FAQ 1: Can a Fire Lion foam pump be used for pumping any foam concentrate - regardless of brand and/or viscosity?
Yes. Materials of construction are compatible with all fire fighting foam concentrates. For viscous concentrates, it is essential to have a minimum of 5 pipe diameters of straight pipe into the pump suction. Suction hose or pipe diameter must be 1 pipe size larger than pump inlet port size. Also, it is critical for all installations to ensure that all connections are leak free to avoid air leakage into the low-pressure inlet side.
FAQ 2: When using a diesel engine drive for the pump, what is normal rotation?
Normal rotation is viewed as looking at the front of the engine towards the flywheel – the engine will always rotate clockwise. If the drive shaft is in the upper position the suction port is on the left side, and the discharge port is on the right side. If the suction port needs to be on the right side and the discharge on the left, then the pump can be ordered from the factory configured to lower drive right suction.
FAQ 3: Why does NFPA 20 standard require a pump be capable of dry running for 10 minutes?
Foam concentrate tanks are limited in size which increases the likelihood of running dry when the take is emptied. When that happens, many positive displacements pumps will be damaged, but an NFPA 20 pump is designed to accommodate that issue. This feature gives time to shut down the system and once the tank is refilled, it will be ready to continue on.
FAQ 4: Can the foam pump be tested using water and will it pump water without issue?
Yes, pumping clean water is fine. There are no operation time limits when pumping water. There are no restrictions on water discharge pressure up to the maximum discharge pressure of the pump and/or pump driver ratings.
FAQ 5: What are the driver options for foam pumps?
Water turbine, diesel engine, electric motor, hydraulic motor, power take-off (PTO), and gasoline engines (foam transfer pump only). Water turbine, diesel engine, electric motor, hydraulic motor, power take-off (PTO), and gasoline engines (foam transfer pump only).
FAQ 6: What are the minimum data needed to prepare a quotation?
- Location indoor/outdoor, area classification.
- If electric motor, Hz, volts, and motor enclosure required (TEFC or ODP).
- If diesel engine, what are the elevation and/or ambient temperature averages.
- If water turbine drive, what is the available water pressure at the turbine location? Saltwater or freshwater.
- What is the design flow rate: foam solution x % concentration + 10% safety factor.
- What is the foam pump discharge pressure.
FAQ 7: Does a foam pump need to be positive displacement?
Yes. Centrifugal pumps are to be used as fire pumps and not foam pumps. Centrifugal pumps are designed to slip and therefore will cause agitation of the foam within the pump housing. Also, these types of pumps use packing that is designed to leak for cooling purposes and foam agents should never leak from the pump. Thus, foam pumps need to be positive displacement type foam pumps.
FAQ 8: Do I require a backup foam pump?
This would be per the design guideline being followed and the Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ). It also is dependent on if the power supply meets the requirements of NFPA 20. Please refer to local authorities and the design code to determine this requirement. Foam pump combinations can be, but are not limited to, Electric
main/Electric reserve with automatic transfer switch controllers or an Electric
main/Diesel reserve, etc.
FAQ 9: I need to change to fluorine free foam concentrates – do I have to change my pump or replace my bladder tank with a pump skid?
Maybe. A qualified person must do a full design review to make the determination. Foam system design, flow rates, foam application type and time, are all components in this decision. Fire Lion can help make recommendations based on your system, but ultimately, others will have to make this decision.
FAQ 10: What is the difference between Fire Lion foam pump and other manufacturers?
Read our Competition Comparison sheet regarding our pumps vs other manufacturers.