Fire Prevention & Protection, Firefighting, Systems

Testing Pressure-Reducing Valves

Issue 1 and Volume 167.

BY BILL GUSTIN Every morning at shift change, firefighters throughout North America perform daily apparatus checks and routine maintenance on their equipment. A vital portion of an apparatus check involves operating the pump so that you can depend on it to get water. Generally, this involves engaging the pump, operating the primer, and fully opening every intake and discharge valve while their caps are in place. This “exercises” the valves and facilitates a check of discharge gauges. This is followed by closing the discharge valves and relieving the pressure by operating their respective bleeder valves. Valves are occasionally lubricated to ensure that they will operate easily. No daily pump test would be complete without operating its relief valve or its automatic pressure control governor and the transfer valve on two-stage pumps. When temperatures are above freezing, conscientious driver engineers will connect their apparatus to a hydrant and flow water through…

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