Phoenix Pacific

A Guide to Fire Pump Maintenance

The fire pump is a crucial piece of prevention equipment in your commercial fire protection system. Keeping it well-maintained ensures it’ll work if your fire sprinkler system is called into action. Here’s what to know about fire pump maintenance to help you care for it and have adequate commercial fire protection.

What Fire Pumps Are

Fire pumps are installed at sites where the public water supply is nonexistent or has low pressure. For low-pressure issues, an electric booster pump is used to increase the public water pressure to reinforce the fire sprinkler system’s function. If the site doesn’t have a public water supply, a diesel engine pump is connected to provide the sprinklers with water from a private site, like a reservoir, lake, or storage tank.

How to Maintain the Pump

You should schedule a monthly churn test regardless of whether you have an electric or diesel fire pump. This exercises the motor and allows a technician to check the pressure gauges, examine the components for damage, and make sure the fire pump is running properly. Next, they’ll inspect the system’s drain lines, clean them if necessary, and remove any clogs.

Current fire codes also require that a flow test be conducted annually. The flow test will allow an experienced technician to check the pump’s hydraulic performance.

These preventative tasks ensure the fire pump works properly when called upon and extends the life of the equipment. Investing in proper maintenance is more cost-effective than paying for costly repairs or replacement of a neglected pump.

When to Replace a Fire Pump

Over time, the performance of a fire pump will degrade due to leaks or gradual wear of the internal components and casing. The results of your annual flow test will determine if the equipment can still provide enough water to the fire sprinkler system. If the pump is producing water at a lower pressure, it can’t perform optimally and needs to be replaced.