Ensuring Adequate Water Pressure

In addition to a water supply that has the capacity to supply all sprinklers that may activate in a fire, the water supply must flow at an adequate pressure.

In locations where the water pressure isn‘t high enough to provide for fire protection needs or no public water supply exists, a fire pump boosts the water pressure. Fire pumps don‘t create water but simply move the water through the pipe more quickly because of the pressure increase they develop.

Electric motors or diesel engines can power fire pumps. Pumps operate automatically and should contain alarms indicating whether the pump is running or has become inoperative because of power failure or other conditions.

The design of fire pumps is specifically for fire service. Each pump has a nameplate that states the rated flow (gpm), rated pressure (psi), rated speed, and other information specific to that pump.

Fire pump powered by an electric motor (Photo courtesy of APi Group, Inc.)
Fire pump powered by a diesel engine