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HYDRAULICS branch of the physical scienceswhich deals with the properties of liquids at Hydraulics is that rest or in motion. Within the general field of the study of hydraulics are two specialized areas; hydrostatics, having to do with the pressureand equilibrium of liquids; hydrodynamics, having to do with the motion and action of liquids. The fire service is concerned with the subjects of hydraulics in as much as it relates to the delivery of water in sufficient quantities to extinguish fires. Every experienced firefighter recognizesthe danger involved in operating a hose line with too much nozzle pressure. In order to deliver water on the fireground at desired nozzle pressure, and achieve the desired quantity of flows and ranges of streams,a set of applied formulas are given elsewherein this book.

Figure 1 Liquid in Equilibrium






An understanding of the fundamentals of hydraulics is necessaryto apply these formulas to their best advantageand this chapter is devoted to that purpose. The subject of hydrostatics will be reviewed first.

HYDROSTATICS Blaise Pascal, a French mathematician and scientist, laid the foundation of modem hydraulics in 1653 when he discovered that pressurecreated in a liquid acts equally in all directions and that this pressureacts at right angles to containing surfaces. Figure 1, illustrates a container sufficiently strong to hold a given volume of liquid. If the fluid contained within the imaginary boundaries directly above the squareinch " A " weighs 5 pounds, then a pressureof 5 pounds would be exerted against the area of"A." The liquid's weight of5 pounds against area "A" will push equally downward, outward, upward, i.e., in all directions. The liquid over every other squareinch of the bottom of the container is also pushing downward, outward, etc.,in the identical manner, so the forces along this particular plane or level in the container are in equilibrium or balance. Becauseof this, the liquid remains at rest. The sameprinciple of balance of pressure exists at every infinite horizontal plane or level in the container, although of course at lesserpressuresas the surface of the liquid is approached.

It is readily apparentthat this downward pressureis acting at a right angle, or perpendicularly to the containing surface of the bottom, but is it truly acting at right angles to the sides of the container? The force exerted against the sides of the container could be observed in a non-rigid enclosure. Figure 2,


illustrates a portion of a section of 2 Y2 hose, suspended vertically, with a blind cap at the end, " and filled with liquid. It would be observed that although the flexible hose is capable of assuming almost any shape, it does become tubular.

A cross section view of the hose representsa given horizontal plane or a cross sectional view of the hose, representing a given level within the hose, would reveal the shapeof the flexible hose to be circular. This indicates that the pressureat that given plane is truly being exerted equally and perpendicularly to the hose (the containing surface), for ifit were not, the hose would assumesome other geometric form. Some of the physical properties ofwater are important in the understanding of fire service hydraulics. The weight of water varies according to its temperature and mineral content, but the figure most popularly chosen and the one we will use to representthe approximate weight of a cubic foot of water is 62.5 pounds. Ifit was possible to compresswater, a greater volume ofit could be placed within a cubic foot space,hence making it weigh more. But water is practically incompressible, for it would take an applied force of approximately 30,000 pounds per square inch to reduce its volume one per cent. Therefore, it may be said that a given quantity ofwater will always weigh the same amount, and a given weight of water will always occupy the same amount of space.

Pressureis defined as a force divided by the area over which it is distributed. Consider a container having inside measurementsof 12" x 12" x 12", which are the dimensions of a cubic foot. It is filled with water, which weighs 62.5. pounds, seeFigure 3.


The areaof the bottom of such a container is 12" x 12", or 144 squareinches. Therefore, the force of 62.5 pounds divided by the area of 144 squareinches will indicate the pressurein pounds per squareinch, or .434 psi. If one imagines the cubic foot of water to be divided into 144 columns ofwater, each one inch squareand 1 foot high, it can be stated that each one weighs .434 pounds and is exerting a downward force or pressureof .434 pounds. Since the base of each column is one squareinch, this pressurecan be expressedas .434 pounds per square inch. Furthermore, it could be stated that any column ofwater one foot high exerts a pressureof .434 pounds per squareinch at its base, and it would follow that an applied pressureof .434 pounds per squareinch at that point would support a column ofwater. This downward pressureof water in an open container is directly proportional to its depth. If the column of water was two feet high, then the pressureat its base would be .868 pounds per squareinch (.434 x 2). If the column of water was three feet high, the pressure at its base would be 1.302 pounds per squareinch (.434 x 3), See Figure 4. This fact can be expressedby means of a formula, p = .434 x h, where p is the pressurein pounds per square inch and h is the head, which is the vertical distance in feet between the surface ofwater and the point being considered. Supposeit was necessaryto compute the pressureat the base of the column of water 20 feet high; then p = .434 x 20 or, the pressurein pounds per squareinch = 8.68.



.868 '.5.1.

1.302 '.5.1.

1 P.S.I. Head Exerting 1 PSI

Figure 4: Pressure Proportional to Depth



It would follow this development that there is a height ofwater that would produce exactly one pound per squareinch ofpressure, and hydraulic calculations frequently require use of that particular figure, in order to find what head exerts exactly a pressureof one pound per square inch. All that is necessaryto do is to divide one by the pressureexerted by one foot ofhead ( .434), arriving at 2.304 as the answer, seeFigure 4. This can be expressedby means of a formula, H = 2.304 x P, where H is the head in feet and p is the pressurein pounds per square inch. Supposefor instance, it was necessaryto compute the height of a column ofwater above a particular gauge which reads 35 pounds per squareinch, then H = 2.304 x 35, or, the head in feet equals 80.64. The downward pressureofwater in an open container is in no way affected by the shapeof the container. In other words, in a series of differently shapedcontainer, with each having exactly the same depth of water within; each would possessexactly the samepressure in pounds per squareinch at its base. Figure 5 representssuch containers, with precisely the sameheadsand each having basesof one squareinch area.

