How to Size a Fire Fighting Pump

When a firefighting pump is sized correctly, it will be capable of providing the liquid flow and pressure required to supply sprinkler systems and other fire fighting equipment in the event of an emergency. However, determining the correct size for your fire pump system is a complex task that depends on the building type, local regulations and the water source.

Fire pumps are available in both portable and integrated configurations to suit your needs. Portable fire pumps can be carried in vehicles or stored on a truck. Alternatively, they may be set up close to the water source to minimise the effort needed in drawing from the water supply and maximise the water flow through the fire hoses.

Ideally, the pump should be sized to generate a pressure boost that supplements the incoming pressure of the water supply. This is determined by sizing the pump based on its maximum capacity, taking into consideration the pressure generated at three points: churn (zero flow), rated flow and 150% of rated flow.

Fire pumps must be no-flow tested on a weekly basis. For electric fire fighting pumps, this is done via the automatic start test. For diesel fire fighting pumps, this is conducted using the no-flow test. Typically, the test lasts for 30 minutes and involves running the engine at full speed to ensure it is capable of starting at all times and to also remove any moisture that could affect the longevity of the engines components.



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