Great Headway in Hose Coupling Standardization
Work Has Progressed in Several States and Others Are Considering Starting of Campaigns—The Results Accomplished in State of Ohio, Through Work of Ohio Inspection Bureau
So many inquiries hare been received by FIRE AND WATER ENGINEERING as to the progress that has been accomplished in hose coupling standardization, by whom the work is done, methods adopted, etc., that the following article will be found of considerable value to our readers showing what has been accomplished in the state of Ohio.
Standardization of Hose Threads
By the standardization of fire hose, hydrants and fire department fittings we mean the changing to uniform dimensions, by the use of special tools, the numerous odd sized and non-interchangeable fittings now in service, in the various communities throughout the state.
The unfortunate situation of this diversity of fittings was the outgrowth of an early day, when each community was more or less an isolated unit and that which transpired in one was of little or no consequence to others, at least as far as matters of this nature were concerned. Water works systems were installed and apparatus and hose purchased, with no universally accepted standard for fittings, each manufacturer o. hose and hydrants going according to his own ideas Naturally as the towns grew, sizes originally adopted continued to be used. The one redeeming feature of the whole situation was that certain limitations were observed without which standardization would have been a hopeless task today.
Changes Through Motor Apparatus and Good Roads
In the era of mud roads, slow horse drawn equip ment and the isolated community, this question was. not of the vital importance that it is today, but th advent of good roads and modern motor driven apparatus has entirely changed the situation. However. it is only by means of standardization that neighboring communities in times of stress will be in a position to extend truly effective aid to one another. There is no community so well equipped that it can consider itself as immune at. some time or other of being in possible need of such assistance, as has been clearly demonstrated in the various conflagrations our country has suffered in past years. Although the above is always looked upon as the primary reason there are several others why there should be 100 per cent, standardization. The ordering of hose is greatly simplified with a more uniform fit assured, as it has been repeatedly demonstrated in our work, that a consistant size cannot be maintained under the old system of ordering by sample, and the unsatisfactory if not actually alarming condition of misfits to which it eventually leads.
The two apparent reasons for present conditions were the failure of various interests and organizations for a long time to agree upon any one standard, and after this was finally settled, to perfect suitable tools whereby the work could be done in a satisfac-
tory manner and with a reasonable expenditure of money and labor.
Fire Chiefs’ Organization First to Adopt Standard
The first body to officiall adopt and recognize what is now known as the National Standard Coupling was the then National Association of Fire Engineers, at their annual convention in 1891. This coupling has a measurement of 2 1/2 inches outside, 3 1-16 inches over the outside of threads and 7 1/2 threads to the inch.
In the several years following, this standard was endorsed by the American Water Works Association, National Fire Protective Association. International Association of Fire Engineers as well as by various other large organizations. It remained, however, until a comparatively recent date for this important matter to secure the official recognition of the United States Government when the U. S. Bureau of Sandards adopted the National Standard Coupling as the official standard for hose couplings and hydrant fittings throughout the United States which was of very material advantage in the interest of standardization and I believe the time will come when we will see state legislation forcing standardization. In such there is not the remote possibility as some may imagine.
Today Movement Well Under Way
Today this movement is well under way and the actual work of standardization is being actively carried on in the states of Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, Iowa, Minnesota, Kentucky, New Jersey, Rhode island and is being considered in various others. The railroads throughout the country are taking an active interest. Although Ohio did not.actually enter the field until September, 1921, we are pleased to report excellent progress, due to the splendid work of William Winnard. former battalion chief and master mechanic of the Columbus fire department and the pilot of our standardization truck in charge of field work.
Work Accomplished in Ohio
Up to date we have to our credit 54 cities and towns in Ohio, some of the principal ones of which are Ada, Bellefontaine, Bucyrus, Coshocton, Crestline. Elyria, Findlay, Fostoria, Greenfield, New Philadelphia, Dover, Piqua, Sidney, Tiffin, Uhrichsv i lie, Dennison, Washington Court House and Zanesville. In some of our larger cities we have encountered and corrected some very undesirable situations, in Zanesville, especially, we found, very few fittings of corresponding dimensions. Our work there was greatly appreciated.