Figure 5:

Different Shaped Containers

PressureProportional to Density

The downward pressureof a liquid in an open container is also directly proportional to the liquid's density.The density, or weight, of the liquid determineshow much pressureis present. The weights of different liquids are not necessarily the same. For example, mercury weighs 13.546 times as much as water, so a cubic foot of mercury would weigh approximately 846.6 pounds (62.5 x 13.546) and exert a downward pressureof approximately 5.88 pounds per square inch (846.6 + 144). Therefore, a column ofmercury one foot in height exerts a pressureof 5.88 pounds per square inch. It would follow this development that there is a height of mercury that would produce exactly one pound per squareinch of pressure,and hydraulic calculations frequently require the use of






that particular figure. In order to find what head of mercury exerts a pressure of one pound per squareinch, divide one by the pressureexerted by one foot of head (5.88), arriving at .17 feet. Practically all hydraulic calculations using mercury's weight to represent a pressure,utilize inches of height not feet of height, to denote the force involved. The conversion of .17 feet into inches is accomplished by multiplying by 12, arriving at 2.04 as the answer. Therefore, it can be stated,that a head of2.04 inches of mercury exerts a pressureof one pound per squareinch. Furthermore, if a head of one foot of mercury exerts a pressureof 5.88 pounds per squareinch, a head of one inch would exert a pressureof .49 pounds per squareinch (5.88 = 12). From the preceding facts, certain other relationships between water and mercury can be established. One of these relationships equateswhat head ofwater exerts the same amount of pressureas one inch ofmercury. It has been shown that mercury is 13.546 times as heavy as water, or stated conversely, it takes 13.546 times as much water to exert the same amount of pressureas a given amount ofmercury. It can be stated that a column ofwater 13.546 inches high will exert the same downward pressureas a column of mercury one inch high; seeFigure 5. It would also be logical to state that because2.04 inches of mercury exerts a pressureof one pound per squareinch, and 2.304 feet ofwater exerts a pressureof one pound per squareinch, one inch of mercury is equivalent in pressureto 1.129 feet of water (2.304 = 2.04), or one foot of water equals .9 inches ofmercury (2.04 + 2.304). Water and mercury have been used thus far to illustrate certain basic hydraulic facts. Another substance;air, and the pressuredeveloped by it, also plays an important role in the story of hydraulic theory .Earth is enveloped in a mixture of gases,and although relatively light, these gasesdo exert pressureover surface of the earth. This pressureis almost universally expressed to be 14.69 pounds per square inch at sea level, and most hydraulic calculations utilize 14.7 to representatmospheric pressure. More specific air pressurereadings are used for measurements in certain applications. The relationship of atmospheric pressureto "inches of mercury" and "pounds per squareinch" exists as an integral part of the study of hydraulics. It has been establishedthat one inch of mercury is equivalent to .49 pounds per squareinch, therefore, 14.7 pounds per squareinch is equivalent to 30 inches ofmercury (14.70 +.49). Using facts already developed, one pound per squareinch is equivalent to 2.304 feet ofwater, so 14.7 pounds per squareinch is equivalent to 32.868 feet of water (14.7 x 2.304). Naturally, fault can be found with some of the preceding figures, becausethey are basedon a certain variable representedto be a constant, i.e., the weight of a cubic foot ofwater. However, for ail understanding of the basic principles involved, these figures are acceptable,and may even



be shortenedsome what to speedcalculations where absolutely correct projection is not necessary .The text has indicated that there are numerous pressureequivalencies existing between various heights ofwater and mercury, in that differing heights develop equal pressures. For purposes of recapitulation they are given once more, in the acceptableshortened form.
PRESSURE .434 psi .49 psi 1 psi 14.7 psi
MERCURY .9 inchep 1 inches 2.04 inches 30 inches

WATER 1 foot 1.1 feet 2.3 feet 33.9 feet

The text of this chapter thus far has dealt mainly with pressuredeveloped simply by the weight of the liquid itself. However, another principle ofbasic hydraulics is that when additional pressureis applied by some external means to a liquid at rest in a confined area, that same additional pressureis transmitted equally and undiminished to. every other point in the liquid.

Figure 6 Pressure Applied ExtemaIIy

Figure 6 represents a container filled with water. There are pressure gauges attached to the container at various points. If the gauges are accurate enough, they would reflect the pressure




