3 Reasons You Might Choose a Budget Intake Valve

When you are considering a new intake valve, you may be tempted to choose based on the price alone. This may mean you choose a smaller waterway or a different style of valve than we would typically recommend.

Generally, we recommend choosing your intake valve based on the criteria in this article. However, we recognize that there are some situations where you might want the lower cost intake valve.

Here are three scenarios when you might choose a budget intake valve.

Reserve Apparatus 

If the intake valve you choose is going on a reserve apparatus, getting the larger, more expensive intake valve may not be worth the cost. For some departments, a reserve apparatus rarely gets used or is there to augment their already available equipment and personnel.

Your reserve apparatus likely only stocks standard equipment and is not expected to carry anything specialized.

It is also likely that you have other apparatus that will be chosen for any large capacity drafting or intake needs.

Moderate Flow Capacity 

If you work in an area with limited access to water, a smaller, budget intake valve might be right for you.

These intake valves tend to have a smaller waterway around or just below 4 in (102 mm), which has a higher friction loss verse a jumbo valve with a 5.25” (133 mm) waterway. This smaller waterway is ideal if you do not have the need to draft above 1000 GPM, or your pressurized water source is great enough to overcome the extra friction loss of a smaller waterway built into the intake valve.

Likewise, if you have an unreliable water source and need to rely on natural ponds, lakes, or lower capacity hydrants, a budget intake valve may be an acceptable option for your operations.

Tight Budget 

If your department has a particularly tight budget or faces an unexpected replacement of an intake valve, you might need to go with the budget choice. If you choose an intake valve from a high-quality manufacturer, you will still get a good piece of equipment that can meet your needs.

Remember to consider the warranty and materials the intake valve is made from before making a final decision. You should also evaluate the long-term cost of ownership to better understand what costs your department will encounter.

Are There Other Reasons? 

Of course! There are always exceptions and personal preferences at play when choosing firefighting equipment. The three reasons above give a broad explanation of when you might evaluate a budget intake valve choice for your department. At the end of the day, what matters is that your department takes the time to fully evaluate your options and make the best choice for your needs.

Explore our Ball Intake Valves here