Two of the most important pieces of equipment a firefighter will use when on duty include a fire hose and a nozzle that attaches to the end of that hose. As all firefighters would know, a hose nozzle has a specific purpose.
Nozzles not only allow the user of a hose to manually pause waterflow without turning off the water supply to the hose, but they also often allow the user to adjust the spray pattern, which in turn can affect the speed, amount, pressure, and reach of the water coming from the hose.
However, it’s more than just knowing what a hose nozzle is and what it can do. The following basic facts are things every firefighter should know about nozzles.
1. Automatic and conventional nozzles have their fair share of differences.
Unlike regular nozzles, automatic nozzles feature an internal spring that senses and automatically changes the pressure within the nozzle to provide near-constant pressure and a consistent stream of water. Thus, automatic nozzles are sometimes referred to as “constant-pressure nozzles.” These nozzles also feature a varying GPM rate without regular care and maintenance.
Although automatic nozzles are essential, they aren’t always the most reliable option for firefighters to use in many cases and certainly aren’t the main nozzle most firefighters would turn to.
Meanwhile conventional firefighter nozzles have a selectable or fixed GPM setting. The proper flow must be supplied in order for a conventional nozzle featuring a fixed opening to work at the right nozzle pressure.
2. High pressure nozzles aren’t always the best option.
Some folks seem to think that the greater the nozzle pressure, the more effective the nozzle will be for any job. Unfortunately, this isn’t true; it’s not as easy as finding a nozzle with the highest pressure. Rather, it’s about finding a nozzle that exerts the right amount of pressure for the specific job at hand.
Let’s just say you wouldn’t want to use a low volume, low pressure nozzle to put out of the fire of a two-story building. However, a medium- to high-pressure nozzle wouldn’t be suitable for other scenarios. As every good firefighter would know, the greater the pressure, the more difficult a hose is to maneuver and control.
Generally, picking a nozzle of the right pressure is a more intricate process than many might realize. The pressure alone has an impact on a hose’s reach and penetration, ease of use, and overall performance. Likewise, a nozzle can affect how frequently a hose deals with kinks or deployment issues.
3. There’s no such thing as the perfect nozzle.
Many experiments and studies have been conducted to discover which hose nozzle is the best for firefighters in a plethora of circumstances. The findings? While certain nozzles are best for certain jobs, there isn’t a nozzle that’s superior in all scenarios.
Nozzles come in numerous types, brands, and designs to best suit a firefighter’s primary wants and needs. For that reason, many firefighters choose to have multiple nozzle options depending on their current duty.
Although there’s no such thing as a perfect hose nozzle, you can still find a great nozzle for your specific application from ASJ Hose and Fittings. With our wide selection of fire supply, you bet you’ll find an adequate nozzle. Just give us a call at (951) 735-1351 to discuss your nozzle needs, and we’ll hook you up with a great product!