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Firefighting Pump Installation Procedure

Select a location for the pumping  unit (pump, base plate, coupling  and driver) that will be clean, well  ventilated, properly  drained  and provide  accessibility for inspection  and maintenance (see outline  drawing  for dimension) Outdoor installations may require protection from the elements particularly freezing.

The suction supply system must provide the pump i.e. the suction tank location with its base or above the same elevation of the pump.


Foundation:  Concrete, (reinforced as necessary or required)  is most  widely  used  for  the  foundation of fire pumps. In sufficient  mass,  it provides  rigid  support,  which  minimizes deflection  and vibration.

It may be located on soil, structural  steel or building  floors, provided  the combined  weight of the pumping  unit.

Fire Pump Mounting On Foundations

Use qualified personnel (riggers)  to lift or move unit at any time. Never lift unit using hooks or slings on shafts Never place eye-bolts  in tapped holes except for removal  of a part to perform  service work.

When  the  unit  is received  with  the  pump  and  the  driver  mounted  on the  base  plate,  it should  be  placed  on the  foundation  and  the  coupling  halves disconnected.  The  coupling   should  not  be  reconnected  until  the alignment   operations   have  been  completed.  The  base  plate  should  be  supported   on rectangular metal blocks and shims or on metal wedges having a small taper. The support pieces should be placed close to the foundation bolts on large units, small  jacks  made  of cap screws  and nuts  are very  convenient. In each  case the supports should  be    directly  under  the part  of the base  plate  carrying  the greatest weight and spaced closely enough to give uniform  support.

Adjust the metal supports or wedges until the shafts of the fire pump and driver are level. Check the coupling faces as well as the suction and discharge  flanges of the pump  for horizontal  or vertical  position  by means  of a level. Correct  the positions,  if necessary,  by adjusting  the supports  or wedges  under  the base plate as required.

Firefighting Pumps and drivers mounted on a common base plate are accurately aligned before shipment. Realignment is necessary after the complete unit has been leveled on the foundation  and again  after  the grout  has set and foundation bolts have been tightened.  The  alignment  must  be checked  after  the unit  is piped  and  rechecked  periodically. To facilitate  accurate  field  alignment, do not  dowel  the pumps or drivers on the base plates before shipment.

Firefighting Pump Alignment

Reliable, trouble‐free, and efficient operation  of a pumping  unit requires  correct alignment  of pump and driver shafts. Misalignment may be the cause of:

  • Noisy pump operation
  • Vibration
  • Premature bearing failure
  • Excessive coupling  wear

Factors that may change the alignment of the fire pumping unit are:

  • Setting of the foundation
  • Springing of the base plate
  • Piping strains
  • Settling of the building
  • Shift of pump or driver on the foundation

Correct for excessive parallel and angular  misalignment  by slightly  shifting  the leveling  wedges under the base plate. Tap tightly (in or out) with a hammer. Retest alignment after each shifting of a wedge. In some instances, for factory aligned pumping units, it may be necessary to change the shims under the pump or driver, or even relocate these factory‐positioned units on the base plate.

Make such changes only after it is certain alignment cannot be obtained by shifting of the wedges. If wedges are shifted or shims changed a substantial amount to obtain proper alignment, recheck the piping alignment and level of the shafts.

Firefighting Pump Piping Works

The suction and discharge piping should be arranged for the simplest, most direct layout, to be of sufficient size and be internally free of foreign material. The piping must never be pulled into position by the flange bolts. It must be independently fixed and arranged. The suction piping, if not installed properly, is a potential source of faulty operation. To achieve best performance:

  • the suction lines ,when operation must be kept absolutely free from air leaks.
  • A strainer should be installed in suction line . The screen must be checked and cleaned periodically. The opening in the screen must smaller than the sphere size allotted fro the impeller.
  • Piping should be cleaned mechanically  and chemically  , and flushed prior to installing  the pump. A large number of pump packing  , mechanical  seal and seizure troubles are due to improperly cleaned systems.
  • The Pump should also be inspected internally for foreign matter that may have entered the pump.
  • The suction pipe shall be sized such that pump capacity and minimum distance to be maintained from suction pump flange.


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