You get what you pay for
I would not rely on a Thornado for any fire emergency. Mine broke the starter cord on the second pull. Since then it has seized up in humid weather and has been impossible to get parts for.
- Verified purchase
Good for the price, not perfect
Bought one of these for moving water and as a fire fighting pump after a fire on our neighbours' property.
Overall, I'm happy with the pump considering the cost ($329 delivered to regional NSW from EBay with an EBay coupon). We're watering our garden from bore water from an IBC/shuttle due to the drought, and I've got this set up on an old trailer for the garden and in case of another fire. It won't be used for huge hours, hence not wanting to spend $800 on a brand-name pump setup.
The motor: The pump is powered by a Honda clone-style engine,...which is a fairly common engine; made in China, based loosely on the GX200 Honda engine. The engine runs well, and I ran it for a few hours cycling water back into the IBC to run-in the engine, and then changed the oil. A fair bit of glittery metal in the oil as a result, which I expected, but if you change the oil regularly on these little engines then it's not an issue. Ran with Penrite small engine 10w-30 according the the specs, and a 2.5l container of this oil which will do 4 oil changes cost me about $20 so not expensive to do a few changes early on. The engine probably has 5 hours on it now and has settled well. Edit: I've changed the engine oil a second time now, and after about 10 hours of run time the amount of glitter in the engine oil has drastically reduced. For watering the garden it will tick over at idle and provide good pressure, and on full noise will run a firefighting nozzle properly. Some unfortunate design issues on the pump include not being able to remove the air filter cover without unbolting the motor from the frame, as the protective frame gets in the way. This is a little annoying, but again, in the context of what the pump & motor cost me, not hugely worrying. I'm not running in dirty or dusty conditions so don't expect i'll have to change this too regularly. If the manufacturer had placed the upper horizontal frame supports on the outside of the frame this wouldn't have been an issue. But, it's a cheap motor, so there you go. There are a lot of these Honda clone engines out there, and if you google the Predator 212 engine (one of these clones sold in the US by Harbor freight) you'll get plenty of info on them and how to look after them. The pump: Not a huge expert on pumps, but this is a twin impeller pump, and has been able to sustain some decent high pressures from the 19mm firefighting hose and nozzle I've fitted. It's got a 1.5in inlet, plus two 1in outlets and a 1.5in outlet. I've fitted the supplied blanking caps over one of the 1in outlets, and the others have a 38mm stortz fitting with ball valve and a 25mm stortz fitting with ball valve. These aren't supplied, and you'll need to go to an irrigation shop to get them. The total value of all the hoses (suction & delivery) plus the nozzle, stortz fittings and ball valves has been almost the same as the purchase price of the pump, so you can see how quickly the money can add up here. The pump does leak slightly between the two halves of the pump body maximum full throttle with a 19mm hose connected to the 1in outlet, but this isn't a deal breaker, mainly because the motor doesn't need to run that high under practical operating conditions. Dropping the revs on the pump provides the same performance at the end of the hose, without the wear on the motor or the excess pressures at the pump. Practically speaking, this pump will run at half throttle and provide ample pressure and not leak at all. Even at full throttle after sustained operation, it does seem as though the gasket between the two halves of the pump body swell with moisture, and the leak does reduce in time. Conclusion: I gave this pump three stars due to the leaking gasket under maximum throttle and the design flaw that prohibits the removal of the airbox without removing the pump from the frame. This said, for the money this product will do the job nicely. I expected some issues, and frankly I'm not overly concerned with these, but they are things a purchaser should be aware of. I don't doubt that with proper maintenance and in a non-commercial setting, this pump will continue to function effectively.
Questions & Answers
Very bad English and unclear instructions are enclosed with my order. Is there a “how to” tutorial available
Appreciate the detailed review provided, very helpful.
I am currently in the market for a fire fighting pump, under a demanding situation can the Thornado be trusted?
Quite simply NO. I’ve had the 2”, twin impeller, fire pump attached to a Diesel engine running three impact sprinklers from a 1.5m lift. After less than 40 hours use one of the impellers disintegrated, seized the pump, and stalled the Diesel engine. Just as well it wasn’t during a fire! Their fine print says it’s not to be used where critical running is required or where faults may lead to property or personal loss - not good for a “fire pump”.
Thanks, I ended up with a Davey twin impeller. Sorry to hear the troubles you’ve had, frustrating. Not wanting to brag, but letting you know the Davey has performed very well. I am running 13 x 20mm butterfly sprinklers and 2 x 25mm fire hoses. The run from the tanks to the house is 75m over a rise of 2.5m. Then onto the house rooftop which is 6 m up.
Obviously the Davey is a few dollars, I paid $1095 at Hills Irrigation.
Hope this helps.
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