Fire hose manufacturers, such as BullDog Hose Company, conduct rigorous tests and inspections to ensure fire departments receive the highest quality fire hoses. Once you receive your new hose, it’s a wise practice to run your own tests and assessments to verify that the line is ready to respond to emergencies. The BullDog Hose team will highlight some of the essential processes in evaluating new hoses.
You should lay out the hose for a full inspection end-to-end, both inside and outside. When checking the hose’s exterior, be on the lookout for kinks, cuts, tears, bulges, other signs of damage or abnormalities to the exterior or liner of the hose. Take a look at the couplers for any of the following possible defects:
- Damaged threads
- Slippage of the hose
- Connections not rotating freely
- Missing lugs
- Loose external collars
- Internal gasket issues
Check the hose’s interior for any signs of a delaminated liner by reaching inside the hose and pinching the liner. If the hose’s interior can be pinched, the liner has begun to separate from the hose jacket.
Doing a detailed inspection of a new hose gives you a benchmark for the condition as time goes on. Also, it helps ensure that the hose is ready for hydrostatic testing.
After a close inspection of the hose, you should test the line before being put into service. Since all hoses require annual testing for lines in service anyways, conducting a hydrostatic evaluation when you receive a new hose allows you to get two things done at once (staying in compliance and ensuring the hose is ready for service).
For the hydrostatic test, the following needs to happen to stay in compliance with NFPA 1962:
- Attack fire hose shall be service tested to a minimum of 300 psi (20.7 bar or 2070 kPa) or a pressure not to exceed the service test pressure marked on the hose
- Supply fire hose shall be service tested to a minimum of 200 psi (13.8 bar or 1380 kPa) or a pressure not to exceed the service test pressure marked on the hose
- Forestry fire hose shall be service tested to a minimum of 300 psi (20.7 bar or 2070 kPa) or a pressure not to exceed the service test pressure marked on the hose
- Occupant-use hose shall be tested to the service test pressure marked on the hose
- The hose must maintain required service pressure for three minutes
Throughout the test, you should inspect the fire hose for leaks, damage, or other abnormalities. If the hose bursts, leaks, coupling leaks, or defects, you should take the hose out of service.
After you test the hose and identify that it is fit for service, the line should be cleaned, dried, and stored. When cleaning the hose, rinse it with clean water. Make sure to wash both sides of the hose. To dry the hose properly, wipe it down or use a commercial dryer.
Never leave a hose out to dry out in direct sunlight or out on the pavement. After drying, store it in a cool, dry, and well-ventilated area. After that, you should be ready to answer the call with your new hose.
For more information about fire hoses, visit BullDogHose.com.