Tue. Jun 21st, 2022

You risk having your home become a fire hazard if you live in a rural or semi-rural area. As well as the fact that bushfires are becoming more common than ever, the likelihood of one occurring near you is dramatically increasing. A fire fighting pump kit will allow you to engage the flames and extinguish them, or at the very least, give you enough time to call for help.

Unfortunately, most water pumps are designed to move large amounts of water as transfer pumps. They do not have the necessary force to put out a small fire. As a result, when purchasing a firefighter pump, we look for consistent and reliable pressure.

Below, we will review a few current fire fighting water pumps and identify which ones we believe are the best.

The selection of a fire fighting pump shouldn’t be complex 

In our opinion, the best residential fire-fighting pumps that we could find on the internet and that were worthy of consideration were as follows:

Note: our only consideration is quality and the pump’s ability to be fit for purpose. I will explain why our suggestions are good, bad, high or low quality.

  1. Crommelins Yamnar Fire Fighting 1.5″ Diesel Water Pump with Twin Impeller, 6.7hp 
  2. Cromtech Fire Fighting 1.5″ Diesel Water Pump with Twin Impeller, 5.3hp 
  3. Crommelins Honda Fire Fighting 1.5″ Petrol Water Pump with Twin Impeller, 5.5hp
  4. Water Master Diesel Fire Fighting 1.5″ Water Pump Electric Start – single impeller
  5. Crommelins Robin Fire Fighting 1.5″ Water Pump, 6hp, with trolley (single impeller)
  6. WARTON Petrol High-Pressure Water Pump 8HP Twin Impeller -Fire Fighting – PRP-45P
  7. WARTON 2″ 8HP High-Pressure Single Impeller – Water Pump, Diesel-Powered

Note: these fire fighting pumps aren’t the only pumps available that may suit a similar application. It may also be a good idea to consider other brands like Davey, GAAM and Aussie pumps, just to name a few. In a fire fighting pump, we look for the following characteristics:

Highest possible head: This metric assesses the engine’s ability to draw water from a source and shoot it at a fire at high pressure and from a considerable distance.

High PSI:

 We want the pressure to be high enough to propel the water a long distance.

High Flow Rate: This refers to the amount of water shot out of the end of the hose at a rapid pace. You’ll want much flow, but don’t forget that you don’t want to sacrifice pressure (or the maximum head) in the process.

Type of fuel: four-stroke gasoline (Petrol). Unless otherwise noted, all pumps on this list are four-stroke engines that accept regular gasoline directly from the gas station. It may surprise you that some 2-stroke pumps are still available for purchase. Stay away from them!

Engine Brand: Honda and Briggs-Stratton are two of the most well-known engine manufacturers in the industry, but you’ll pay a premium for the superior quality.

firefighter conductin back burning operationsWhat Else Will You Require When Purchasing Your Pump

Important Information: “When purchasing your pump, budget at least $150 – $200 to purchase suction and discharge hoses. Get the high-quality Endurance Pump Kit if you want the complete package in one package.”

The pump in and of itself. The crux of the matter – and what this article will discuss! Hose for sucking up liquids. You will insert this hose into your water source to collect the water. Typically located at the rear of the pump, it’s attached with screws. Please make sure that it fits the diameter of the suction port on your pump. The suction port and the discharge port diameters are not always the same.

A discharge hose:

This is the hose you will hold and aim at the fire! Check that the hose diameter matches the diameter of the discharge port on your pump. 

A source of freshwater: It is impossible to connect a water pump to a faucet or drain pipe. As an alternative, you’ll need a substantial water source, such as an entire swimming pool, a dam, a lake, or a large water tank. Then, insert the suction hose into the water supply.

Most pumps come equipped with a roll cage: A roll cage is a protective barrier around a pump and engine. While in use, the pump is held firmly in place by its structure. Some pumps don’t come with a Roll Cage, but obtaining one will be a good investment. 

“Transfer Pumps” are pumps that come labelled with that designation. Transfer pumps can quickly move large amounts of water through hoses with larger diameters, but this is done quote significantly at the expense of pressure. A high-pressure pump will be required to extinguish those flames!

Glossary of Important Terms

Maximum Head:

The maximum head is the distance the pump can suck water up from the ground. Consider the scenario in which you needed to pump water from a well that was 30 metres deep. You’d need a pump with a maximum head of more than 30 metres to get water out of the well. However, a pump with a maximum charge of only 30m will lose significant power when sucking up the water. It will therefore have insufficient energy to shoot high-pressure water towards the fire!

