Types of Fire Water Pumps

A fire water pump is used to generate high hydraulic pressure to support the water demands of a building’s fire suppression system. These systems include sprinklers and standpipes as well as foam systems. Fire water pumps are also installed in locations where the municipal supply line can’t deliver enough pressure to support the fire suppression systems. For example, in a high-rise building, the pressure from the city supply line may not be sufficient to overcome gravity and provide water to the top of the building. Fire water pumps are sized to meet the demand of the fire suppression systems while also providing additional water for fire fighting efforts.

There are several types of fire pumps available for use in commercial buildings and industrial plants. The type of fire pump required will depend on the property’s specific needs and code compliance standards. A property’s fire protection engineer will evaluate the site and determine whether a sprinkler system or a standpipe is necessary, as well as what pressure level is required. If a fire system is required, the fire pump must be sized and installed according to National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and Underwriters Laboratories (UL) standards.

The most common type of fire water pump is the hydraulically driven fire water pump. These pumps are available in both electric motor and diesel engine drive options. When selecting a hydraulically driven fire water pump, the maximum pressure should be listed, as well as the head. The head is the vertical distance that a water pump can generate at rated flow. The head will increase with the square of the rated flow.

In addition to PSI and GPM, the most important thing to consider when purchasing a fire fighting water pump is the discharge hose size. The hose that comes with the pump should be the same diameter as the pump’s discharge port. If the hose is too large, it will not fit the pump’s discharge port and will be unable to generate the needed pressure.

Firefighting hoses need to be under high pressure, which makes them far more effective than a garden hose. For this reason, it’s important to look for a firefighting water pump with a high PSI rating, as this will ensure that the water is delivered under high pressure. A PSI measurement of 100 or more is ideal for a firefighting pump.

Some critical plants have special backup fire water systems to supply untreated lake, sea or pond water in the event of an emergency. In this case, the plant or facility will have tanks and facilities to store the water and a hydraulically powered pump to draw it from a storage tank, river or lake. The pumps will often have emergency shutdown capabilities so that they will shut down if the system fails for any reason, such as a power outage.

A typical fire protection system will have several fire pumps, in the case of an emergency, to ensure that water is available quickly. Some plants and facilities have a six fire pump configuration that includes two electric motor-driven centrifugal pumps, two diesel engine-driven centrifugal pumps and two jockey pumps. This is a very reliable option for critical plants and refineries, but it can be expensive.

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