High Pressure Breathing Air System
Operating Procedures and Maintenance
Filling bottles is a tremendous responsibility. Only the most reliable personnel shall be assigned to this task. This system is capable of generating pressures in excess of the normal bottle fill pressure. It is important not to overfill bottles.
I. Introduction: Three Star Fire Department operates an American AirWorks COLTRI SUB Fast 90 Compact High Pressure Air Compressor, HPE4500-2 Containment Fill Station, and a 4500 PSI, 4 cylinder bank storage Cascade System for use with our Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA). The air compressor provides 5000 PSI of Grade E breathing air. It shall be used to supply our four DOT approved 4500 PSI cylinders that comprise of our Cascade System. Every firefighter shall become familiar with the safety features, the use of, and the operation of the air compressor, cascade system, and the HPE4500 Containment Fill Station prior to use. The following operating procedures are to be used in lieu of the Instruction Manual supplied with each piece of equipment and located on each piece.
It is not the intent of the SOP to introduce operators with the technical or specifications aspects of the equipment. Additional information can be found in associated instruction manual of each piece of equipment.
· Person in Charge of Maintenance: This is the person entrusted with the handling, installation, start-up, regulation, cleaning, repair, changing of the tooling and maintenance of the machine. This person will oversee all maintenance and training conducted on the equipment.
2. Person in Charge of Operation: The is the person responsible for
operating the machine whose work must be limited only to the filling of
cylinders and the control operations. This person will be completely
familiar with all the machines instructions and operating methods as well
as all safety features.
1. The HPE4500-2 Containment Fill Station (BOOMBOX) is designed to
offer some operator protection against resultant explosive forces should a
cylinder fail during the filling process and at the same time, contain
resulting shrapnel. The fill station has a safety interlock located inside
the cabinet that controls the air flow. When the door is closed and
the locking bar is in the down and locked position, the air is available to
fill the bottles when the panel mount valves are opened.
IV. Preliminary Set-Up:
This section will guide each Person in Charge of Operation through the preliminary set-up procedures regarding each piece of equipment. Prior to filling any SCBA bottle, the following preliminary steps must be taken to ensure safe and proper equipment operation. Each Person in Charge of Operation must be familiar with all the safety features, the control panels, and operating procedures for each system prior to use.
1. Air Cascade Storage System
a. Ensure all hose lines are securely fastened and free of any
cracks, cuts, or oils.
b. Visually check each storage tank, stems, and valves for any
signs of damage. Do not proceed if any doubt exists whether
or not the storage tanks are safe to use.
c. Ensure no bottle has an outdated inspection stamp. Contact
Person-in-Charge of Maintenance if this condition exists.
2. HPE-4500-2 Containment Fill Station BOOMBOX
a. Ensure fill valve on control panel is in the closed position by
turning knob to fully clockwise position.
b. Ensure high-pressure hose is securely fastened to back of unit.
V. Filling Procedures:
Only after all preliminary steps (Paragraph IV) have been successfully conducted shall filling procedures be initiated. The following procedures will be adhered to at all times and no steps will be ignored.
The following procedures are for filling bottles using Storage tanks ONLY
1. HPE-4500-2 Containment Fill Station (BOOMBOX)
a. Unlatch the fill station door by moving the fill station door interlock control lever to the up position and then pull the door open.
b. Place the bottle(s) to be filled into the holder and connect the fill adapter(s) to the bottle(s). Be sure fill adapters go on bottle straight. Do not force onto threads, doing so will strip threads and render the bottle and valve out of service.
c. Close the hose bleed valve(s) and open the bottle valve(s).
d. Close and latch the fill station door by moving the fill station interlock control lever to the down position.
NOTE: The Containment Fill Station will not fill the bottles unless
the door is closed and locked.
2. Air Cascade Storage System
a. Open desired air storage tank valve(s) by turning knob counter-
clockwise. Adjust the output fill pressure with the fill pressure regulator (Right Gauge) to 2200 PSI.
The SCBA’s used by Three Star Fire Department shall not
exceed 2216 PSI. Exceeding pressure may result in explosion
of bottle and cause equipment damage and serious personnel
3. Back at the HPE4500-2 Containment Fill Station, slowly open the fill valve(s), located on control panel, to fill the bottle(s). NOTE: The pressure indication on the fill pressure gauge will drop while bottles are filling.
