5″ Supply Hose (LDH) Deficiencies

Deficiencies have been noted with 5” supply hose currently being used by Fire Departments around the country. Firefighters in several parts of the country have suffered injuries due to failure of the LDH at the coupling. Recently, a Fire department in Florida experienced a failure of the same type of hose while performing a relay pumping drill. Fortunately, there was nobody in the area where the failure occurred and no firefighters were injured. The 5” supply line suffered a catastrophic failure at the pump panel, where the collar holds the hose in place to the coupling. After the failure, the collar that surrounds the hose was no where to be found.

Deficiencies to look for are:

  • The three piece collar showing obvious gaps between the pieces. These gaps indicate that the collar is incorrectly installed and/or not tightened to the manufacturers’ 35 lbs ft. torque.

  • Increased separation between the storz head and the three piece collar.

  • This separation is contributed to the hose and collar slipping down on the plastic shank/tailpiece away from the storz head. This is directly attributed to the shank being plastic instead of metal and /or the collar not being installed properly (gaps between the collar pieces). This slippage has been evident at 100psi.

  • Due to the liability of LDH with a plastic shank, some manufacturers have discontinued manufacturing LDH with a plastic shank. LDH is now being made with a metal or aluminum shank/tailpiece. However, departments continue to use LDH with plastic shanks due to the lack of knowledge of such hazard!

Indicators of a plastic shank/tailpiece on 5” supply hose:

  • Plastic shanks extends 5” from the Storz head opening into the hose whereas; metal shanks extend 3 ¼” from the Storz head.
  • Plastic shanks are black or gray in color whereas; metal shanks are silver.
  • If the Storz head is not swiveling, this may be an indication of a plastic shank. Due to the plastic being flexible and getting distorted, the Storz head may get stuck and not swivel.

Special attention should be taken during hose testing practices. Visual inspection should be performed periodically, in addition to the annual hose testing, paying special attention to any gaps that may develop between the Storz head and collar. Also, pay attention to any gaps that may develop between the three collar pieces. The common denominator found in all failures experienced is the use of a plastic shank/tailpiece at the coupling.

Our Thanks goes out to Lt. J. Rodriguez from MDFD for submitting this article and bringing this to the attention of firefighters everywhere
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