Frequently Asked Questions

Super Vac provides the largest variety of ventilation equipment world wide for the Fire and Industrial Industries. We have been creating tough, hard- working ventilation solutions for over 50 years and still constantly developing new and innovative products to help you in what ever your ventilation need may be. We can even customize a product to fit your application.

This question is like asking “should I use a Fog or Strait Bore Nozzle?”. It depends on your departments jurisdiction and how you train. Both guards produce the same CFM just as both nozzles can flow the same gallonage.

The Standard Cone guard produces a wider(Fog) outflow making it more feasible to put the fan closer to the door or entry point. This is important in situations without much room in front of the door (Brownstones, multi-story Motels with outside room entrances, etc.) The Stream Shaper guard has a narrower(Strait Bore) outflow path making it possible to move the fan further away from the door or entry point. This is important when there are 4-5 stairs or other obstructions near the door. It can also reduce the fan noise inside the structure by allowing set-up further from the door.

You can also use a V-attack with either type of guard. Set your fans at a 45 degree angle to the door to allow strait-in access for hose lines. If you have 2 fans, point one low and the other high.

An aluminum blade is more expensive than a plastic blade. But due to the high radiant heat found at both structure fires and training exercises, we think it is important to use a blade rated to 1000 degrees, as opposed to one rated to 250 degrees to prevent any interruption of the ventilation process. We have seen other fan manufacturers video a pike pole being forced into a plastic PPV fan blade. There are many things that can go wrong on the fire ground, hopefully you are not fighting fire with people that can make that type of a mistake.
A shroud allows you to move more air. Just as a airlines no longer use an open propeller design, the shroud helps compress the air. It is important that that inlet to the shroud be properly designed to help in that compression. And anytime there is pressurized air, it tries to go to an area of less pressure (this is also why airline wings now have a vertical winglet on the ends of their wings – it prevents the pressurized air from underneath the wing from slipping around the end to the top(lift) side of the wing). If someone with a propeller-in-a-cage wraps a piece of plastic around the cage to show what a shrouded fan would do, they are being dis-honest. That “shroud” does not have the proper inlet shape, nor does it have the proper tip clearance to the blade to channel the airflow.

Super Vac saws offer the best ratio of power to weight available in the market. The SVC4 is 19 pounds compared to other products on the market, like the K1270, weighing a total of 31 pounds. The K1270 has more power but is too big and awkward, and a decompression valve is needed to start it. The SVC4 from Super Vac can be started without, so there is no comparison when it comes to ease of use. Super Vac also offers the aluminum D Ring Handle compared to the plastic pull start knob on other saws. The SVC4 has a vertical fuel port, which you’ll find is missing from the K1270. The 14 inch blade on the SVC4 from Super Vac is superior because it allows for deeper cuts. It really comes down to ease of operation and Super Vac saws are dominant compared to the competition.

Hey, you signed up to be in the Fire Department.  There are many situations that can’t be covered here.  But following are some things to help you decide how to ventilate:

  • PPV has been used more and more by departments since the mid-1990’s.  It is an impressive technique that can remove heat and smoke quickly.  Through extensive use around much of the world, it has proved itself an effective technique.
  • PPA is a modification that is suggesting that PPV is used earlier in the attack phase.
  • Smoke Ejection has been used after the fire is out since the 1950’s.  There are still times where it is the best way to ventilate, especially in areas with limited ingress/egress like Old Folks Homes or Prisons.
  • Anti-Ventilation is the newest term here, and refers to not allowing a ventilation limited fire to have any oxygen (not even an open door if possible).  See some of the Kill the Flashover work at
Adding duct to a fan reduces its airflow.  If you can, use the duct on the pressure side of the fan (it is easier to blow through a straw, then to breath through one).  If possible, limit the amount of ducting to 3 pieces(60 feet or 20 meters) per fan.  Additional fans can be used in series to help overcome the losses associated with ducting.  Also, minimize the number of bends in the ducting if possible to help airflow.
If you ever have an issue with you fan, please give us a call at 1-800-525-5224 or contact us via email and we will get you in touch with a technician to troubleshoot your issue.

We offer the largest variety of ventilation equipment world wide to many industries.