In other words, the greater the difficulty in obtaining water from the source, the lower the hose pressure will be. As a result, the maximum head must be pretty high to have an effective firefighting pump.

Pressure:

“I look for a pump with a maximum pressure of 100 PSI or higher and a maximum head of 70 metres or higher.” The high pressure required by firefighting pumps and hoses is far more effective than a standard garden hose. If you want to use a fire fighting pump, the ideal “maximum pressure” is 100PSI or higher.

We’re talking about maximum pressure because the PSI will be affected by how hard the pump must work to transport water from its location to the fire. When pumping water uphill, the actual PSI will drop considerably. Suppose you cannot locate a maximum PSI measurement on the pump specifications. In that case, the maximum head measurement should be used. A high maximum head indicates that the pump can pump at high pressures. If you want high pressure, look for a pump with a maximum head of 70 metres or more.

The last thing you need is to be putting out a fire with a garden hose.  It would never be able to pump out enough water at a fast enough rate to save your home. The pressure of a garden hose is approximately 30-40 PSI. With your specialised pump, you’d be able to get at least THREE times the pressure and power you’d typically get.

fire danger ratingDischarge Hose:

“Most pumps do not come with an included discharge hose. Make certain that the discharge hose you purchase has the same diameter as the discharge port on your pump.”

When fighting a fire, the discharge hose is the hose you will hold. You’ll need to fit this hose to the pump to complete the installation. Most pumps have a standard thread system and are available in various sizes, including 1 inch, 1.5 inch, 2 inches, and 3 inches. I prefer a discharge hose with a diameter of 1.5 inches. I’ve discovered that this hose diameter is wide enough to provide a reasonable flow rate while remaining thin enough to maintain pressure.

Unfortunately, the majority of pumps do not come with a hose attached. Purchasing the Endurance Marine Self-Priming Firefighting System is the best option to get everything you need in one go.

Discharge Port:

“In general, a thinner discharge port will increase pressure, whereas a thicker discharge port will increase flow rate,” says the author. The discharge port is where the discharge hose is connected to the pump. Because ports have a reasonably standard thread system (NPT, in most cases), you can purchase a hose from various manufacturers.  The discharge hose diameter must be the same as the diameter of the discharge port. Otherwise, the discharge hose will not function properly.

Suppose you come across a home-use portable pump with a discharge port size of 3 inches. In that case, you’re most likely looking at a transfer pump designed for flooding rather than firefighting.

Summary: “Most pumps do not include a suction hose, so you need to purchase one separately.” Ensure that the suction hose you purchase has the same diameter as the suction port on your pump.”

Suction Hose:

Is the hose that is inserted into your water supply line. In this case, the pump will suck the water, which is connected to the back of the pump. When you submerge the suction hose in the water, you’ll find that it will almost certainly float. Don’t be concerned; turn on the pump and get ready!

Make sure that the suction hose you purchase has the same diameter as the suction port on your pump.

“The suction port size is not always the same as the size of the discharge port,” says the quick takeaway on the suction port. Ensure that the suction port size is correct and that you purchase a suction hose with the same diameter.”

The suction port on the pump is located where the suction hose is connected. Keep in mind that the sizes of a pump’s suction port and discharge port are frequently different. Aside from that, the suction port is often more significant in size. As a result, before purchasing your suction hose, make sure the suction port is the correct size.

Flow Rate:

“Flow rate is important, but don’t sacrifice pressure in the process” (measured by the maximum head). Plan on a flow rate greater than 3600 GPH and a maximum head greater than 213 feet (65 metres).”

The flow rate refers to:

how quickly water will be transported long a hose and through the nozzle. Thus, depending on the model and whether it’s measured in litres per hour or litres per minute.

Transfer pumps (typically used to pump water out of flooded buildings) maximise flow rate by having more significant suction and discharge port diameters than other pumps. However, if you’re shooting water at a fire, this can reduce the pressure of the water.

Check a pump flow rate and look for a pump with a flow rate of at least 200 litres per minute. However, ensure that the maximum head is greater than 65 metres to provide sufficient pressure for fire fighting.

 

Crommelins Yamnar Fire Fighting 1.5 Diesel Water Pump with Twin Impeller 6.7hp
Crommelins Yamnar Fire Fighting 1.5 Diesel Water Pump with Twin Impeller 6.7hp

This firefighting pump is probably one of the more reliable.

It is unlikely to fail, with a Yanmar diesel driving the pump when it gets tricky. Petrol engines in extreme weather can have the fuel evaporate before entering the engine, causing pump failure (engine stops).  Yanmar-diesel is used across the fire fighting industry with great success, including Black Saturday in Victoria. It has a twin impeller with a full head of 90 metres. You would be able to run a fire fighting hose and connect a medium-size residential sprinkler system. The cost is almost a bit prohibitive at around $5000. Using the old adage here of “You get what you pay for”. The maximum flow is 300 litres per minute.

