A diesel fire pump is used to ensure that a facility’s water systems remain operable in the event of a fire or other emergency. These pumps are often used in facilities that cannot afford to lose their water supplies, such as warehouses, aircraft hangars and industrial buildings. They are also frequently found in water transfer applications, where a high volume of liquid needs to be moved at a relatively low pressure.
As a result, a fire pump has to be reliable, ready to use when needed and operate in an environment where stale fuel can be problematic. These unique requirements make a diesel fire pump quite different from an electric water pump system. This article will explore some of the key differences between the two types and provide tips for installing a diesel fire pump that will operate reliably in emergency situations.
The most significant difference between a diesel and an electric fire pump is that the engine in a diesel fire pump is independent of the main power supply, which means it can be operated when the mains electricity is out. This makes it a particularly good option for installations in remote areas where an electrical system is not available.
Another big difference is that a diesel fire pump typically has its own fuel tank. This means that it is important to keep the tank filled, ideally to between two-thirds and full capacity. This will help to prevent stale fuel from building up and potentially damaging the engine. It is also important to note that a diesel fire pump must be tested annually to prove that it will continue to operate in the event of an emergency.
When choosing a diesel fire pump, it is important to choose one that has been fully factory tested and certified by a reputable supplier. This will help to ensure that the system meets the required NFPA 20 specifications and is capable of providing the correct amount of water to the fire suppression systems when needed. It is also important to choose a diesel fire pump that is built using sturdy, metal components and an engine that has been manufactured with longevity in mind.
NFPA 20 requires that the fire pump room is sprinklered and is protected from flood waters, explosions and other environmental conditions that may affect its operation. Additionally, the fire pump room must be able to be easily accessed when necessary. Generally, this means that it should have an exterior door and a dedicated access hatch.
It is also important to remember that a diesel fire pump must be kept in a fire pump room with a dedicated fuel tank and fuel vents. The fire pump tank must be visually monitored and a fuel gauge must be installed in the pump room. The fire pump tank must be refilled when it is below two-thirds of its capacity to prevent stale fuel from building up in the engine and damaging the system.