exerted solely by the weight of the water being applied at the horizontal plane of the gauge attachment. The gauge at "A" would read zero, for it is at the surface level of the liquid within the container. The gaugesat "B" would read .434 psi, for they are at the level of one foot below the surface. The gauge at "C" would read .868 psi for it is at the level of two feet below the surface. If it were possible to apply precisely a total force of lOOpounds against the 10 square inch surface, the gaugeswould indicate the readings as shown in Figure 6, an increaseof 10 pounds per squareinch. This truly indicates that the external pressurehas been transmitted without diminution in all directions. As an illustration of a practical situation which embodies a number of the basic hydraulic principles having been developed thus far, Figure 7, can be used. Figure 7 schematically depicts a standpipe system which is connected to a municipal water main. The system is completely filled with water, but no water is being taken from the system, hence the water is static. The pressurein the municipal water main does not remain constantly at one pressure,but fluctuates. If, at some given instant, the system could be pictured at a point where there was a water main pressureof precisely 60 pounds per squareinch, the pressuresshown in Figure 7, would be those present at the various points. For the sake of illustration, in the system depicted, 12 foot increments are chosen to representthe heights of floor levels, but these might well be different in actual installations. To begin an explanation of these varying pressures,consider point 8 of Figure 7. Between point 1 and point 8 there is a height differential of72 feet. This head ofwater is exerting 31.248 psi at point 8 (.434 x 72). This pressureis being exerted in ail directions at point 8, that is, upward, outward, and downward. This 31.248 psi is opposing the 60 psi in the water main at point 8; so that only the differential between these two pressurescan been visioned as a force being applied to a confined fluid from without. In other words, 31.248 psi of the 60 is necessaryjust to support the column ofwater 72 feet high. Because31.248 psi is necessaryto raise the water to the top of the system; then the difference between it and the full pressure available (60 psi) would exert additional pressureundiminished throughout the system. This differential at point 8 is 28.752 psi, (60- 31.248). Consider point 1; the very top of the system, where there is no head of water above it pressing downward. Ifno pressure is being developed by a height ofwater above that point, then the pressurepresent at this point would be only the pressurebeing applied to a confined liquid from without, or the net pressuredifferential at point 8; 28.752 psi or 28.8 psi. Consider point 2; where there is a head of 12 feet of water pressing downward. This 12 foot head, 5.208 psi, is also being acted upon by the net pressuredifferential at point 8; therefore, being increasedto 33.960 (5.208 + 28.752) or 34 psi.




Consider point 3; where there is a head of24 feet of water pressing downward. This 24 foot head, 10.410 psi, is also being acted upon by the net pressuredifferential at point 8; therefore, being increasedto 39.160 psi (10.416 + 28.752) or 39.2 psi. Consider point 4; where there is a head of 36 feet of water pressing downward. This 36 foot head, 15.624 psi, is also being acted upon by the net pressuredifferential at point 8; therefore, being increasedto 44.376 psi (15.624 + 28.752) or 44.4 psi. Consider point 5; where there is a head of 48 feet of water pressing downward. This 48 foot head, 20.832 psi, is also being acted upon by the net pressuredifferential at point 8; therefore, being increasedat 49.584 psi (20.832 + 28.752) or 49.6 psi. Consider point 6; where there is a head of 60 feet of water pressing downward. This 60 foot head, 26.040 psi, is also being acted upon by the net pressuredifferential at point 8; therefore, being increasedto 54.792 psi (26.040 + 28.752) or 54.8 psi. Consider point 7, which is the check valve between the standpiperiser and the supply main. The drawing shows that this valve is at a point 62 feet below the top of the system and 10 feet above the supply main. Becauseit lies in a vertical plane, naturally there are varying pressuresat different points on to faces of the valve, but for the purpose of consideration of the pressuresat point 7, it will have to be stated that there :s a head of water 62 feet high against the system side of the check valve. This 62 foot head, 26.908 psi, is also being acted upon by the net pressure differential at point 8, therefore, being increasedto 55.660 psi (26.908 + 28.752) or 55.7 psi. With the system full ofwater there is also that sameamount of pressure against the water main side of the check valve and the pressuresare equal. The actual position of the check valve under these circumstancesis indeterminable, but it can be assumedthat due to the design of the valve, and the weight of the clapper, it would be in a closed position, but with identical pressureson each side of the clapper. If the pressurein the water main were to drop, or the pressurein the standpipe system was increased,then the valve would definitely close, and conversely, if the pressurein the




Standpipe Schematic

Standpipe Operation One Pumper

Standpipe Operation Two Pumper

standpipe system was decreased,or the pressurein the water main were to increase,then the valve would definitely open. The drawing, Figure 7, shows that pumping apparatus" A " has been connectedto the standpipe system with 2 Y2" hose. At the standpipe siamese,which is on a level with point 5, there is a pressureof 49.6 psi being developed by the head ofwater above that



point and the pressurein the water main. There is another check valve, similar to the one at point 7, but not shown in the drawing, between the exterior siameseand the riser .

Figure 8 F .D. Standpipe Connection -Schematic

Figure 8 depicts the Siameseand check valves in a typical standpipe system, and is schematically represented.The pressureof 49.6 psi present in the standpipe is pressing against the system side of the clapper of the check valve, and is holding it closed. This pressurewill certainly resist any pressurebeing applied at the Siameseside of the clapper. A descriptive term "back-pressure" can be used to indicate that this pressurewill be exerted back against the effort of the pumping apparatus.Unless the pumper develops a pressuregreater than the 49.6 psi opposing the check valve will not operate and allow additional pressure into the system. As the pressurebuild-up of the pumper overcomes the back pressureof the standpipe system and exerts a higher pressure,the pressurein the standpipe system will increase.The check valve at point 7 will close when a higher pressureis applied against the system side, and no water or pressurewould go back into the water main through that connection.
Assume that pumping apparatus IIA II ultimately reaches a pressure of lOO pounds per square inch. There is still no water being taken from the system so the water is still static. This situation is also a kin to pressure being applied externally to a confined liquid. When the clapper between the Siamese connection and the standpipe opens slightly in response to the greater pressure from the pumper IIA", the opposing pressure of 49.6 psi against the 100 psi would in effect allow only




50.4 psi to be exerted against the water in the system therefore, the pressureat point 5 would rise only to 100 psi. The back pressurein the system, and the pressurefrom pumper IIA" are not additive, for the two forces do truly oppose one another, producing only a net difference. This additional pressureof 50.4 psi being exerted by pumper" A" would be transmitted to every other point in the system without further loss, and the pressurereadings in Figure 7, reflects this Increase.
From these illustrations it can be seen that the pressure at any point in a liquid at rest (static) is equal to the pressure at any other point in the liquid, plus or minus the pressure produced by a column of the liquid the height of which is equal to the difference in elevation between the two points under consideration. An increase of 10 psi at pumper " A ", from 100 psi to 110 psi, would cause an equal increase at every point in the system. Likewise, a decrease of 10 psi at pumper " A " , from 100 psi to 90 psi, would cause an equal decrease at every other point in the system.