Cromtech Fire Fighting 1.5 Diesel Water Pump with Twin Impeller 5.3hp
Cromtech Fire Fighting 1.5 Diesel Water Pump with Twin Impeller 5.3hp

A much more economical purchase at around $1400,

but still a quality unit. The vaporisation problem is eliminated by diesel power, and the twin impeller pump could provide adequate water for one fire fighting hose and a medium residential sprinkler system. If you didn’t need to connect it to a sprinkler system, you could use two fire-fighting hoses with appropriate firefighting nozzles. The more expensive firefighting nozzles often require a minimum of 600 to 700kpa to operate effectively – this pump can generally achieve this with a head pressure of 75m (max). The small red fog nozzles operate at a pressure well below 600kpa, but the water flow rate is substantially reduced. This is often a good thing if you only have a limited amount of water. The maximum flow is 250 litres per minute.

Crommelins Honda Fire Fighting 1.5 Petrol Water Pump with Twin Impeller 5.5hp
Crommelins Honda Fire Fighting 1.5 Petrol Water Pump with Twin Impeller 5.5hp

Again, this pump is priced well at around $1200,

and it provides most of the features of the diesel-driven pumps above. The one drawback could be the potential to vaporise during extreme fire fighting conditions. If located in a protected pump house, the risk of vaporisation is almost illuminated. Remember, you shouldn’t use plastic connections and fitting. Metal is best, as proven during the Black Saturday bushfire in Victoria. Ideal for running a medium residential sprinkler system and one or two firefighting hoses with nozzles. This one has no frame, so it will need to be secured to a concrete floor or ute tray, depending on the application. The maximum flow is 300 litres per minute.

Water Master Diesel Fire Fighting 1.5 Water Pump Electric Start
Water Master Diesel Fire Fighting 1.5 Water Pump Electric Start

Another quite expensive pump at around $4500.

This diesel-powered pump has a single impeller pump limiting the available head pressure. The flow charts indicate that the maximum head pressure is 60 m 600kpa. This is where it’s critical to get a professional analysis of the intended use. It may provide adequate pressure and flow for a firefighting hose and medium residential system, but the analysis will determine this. Again you can go past the Yanmar motor, made in Germany. Even though this is a single impeller firefighting pump, the flow rate will be greater than those above, making it ideal for water transfer. The flow rate is 640 litres a minute (at very-low pressure).

Crommelins Robin Fire Fighting 1.5 Water Pump 6hp with trolley
Crommelins Robin Fire Fighting 1.5 Water Pump 6hp with trolley

A petrol-driven pump with the versatility of a trolley to carry it around.

This type of setup can’t be underestimated, especially if you have a water source like a pool or dam, which can be utilised during emergencies.

I would still suggest a twin impeller pump be placed on the trolley to help keep the pressure and flow suitable for fire fighting. The cost is around $1400

WARTON Petrol High-Pressure Water Pump 8HP Twin Impeller -Fire Fighting - PRP-45P
WARTON Petrol High-Pressure Water Pump 8HP Twin Impeller -Fire Fighting – PRP-45P

The list of features on this firefighting pump is excellent in terms of firefighting.

There would be a need to ensure that it is adequately maintained. Letting it sit will potentially see faster deterioration than the others listed above. With a flow of 200litres per minute, you should be able to round a medium residential sprinkler system and one or two firefighting hoses—all dependent on the flow rate of nozzles and sprinklers. It could be used as the main fire fighting pump for your property, but the price might be more suited to a backup fire pump. It is priced at around $400.

WARTON 2 8HP High-Pressure Single Impeller - Water Pump Diesel-Powered
WARTON 2 8HP High-Pressure Single Impeller – Water Pump Diesel-Powered

Probably suited to running a fire protection sprinkler system around your property. It might have trouble supplying adequate pressure for dedicated firefighting. Great for water transfer and is diesel power which is a real bonus. It is priced at around $1000.

Concluding Remarks

Wildfires are becoming more ferocious as the summers become hotter and dryer. In 2019, wildfires ravaged California and the west coast of North America, killing hundreds of people. However, they have also recently wreaked havoc on the east coast of Australia, which is unfortunate.

We must protect our homes and families from the devastation caused by wildfires. The fire fighting pump is at the heart of all of this, and it may be the only thing that saves you, your family, and your home in a fire.




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