 300 GPM if
used on a 3” line. Because the maximum flow is different each
“click stop” would have a different value. Changing the engine
pressure on the same 3” line to get a maximum flow of 200
GPM, will again change the flow at each “click stop”.
The “click stops” were not developed to have specific flows
from each setting, but rather to maintain handle position as the
nozzle operator reduced or increased the flow at the handle.
51
6) Can I use automatics with foam and foam eductors?
If the eductor manufacturer’s recommendations for inlet
pressure, maximum hose length and size are followed, the
automatic nozzle will adjust itself automatically to the rating
of the eductor. With ANY eductor system, the nozzle valve
MUST be fully open to prevent excessive back pressure on
the eductor which will prevent foam concentrate pickup.
TFT automatic nozzles can be used with great success when
used for foam application. Certain guidelines, however, must
be followed. Foam-making is simply the addition of a proper
amount of foam concentrate to water. This solution of foam
concentrate and water is then mixed with air (aeration), either
at the nozzle with air-aspirating attachments, or as the stream
pulls air along with it, in a non air-aspirating application.
7) Why don’t all automatic nozzles have spinning teeth?
TFT automatic nozzles shape the fire stream from straight
stream, for reach and penetration, to fog patterns, for greater
heat absorption, firefighter protection, and special applications.
However, there is more to shaping a fire stream than turning
the bumper.
Fog or spray-type nozzles have been in use since the 1920’s.
Most of these fog nozzles have one trait in common. They
all rely on stream impingement or some form of fog teeth to
produce the wide fog pattern.
The earliest style fog nozzles used square-faced metal teeth.
Two problems existed: 1) The square-faced teeth left gaps or
“fingers” in the fog pattern which allowed heat to pass, and 2)
The metal teeth were susceptible to damage when the nozzle
was dropped or used as a “forcible-entry tool”.
The next generation of fog nozzles used spinning teeth which
appeared to eliminate the “fingers” of the wide fog.
52
The spinning teeth reshaped the “fingers” that were visible
(high speed photographs show that they are still there), but
produced a wider, thinner fog pattern with little or no water
in the center of the pattern directly ahead of the nozzle crew.
The wide, thin fog pattern is not wide enough to protect the
hose crew while delivering the maximum amount of water
ahead of them for protection. All droplets are extremely fine,
and are rapidly carried away under intense heat. These teeth
are often made of plastic and are easily broken.
A later improvement, the double row of teeth, attempted to
fill the gaps between the teeth by creating another point of
deflection. However, the second row of teeth created “fingers”
of its own and, therefore, left gaps in the pattern.
Task Force Tips was the first to use rubber fog teeth as an
integral part of the bumper. The thick rubber bumper aids in
protecting the fog teeth which are strong and pliable, resisting
damage by springing back to their original shape after impact.
The use of computer-aided design has allowed TFT to create
the only fog pattern which is sufficiently wide enough for
crew protection while filling the center of the fog cone without
“fingering” to the fog pattern. Each tooth has been shaped to
form a small nozzle with the proper stream spread to overlap
the next tooth.
8) What type of nozzle is best for “Nozzleman Flow
Control”?
Let’s look at the three common nozzle types: fixed gallonage
(smooth bores), adjustable gallonage, and automatics.
The fixed gallonage (smooth bore) nozzle offers the nozzle
operator two choices, on or off. A ball valve shutoff device
that is partially opened creates tremendous turbulence which
destroys the stream and greatly reduces its effectiveness. The
pump discharge pressure must be matched to the nozzle by
the pump operator.
53
A selectable gallonage, “flow controlling ring”, nozzle has the
same ball valve problems as the fixed gallonage (smooth
bore), plus a misconception created by the “flow controlling
ring”. For example: A nozzle with a 30-60-95-125 selectable
“flow controlling ring” set at 60 GPM, with a 100 PSI nozzle
pressure, and the ball valve fully open, will flow a usable
stream. Simply turning the “flow control ring” to 95 GPM, lowers
the nozzle pressure, produces an under pressurized stream,
may waste water, reduces stream reach, reduces knockdown
effectiveness, and does not mean you are flowing 95 GPM.
