Fire pumps are an important part of a facility’s emergency backup system to prevent extensive damage to a building during a fire. While many facilities may have electrical motors that are capable of driving fire pumps, these types of motors require a reliable power source. Power outages caused by maintenance, load shedding, or natural disasters can leave an electric motor without power. This can render the fire pump inoperable. Diesel engines can provide a reliable driver for fire pumps and are considered the standard in most installations.
When selecting a diesel engine for use as a fire pump driver, it is important to ensure that the engine can be operated safely. The engine must be equipped with a safety system that provides a minimum of three ways to shut down the engine. The system must also be designed to keep the engine lubricated and cool. Additionally, the fuel tank shall be sized to ensure the diesel engine can operate for 8 hours at full load.
The engine must also be able to be started under normal operating conditions. The system must include two electric starters, each connected to an independent battery supply and a manual method for starting the engine. The system must also have the ability to be powered by another source if necessary, such as a generator or a backup battery.
The system must be tested on a yearly basis to verify the system meets the requirements of NFPA 20. All tests should be performed by an authorized NFPA 20 inspector.diesel driven fire pump