A fire fighting pump is an essential piece of equipment that helps to keep firefighters safe and can be critical in emergency situations. Regular inspection, testing and maintenance can help to ensure that your fire pump will work when you need it most.
There are two types of fire pumps: centrifugal and positive displacement. The type you choose will depend on your specific needs and the typical layout of suction and discharge hose diameters and lengths at the fire scene. If you need a lot of water flow at high pressures, a single-stage pump is likely the best choice. If you need to move water over long hose lays with lower flow rates, then a two-stage pump might be the better option.
All fire pumps must be inspected and tested regularly to ensure they are performing at their designed capabilities. A certified professional will measure and record the water pressure and flow rate at a minimum once per year. These measurements are then compared to the fire pump’s original data sheet. The annual tests also include full load testing which puts the system through its paces to see if it is able to operate at rated nozzle pressure and flow with actual water.
The driver is the engine or motor that spins the shaft that provides water to the fire pump. Electrical motors are the most common driver type outlined in NFPA 20 because they are cost-effective and simple to use. Other drivers include diesel engine and steam turbine systems. These systems must be inspected and tested on a yearly basis and must pass a factory test curve to be considered compliant with NFPA 20. fire fighting pump