SOME THINGS TO LOOK FOR AFTER EVERYTHING THAWS
Inspecting your fire apparatus after freezing conditions is critical. The suggestions supplied are some issues that you might encounter, and we hope it will assist you in getting your units safely back in service. If you believe that your unit did in fact freeze up, please give us a call so we can advise on the best course of action.
- Check for any gauges that are pegged or stuck at a higher than zero pressure. Open the discharge and hopefully gauge returns to zero. If not, the gauge needs to be replaced and you will likely have freeze damage on that appliance or discharge
- Open all discharges and check for resistance or abnormally hard to open or close. Do not force anything. The issue could be ball or seal damage and there may be residual ice in the bottom of the valve.
- Open and close any of your drains and check for continued leaking, sticking or hard to open or close. The pull type drains after freezing usually are hard to open and if they froze you need to check for cracks. You almost always need to replace O rings.
- Master drains are the lowest point on the unit and if they froze it will probably need O rings. Check copper or plastic tubing for cracks.
- Relief valve drains will be a separate drain from the Master drain. Hopefully, they were drained so that water was not captured in the relief valve housing. Be sure to check the relief valve housing for cracks.
- Remove the strainers from the relief valve pilot assembly and be sure there was no ice buildup. You can tell if there was ice there because the screen will be bent sometimes.
- Check your piston intakes and seals. If the Intake valve was leaking it can fill the valve and damage seats and the actual Piston itself.
- Open and look at the auxiliary intakes. They usually come off the bottom of the suction header and will sometimes trap water that will damage the rear valve seat.
- If you drained your pump but the tank-to-pump valve was leaking, hopefully you had drains open. If not, it is highly possible your dry pump did not stay that way.
- If the pump did in fact freeze, DO NOT PUT IT IN GEAR UNTIL AFTER YOU WARM IT UP. This goes for portable pumps and auxiliary units on Wildland units as well. Do not try to start them until you are sure the pump has thawed, and you have checked for damage.
- Putting any pump in gear after or while the unit is frozen can cause pump, Impeller, gear and drive train damage.
- If the pump was frozen, pull off both pump steamer caps. This will give you a visual as to how hard frozen your situation is.
- Hopefully, you are not greeted with an ice block behind the strainer. If that is the case the unit needs to be put in a warm space and let it thaw out. Trying to force open discharges or drains at this point only makes it worse.
- If you meet this scenario it will probably be best to advise your Shop, EVT or call us for help.
- If you are lucky enough to have a torpedo heater or a gas fueled blower you can direct the heated air at the pump. Be sure to have plenty of ventilation if you are doing this in an enclosed area. Be sure of proper placement for the heater and regularly monitor so that you don’t ruin paint or melt plastic. Maintain a safe distance from the heater.
- Once you have thawed the pump it is extremely handy if you have a bore scope so that you can look at a few things.
- Look thru the suction steamer inlet into the tank-to-pump cavity where the primary water enters and look to be sure the check valve is not damaged. You do not want that injected into the pump.
- Look into the impellers and see if there is any ice left or if the ice damaged some vanes in the impeller. This usually happens when the pump is frozen or half frozen and pieces of ice cause bending of the vanes.
- Obvious leaks indicate areas that have frozen and will need attention. You can seal up the pump with caps and try to fill it with tank water and watch for the leakage.
- You can also hook up a 2 ½ to the auxiliary suction at a low pressure and locate leaks that way. If all discharges are closed but un-capped, you should be able to access what valves are leaking.
- Disconnect your cross lays and check them at the swivels. If they were leaking and the cross lay hose froze it will affect the valve.
- Check the deck gun for cracking around the curve in the monitor.
- Watch for leakage at valve flanges and suction header flanges.
- Check front cross lays to be sure they are not frozen from leaks and that the low point drain is operable and not leaking.
- After the unit is warmed up check your Hale Pressure master controller and your Waterous and Darley Pilot controls.
- Most important point to make is not to try and force anything.
We can assist you with your Pierce fleet or any other emergency vehicle. We have mobile technicians ready to dispatch to you for appraisals of your problems and to offer solutions.
Contact Service Division
Siddons-Martin Emergency Group understands the critical tasks of getting your apparatus operational and back in service with the fastest turn-around possible. We start by listening to your needs, diagnosing the problem and getting the necessary parts on-time for repairs. Siddons-Martin is the factory authorized warranty service center for every brand we represent and can handle service and repair on every brand of emergency equipment. Give us a call at 866-792-0895. Our dedicated service team stand ready to assist you.