A fire fighting pump is a piece of equipment that is vital for providing water to the firefighting system and ensuring that firefighters have enough water to safely suppress fires. There are many fire pumps available, including hydraulically driven and diesel powered units. The type of fire pump selected depends on the needs of the system and NFPA standards to which it is being installed.
The first step in determining what type of fire pump is needed is to determine the expected flow rates for sprinklers and standpipe systems within the building. Then the required pressure can be calculated based on the height of the building and the occupant classification.
Once the required flows and pressures are established the size of the fire pump can be determined. The fire pump driver (electric motor, diesel engine or steam turbine) must be sized to meet the job requirements and also comply with UL and FM. The driver must be able to deliver the maximum rated horsepower demanded by the fire fighting system at any given load point during a fire incident.
The fire fighting pump is usually a centrifugal or turbine style pump. It can be base-mounted, skid mounted or portable. It draws water from the water source via an inlet valve and pumps it out through a discharge valve. The inlet and outlet sizes vary from 1″ to 4″ and the pump can be either single or two stage depending on the requirements of the fire fighting system.