What Is a Portable Fire Fighting Pump?

Fire fighting pump is a pressure-increasing component for water-based fire suppression systems such as sprinklers, standpipes, and foam systems. They are installed on fire trucks and fire boats to boost the water supplies for firefighting hoses.

They are designed to operate in a wide range of rated flow and pressure capacities and with both electric and diesel drivers. They are compact and require little installation space.

There are many types of fire fighting pumps based on their design. Fire pumps provide a pressurized water supply for firefighters and automatic sprinkler systems, while water booster pumps pressurize potable water to the higher floors in tall buildings.

Fire fighting pump designs range from single-stage volute casing pumps to double-suction radial flow pumps and submersible borehole pumps that extract fire water from tanks or firewater ponds. They are powered by an electrical motor or diesel engine and can be mounted on vehicles or portable fire trucks.

Choosing the right fire fighting pump for your building is an important decision that should not be taken lightly. It is best to seek the advice of fire protection professionals who can assess your facility and recommend the ideal fire pump for its use. The professionals will also ensure that the system is installed and inspected in accordance with NFPA 20 standards. They can also help you determine the most cost-effective installation and maintenance options.
Flow Rate

When you hook your fire fighting pumper to a hydrant, it creates a combination of “static pressure” from the hydrant’s water supply and “churn pressure” from your fire fighting pump. The churn pressure is the amount of pressure generated by the pump when operating at no-flow (rated capacity).

Flow tests are performed to determine if the fire pump can deliver enough net pressure at the rates of flow that you expect to use it for firefighting. Pressure readings are taken, plotted on a hydraulic graph and compared to the performance curve on the fire pump nameplate or original acceptance test curve.

The test also verifies that the pump’s alarms are working properly. However, the flow test does not verify that NFPA 20 alarm conditions such as low oil pressure, high coolant temperature and engine overspeed are transmitted to remote locations. These alarms can be verified during an annual inspection of the fire pump system.

A fire pump draws water from a storage tank and distributes it at high pressure to firefighting foam systems. They can be electric or diesel-driven, with electric models requiring less maintenance and more reliability.

Fire pumps must be sized to meet the requirements of the fire protection system they are used to power, including the required liquid flow and water pressure. This is typically determined by the manufacturer, using a performance curve.

For example, the Hale Qmax single-stage centrifugal fire pump is available with two different 4-stroke engines to match a range of requirements. Its one-piece body minimizes piping requirements and makes access to the impeller and mechanical seal easier for routine maintenance. The pump’s bronze-metal construction offers high durability and corrosion resistance. NEC Article 695.4 requires a max voltage drop of 15% during motor starting conditions and 5% at 115% of FLA, so a #3 AWG conductor is sufficient.portable fire fighting pump