Conversely, turning the “flow control ring” to 30 GPM, results
in excessive nozzle pressure and a corresponding increase
in reaction or “kickback”! This higher nozzle reaction makes
the hose line more difficult to handle and may jeopardize
the safety of the nozzle operator. To maintain proper nozzle
pressure would require constant coordination with the pump
operator and a pressure gauge mounted behind the nozzle.
A selectable nozzle can be compared to an automobile’s
4-speed manual transmission.
A TFT Automatic, with patented “slide valve”, offers true
“Nozzleman Flow Control”. The slide valve allows the nozzle
operator to decrease or increase the flow (GPM) without
creating turbulence. Because it’s an automatic, the nozzle
pressure remains constant at 100 PSI. This means, that for
any flow selected by the nozzle operator, the stream will be
clean and properly pressurized, allowing the maximum reach
possible for that flow. An automatic nozzle can be compared
to an automobile’s automatic transmission.
The ultimate “Nozzleman Flow Control” would be the TFT
Dual-Force or Mid-Force (dual-pressure automatic). This
automatic nozzle offers one more advantage over all other
automatics. As an automatic transmission has the ability to
be locked into low gear, for certain situations, the TFT Dualpressure automatics allow the nozzle operator to switch into
“low pressure” as the situation demands.
54
9) Is it true that the stream from a “SOLID” bore nozzle
hits harder and goes farther than the “Hollow”’ stream
from a fog nozzle?
Absolutely false! And if you read to the end of this paragraph
you will learn a method to prove this to not only yourself but
anyone that believes this oldest of fire fighting myths. The fog
nozzles stream is hollow for the first few inches of its reach
and it is from this fact that the myth got its start. The purpose of
this short hollow section is to PREVENT the rest of the stream
from being hollow. By bringing the water to the outside and
then FOCUSING it back into the middle the stream is made
parallel and hence its tendency to spread is stopped. A smooth
bore on the other hand is squeezed down progressively until
the instant that it leaves the orifice. A smooth bore stream can
ONLY expand from the instant that it leaves the nozzle. Now,
for the method of proving this. All that is needed is a pitot gage
and a flow meter or some other means for being CERTAIN
that the flow out of the two nozzles to be compared is identical.
(they will be at different nozzle pressures, the smooth bore at
50 psi and the fog nozzle at 100 psi) First establish the flow
on the smooth bore and pitot the nozzle to make sure that
its at 50 psi. Note its flow from the flow chart. Now move the
pitot gage away from the nozzle attempting to maintain the
highest reading possible. You will find that it will be difficult to
get any reading above a few PSI. Now change nozzles to the
fog nozzle (It can be any kind of fog nozzle automatic or non
automatic, a manually set fog nozzle set to the same flow as
the smooth bore might be easiest for this test as it will allow
you to quickly set the base pressure to 100 psi to assure that
an equal flow is being compared) Adjust the fog nozzle for its
best straight stream which is the point where the nozzle just
closes from a narrow fog without crossing over. Now again
use the pitot gage to measure pressure. At the very front of
the nozzle it will be difficult as the wall of water is quite thin,
move away from the nozzle
55
nozzle to a distance of about 36 inches and hold the pitot in
the stream. You should be able to easily pitot 40 to 60 psi at
this distance from the nozzle. So there is the proof, which is
the “Hollow Stream” the one that can’t be pitoted a few inches
from the nozzle or the one that can be pitoted 3 feet away and
still have more pressure than the smooth bore. It’s an easy
choice to make.
10) What’s all this talk about low pressure nozzles? What
are the trade offs, is the compromise worth it?
The final decision on this must be left with the individual
department but it is important that the facts be considered
when the decision is made. True enough, reducing nozzle
pressure does account for some reduction in nozzle reaction.
But how much reduction in pressure is required to get a
significant reduction in reaction? And while reduced reaction
may be a good positive aspect what are the negative aspects
of choosing a low pressure nozzle delivery system? First of all
lets consider the amount of reduction in reaction. The nozzle
reaction is composed of two factors, pressure and volume
which are related by the formula Reaction = .0505 x Flow x
Square Root of Pressure. Many are advocating reducing the
fog nozzle pressure by 1/4 from 100 PSI down to 75 PSI. If
the flow is kept constant the reaction reduction from a 25% cut
in nozzle pressure is 13%. (For example a 200 GPM stream
at 100 psi has 101 pounds of reaction, cutting the nozzle
pressure to 75 PSI only reduces the reaction to 88 pounds).
