What's on Your Engine Company #09 - Suction Inlet Control Valves Make a 2200 gpm Flow Achievable
By President Mark Davis
January 19, 2023

In our seminars we always discuss the importance of being able to control the flow into your pumper's suction inlets during drafting operations. Such control can be accomplished in a number of ways using internal or external control valves. At our 2013 seminar in Plainville, New York, Plainville Engine 4 (1750 gpm) used three, 6-inch suction inlets to hit a peak flow of 2200 gpm from a 6-dump tank set-up arrangement. A 7th dump tank was used to support water transfer operations. Engine 4 is equipped with internal suction inlet control valves operable from the pump operator's panel. This designed allowed the 6-dump tank set-up to be built out in sequence and additional suction lines added as more dump tanks came on-line. Water flow was never interrupted because all of the suction inlet control valves were controlled at the pump panel by the operator. While these internal suction inlet control valves are not cheap in terms of an added feature to the apparatus, their benefit is pretty great during these types of water supply operations.