Care and Handling of Hose

To obtain the most from your fire hose investment, and to extend the useful life of the hose, prudent care and handling procedures should be followed. Niedner’s philosophy is to design and to manufacture a fire hose that is lighter in weight, more compact for packing, and totally compliant with the requirements of NFPA. The following care and handling suggestions will ensure long Niedner Hose life with optimum performance.

GENERAL CARE – Even though most Niedner hose products are made with synthetic components, and this hose may be stored without having to be dried, foreign materials trapped in the weave of the hose might be a breeding ground for mildew. Mildew will not attack the hose physically, but may look unpleasant and could have an odor. Therefore, it is recommended that dirty hose be cleaned with a mild detergent (not a solvent), and then be dried before reloading on the truck or storing. When left stored for any length of time, either on a rig or in storage, hose should be exposed to freely circulating air.

HOSE BED STORAGE – Fire hose should always be loaded into the hose bed flat, and not on its edge. Loading flat will avoid the premature hose wear that can occur when hose is loaded on its edge. Large diameter hose should also be loaded flat, with the couplings together in a space all the way forward in the hose bed. Periodically, hose beds and surrounding surfaces should be inspected for any sharp burrs, protrusions, rough edges or corners. If noted, these hose-damaging imperfections must be corrected before loading hose. A hose bed cover is recommended to prevent prolonged exposure of the hose to sunlight.

DRAINING HOSE – Under some circumstances when fire hose is drained, it is possible for the inner jacket to collapse and to fold over on itself. This may appear as a twist, but it is not, and it can be easily corrected. Slowly recharge the hose, removing all kinks and twists, and then allow the hose to drain slowly. If needed, roll the couplings over so that the hose is in its original lay flat position. This is easily done if the hose still has some water in it. If the hose is not laid on an incline, walking a pike pole its length should drain it completely. If laid on an incline, cap or fold over the high end, then allow the hose to drain at the low end. This will allow the hose to pull itself flat as it drains, and then may be ready to reload onto the pumper.

TESTING & INSPECTION – As with all fire hose, Niedner hose should be inspected and service tested annually. Follow the guidelines of NFPA 1962, Current Edition. Any physical damage to hose should be addressed immediately. The purpose of the outside hose jacket is functional, but if damaged, the hose should be withdrawn from service. The interior of the hose should also be visually and manually inspected. If damage is evident, hose should be cut back and re-coupled. If the interior damage extends far into the hose, it may be defective. Bring this to the attention of your local distributor or the manufacturer. If hose is re-coupled for any reason, that length must be re-tested before being placed back in service. See NFPA 1962, Current Edition.

COUPLINGS – Coupling gaskets for threaded or Storz couplings should be replaced when they become hard or cracked. Storz couplings should be lubricated at least twice a year. A dry silicone spray, or other lubricant that will not attract dirt or sand, nor be affected by heat or cold, should be applied to the Storz lugs, locks, and raceway. Do not lubricate the coupling gaskets or seals.

Pumpkin Center Volunteer Fire Department

At Pumpkin Center VFD, we strive to give our members quality equipment to use at all times. We’ve found over the years that small details make huge differences. Our equipment committee is always asking the question “Is something better out there?” We stay abreast of current industry trends and investigate the latest and greatest from equipment manufacturers to make sure our guys and girls have what they need to do the job and do it well. In 2009 we were tired of the fire hose we had been purchasing and bought some Niedner XL-800. The hose is still in service today. During this time we’ve found that in addition to being durable, it rolls up extremely tightly, packs tightly in hose beds and is lightweight, which lessens fatigue on members. With a comparable friction loss rate to much other hose in the industry, our committee has yet to find a reason to leave Niedner. We had several sections of cloth Niedner 4 inch supply hose before switching to 5 inch as well. It was the best supply hose I’ve ever seen or used.


Casey Snyder, Assistant Chief, Pumpkin Center Volunteer Fire Department