Figure 7, reflects an enlargement of the circumstancesdeveloped thus far. Another pumper, "B", has been connected to the standpipe siamesewith 2 Y2 " hose. Ifpumper "B" built up a pressure of lOOpsi, the pressuresin the standpipe system would not change, for the pressure from pumper "B" would be exactly balanced by the 100 psi being exerted against the siameseflap valve by pumper "A". Ifpumper "B" builds up a pressurehigher than pumper "A", additional pressure would be exerted against the water in the standpipe system. The balance between "A" and "B" would then be destroyed, and the flap valve of the siamesethrough which "A's" pressureis being exerted would definitely closed, and it could then be stated that "B" is responsible for exerting the pressureagainst the water in the standpipe system. If the pressureofpumper "B" were 120 psi (20 psi over the pressurealready at point 5), this increasewould be reflected at every point in the system. Figure 7, shows this increasedpressureat the various points. When a hose line is placed in service from one of the outlets of the standpipe system, the static pressurein the standpipewould be reduced, due to the friction loss in the supply lines to the siamese,and in the standpipe itself. Therefore, in a pumping situation, a formula must be used to compensatefor these losses,overcome the back pressuredeveloped by the height ofwater between the pump and the nozzle, and provided a nozzle pressuresufficiently great for firefighting purposes. On the fireground, operators ofpumpers "A" and "B" would calculate their engine pressuresby use of predetermined formulas. Once water starts to flow in this representativesystem, the actions of the clappers in the check valves and the flap valves with in the siamese,along with their positions at any given time would depend entirely upon the pressuresagainst their faces at the given instant of consideration.



HYDRODYNAMICS Up to this point, the text of this chapter has dealt largely with hydrostatics, or the pressureand equilibrium of liquids at rest. Perhapsthe phaseof basic hydraulics most difficult to understand relates to what occurs when motion or flow patterns are introduced in a liquid. Basic laws of physics are involved for a physical substanceis present. Some early theoreticians chose to ignore the energy dissipated in movement by visualizing an ideal fluid medium possessingno molecular structure or activity .Engineers could not disregard this energy loss in matters of practical design however. Potential energy, as would be representedby a static head ofwater, is tumed to kinetic energy when motion is introduced. The kinetic energy is less than potential energy due to a loss which occurs. This loss does not mean that energy itself has been destroyed, only that a certain portion of the potential energy has been converted into some other form. This so-called lost energy still exists as dissipated heat. The reduction of potential energy cannot be disregarded in the study or application of fire fighting hydraulics, and although not totally equatedwith theoretical loss, due to variations between carrier surfaces,a set of values can be determined to represent this loss. Many flow phenomenaare so complicated that purely mathematical solutions are impossible, incomplete, or impractical, and it is necessaryto resort to and rely upon experimental measurementsor empirical methods. Empirical means "based oIl experiment and observation." Different liquids move at different speedsin reaction to identical forces, due to their viscosity . Viscosity is the ability of the given liquid to resist shearing forces, and varies from substanceto substance.A liquid possessinghigh viscosity exhibits greater resistanceto movement in responseto a force than a liquid with low viscosity. The basis for this resistanceto force lies in the natural attraction of the molecules within the liquid. In addition to this natural resistancedue to molecular attraction within the liquid itself, there is yet another resistanceoffered to the pressureforce, that which occurs where liquid is in contact with a solid boundary.As a liquid moves between solid boundaries, such as a river between its banks and over its bed, or water through a section ofhose, all portions of it do not move at identical speeds. The phenomenaof movement can be likened to parallel layers of the liquid slipping past one another. This laminar effect is causedby the molecular friction within the liquid itself and where the liquid comes in contact with the confining surface. The layers of liquid move at different speeds,starting with little or no movement where the liquid is in contact with the solid boundary, and achieving greater and greater velocities toward the center of the flowing stream.




Where the velocity of movement is low, or in areasof small diameter, the flow will be streamlined, meaning that a particular particle of water will move forward without crossing the path line of other particles. If the velocity increasessufficiently however, the water becomes turbulent, with swirls, eddies, and cross motions introduced. This then means that the path line of a particular particle ofwater is crossing path lines of other particles, hence interrupting the smooth flow. What occasionsthe change from streamline to turbulent? Many things, among them, some are (1) an increaseofvelocity, (2) an increasein the areabetween boundaries, (3) roughnessof the carrier, (4) obstructions, (5) degreeof curvature ofbends, and. (6) the number ofbends. Whenever two surfacesof substancesrub together heat is created.The creation ofheat requires energy, and this energy must be furnished by some potential source. For example, if a potential source of 100 pounds of work effort was set in motion, and this motion required two surfacesof substancesto rub together, then heat would be created, and the energy of the heat would be subtracted from the original work potential energy, and would be lost by dissipation. Although the nature of energy dissipation is quite complex and quite outside the scope of this chapter, it can be statedthat in hydraulics, any reduction in potential energy is classified as friction logs. In effect then, the pressurecreated by a pump would be decreasedby friction loss as water moves through a hose. Within the broad classification of friction loss are two categories: (1) that friction loss which occurs due to the motion of a liquid along a smooth or rough surface, and (2) eddy loss, which occurs at relatively abrupt changesin flow, as at a valve, or direction change,or at a sudden enlargement of a channel. In hydraulics the word IIflow" is used to indicate that quantity of liquid which will pass a given point in a given unit of time. The term gallons l2erminute is the usual way of expressing volume of flow. The term velocity of flow means the rate of speedat which the liquid is moving in relation to some fixed point. The term feet per second is the usual way of expressing velocity of flow. The term volume and velocity are often consideredjointly, for their rel~tionship is a close one. To explain this relationship, consider a canier such as a river, a pipe, or a hose line with a constant input volume. The velocity of flow through the canier would vary when the cross-sectionarea of the canier varied. That is, the velocity would increase at narrow parts of the canier, and decreaseat wider parts of the canier, as long as the volume remained constant. For example, a river moves faster where the banks are close together than it does where the banks are far apart, with a given volume of water moving downstream. A hose line comprised of different sized hose and containing reducers or increaserscan also be used as an example