Although the Fire Dept. Industry is a large part of our customer base, we also have an Industrial Line for various other industries such as manufacturing  sandblasting, construction, utility companies, airports, ship building, and many others that require the need for air movement. We offer units in sizes from 8″ to 80″ depending on your needs. Super Vac manufacturers units powered by gasoline, diesel, electric (variable speed, single speed, and hazardous location), water and even air.

Our customers have used Super Vac fans for personnel and machine cooling, dust removal, confined space, aircraft brake cooling systems, and fume removal just to name a few. We have a wide variety of accessories such as spiral, translucent, or flame resistant duct, manhole adapters, heating units, and even units with misting capabilities.

CO and other by-products of combustion have been an issue with gas powered fans.  That is why we offer an Exhaust Extension that will drop your CO level to well below 5 ppm and eliminate any combustion odors.  Our exhaust extension has undergone testing by Honda Motors to verify it does not alter the emissions design of the engine or void the warranty.  We are OEM approved and Honda Certified with a 3-year warranty on GX engines and a 3-month warranty on GC engines.

We have tested many catalytic converters on the market, and while they reduce the CO levels, they do not eliminate them.  There are claims of reducing the CO into the 30-40 ppm range but we have not been able to achieve levels near that low in our tests.  The existing catalytic converters are not approved by any engine manufacturers and void your engine warranty.

Exhaust extensions get very hot.  If you are on scene for a long period of time, the exhaust extension can make a mess of any carpet or wood flooring.  You can either put something under it (cribbing, nozzle adapters, a bunker coat), or use the Glove Heat Shield. It is basically bunker gear for the Exhaust Extension, protecting any flooring from heat.

Another issue with the Exhaust Extension is the need to be set taking into account the wind.   If the wind is blowing from the west to the east, you need to set you exhaust extension on the east side of the fan.  The tube on the exhaust extension has been made flexible enough to quickly and easily direct exhaust fumes into any direction.

First and foremost, wind driven fires are a special event.  See and be very careful.  There is a limit to the amount of wind a fan can overcome.  That limit depends on the opening and exhaust size of the structure.  But unless your department is very skilled, do not try to overcome anything above a 15 mph wind.  It is better to work with the wind(if possible) or perpendicular to the wind.  Always and continuously evaluate the situation and your tactics – if something starts to change, make sure it does not put your people in more danger.
Super Vac PPVs come standard with a no-flat, solid cushion tire. You do not need to worry about taking a PPV fan over debris, curbs and everything else you may encounter on a fire scene. These tires are placed on the back of our units to allow users to push or pull the fan with ease.  These units are so well-balanced, that users can maneuver them with one hand keeping another hand free to carry additional items saving time and man-power.
We believe the equipment you use should be as tough as the departments that use them. That is why we use aluminum blades and steel housing and shrouds. With the proper care and maintenance, these fans last nearly a lifetime. We have had past clients send us videos of their fans working after 50 years of use in the industry.

Yes! There has been many studies to show that PPV significantly increases heat release. The video below shows a room being cleared 3 times faster with PPV than natural ventilation. Read more about it here.

Super Vac offers two different manufacturer choices of gasoline power plants (Honda and Briggs & Stratton) in our 16″, 18″ and 20″ models. Each engine type offers something special in their own way. We leave it up to you to decide which is best for your application.

The Honda GX Series Gasoline Powered 4-Cycle Engine offers a reliable, easy starting, fuel efficient Over Head Valve design for commercial applications. The GX Series offers an Automatic Mechanical Decompression System for ease of starting, Steel Fuel Tank, Separate On/Off Switch, Low Oil Level Sensor and a 3 year warranty.

The Honda GC Series Gasoline Powered 4-Cycle Engine offers a reliable, easy starting, Over Head Cam design. This makes these engines lighter and more compact than other engines in their class with significantly reduced noise, fuel and oil consumption and a 3 month warranty. Fans with this series engine is usually less expensive than other models.

The Briggs and Stratton options offer the “550 Series” in the 127cc model and the use of the Vanguard for the 205cc and 305cc models.

The Briggs “550 Series” offers an Over Head Valve design, Cast Iron Sleeve Cylinder, and Lo-Tone Muffler for quiet, long life operation and a 1 year warranty.

The Briggs “Vanguard Series” offers a all metal fuel tank, low oil sensor, and “Transport Guard” which shuts off fuel/ignition to protect the engine from oil/fuel dilution during transport, and has a 3 year warranty.