We have updated our popular article from 2011 - Maintaining the Heart of the Fire Protection System - What is the Condition of Your Fire Pump?
The importance of a well maintained fire pump is as relevant today as it was when we wrote it. Without adequate fire water supply and pressure, fire sprinklers will not be effective. They require enough force to knock out major fires with hard-to-extinguish materials.
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Here is a snippet from our article:
There are many facets of a water-based fire protection system that must function
properly on an individual level for the system to operate as intended. Components such as control valves, waterflow devices and valve enclosures must be fully operative as to not compromise the systems effectiveness. In applications where insufficient water pressure exists, a fire pump acts as the heart of the system; providing the water pressure that is required for water-based systems to effectively control fires. Fire pumps should be a focal point of every inspection, testing and maintenance (ITM) program to mitigate the risk of insufficient water pressure in the event of a fire.
Why are Fire Pumps a Critical Component to a Fire Protection System?
Fire pumps are not installed in every water-based fire protection application but when
they are included, they serve as the lifeblood of the system. Facilities such as power generating plants, chemical processing plants and heavy industrial environments require large volumes of water at high pressures. When the available water supply is insufficient to supply the facility's most hydraulically demanding water-based systems or the supply is of inadequate pressure because it is drawn from a source such as a reservoir or city supply, a pump is required. Determining the need for a fire pump can be accomplished by calculating the pressure and flow differential between supply and demand. When these exceed the supply, the facility must increase the pipe size or add a fire pump to the system. Adding a fire pump is usually the preferred option because it may not be possible to achieve the necessary levels of pressure with larger pipe alone and quite often the costs associated with increasing the pipe size exceed that of installing a fire pump.