A portable fire pump is a type of pumping unit designed to be moved from one location to another. They are often used for emergency situations, such as when a fire breaks out aboard ship. They are typically carried by one or two people to the site where they will be used (sometimes over rough terrain), although they may also be transported by truck or trailer for long distances. Portable pumps are generally centrifugal pumps powered by either gasoline or diesel engines. They are usually 4-cycle, although 2-cycle and newer turbine models can also be found. They can handle flows of up to 5,000 GPM (1140 m3/hr) and pressures of up to 265 PSI (18 BAR).
A marine fire pump is typically located inside the engine room, while an emergency marine fire pump is normally outside of the machine spaces. Both marine fire pumps are normally powered by electricity, but the emergency fire pump can be powered by a generator in case of a power outage in the engine room.
Both types of marine fire pumps must be connected to a series of pipes to transfer water. The pipes must be able to handle seawater, and they must be designed to prevent corrosion. They must also have non-return valves and pressure-relief valves to avoid the pipes becoming too pressurized, which can cause them to shut off.
It is important to regularly inspect the fire pump and ensure that it is in good working condition. A visual inspection is always a good idea, but it is also important to check the mechanical components of the pump for wear and tear. For example, if the pump vibrates while it is in operation, this could indicate a problem with its bearing, coupling, or foundation. It is also a good idea to check the discharge pressure of the pump on a regular basis. If it is not at the expected level, this can indicate a problem with the sea chest filter or an internal leak.
In addition to these general checks, it is also a good idea to take a power reading of the pump’s motor on a weekly basis. Doing this can help identify problems before they become serious, which will save the crew valuable time during a crisis.