Given that our country is expected to be hit harder by climate change than the rest of the world, with high temperatures, it’s needless to say we can expect a rise in droughts and the dangerous bushfires. If we thought we had enough fires up to now, imagine what’s expected to follow. And then there’s the rise in storms, that leads to a rise in floods.
This makes me come to the conclusion if we thought fire fighting pumps were essential to households, and industries, previously, we can bet they’d become a basic need in the years to come in terms of safety.
This doesn’t just apply for other chores such as gardening, pressure washing, and irrigation, which is why it’s important that we all have the knowledge in how these power tools work, the system as a whole, and how to best maintain them to prolong their longevity.
Since the pump is at the very core of a pumping system, it’s important that it never fails because it could put safety in jeopardy, and that makes constant care required.
There’s weekly inspection, and testing, monthyl, and then there’s annual like the flow test, so to be on the safe side, without breaching any laws and regulations, it’s best to entrust this to a person qualified for the job (for instance an FM global engineer).
Since there are different types of fire fighting pumps, that have different properties, and operations, you can expect there to be different check up systems. What works for the diesel, or petrol pumps, may not work for the electrical.
From the weekly checks, the focus is going to be on valves, and the piping, whether the suction is in order, the valves are open (and in most cases locked), and the piping has no leaking spots.
Though the start up system can be manually operated, it’s usually the automatic that’s mostly used and needed in emergencies, which is why it’s crucial to check and see if it functions properly.
Not only would you check the starting devices meanwhile, but the pumps operation itself, or more specifically the engines, by running them for some minutes (half an hour for diesel, 10 minutes for electric). Speaking of engines, the diesel engine has to be clean at all times so it can run smoothly. Also, check if the batteries and the charger are operating as they should, and instances of corrosion monthly.
Other components of pumps and the pumping system, such as the pump controller, pressure relief, cooling, water supply, and pump room temperature also have to be looked into. While the controller has to be in automatic start mode, the pressure relief valves not letting water through, there should be neither overheating with the casing and bearings, nor more vibration than normal.
As for the water supply, you must make sure weather doesn’t take its toll: dry weather can reduce the water supply, cold weather can cut the suction source and supply lines of the needed operating heat.
Speaking of heat, the pump room minimum temperature has to be at least 4º C, while for internal combustion engines 21º C, and unless you provide that temperature, you’d be better off getting a lubricating oil heater so that temperature could be maintained above 21º C.
To ensure everything is done properly, it’s best filling up a pump test form, noting all the properties of the pump (type, manufacturer, model number, year of installation, psi/gpm, and RPM rating). Every detail matters as it’s to do with safety.
Let’s face it, the world of power tools is vast, which can be a problem for the family handyman, and every DIY enthusiast, to choose from. Basically, by now you’ve thought this through, and are aware that every level of DIY has a type (petrol powered, corded, cordless) of tool adequate for it. Such if the case with the cordless type of power tools. Read More →
Forget the time when you needed to stretch out a tape from one point to another in order to read the distance between the two. Not only was this method extremely unreliable, but it also took a lot of effort and assistance from other people holding the tape. But as technology advanced to make our lives easier, so did the humble measuring tape started to become replaced by something more sophisticated – the laser measuring device. Read More →
If you’ve ever been on a boat, then you know that ending up with water inside it is pretty much unavoidable. There are many ways water can get into the boat, like a leaky port light, melting ice from the icebox, leaky seams in a wood boat, shaft packing gland and many other sources. While small amounts of water aren’t really problematic, except for making the walking surface slippery and wet, some can have considerably undesirable effects, including lifting spilled fuel, destabilising it and distributing it through the bilge. Oh yeah, it can also sink your boat, so it’s a pretty big deal.
When it comes to dealing with nuisance water, you can always rely on bilge pumps. Why these pumps in particular? Because even if you buy the largest pump that isn’t a bilge pump, you can only buy a little time to delay the inevitable. Moreover, you shouldn’t even rely on a single pump, it’s always advisable to have at least a few bilge pumps.
Worth knowing is that not a single boat has an ideal bilge pump system. No system is also big enough to keep up with a leak caused by excess damage. These pumps are designed for small to medium at best quantities of water and are not to be mistaken for damage control pumps. Moreover, don’t expect your automatic bilge pump to deal with a leak and keep it afloat. Hauling the boat out of the water and fixing it is the way to go in that case.
The capacity of these pumps is measured in gallons per minute or hour. The rule of thumb is to get the biggest model practical for your boat. So you basically have to consider the power limitations and size constraints, but generally you want a 1.000 gallons per hour model, or if possible, larger. However, something worth noting is that small boats also require a large size pump. Less freeboard means you get swamped more easily, you sink more rapidly, and the bilge is smaller, therefore, the water gets to the electrical system and engine sooner.
If you have to replace a pump, make sure the new one fits the wire capacity and hose sizes, unless you want to upgrade that as well. I also briefly mentioned automatic operation in a paragraph above. Automatic operation requires a separate water-sensing switch or an automatic pump. One drawback to automatic operation is that you might be unaware of your pump’s operation if you get a increasing leak. It can also pump cycles off and on without you knowing, so you could be completely unaware of a leak before it becomes dangerous and goes beyond your pump’s capacity. You can prevent that by using a cycle counter to log it, or have a buzzer or lighter that turns on when your pump is functioning.