Your fire sprinkler system uses a specialized pump known as a jockey pump to maintain a consistent pressure. If it’s time to inspect your sprinkler system, or if you’re installing a new system in your facility, find out how these pumps work, why you need one and some common signs of a faulty pump.
How These Pumps Work
Commercial sprinkler systems use a large fire pump to push the necessary amount of water throughout the system when activated. If you’ve ever tested the system in your facility or seen one in action to stop a fire, you can imagine the amount of pressure necessary to keep all the sprinkler heads flowing.
All this pressure comes from a large fire pump. It’s not safe or efficient to use this large pump to keep your system pressurized, so you need a jockey pump to keep your lines at a set pressure rating. This smaller pump is more efficient and allows the system to stay charged without overworking your large pump with constant use.
In a perfect world, your large pump will never activate. This means that the jockey pump is doing all the work to make sure your lines are charged and your fire sprinkler heads are ready to spray water at a moment’s notice. Proper pressure is critical to safe operation, so you need a jockey pump and fire pump that are fully operational.
Signs of a Damaged Jockey Pump
In order to keep your system fully operational and ready for any emergency, you need to maintain your jockey pump. Like any other pump, this compact unit is subject to maintenance issues. Here are some common signs that you may need a new pump or a replacement component.
The most immediate signs will show up during your weekly test. If you’re not testing your pump on a weekly basis, you should start. Be sure to not just test the fire pump, but also the jockey pump. Activating the fire pump with the controller and purging the sensing line isn’t going to test the jockey pump.
Instead, slowly open the main drain line. Watch the pressure drop slowly and see if your jockey pump activates to make up for the pressure difference. If not, you can begin troubleshooting your pump. There are a few signs that your pump may be damaged, so be sure to carefully watch as it works to keep it well maintained.
If it does activate, look for signs of inefficiencies. Stuttering power, leaking seals or other signs of damage need to be addressed immediately. An ineffective jockey pump translates into an ineffective fire emergency system, which puts your entire facility at risk.
Order a Jockey Pump or Replacement Parts at DP Pumps
At DP Pumps, we have the replacement pumps and parts you need to keep your system going. Use our pump selector today to find the ideal replacement pump for your system. Keep your facility moving forward and operating safely by inspecting your fire sprinkler system today. Create a safe system to guard your industrial facility from any fire danger with fully operational pumps.