Fire extinguishing systems are made up of pipes, valves, sprinklers, cabinets, etc; but pumps are the lifeblood of these systems.
Every fire extinguishing system has a main pump and a jockey pump; the main pump being the heart of the system since it is the one that provides the necessary water flow and pressure to the sprinklers and hoses, to extinguish or control a fire.
The jockey or backup pump has the function of keeping the entire extinguishing system pressurized with water and replacing it as it is lost due to small water leaks through valves or accessories; thus avoiding unnecessary starting of the Main Pump.
Both pumps have their control panels, which are in charge of regulating their switching off and on automatically, according to the working pressures of the extinguishing system and the start and stop pressures assigned to them.
The jockey pump is driven by an electric motor, while the main pump can be driven by an electric motor or a diesel engine.
The pumping system, made up of the main pump, the jockey pump and their controllers, must be placed in automatic operating mode so that the jockey pump maintains the pressure in the entire pipe network of the extinguishing system; in this way to guarantee that the main pump starts when the pressure reaches the preset in its controller, due to the drop in water pressure due to the activation of sprinklers in the event of a fire or opening of hoses to combat it.
With both Pumps in good condition, the operability of the system is guaranteed, therefore, the importance that they, and with greater emphasis the main pump, should be tested frequently to observe its correct operation and certify that it maintains its established operational parameters.
Source: Vicente Andrade