metalfab firetrucks best fire truck builder

Why Your Truck Needs the Air Primer

An air primer might not sound like the most exciting piece of firefighting equipment but having the right one for your apparatus during an emergency call can literally mean the difference between life and death.

There are different types of air primers for fire trucks available. The one you choose may depend on the types of calls you’re responding to and the specific needs of your department.

What Is Priming?

Priming is the process of replacing air in the intake lines and portions of the pump with water. If the pump is to be operated from draft, priming must be done by means of a positive displacement pump or some other device for creating a partial vacuum. Also, when pumping from a water tank, priming will be accomplished more quickly and positively if a priming device is used. Priming will occur naturally when pumping from hydrants or in relay because inlet water pressure is high enough to force air out of the pump and intake lines, providing a discharge line is opened to permit the air to escape.

Growing in popularity for use in apparatus with air brakes, the air-powered primer draws power from the apparatus chassis. It creates a powerful suction without moving parts as pressurized air passes through a series of nozzles.

Waterous, a global leader in firefighting technology, recently announced the release of the VENTURIS™ Air Primer. The VENTURIS air primer system uses the on-board air supply to create a vacuum to prime the fire pump. The basic system consists of a Venturis Air Primer, priming valve, and auto or manual prime control panel.

This valve consists of a stainless-steel valve stem, spring, and pressure disk in a plastic valve body. A rubber disk forms the seat for the valve stem and also forms a seal between the priming valve inlet and the pump body. A rubber diaphragm forms a seal which allows the valve to open and close while isolating the interior of the priming valve from atmospheric pressure.

What makes this particular devise a stand-out product? Key features of the new VENTURIS air primer include the following:

  • All-Brass Body Construction
  • No Maintenance Required
  • 7-Year Warranty
  • Automatic Draining
  • Pump Mounted with Engineered Bracket
  • Meets or Exceeds NFPA 1901, Vacuum and Priming Standards
  • Low Amp Draw Compared to Other Priming Systems
  • Optional Auto-Prime System

“The new VENTURIS Air Primer is another offering from Waterous that provides an alternative to traditional priming systems,” said Gregg Geske, Director of Sales for Waterous. “Ordering it with the pump enables it to be mounted and pre-plumbed to the pump.”

Many departments have found that learning to prime a pump correctly is one of the most challenging skills for firefighting students to master. If the primer is shut off too soon, the prime will be lost. If it runs too long, it can overheat and even burn out, shortening the life of the primer and creating a possible safety hazard.

Have any questions about an air primer or the VENTURIS Air Primer? Give us a call. We’re always ready to assist you with all your fire apparatus needs.