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This fire hose tester, made by Reliable Fire Products, can test up to 1200' of fire hose per cycle.  While it is testing hose, your pumpers will all still be free to answer calls.  In the past, hose testers were pretty much only used by industry to test hose because they didn't have a pumper to use.  Lately though, more and more fire departments prefer to use a hose tester rather than take their apparatus out of service to perform yearly hose tests for ISO documentation.  Now, with the price of fuel, it makes even more sense to use a hose tester.

This unit is compact, powerful, and simple.  It utilizes a manifold to reduce the number of points where leaks might occur.  The valves are quarter-turn with nylon seats and stainless steel balls and are accessible instead of being buried inside a frame.  Fire grade aluminum hose fittings are provided instead of brass which can be easily damaged. 

Getting the tester to the test area is a breeze since it is just like using a "two-wheeler."  Just tip it back and roll it to where it needs to be. Solid tires ensure you will never have to worry about a flat after it has been in storage for a while.  It rolls easy and where you point is as opposed to some of the square packages with casters on all four corners.  When not tilted onto its wheels, the front legs help to hold the unit where you put it.

Each of the four, 2-1/2" discharges is individually gated and will accommodate up to 300 feet of hose.  This means you can test up to 1200 feet of hose at once or use a single outlet to test just a few sections.  Additionally, when testing with all four discharges, should a hose leak in one of the hose lays it can be shut down without affecting the test sequence for the remaining lays.  Discharge connections are arranged to allow the user to attach up to 5" storz fittings without interference.

All discharges are close to the ground to prevent air pockets which would increase the amount of time required to build up pressure.  Air pockets also store energy which can cause a more violent reaction should a hose fail.

The 120 volt, one horsepower motor safely and quietly (as compared to a pumper) delivers up to 500 PSI to test your hose.  An inline GFCI device is hardwired into the cord and cannot be circumvented for maximum protection of your personnel.

When using a hose tester as compared to a pumper, the most time consuming part of the procedure is filling the hose with water and then getting up to pressure.  Many of the units on the market only have a 3/4" garden hose inlet.  1000' feet of 5" hose holds roughly 1000 gallons of water before it even starts to stretch.  Think of filling a small swimming pool with a garden hose.  This unit is equipped with a 1-1/2" gated inlet to allow maximum flow while filling hose prior to testing.  You can quickly bring the hose to static main pressure and remove some of the stretch before engaging the pump. 

Another difference between using a tester versus a pumper to test hose is basic physics.  When you have a 1250 gallon per minute pumper connected to 1000' feet of fire hose and maintaining a pressure of 400 PSI, there is a lot of stored energy in the hose and reserve energy in the engine.  When a hose bursts, the pump will immediately attempt to maintain that 400 PSI by sending more water resulting in an unscheduled "loose hose drill."  The hose tester is limited to 5 gallons per minute during the test phase.  Should a hose burst, the only energy that will be released will be the stored pressure.  It can still be dangerous but not nearly as bad or as prolonged as with a pumper.

As you can see, there are a lot of advantages to testing your hose with a hose tester.  Especially this hose tester.  It is safer, quieter, cheaper in the long run, and leaves all of your apparatus ready to protect your community.

SPECIFICATIONS

Voltage   120 Volts, AC
Horsepower   1
Electrical Protection   Hardwired GFCI
Pump Type   Positive Displacement
Pump Volume   5 Gallons Per Minute
Maximum Pressure   500 PSI
Inlet   1-1/2" Female NST Swivel
Outlets   Four (4), Gated 2-1/2" Male NST, 1/2" Drain
Maximum Hose Per Discharge   300 Feet  (1200 Feet Total)
Dimensions   35" H x 28" W x 25" D

 


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Copyright 2006 David's Fire Equipment
Last modified: 03/27/12