Fire Water Pumps
The fire pump on a piece of fire apparatus is a very important part of the apparatus. It determines how much capacity and capability is available for the department to use when they are working on a call. The pump also has a direct impact on the ability of firefighters to operate hose lines, as well as the speed with which they can move through the area and get to work. Choosing the right pump is a complex process that requires an understanding of the community’s topography and geography, its population density and fire flow requirements and how far it is to get to and from hydrants.
Apparatus manufacturers are now able to produce customized non-manifolded fire pumps that do not require large and bulky full cast mid-ship fire pump assemblies that take up 50 to 70 inches behind the cab of an engine-driven pump. These pumps allow for shorter wheelbases and more convenient hose compartments that are easier to access when laying or speed-laying hose loads. They are also PTO-driven and can be split-shaft pumps, making them compatible with a wide range of engine types.
Fire fighting nozzles are typically 1 1/2″ in diameter, although 2″ and even 2.5″ nozzles are available. The diameter of the discharge port is another factor to consider when selecting a pump. Most fire departments use a 1.5″ discharge port to get a good balance between high water flow and pressure. It is critical that the nozzle diameter match the discharge port size to avoid any loss of pressure or leaking.
The gallons per minute (GPM) and maximum pressure are the two main measurements to consider when purchasing a fire fighting pump. GPM measures how fast the pump is capable of pumping water out the discharge valve, while pressure is how hard it pushes the water out the nozzle. The ideal fire fighting pump has both a high GPM and pressure to ensure it is able to provide enough water to combat the fire quickly.
Most fire fighting pumps are powered by 4-stroke gasoline (petrol) engines that can be run on regular fuel from the gas station. They come in both electric and recoil start and can have either a single or twin impeller. The premium range industrial grade pumps are diesel engine driven and can have either a single or twin Fire Water Pumps