4. Filling is completed when the fill pressure gauge on the control panel
returns to desired pressure. If the pressure(s) between the bank and the
fill gauge equalize before the desired fill pressure is reached, close the
bank valve in use and open another bank valve.
5. When SCBA is full, close the bank valve(s) on the Cascade System and fill
valve(s) on the Fill Station.
6. Unlock the fill station door by moving the fill station interlock control
lever back to the up position. Open the safety door.
7. Close the bottle valve(s) and open the fill hose bleed valve(s) to bleed
off excess air stored in line. After bleeding off excess air, close bleed
8. Carefully remove the fill adapter(s) from the filled bottle(s) and remove bottle.
Close and lock the fill station door.
9. Log the date bottle(s) were filled into the respective field of the SCBA
Bottle Fill and Maintenance Log located on side of bottle rack.
VI. Use of Fast 90 C High Pressure Air Compressor:
If and when any of the Cascade storage tank(s) fall below desired air pressure (2500), it becomes necessary to refill bottle(s). The Fast 90 C High Pressure Air Compressor is equipped with safety features that will automatically shut down the equipment if any of the following occurs:
a. the pressure set on the pressure switch is reached;
b. there is a temporary cut in the power supply;
c. the heat release of the electric motor trips due to an overload.
* After an emergency stop and before proceeding with a subsequent operation, it is necessary to check that the cause of the emergency has been eliminated.
A. Preliminary Set-Up:
This section will guide each Person in Charge of Operation through the preliminary set-up procedures associated with the Fast 90C High Pressure Air Compressor and Cascade System. Prior to filling any SCBA bottle, the following preliminary steps must be taken to ensure safe and proper equipment operation. Each Person in Charge of Operation must be familiar with all the safety features, the control panels, and operating procedures for the each piece of equipment prior to use.
1. Air Cascade Storage System
a. Ensure all hose lines are securely fastened and free of any cracks, cuts,
b. Visually check each storage tank, stems, and valves for any signs of damage. Do not proceed if any doubt exists whether or not the storage tanks are safe to use.
c. Ensure no bottle has an outdated inspection stamp. Contact Person in Charge of Maintenance if this condition exists.
d. Ensure all bottles are in the closed position. This is accomplished by turning the valve in the fully clockwise position. Do not over tighten.
2. Fast 90C High Pressure Air Compressor:
a. Ensure power is supplied to equipment by turning on main power switch. Ensure the front panel on/off operating buttons are illuminated on the control panel of the air compressor.
b. Ensure all panels are securely fastened and that the machine to clear of
c. Ensure the Pressure Switch is set at Three Star’s maximum pressure of 4400 PSI by turning knob until the red cursor, located on outside ring, reaches 4400 PSI. Ensure the proper scale is being used. During the cylinder filling phase, the pressure switch stops the compressor when it reaches the maximum pressures as shown by red cursor. This will be accomplished regardless of number of bottles being filled.
d. Turn the machine on by depressing the “ON” button located on top of control panel.
e. IMPORTANT: Check the level of the lubricating oil of the pump unit by looking at the indicator located just below the control panel in the lower left corner. Ensure oil level is not below minimum markings. If this condition exists, contact the Person in Charge of Maintenance before proceeding.
f. Turn the machine off by depressing the “OFF” button located on top of control panel.
If an emergency situation should arise during the refilling of the cylinders or at any
other time, immediately press the “OFF” button on the control panel or turn off power
at the main breaker.
B. Filling Procedures:
Only after all preliminary steps (Paragraph VI.A.) have been successfully conducted shall filling procedures be initiated. The following procedures will be adhered to at all times and no steps will be ignored.
1. Air Cascade Storage System
a. Open desired air storage tank valve(s). The storage tanks used by Three Star Fire Department shall not exceed 4400 PSI. Exceeding pressure may result in explosion of bottle and cause equipment damage and serious personnel injury.
