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Portable Pump Use #2 - 5-inch LDH Used to Support an Open Relay
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By President Mark Davis
February 14, 2019

We have seen a number of portable fire pumps used to support water supply operations during our travels across the U.S. and Canada delivering our training seminars. It is clear that the folks most successful in portable pump use understand the flow and pressure limitations of the pumps and have figured out how to maximize pump output.

While searching through some photos we found several from our 2010 seminar in Deer Creek, Illinois. Several fire departments in the area were successful in receiving a federal grant for regional water supply improvement. Portable pumps and a bunch of 5-inch LDH and appliances were part of the grant award. During our 2-hr tanker shuttle drill, one of the fill sites was supplied by two, 500-gpm CET portable pumps taking water from a nearby creek. The pumps supplied that water via 250 feet of 5-inch LDH to a portable dump tank where a 1,000 gpm pumper then drafted and loaded tankers. The key to the success of the open relay was the use of the LDH on the portable pumps. The 5-inch hose's reduced friction loss allowed the pumps to pump their water over the 250 ft distance at a usable volume and pressure. The operation was an excellent example of portable pump use to support tanker fill site operations.


Comment Comment 2 Comment(s)

gerald fichtner March 17, 2019 at 12:43 PM
why couldn't a portable pump be used to pump a 4way valve on a hydrant as opposed to a whole apparatus pumper ?

GotBigWater March 18, 2019 at 5:11 PM
A portable pump could be used to pump a 4-way hydrant valve. The advantage of course would be the relative ease of deployment and of course, not tying up a full-size pumper. The disadvantage would be the limited volume and pressure capabilities of the portable pump. We are assuming that you speak of a portable pump that could be carried and deployed by two persons. These pumps are generally limited to 500 gpm (maybe a little more) or less at fairly low discharge pressure. A portable pump most likely would struggle if higher pressures were needed to overcome friction loss due to higher flow requirements. A 1500 gpm fire pump driven by a 450 hp motor has quite a bit of power to provide flows at many different pressures. Even a 25 hp driven portable pump cannot compare anywhere close to the larger pumping apparatus.

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