With the constant input of a given volume ofwater, the velocity will be greater in the narrower diameters than it will be in the larger diameters. If the cross-sectionarea in part of an iron pipe were 10 squareinches, and the pipe narrowed to a cross-sectionarea of 2 squareinches, and there was a flow of 300 gallons per minute through the entire pipe, the velocity of the water in the 2 squareinch areawould be 5 times the velocity of the water in the 10 squareinch area. It could be stated that for a given quantity ofwater to move through a section of 2 Yz" hose it would have to move a velocity of "X" number of feet per second.For the same quantity of water to move through a section of 1 Y2" hose, it would have to move at a velocity of"2. 78 times "X", for a comparison of the cross-sectional areasof2 Y2" hose and 1 Yz" hose is approximately 2.78 to 1. Remember, the faster the water moves, the more "rubbing of the layers" occurs, The more "rubbing", the greater the creation of heat, with the resultant greater "friction loss", The immediately preceding statementsdo not imply that friction loss in the 1 Yz" hose would also be 2.78 times the friction loss in the 2 Y2" hose, for the rule relating to comparison of friction losseswithin different carriers is slightly more complicated. In addition to the characteristic friction loss already discussed,that which results from the internal fluid resistance and the contact with the boundary surfaces,bends in hose lines, valves, couplings, protruding washers at couplings and rough interior linings all add friction loss to hose lines. To compare friction lossesin 2 Y2" hose, and considering all the variables, an empirical rule can be used. For the samedischarge from both hoses,that is, the samequantity of water flowing through each,the friction loss varies inversely as the fifth power of the diameter of the hose. The diameter of the 2 Yz" hose to the fifth power is 97.66; and the diameter of the 1 Yz" hose to the fifth power is 1.59; hence 97.66 divided by 7.59 indicates that the friction loss in 1 Yz" hose would be 12.87 or 13 times the friction loss in 2 Yz" hose for the identical quantity flows. From this fact it can be determined that the most effective method of reducing friction loss for a given. quantityofwater through a hose line is to increasethe size of the hose. When considering various flows within one given size ofhose the friction loss varies as the squareof the velocity increases.This statementimplies that the friction loss increasesmore rapidly than the velocity of flow. For instance, if the flow velocity were doubled, the resultant friction loss would be the squareof this increase,or four times as great. If the velocity were tripled, the resultant friction loss would be the squareof the velocity increase,or 9 times as great as it was before.



When considering the friction loss present within one given size ofhose line, with a constant quantity input, the friction loss varies directly as to the length of the line. This rule would imply that a hose line of 2 Y2" hose, 200 feet long, delivering a flow of 200 gallons per minute would have twice the friction loss of another 2 Yz" hose line lOO feet long delivering a flow of 200 gallons per minute. Hence, if the length of a particular size rose delivering a particular amount of water were to tripled, and the flow quantity was not changed,the now tripled length would h ave three times the amount of friction loss. Friction loss is usually stated as so many pounds per hundred feet of hose, becauseif the friction loss varies directly as to the length, each one hundred feet ofhose with in a given line would have the identical friction loss as any other one hundred feet ofhose within the same lire, disregarding any differences in-the interior lining, gaskets,etc. Another rule relating to friction loss deals with pressureor a stated velocity of flow, the friction loss in the hose line remains approximately the same,no matter where the pressuremay be present in the water. This rule implies that the pressurepresent in the hose has no effect on the friction loss as long the pressuredoes not changethe velocity of flow. As an example, if the velocity of a given flow through a hose line was 20 feet per second. The friction loss would be approximately the samewhether the pressurein the water was 75 pounds or 125 pounds per squareinch. It is the velocity of the water, not the pressurein the water that determines the friction loss.
As a further illustration of this principle consider a nozzle which at a pressure of lOO psi will deliver 250 gallons per minute. The nozzle is attached to 500 feet of 2 Y2" hose, which is connected to a pumper. The pumper is discharging 250 gpm at 175 psi into the. hose. Because the hose is all 2 Y2", the velocity can be considered as a constant along the entire length of hose. Since the velocity is constant, the loss due to friction will be the same for each 100 foot length of hose. .

At a point in a hose line lOO feet from a pumper, there naturally is a flow of 250 gpm's passing through that point, but the original pressurehas been reduced 15 psi due to the friction which has occurred in the hose line between the pumper and the point under consideration. Only 160 psi is present in the hose line at this point. At the point in the hose line 200 feet from the pumper, the flow is stil1250 gpm, but the original pressurehas been reduced 15 psi as the result of friction so that only 145 psi is present in the hose line.






