Pump Focus: Jockey Pumps

Jenni RoseLatest News Leave a Comment

Grundfos define a jockey pump as “a small pump connected to a fire sprinkler system to maintain pressure in the sprinkler pipes…which…do not have to be listed or certified for fire system application (although the equipment which controls them, such as pressure switches, may be).”

There are a number of specific issues to take into account when selecting a jockey pump:

  • Fire sprinkler pumps are activated by a drop in water pressure – if there is no or very little pressure in the sprinkler pipework, then there would be no drop to sense, and therefore there would be no method of starting the fire sprinkler pumps.
  • The jockey pump needs to be big enough to counteract any leaks and other pressure changes quickly and effectively…
  • …but it also needs to be small enough NOT to be able to counteract the activation of a single sprinkler head…
  • …otherwise, there would not be a pressure drop, which would not be sensed by the fire pump controller, and would not cause the fire pump to start.
  • Therefore, the jockey pump (even though a small part of the system, doesn’t have to be approved/listed, and doesn’t actually push water to the fire) is a pretty important component!

Jockey pumps are typically small multi-stage centrifugal pumps, running at round 20-40 litres per minute at pressures usually between 5 and 10 bar.

At SEP, we can source any jockey pump that you require as long as we have two key pieces of information (unlike pretty much any other pump application, we don’t really need to know the flow required, as noted above this will be relatively low) – both of the below are critical:

  1. Whether the available power supply is 230v/single-phase or 400v/three-phase (it may be worth knowing that 3-phase are often cheaper); and
  2. The pressure that the pump is required to maintain.

Most of the jockey pumps we sell are Grundfos, firstly because they are a global leader in the pump industry but secondly because we can usually offer lower prices – however, we also regularly sell Lowara and other manufacturers if this is what the client specifies.

So, next time you need a jockey pump, connections or controls email us


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