Useful Hydrant Valve in Los Angeles
The Los Angeles Fire Department has adapted a novel four-way valve, invented by one of the fire captains, that has many advantages over the old valves. When the hose wagon reaches a fire, before the fire engine, which is often the case, a line of hose may be laid and water obtained immediately at hydrant pressure. After the fire engine arrives, a connection may be made between the engine suction and this four-way valve, and a second connection from the discharge of the engine to the same four-way. When these connections have been made by throwing a lever on the valve the interior connections are so changed that water flows from the hydrant to the engine suction instead of to the original line of hose, and is discharged by the engine at the increased pressure through the four-way to the same hose and thus to the fire.
The photograph shows the hose from and to the engine attached. A turn of the hand lever the interior connections are so arranged that the water flows from the hydrant to the suction hose leading off the four-way valve at right angles to the hydrant, then passing to the engine where it is placed under high pressure, flowing into the four-way valve through the hose pointing toward the hydrant and then out through the line hose to the fire.
The accompanying sketch shows roughly the working of the valve. A is the rotating piece. When in the position shown in the drawing, water is flowing from the hydrant directly to the hose line. If it is desired to boost the pressure, the rotating piece is turned to the position A’, shown by the dotted line, and the water takes the course shown by the dotted arrow line. The position of the fire engine is indicated by the word “Engine.” The water is switched from one course to the other by merely turning the valve A through 90 degrees.