At the point in the hose line 300 feet from the pumper, the flow is still 250 gpm, but the original pressurehas been reduced another 15 psi as the result of friction so that only 130 psi is present in the hose line. At the point in the hose line 400 feet from the pumper, the flow is still 250 gpm, but the original pressurehas been reduced 15 psi as the result of friction so that only 115 psi is present in the hose line. At the point in the hose line 500 feet from the pumper, right behind the nozzle, there is stil1250 gpm flowing, but the original pressurehas now been reduced another 15 psi as a result of friction so that only 100 psi is present in the hose. From this, it can be seenthat the pressurepresent in the hose has no effect on the friction loss. Even though there are different pressuresin each 100 foot length ofhose, the friction loss is the samein all 100 foot lengths. The pressurechangesdid not affect the velocity or quantity flow, for 250 gpm flowed past every point in the hose line, and becausethe hose was all one size the velocity can be considered as constant.



As was pointed out earlier in this chapter, the envelope of air surrounding the earth does have weight, and this weight is considered to be 14.7 psi at sealevel. The pressuredoes vary however, due to the condition of the atmosphere,that is, moist air, storms, etc., and also due to varying heights above sea level. There is less air depth above the ground that is elevated, hence there would not be as much pressurepresent at those elevated points. Atmospheric pressureis reduced approximately 0.5 psi for each 1000 feet of elevation above sealevel. So it can be said that disregarding weather variations, the atmospheric weight is present with a certain degreeof constancy in a particular geographical area. The force exerted by the atmosphereis balanced either by itself or by materials strong enough to resist its pressure.All parts ofhydraulic systemsare subjectedto this pressure,but for the most part the force is balanced by atmospheric pressureapplied at some other part. As an example, water reservoirs are open to atmospheric pressureand this force would tend to acceleratethe water's entranceinto a pump. However, when the water exits from the nozzle, there is also atmospheric pressurepressing against it, so the two forces are in balance. The fire service is concernedmainly with pressuresdeveloped either above or below the basic atmospheric pressure



When there is less than atmospheric pressureagainst the gauge,the relative gauge will reflect a reading in inches of mercury on the gauge dial. This minus or negative pressurereading is called a vacuum, even though it is not a perfect vacuum.

Relative Zero Mercury

40 psi 30 30 25 20 15 10 5 0 5" -2.45 10-4.90 15- -7.35 20 -9.80 25-12.25 30 -14.7

54.7psi 49.7 44.7 39.7 34.7 29.7 24.7 19.7 14.7 30" Mercury 12.25 25 9.80 20 7.35 15 4.90 10 2.45 5 0.0 Absolute Zero



Relative and Absolute scale

Absolute pressurecan be described as the actual amount of water pressurepresent. Gaugesthat are reflect absolute pressureare adjusted so that the needle pointer of gauge is at 14.7 psi when only atmospheric pressureis present. When there is less than atmospheric pressurepresent, the absolute gaugeswould reflect a pressurelower than 14.7 psi. A reading of zero on such a gauge would indicate that there is absolutely no pressurepresent, a perfect vacuum.
Assume that identical positive pressure over atmospheric pressure were applied to both a relative pressure gauge and a absolute pressure gauge. There would be a differential of 14.7 psi between the two gauge readings. Further translation of this fact leads to a statement that: Relative pressure plus 14.7 equals absolute pressure, and conversely, absolute pressure minus 14.7 equals-relative pressure. Figure 21 shows the correlation of the two terms of reference.






At times it is important not only to know how much water is being applied through hose lines, but how much the water weighs. It is sometimesimportant to know how many gallons of water are contained within a specific area. To determine the relationship of weight and quantity, consider that as has already been established,one cubic foot of water weighs 62.5 pounds, and occupies a spaceof 12" x 12" x 12", or 1728 cubic inches. If 1728 cubic inches of water weighs 62.5 pounds, then a fractional part of that spacewill weigh a directly proportional amount, i.e., 1/2 the spaceof water will weigh 1/2 the total amount, and 1/3 of the spacewill weigh 1/3 the total amount.
Liquids are measured by gills, pint, quart, and gallons, with each having a specified equivalency in cubic inches and liters. A gallon is equivalent to 231 cubic inches, and 231 cubic inches represent a fractional part of a cubic foot. To determine how many volumes of 231 cu. in (1 gallon) are contained within 1728 cu. in. (1 cu. ft.) divide 1728 by 231 and the answer, 7.481 reveals that a cubic foot of water will contain 7.481 gallons.

To determine. how much one gallon ofwater will weigh, divide 62.5 by 7.481 and the quotient of 8.35 reveals that a gallon of water weighs 8.35 pounds. For pulposes ofrecapitulation, these equivalencies are given once more. One cubic foot equals 1728 cubic inches One cubic foot ofwater equals 7.481 U.S. gallons One U.S. gallon equals 231 cubic inches One U.S. gallon weighs 8.35 pounds

Water has no tensile strength, for a quantity of it cannot be pulled length wise without "tearing apart". Becauseit cannot be pulled upward, some force must be applied to it at a lower level in order to elevate it when required. A pump located below the level of the water could furnish this power of course, but upon occasion it is necessaryto position a pump at some distance above the level ofwater, and operate under those conditions. A pump is said to lift water by suction when it drafts from an open body of water located below the intake of the pump. With the pump elevated above the water level, there must be some type of physical connection between the two locations, through which the water can flow. This interconnection between water and pump can be considered as an extension of the pump intake.