Recutting of Six-Thread Fittings
To Ohio is also due the credit of demonstrating that 6-thread fittings, within certain limits of outside dimeter, which heretofore had been held to be non-convertable, could be satisfactorily recut bv using proper methods, also that fittings from 2 15-16 to 3 3-32 inches could be safely changed. Sidney is the largest 6-thrtad town yet attempted. This city had formerly planned by the purchase of some $5,000 or $5,000 worth of new fittings and nipples to make the change themselves but was saved this expense by having their old ones recut. The National Board of Fire Underwriters has since interested a group of 6-thread towns in New Jersey in which work was immediately started.
While we have not. as yet attempted a general recutting of 6-thread towns we find that the work can as a rule, be satisfactorily done. If the nipple is undersized it is brought up to a trifle over the desired dimensions by the use of expanders and the dies used in the usual manner. The first two threads both on the male and female fittings are formed
very nicely the remainder run out somewhat, however. an exact fit is made, which will interchange with all other standardized fittings, and has been tested out to pressures up t.o as high as 400 pounds, so that there is no question as to its holding quality. Of course if the fitting is already much too large the amount of stock that must be taken off will not allow a proper connection with the female fitting. The 8 and 7 threads are very easily adapted, first being brought up to size by means of a drift or expanders and the taps and dies applied in the usual manner.
That the work in this state is attracting considerable outside attention is evidenced by the tact that we recently received a communication from the State Treasurer and Insurance Commissioner of the State of Florida making inquiry as to our methods, etc.
The structure of a fitting is in no way injured by expanding or recutting, as a matter of fact it is improved. as those which are battered or damaged are restored to true round and the threads cleared. Thus far we have never spoiled a fitting out of the thousands changed.
Have Met With Splendid Co-Operation
A large amount of work yet remains to be accomplished. We have approximately 320 water works towns in Ohio, 67 of which were already standard and with the 54 added will give us over 35 per cent, completed in number of towns. According to our record at least 80 per cent, of all towns are convertable and possibly more considering our success on 6-thread fittings. We have met with splendid co-operation thus far with very few exceptions, but since there is no charge made for this service there is no logical reason why we should not. I might mention that, in the little town of Bradford our work was stopped through the plain ignorance of a public official, who contended that a fitting could not be changed and refused to be shown.
Tribute to the Late F. M. Griswold
I am sure no discussion of standardization would be complete without the mention of our late Mr. Griswold who should truly be called the “Father of Standardization,” as it isthrough his untiring efforts, perhaps more than any others, that the work has reached its present stage. Mr. Griswold was especially interested in the work in Ohio and we are glad to say lived to see his hopes at least partly realized.
Standardization is but one phase of the work which our engineering department is doing. Recognizing that service is the only logical excuse for the existance of any branch of an organization we are striving to direct our work along such lines.
Excellent Results Obtained
In the past, year we have investigated and reported on unsatisfactory conditions in various places and gone before official and civic bodies in an effort to obtain improvements, issued complete reports and recommendations on a number of cities and towns as well as placing them under the National Board Grading Schedule, helped revise building codes, passed upon and assisted in planning change and improvements in municipal and private protection, conducted acceptance tests on apparatus and in fact tried to render every service which we considered should ultimately work toward helping to reduce our tremendous fire loss. The results obtained in a number of cases both in Ohio and West Virginia, which we also cover, have been encouraging, a few notable examples being in the reorganization and motorizing the Findlay fire department, pushing the starting of work in the new Wellsville water works, laying a large water main in Marietta, adopting of building code, erection of auxiliary pumping station and strengthening of Xenia fire department, in all of which as well as in various others we feel that we have at least had some part.
(Continucd on page 586)
Great Headway in Coupling Standardization
(Continued from page 568)
(Paper read before the Fire Prevention and Conservation Association of Ohio at the annual meeting).