Glick Fire Equipment Company, Inc.

Routine Maintenance of CAFS (Compressed Air Foam System)

CAFS (Compressed Air Foam System) maintenance is a common issue for apparatus equipped with the system.

Recently, our service department has seen a number of cases where the foam is seeping into a plain water flow, even when the foam system hasn’t been operated. After a full mechanical assessment has been performed, and determining the system is in good working order, it is often an overlooked procedure that has led to the seepage.

If this sounds familiar, trying the following routine may be key to avoiding future issues with your CAFS.

The onboard foam tank should be checked periodically to ensure there is good foam in the tank. The gauge may read full, but what is it full of?

Foam is simply soapy water. Class A and Class B foams are the two types of soap available. Class A is more universal and preferred. But more is not better, as it is most effective in a 1% or lower concentration. This thinking is a common misconception, and can cause excess foam to remain in the system even though proper after-use maintenance, as outlined below, has been performed.


Dry Class A Foam

Using Class A foam higher than 1% is generally a waste and can be made at lower percentages with the CAFS.

Proper after-use maintenance


It is strongly recommended to exercise the system 10 to 20 minutes a month even when not regularly used.

Reviewing and following these procedures may help prevent down time for apparatus and reduce costly repairs.

As always, our service department is here to answer any questions you may have.


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