This said interconnection must possessair tight integrity and be of sufficient strength to resist high external pressureswithout collapse. The end of such a pump suction extension must be submergedbelow the water level a sufficient distance to assurea constant supply of water. At no time is the pump pulling the water up, so some other force must be responsible for elevating the water, and that other force is the atmospheric pressurepressing downward on the open surface of the water. What actually occurs during ay draft operation is that a partial vacuum (pressurebelow atmospheric pressure) is createdwithin the pump, and the higher atmospheric pressureoutside the pump, pressing downward on the surface of the water, forces the water into the area of lower pressure,that is, the pump. It has been establishedin the first part of this chapter that 2.304 feet of water exerts a pressureof one pound per squareinch, and that one pound per squareinch will support a column of water 2.304 feet high. It follows that every pound per square inch that can be evacuatedfrom the pump and its suction extension, the one pound higher atmospheric pressurecan raise the water 2.304 feet within the assembly. For every additional pound per squareinch that can be evacuatedfrom the interior of the pump assembly, the atmospheric pressurewill elevate the water an additiona12.304 feet, until ultimately, the pump is completely filled with water, or primed. In theory, an absolutely perfect positive displacementpump could draft water 33.9 feet, i.e., the height to which one psi will elevate water (2.304) multiplied by the prevailing atmospheric pressureavailable (14.7). This figure is never attained with fire service priming pumps or devices for three principal reasons:a) it is impractical from a cost and requirement standpoint, b) no fire service pump could produce or maintain a perfect vacuum due to required operating clearances,and c) friction loss in the suction hose once water starts moving reducesthe atmospheric pressure available to over come the height of the lift. From this, it has been assumedthat no fire departmentpumping apparatuscan lift water 33.9 feet. A pump in excellent condition can causeenough vacuum so that atmospheric pressurecan force water about 28 feet, and one in averagegood condition can causeenough vacuum so that atmospheric pressurecan force water about 26 feet. As was stated in (c) there is another factor relating to operating a pumper at draft, and that is the friction loss occurring in the hard sleeves as any given quantity of water moves through them. There would be no pressureavailable to overcome friction loss if all atmospheric pressurewere utilized to overcome lift. It must be understood that there is simply not enough atmospheric, pressureto force great quantities of




water into a pump when that pump is working at extremely high lift conditions. As the lift is decreased,the expected quantities of flow is increased. Gaugeson fire apparatusare adjusted to reflect relative pressure,i.e., atmospheric pressureat zero. When less atmospheric pressureis present within the pump, the gauge reflects it by exhibiting a less than zero reading expressedin inches of mercury .It has been established elsewherein this chapter that one inch of mercury is equivalent to .49 pounds. per squareinch and to the pressureexerted by 1.1 feet of water. When a gauge indicates that there has been a reduction of pressureequal to 1" of mercury within the pump, atmospheric pressurewould lift the water 1.1 feet within the hard sleeves.For every additionall" of mercury reduction, the atmospheric pressurewould lift the water an additionall.l feet. The vacuum, expressedin inches of mercury , that would be required to enable the atmospheric pressureto force water a specified number of feet, would be the vertical height of lift (in feet) multiplied by the pressure exerted by 1 foot ofwater (in inches of. mercury, approximately .9). For example, a ten foot lift would require approximately 9 inches of mercury evacuation. If then, in theory, an absolutely perfect positive displacementpump at approximately sea level could draft water 33.9 feet, and I" ofmercury is equal to 1.12 feet ofwater, then 30" of mercury would be equal to 33.9 feet ofwater, hence the equivalency of 14.7 psi, 30" ofmercury, and 33.9 feet ofwater. As an example of a practical application of the principles of suction lift, consider a fire departmentpumper located at a point 10 feet above an open body ofwater, with hard sleeves attachedand immersed in the water. A priming device for the centrifugal pump is started, and part of the 14.7 psi which was present in the assembly is being evacuated.As the 14.7 psi is reduced, atmospheric pressurepressing downward on the open body of water pushesthe water up the sleeve. Figure 10, depicts such a situation where at some given instant the priming device on the pumper attempting this draft operation has evacuatedan amount of pressure equivalent to 5 inches of mercury. This leaves an absolute pressureof 12.25 psi within the pump. The atmospheric pressurehas elevated the water 5.65 feet. As the priming device continues to operate, the inches of mercury shown on the intake gauge will continue to increase,reflecting evacuation of more and more pressure from within the pump assembly. There would eventually be a point reached where the pressurereduction within the pump assembly would be sufficient to allow the atmosphericpressureto elevate the water up the sleeve far enough to fill the pump with water (primed).



A reading of an intake gauge on the pumping apparatus at that time (approximately 9 inches) would represent a vacuum required solely for lift. This reading is called the static reading. After the pump is primed the pump starts discharging water through hose lines, and ultimately achieves a predetermined pressure and quantity flow.

Even though generally the priming device has been shut off as the pump pressurebuild up occurs, there is still less than atmospheric pressureon the suction side of the pump. It is the effort of the centrifugal pump which maintains less than atmospheric pressureon the suction side of the pump.


.~. .. .. .. .. .. 0. . .:

-1"" .





~ ..


Figure 10. Pumper at Draft

Although a centrifugal pump cannot pump air alone in order to prime itself, once it is primed, it has the capability of producing a partial vacuum on its suction side. The centrifugal pump must produce additional vacuum to allow atmospheric pressureto produce a velocity in the suction sleeves,and to overcome the friction loss in the strainer, suction sleeves,and pump intake manifold. A reading of the intake gauge, taken when operating with a particular flow 1-23



of water, is called the dynamic reading. When operating from draft both the static and the dynamic readings on the suction side of the pump are in inches of mercury . The following examples of intake gaugereadings are from an actual test of a fire department pumper during the annual service test. Ultimate Delivery
1250 875 625


Static Reading
9" 9" 9"

Dynamic Reading
16" 14" 12"

101 10' 101

The difference between the static reading and the dynamic reading reflects the friction loss occurring on the suction side of the pump when progressing from no delivery (just lift) to full capacity (1250 gpm), to 7/1Othof capacity (875 gpm), or to 1/2 of capacity (625 gpm). The difference in the three dynamics readings reflects the difference in friction loss on the suction side of the pump due to the difference in gallons per minute flow. From this explanation of suction lift, it is apparentthat even the slightest leakage of air into the suction side of the pump will make it increasingly difficult to exhaust sufficient air from the pump and suction sleevesto perform the necessaryfunction. Air leakage after the pump has been primed will destroy the vacuum and will causethe pump to lose its prime.

