Storz

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For the beer, see Storz Brewing Company.

Storz connector

Storz is a type of hose coupling invented by Carl August Guido Storz in 1882 that connects using interlocking hooks and flanges.

It is sometimes referred to as a sexless coupling, because rather than having a male and a female end connected by screw threads, either identical end can be joined to any other end of the same diameter. This is also called hermaphroditic or two-way connection. Amongst other uses, it has been widely employed on fire hoses in firefighting applications.

To couple a Storz connection, the two opposing couplings are pressed together such that the hooks of each one are inserted into the slots in the flange of the other. Then they are rotated in opposite directions until they are tight, or latches engage. This creates a water-tight connection between the internal packing gaskets. To uncouple them, the latches are released and the connectors are turned in the opposite directions from coupling, and then separated when the hooks and slots are aligned. Special wrenches are designed for assisting with use of Storz connectors.

In the United States, fire engines typically carry LDH (large diameter hose) with Storz couplings on both ends for connections between fire hydrants and pumps. However, hydrants in the U.S. usually have threaded couplings and require an adapter to use with Storz. This is not the case in many other nations. The main benefit to using Storz couplings is that connecting hoses using Storz couplings is quick. Generally, a hose can be locked using it with a 1/4 turn. By comparison, locking hoses using threaded couplings often takes several turns. Because of this, Storz couplings are widely viewed as a safer alternative to using threaded couplings.

Guido Storz patented his coupling in Switzerland in 1890, and it soon became a standard for fire hydrants throughout much of Europe. However, it took nearly one hundred years before steamer ports on fire hydrants started to be converted to the Storz coupling in the United States. All major U.S. hydrant manufacturers now offer Storz couplings as original equipment on their hydrants, to connect with the Storz couplings used by firefighters. Hydrants may also be retro-fitted from thread to Storz to aid interoperability between firefighting organizations.

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