One thing a department can do to maintain a healthy pump is to back flush the pump on a regular basis. Why back flush? It flushes out any debris or other material that might not go through the impeller. Basically, it cleans out the pump without sending debris through the impeller, nozzles, etc.
When should we back flush a pump? Back flushing should be performed at least once a month and/or after any operation at a fire when water is drafted, supplied from another truck or hooked to a hydrant.
How do we back flush a pump? Each pump manufactures has their own tips on how to back flush which can be found on the internet. As an example here is the link to Hale’s tips on back flushing. http://haleproducts.com/resources/training-materials
Departments can also keep their fire pump in top condition through routine preventative pump maintenance and flow testing. CW Williams’s comprehensive fire pump PM includes lubricating all of the ball valves, linkages and drive lines. We change oil in the transfer case, verify proper vacuum, inspect the packing etc.
If the pump is the “heart of the fire truck”, doesn’t it make sense to maintain it? Schedule your pump PM and NFPA pump flow test today. WE can perform these services at your location or at one of our service shops.