2. Fast 90C High Pressure Air Compressor:
a. Turn the machine on by depressing the “ON” button located on
top of control panel. Let machine fill storage tank(s) to desired
amount of breathing air. NOTE: Filling time will vary
depending on amount of air needed.
b. When cylinder(s) has/have been filled, the compressor is
stopped automatically by the pressure switch or by operator
intervention by depressing the “OFF” button on the control
3. Air Cascade Storage System
a. Close the bank valve(s) on the Cascade System.
4. Fast 90C High Pressure Air Compressor
a. Turn off power at main power breaker.
VII. Maintenance of the Fast 90 C High Pressure Air Compressor:
To obtain the best possible performance from the compressor and ensure a long working life for all its parts it is essential that personnel assigned to the task of maintaining the compressor follow the use and maintenance instructions as detailed in the Fast 90C Compressor Manual with extreme diligence. It is MANDATORY that all individuals assigned the responsibility of maintaining the Cascade System be familiar with this SOG and the Fast 90C Compressor Manual.
For further information please contact American Airworks for assistance:
Contact American Airworks
Tel: (304) 683-4595
Fax: (304) 683-3257
A. Checking and Changing the Lubricating Oil
1. After putting the compressor into service the lubricating oil must be changed after the first 50 working hours. The lubricating oil must be changed every 100 working hours or annually.
Oil capacity 1.6 qt. (1.5 L.)
Recommended Oil AC99050 - Synthetic Compressor Lubricant
AC99050-FG - Synthetic Food Grade Compressor Lubricant (warmer climates)
2. Check that the level of lubricating oil is within the allowed limits. It must be above half the length of the level indicator tube. Note that an excessive quantity of oil can cause infiltrations in the cylinders and leave deposits on the valves while too low a level prevents proper lubrication and could cause engine seizure. If the oil level is not within the minimum and maximum limits top up or drain.
3. The lubricating oil must be changed every 100 working hours or annually. To change the oil proceed as described:
· position a recipient under the drain plug so that the oil flows into the exhausted oil recipient (recipient capacity of at least 2 qt. required).
· loosen the top-up plug
· remove the plug, open the tap and drain all the oil;
· close the drain plug
· open the top plug
· fill the oil sump with 1.6 qt. of oil from top oil plug (see “7.6.1 Oil table”)
· close the oil top plug.
· switch on the compressor and run it for 30 seconds
· switch off the compressor and remove the plug from the power socket
· check the oil level; if the oil level is not within the allowed limits top up or drain.
· replace the cap.
B. Changing the Intake Filter
1. After putting the compressor into service the intake filter must be changed after the first 50 working hours. The air filter must then be changed every 250 working hours or annually. Every 50 working hours rotate the filtration cartridge inside the filter 90°.
· unscrew the air filter cover by rotating it counterclockwise;
· remove the air filter cartridge;
· rotate/replace the cartridge with a new one;
· re-close the cover; screw it back on clockwise.
C. Drive Belt
1. Belt tension must be checked monthly. The drive belts must be replaced every 500 working hours of the compressor.
2. Refer to Fast 90C compressor Manual for directions on changing the drive belt.
D. Active Carbon Filter / Molecular Sieve
1. The active carbon filter must be replaced at intervals calculated on the basis of the characteristics of the environment in which the compressor is located. To calculate these intervals refer to table 7.11.1 located in the Fast 90C Compressor Manual.
Based on the average annual temperature for this area the filter should be changed after 30 hours of use.
The filter must nevertheless be replaced before the air becomes malodorous.
2. To change the active carbon filters (e) proceed as follows:
· vent all the compressed air inside the circuit.
· use the tool to lever the screw heads on the plug and rotate counter clockwise.
· remove the filter plug.
· unscrew the cartridge from the plug.
· replace the cartridge with a new one.
· screw the new cartridge onto the plug.
· close the filter plug (c) and tighten with the wrench.
· There are O-rings on the filter plug and cartridge. If these O-rings deteriorate air is vented
· through the cap.
· If you notice any venting replace the O-rings. When changing the O-rings observe the precautions
· described at the beginning of the relevant section of the manual.
The steps for required maintenance of the air compressor listed in this SOG are only a highlight of the necessary components in maintaining this system. For a full list of maintenance requirements, steps to perform maintenance, and associated diagrams of the system refer to the Fast 90C Compressor Manual.
An electronic copy of the manual will be maintained on the Three Star Fire Department computer along with a paper copy located in the office.