A diesel fire pump is an essential component of a facility’s sprinkler system. It is used to create adequate pressure for the sprinklers in case the municipal water supply fails during a fire. Fire pumps come in a wide range of capacities, depending on the facility’s needs. They can be installed either on-site or in a prefabricated fire pump room located inside the building. The most common types of fire pumps are electric and diesel. A professional can help determine the best type of fire pump for a particular facility.
The fire pump room should be large enough to allow for easy access to the pump, including a sufficient amount of space for maintenance and cleaning. It should also be able to accommodate the fire pump, piping and all electrical connections. In addition, the pump room must be able to meet NFPA codes and requirements.
Many facilities choose to install an on-site diesel fire pump because it is more reliable than an electric fire pump. A diesel fire pump can also withstand higher pressure than an electric fire pump and can operate under conditions such as low water flow or overheating. The only downside to a diesel fire pump is that it requires more maintenance than an electric fire pump, and its lifespan depends on the quality of care it receives.
There are several different types of diesel fire pumps on the market, and they vary in price, capacity and power. Some are more compact than others, while others are larger and more durable. The most important factor to consider is the gallons per minute (GPM) that a fire pump can deliver. In general, a fire pump must be able to provide at least 500 gallons of water per minute for the most demanding area of the standpipe system. For high-rise buildings, this can require up to three fire pumps in series.
When choosing a fire pump, it is important to make sure that the design meets NFPA 20 requirements. The fire pump should have a dedicated and continually available power source, which is usually a backup generator. The generator should be equipped with a transfer switch that can automatically take over the operation of the fire pump in the event of a power failure. Many electrical engineers prefer a “soft start” controller, which reduces the immediate power draw on the backup generator and may allow the selection of a smaller generator.
A fire pump should have a bypass line that allows routine tests to be performed without exposing the system to a loss of pressure. This bypass line should be connected after the outside screw and yoke valve on the suction side and between the check valve and control valve on the discharge side of the pump. The bypass line must be sized to ensure that the pump will not experience suction or discharge pressures in excess of its maximum rating. diesel fire pump