A fire fighting pump is an essential component of many water-based fire protection systems. Unlike an ordinary home pump, these pumps are designed to increase the pressure (measured in both psi and bar) of a water source, ensuring that all parts of the system receive an adequate flow of water to effectively suppress or contain a fire. They also provide a means of providing water to areas that cannot be reached by other means, including those within a structure.
There are many different types of fire pumps available on the market, with each offering unique features and capabilities to suit a wide range of applications. For example, a portable fire pump may be powered by either petrol or diesel and may have different water capacities and pressure capabilities depending on the specific application. Some pumps are also designed to meet a variety of different international and national regulations for noise, exhaust emissions, fuel efficiency and other factors.
One of the first things to consider when selecting a fire pump is its required flow rate and water pressure. For example, a fire pump that is designed to meet the requirements of NFPA 20 will have a specific pressure and flow rate that is guaranteed when used as directed.
Flow rate and pressure are inversely related, with higher flow rates generally producing lower pressures. This is important to understand when choosing a fire pump as it can reduce the effectiveness of the unit and potentially put your property at risk. Many people mistakenly request high-flow rate pumps thinking that they are helping to fight fires, however this is not the case. Firefighting pumps must be able to deliver the required volume and pressure in the shortest amount of time to minimize the risk of damage and minimize waste.
The type of pump you select is also determined by where your water source will be derived from, such as a municipal supply or on-site water storage tanks. Some pumps are designed to be able to draw water from a body of water such as a river, lake or stream while others are designed to use a cistern or other aboveground water storage vessel.
The most common fire fighting pumps are centrifugal and turbine style, which use a series of impellers to create a great deal of pressure when the motor is running. These are generally the most reliable and versatile pumps as they can be used for a wide range of applications, including water transfer, tank filling and irrigation. For this reason, they are the most popular choice for a fire pump. However, a positive displacement pump is also available which can provide exceptional performance when used for fire fighting. These are generally more compact and require less maintenance, but may not be as powerful as a centrifugal fire pump. Each type of pump has its own benefits and disadvantages, so you should always consult the appropriate industry standards when deciding on which to purchase.