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Posted on March 5, 2015

Do I Need a Fire Pump?

If you have a commercial building that needs sprinklers for fire protection purposes, you might be wondering if a fire pump should be part of the design. It’s a very reasonable question, and we’ll attempt to answer it here.

What Is a Fire Pump?

The purpose of a pump is to ensure the fire sprinklers work the way they’re supposed to by keeping water pressure at an adequate level. Without a pump in a situation where it’s needed, water might slowly trickle onto a fire, doing little to extinguish the blaze. Obviously, this is not ideal because the fire could destroy much of your property even with carefully installed sprinklers.

How Do Fire Pumps Work?

Fire pumps have an electric or diesel-powered engine that kicks into gear when the fire sprinkler water pressure drops below a certain threshold. This is most likely to happen if more than one fire sprinkler activates simultaneously. Also, once firefighting teams arrive and hook up their hoses, a drop in water pressure could decrease fire sprinkler effectiveness.

A jockey pump, a small portion of a fire pump’s control system, maintains pressure within the sprinkler system piping to an artificially high level. That way, when an appreciable drop occurs, the fire pump’s automatic controller can easily detect it and start up the pump.

Types of Buildings Where Fire Pumps Are Used

  • High rise buildings:If a fire breaks out in a room on the top story of a high rise building, sprinkler heads may need extra help creating the water pressure required to douse the flames. That’s why many multistory buildings end up needing fire pumps.
  • Storage warehouses:Large expanses of space have higher water pressure demands if a fire begins to spread. Warehouses are a prime example because they don’t have walls or doors to slow the fire as it spreads.
  • Buildings with water storage tanks:In most cases, a building’s sprinkler system is supplied with water from the city. If your building has onsite storage tanks for your fire sprinklers, you should certainly plan on installing a pump to create water pressure in case of a fire.

Professional Fire Pump & Fire Sprinklers Services in Houston

Different types of fire pumps are used in various situations. By working closely with a professional, you can determine if you would benefit most from a centrifugal, vertical turbine, vertical inline, vertical split case, horizontal split case, positive displacement, or end suction fire pump.

Not all buildings need fire pumps, even if they fall into the classic categories that typically need them. If you’re in the Houston area, your best bet is to work with a professional from Kauffman Co. to determine if you even need a fire pump. Then, discuss your needs with an experienced technician who assesses your building’s layout to settle on the best design possible.

When you’re ready to get started, please contact Kauffman Co. today. We’re a family-owned fire protection company serving business owners across the Houston area.

We provide estimates for new and replacement fire protection systems throughout Texas (TX) in:

  • Alvin
  • Angleton
  • Austin
  • Baytown
  • Beaumont
  • Bellaire
  • Clute
  • Conroe
  • Deer Park
  • Dickinson
  • Freeport
  • Friendswood
  • Galena Park
  • Galveston
  • Houston
  • Humble
  • Huntsville
  • Jacinto City
  • Katy
  • La Marque
  • La Porte
  • Lake Charles, LA
  • Lake Jackson
  • League City
  • Missouri City
  • Orange
  • Pasadena
  • Pearland
  • Port Arthur
  • Richmond
  • Rosenberg
  • San Antonio
  • Schulenburg
  • South Houston
  • Stafford
  • Sugar Land
  • Texas City
  • The Woodlands
  • Victoria
  • Waco
For more information, contact us online or call us now at (713) 893-1090.
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