Water possessingboth velocity and pressure,or in some instancesvelocity only, can be introduced into a pump. The pump imparts additional velocity and pressureto the water and dischargesit into hose lines. velocity and pressurerepresentforms of energy. The hose line and nozzle can be considered as devices that act not only to convey the water to some distant point, but as converters of the energiesinvolved. Some of the pressureenergy is dissipated by the friction occurring as a result of the velocity of the water as it moves through the hose. The pressureenergy which eventually reachesthe nozzle is converted into velocity by the gradually decreasingcross-sectional area of that device. Predetennined fireground fonnulas are employed to achieve a pump pressure sufficient to compensatefor the friction loss of a given quantity of water moving through a hose, and have this quantity of water arrive at the nozzle at a particular pressure.This nozzle pressureis present at the coupling to which the nozzle is attached,but when the water leaves the nozzle, it is under no pressureother than atmospheric. 1-24


An observableproof that there is no pressurepresent within the stream ofwater that issues from a nozzle could be obtained from noting the direction of travel of said stream. Remember one of the basic concepts ofpressure in water: that it is being exerted in all directions, and if there were pressureabove atmospheric pressurepresent at the nozzle, the water could exit in all directions from the nozzle, even at right angles to the orifice, and such does occur.Even when considering a fog nozzle, which acts to diffuse the stream, the water contains no pressure, for if it did, it would leave the nozzle right angles to the direction of travel for the fog pattern. It is generally acceptedthat the tenn "nozzle pressure" refers to that pressureprevailing in the hose immediately prior to the water's entranceinto the nozzle. If a pressure gauge were attached to the hose at that point, it would reflect only the pressurepresent, but no interpretation of velocity could be made by the gauge. If it were possible to insert a Pitot tube at the samepoint, its reading would reflect both pressureand velocity heads. The Pitot tube, named after the designer of the instrument, is a long open ended tube with a 90 degreecurve at one end. When the curved end is inserted into a flowing stream so that the opening is pointed toward the direction from which the flow is coming, the flowing liquid will rise in the vertical section of the tube to a certain height. The height of liquid within the tube indicates the velocity and pressureheadspresent at the insertion point. By modification of the tube through attachment of a pressuregauge, and sealing the end opposite the curved end, it is possible to directly measurethe pressurehead and indirectly measurethe velocity, with both factors expressedas pounds per squareinch. Instead of inserting such a device within the hose line itself, it is possible to insert it within the solid stream of discharge from a nozzle, and by the gaugereading and application of a mathematical coefficient detennine the nozzle pressure.Presentday test instruments for detennining the flowing pressurespresent at orifices still retain the Pitot principle, but considerable refinement has been made. The configuration of the instrument varies according to manufacturer, but the basic parts are the blade, a curved tube, an air chamber, and a pressure gauge. Pitot readings are used to detennine quantity flows from nozzles, hydrants, etc. When taking Pitot readings, the opening of the tube should be held in the center of the stream, with the tube opening about 1/2 the diameter of the orifice being tested away from the face of the orifice. If the Pitot tube is brought up close to the nozzle or orifice, the reading will be erroneously increased. If the Pitot is not held in the center of the stream, the reading will be erroneously decreased.




After securing a pressure reading by a Pitot tube, a fonnula can be used to detennine the quantity of water flowing through the tested opening. In this fonnula Q = 29.7 x d2 X Jp X C; Q equals gallons per minute; 29.7 is a constant which represents a conversion factor of velocity to gallons per minute, d2 is the diameter of the orifice squared,. Jp is the square root of the pressure indicated by the Pitot gauge, and C is a mathematical coefficient applied because of some restriction of the water. For example: a I inch tip on a smooth bore nozzle at 50 psi nozzle pressure: Q = 29.7 x 1 x 1 x 7.07 x 1; Q = 209.9

There are numerous tables of theoretical dischargesthrough circular orifices which have been predetermined by using some variation of the aforementioned formula, and consulting such charts and tables certainly speedsthe processof determining quantity flows by testing with Pitot gauges.

The range of a fire fighting stream is dependentupon four factors: nozzle pressure,nozzle diameter, angle of inclination abo'/e the horizontal plane, and wind speedand direction. Three factors are obviously under the control of the firefighters of these three factors, nozzle pressure has the most important bearing, for it is the velocity of the water that produces the major variation. Consider identical size nozzles at identical nozzle pressure.All other things being equal, each would deliver identical quantities ofwater, and the streamswould have identical ranges.If the nozzle pressurewas increasedon one of the nozzles, the velocity increases,the quantity delivery increases,and the range of that stream increases.It follows then, that the easiestmethod of increasing the range without changing nozzle diameter, would be to create higher nozzle pressure.Consider two differently sized nozzles at identical nozzle pressure.All other things being equal, the larger size nozzle would deliver a greater quantity ofwater, hence the range of the stream would be greater.

EPILOGUE The multiple aspectsof the subject ofhydraulics are so elaborately interrelated that full understanding should come only as the result of diligent and deliberate investigation. This text has by no means explored and amplified all of the subject, due to spacelimitations. The serious student of the subject can do much to further his knowledge within this field by researching other publications and learning of the numerous formula which can be applied to problem solving.