A fire fighting water pump is a crucial part of any sprinkler or standpipe system. It is used when the available water supply can’t meet the hydraulic design requirements of the fire protection system. The fire pump uses the water supply to create a higher pressure that can reach hard-to-reach areas or overcome long distance hose lays. Choosing the right size of fire fighting water pump is vital to ensure that the system will work when it’s needed. Several factors need to be taken into consideration when selecting a fire fighting water pump, including its power, size, and capacity.
The first step in determining what kind of fire fighting water pump is required is to assess the conditions and landscape of the area. If the land is steep or has a lot of trees, then a more powerful fire fighting water pump may be required.
Next, the fire fighting water pump must be sized to meet the demands of the building. This can be done by reviewing the results of a recent water flow test or by performing a hazard analysis of the building. The fire pump must be sized to provide a minimum of 150 percent of its rated flow at the maximum duty point. The sizing process is done using the manufacturer’s performance curve for the particular model fire pump being considered.
Once the sizing process has been completed, it is important that the fire fighting water pump be maintained and tested on a regular basis. This can include visual inspections and a complete run testing of the fire pump to ensure that it will function properly when it’s needed. During a complete running test, the fire pump should be operated under full load for a period of time to verify that all components are functioning correctly.
In addition to regularly maintaining and inspecting the fire fighting water pump, it is also a good idea to have a backup power source for the pump in case of an emergency. This can be in the form of a generator or a diesel or petrol engine. In the event of an emergency, the back-up power source will allow the fire fighting water pump to continue operation even if the mains are down. Finally, the fire fighting water pump should be located downstream of the fire department connection (FDC), as this will prevent high velocities from increasing suction pressures to the fire pump and potentially damaging the system. This can be accomplished by properly supporting the fire fighting water pump with a suction strainer, and suspending it or propping it up in the water with an anchor and float.