Fire water pump is the heart of a fire sprinkler or standpipe system, and must be properly sized for optimum performance. The water supply that provides the hydraulic pressure for the sprinkler or standpipe system may not be able to produce enough pressure to meet the demands of a large building, so a fire pump is installed to provide a boost to overcome this limitation.
Fire pumps are rated in terms of GPM (gallons per minute) and PSI (pounds per square inch). These two numbers are important to know because they determine how far the pump will be capable of moving the water as well as how much pressure it can generate.
In general, the higher the GPM the better. However, it is also a good idea to choose a pump that has a low PSI so the fire water will not be sucked out of the system when the pump is operating at full capacity.
The GPM and PSI can be determined by looking at the pump’s factory-certified test report. This report will have a power curve that peaks and falls. Look for a peak that is below the maximum head pressure listed on the NFPA 20.
Make sure to keep a tarp over the system during the fall and winter months. This will help keep leaves, pine needles and windblown debris from collecting on the pump and attachments. Keeping the tarp in place makes it easy to quickly fling over the tanks in an emergency, and will also save time in removing and re-tarping the system after an annual test or during a fire event. Also, be sure to color-code your hoses for easier identification.