In this article, we will touch upon what the multi-purpose nozzle is, how it works, when you will use it, and why.
As the word “multipurpose” indicates, this special type of nozzle is a two-in-one combination of a smooth bore and a fog nozzle. In other words, it has the benefits of a smooth bore, such as maximum reach and ample penetration without losing the ability of a fog nozzle to achieve a greater surface area.
Therefore, its versatile operability is preferable to multiple applications on the fireground, ranging from interior, exterior, and high-rise attacks to cooling, protection, and ventilation. You name it. Currently, there are several types of multipurpose nozzles available on the market, among which Akron Brass Saberjet is worth a special mention.
This type of nozzle is different from the standard fog nozzle in view of how they are designed and operated. Its shutoff handle has more functions than just the open/close mode so that it can control both the smooth bore and the water flow. Even spray patterns can be fine-tuned by the bumper to produce a fog flow.
Not only that, you can choose to produce smooth bore and fog streams simultaneously or independently at different pressures. The smooth bore works at 50 psi while the fog flow at 75 psi.
Another type of multipurpose nozzle is simply designed by adding an additional nozzle tip to the end of the integrated smooth bore. The tip is flipped up and locked to the other at maybe the same flow and pressure or not at all. This makes them operate somewhat like break-apart nozzles, relying very much on that additional smooth bore tip that is chosen.
Modern multipurpose nozzles can produce smooth bore’s solid streams and fog nozzle’s fog streams independently while operating like a standard orifice fog nozzle.
The shutoff handle controls the water flow to the nozzle by opening, closing, or partially obstructing various passageways; however, the bumper regulates the flow patterns, such as smooth bore, narrow fog, wide fog, and flush. Bumper operators and nozzle men can easily produce these consistent stream patterns at 50 psi (3.5 bar).
For those fire departments using both smooth bore and fog nozzles, the multipurpose nozzles certainly are the best choice. It is not necessary to have so many different types of nozzles on the fire truck if nozzle operators can change the flow patterns with a turn of the bumper: smooth bore, narrow fog, and wide fog all-in-one.
Equipping Fire trucks with these standardized nozzles largely reduces complexity in firefighter recruit training and promote effective teamwork between among pump and nozzle operators.
One of the great advantages of the multipurpose nozzle over the years has been its ability to flow water and foam at the same time. The long reach and firm bubble structure provided by the smooth bore make it suitable for foam use.
Therefore, firefighting operations are largely simplified as water and foam can be produced in all patterns by one single nozzle at the lower pressure (50 psi or 3.5 bar) and constant water flowrate (210 gallons per minute). More importantly, there is no need for new recruits to get extra training on regulating water flows when using the multipurpose nozzles that produce all spray patterns at the fixed pressure and flowrate.