The Difference Between a Fire Pump and a Water Pump

The Difference Between a Fire Pump and a Water Pump

Having the right fire fighting equipment can make all the difference when it comes to saving lives and property from destruction. One key component of modern sprinkler systems is a fire pump, which provides the highly pressurized water needed to keep fires from spreading. This portable fire fighting pump is made to meet NFPA (National Fire Protection Association) standards, providing the safety and security you need when an emergency occurs.

Unlike other pumps which are typically used in homes and commercial buildings, fire pumps are designed explicitly for firefighting applications. They need to be able to supply high pressures and volumes while also remaining small enough for easy transport and operation. To find the best fire fighting pump for your property, consider working with a certified specialist.

A fire pump is usually made of metal and powered by a gas or diesel engine. This makes them a durable choice for firefighting operations that require rugged and reliable performance, even in harsh environments. Depending on the application, a fire pump may be fueled by petrol, propane, or diesel engines. Petrol fire pumps are preferred because they offer better fuel economy and are more easily transported. Some applications, such as refineries and chemical plants, require the use of a diesel fire pump due to the need for low emissions and sound levels.

While they look similar, there are major differences between a fire pump and a water pump. A fire pump is designed for firefighting and needs to comply with strict NFPA regulations, while a water pump has more broader applications that can be fulfilled by various different models. This article will compare and contrast the two types of pumps to help you determine which is better for your property’s needs.

NFPA 20 (Standard for the Installation of Stationary Pumps for Fire Protection) defines four classes of portable fire pumps. Class A pumps are small and have a high pressure/low volume. They are useful for supplying foam nozzles and filling booster tanks on fire trucks. These pumps are limited to 25 inches on each side and 150 pounds.

Class B pumps are medium volume/medium pressure. They provide 125 gpm at 60 psi net pump pressure through a 2 1/2-inch discharge and suction inlet. These pumps are useful for minor structural fires and for draining cellars or other low areas. These pumps can be supplied through 1 3/4-inch lines to short lengths with a 60 gpm fog nozzle.

Class C pumps are large and have a higher pressure/high volume. They are useful for supplying 1 1/2″-inch hoses to long distances and to overcome pressure loss when pumping up to high elevation areas. These pumps can also supply two 1 1/4-inch lines to 60 gpm fog nozzles. They are equipped with a vertical turbine pump and offer a wide range of rated flow capacities and pressures, have relatively easy split-case access for maintenance and can be operated by both electric and diesel drivers.

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