If you run across an old fire hose, the first thing most people would say is how could we use that for something else? Well, I bet the reason you're reading this in the first place is because you've got an idea. Either lining parking lots, protecting boat docks, making art, or functional handbags; fire hose can be a really economical way to get raw materials. Not to mention the incredible strength and enormous quantity for the price! Remember you can still use old fire hose to water or irrigate fields if you don't mind small leaks or pinholes.
Today, we'll be talking about the 3.5" diameter fire hose, pictured on the right side. The most common sizes of fire hose range from 1-5", with 2.5" being the most common. This unit is a rare size for the departments to carry on hand.
The 3.5" diameter measurement means that when the hose is inflated, it measures inside diameter from top to bottom at 3.5". When the hose lays down flat and you measure width from side to side, it comes out to 6.5" wide.
This type of hose, is a double jacket fire hose. That means there are literally two layers of fire hose stacked on top of each other to create one unit. Jackets are woven with 100% polyester. The outside yellow layer has "steadfast coating" which protects the hose from abrasion and increases its durability and lifespan.
Quality? Old double jacket fire hose dissected
Some people like a new look on a fire hose, while artists like an old beat up look. With the double jacket hose, it gives you the best of both worlds. Let's take a look at the inside of this fire hose...
We can see that the outer layer has been dragged around outside a few times. The inside white layer, is not coated with color and is very clean. Think of when you move your furniture after a couple years, and that spot on the carpet is slick and clean, same concept here. Anything below that outer layer of fire hose is going to be very clean and in great condition, including the inside portion of the yellow layer. The rubber lining on the hose is seen in blue. This part of the hose keeps it waterproof, making sure water doesn't soak up the two jackets. Here, it is colored blue. Sometimes the lining is colored black, grey, blue, tan, or just plain clear. Every hose is manufactured differently.
How much fire hose?
Say you order a piece at 25 feet in length. You can figure that 6.5" flat measurement x 25 feet in length is roughly 15 square feet of material to work with. But it gets better, if you decide you want to separate the hoses, you can increase and stretch out the materials you have. For example, take the 25 feet in length that you have, separate the jackets (the jackets are not fused together), now you've just doubled your 25 foot hose into a 50 foot hose. Want even more? Cut the hoses in half, spread them out flat on the ground, now you have double the amount of width, your 6.5" in flat width just became 13", multiply that by 50 feet, you now have more than 50 Square feet to work with!
How much value for the price?
If you compare to the prices of new fire hose, you'd be amazed. We sell a brand new double jacket fire hose at 50 Feet and 3.5"-4" diameter for $439.00 coupled. If you buy this used unit at around 50 feet, you are looking at $60.00 for the hose, and about $30-40 to ship this heavy unit. You are looking at a fraction of the price of a new hose, and you are getting so many materials to work with. If you want a smaller piece, say 25 feet, we can make that happen too! That will run you $41.00 for the hose, and around $25-35 for shipping.
Take a look at the cleanliness of the inside layers of the hose.
When people want to start making wallets, backpacks, and other clothing, they want to add some style. Many requests we've gotten are how do we make these hoses look "cooler". Well, the fire departments literally spray paint their hoses with black primer or gloss with a stencil to get that rugged look. A designer could make their own stencils to create style or any user could create some signs. Find a stencil outline online, maybe a silhouette and then cut it out with some scissors or a razor blade. Get some black spray paint, and hit the studio! See some pictures below of fire department decals:
Would you believe that some fire department discard their old fire hoses into the dumpster? We don't believe in that type of procedure. We are a green company and do all we can to help people utilize old fire hoses.