Nozzle pressure is directly related to the VELOCITY or SPEED
of the stream. So now instead of a stream speeding through
the super heated gases at 80 miles per hour it goes through
at 60 miles per hour. Which has more impact when it hits, a
baseball thrown by a major leaguer player at 80 mph or a
ball thrown by a little leaguer at 60 miles per hour? Which
goes further? Which splashes more when it hits, which bores
through the char to get to deep seated heat? The questions
go on and on, if it is ok to
56
to cut the pressure in half then why not cut it down to nothing,
take the nozzle off, lay the hose in the window, and fill the
building up?
Make a comparison to the trend of our police departments in
the United States. As the threat to police officers goes up are
they going to smaller guns, fewer bullets in the clip? Are they
taking out the bullets and pouring out half the powder? If they
cut out half the powder the gun would kick less, be easier to
aim, and it wouldn’t hit as hard. Is that what the police want
for their weapons? Is this what fire departments really want for
their primary weapon? Or what about an example that comes
closer to home, how many people wish for a shower with less
pressure and how many would think that a shower with less
pressure does a better job of getting the soap off?
57
TABLE 1
FRICTION LOSS COEFFICIENTS -- SINGLE LINE
Hose Diameter
and Type (inches)
Coefficient (C)
3/4” booster
1,100
1” booster
150
1-1/4” booster
80
1-1/2” rubber line
24
1-3/4” with 1-1/2” couplings
15.5
2” rubber lined with 1-1/2” couplings 8
2-1/2” rubber lined
2
2-3/4” with 3” couplings
1.5
3” with 2-1/2” couplings
0.8
3” with 3” couplings
0.677
3-1/2”
0.34
4”
0.2
4-1/2”
0.1
5”
0.08
6”
0.05
Standpipes
4”
0.374
5”
0.126
6”
0.052
Reprinted with permission from the Fire Protection Handbook, Copyright 1986,
National Fire Protection Association, Quincy, MA. 02269.
PUMP DISCHARGE PRESSURE:
PDP = NP + TPL
PDP = Pump discharge pressure in PSI
NP = Nozzle pressure in PSI
TPL = Total pressure loss in PSI
58
TPL=FL+EP+AFL
FL = Hoseline friction loss in PSI
EP = Elevation Pressure
AFL = Appliance friction loss in PSI
HOSELINE FRICTION LOSS:
FL = CQ2L
FL
C
Q
L
=
=
=
=
Hoseline friction loss in PSI
Friction loss coefficient (from Table 1)
Flow rate in hundred of GPM (Q = GPM/100)
Hose length in hundred of feet (L= Feet/100)
ELEVATION PRESSURE:
EP = .5H
.5 = A constant
H = Height in feet
NOZZLE REACTION:
Smooth Bore Nozzle
NR = (1.57) (d2NP)
NR
1.57
d
NP
=
=
=
=
Nozzle reaction in pounds
A constant
Nozzle diameter in inches
Nozzle pressure in PSI
Fog Nozzle
NR = (0.0505) (QNP)
NR
0.0505
Q
NP
=
=
=
=
Nozzle reaction in pounds
A constant
Flow in GPM (Note: This is not gpm/100)
Nozzle pressure in PSI
59
As a rule of thumb, use the following nozzle pressures to
ensure safety and efficiency:
Solid Bore Nozzle (Handline)
Solid Bore Nozzle (Master Stream)
Fog Nozzle (All Types)
----
50 PSI
80 PSI
100 PSI
Pressure loss for elevated master streams and turret pipes
will vary depending on the manufacturer of the device.
60
NOTES
TASK FORCE TIPS, INC.
3701 Innovation Way • Valparaiso, IN 46383-9327
800-348-2686 • 219-462-6161 • Fax 219-464-7155
LTT-010 January 17, 2001 Rev 2
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