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  • fire pump

    I want to be able to wet down my roof if threatened by fire which is common in my area. With 62 steady pounds of city water pressure from three-quarter inch pipe and a solid stream nozzle on my fifty foot three-quarter inch garden hose, I can put water about two-thirds of the way to the peak of my roof. Would it be practical to connect a pump to my hose faucet to throw the water all the way up and if so, what kind of a pump would would it take. Thank you for your time.

  • #2
    Re: fire pump

    I can think of a few extravagant,expensive and not to say the least obtrusive.

    Yeah we can hook you up with a pump,but more than likely your going to have to choke down the stream.

    A lot of it has to do with the water you can supply to the pump to the amount your pushing out the end of your hose.

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    • #3
      Re: fire pump

      Knowing the Gallons Per Minute GPM would really help in making a choice and also if gas or electric

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      • #4
        Re: fire pump

        truthfully, you would be better off installing a sprinkler system on the roof.

        either rainbirds or shrub type heads. you're not trying to put out a fire, you're trying to keep your roof wet to prevent embers from igniting,

        copper or gal will last better out in the sun, but there is a uv rated plastic pvc pipe that will also work.

        depending on the square footage. a single valve system might suffice. especially if you install at the peak of the roof and let it drip/ drain down.

        to get enough water to fight a real fire, you'll need a gas pump with a pool to suck from. typically a 5.5- 9 horsepower centrifugal pump will supply enough water for a fire hose.

        5.5 hp will put out approx. 46 gpm @ 80#

        9 h.p will do 100 gpm @ 80#

        prices will run $1300-2000. with hose and nozzle.

        then you need gas and the pool water plus maintenance.

        so the roof top sprinkler system looks better than the fire pump.

        rick.
        phoebe it is

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        • #5
          Re: fire pump

          Rick seems to have the best answer and cost just remember it will need to drain if it freezes

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          • #6
            Re: fire pump

            How about re-roofing with flame/heat retardant roof tiles. If you are close enough to a water source( Ocean, pond, etc.) how about a gas powered pump.
            Mike( I'm surrounded by state and local parks and conservation areas with a fire threat year round)

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            • #7
              Re: fire pump

              Thank you all. I should have added that my goal was not to put out a fire once started but hopefully to prevent one from starting by keeping the roof damp. No pools allowed in our development but the sprinkler idea is appealing to wet that peak area that I can't reach with the hose. I would only charge it if embers were blowing in our direction (we had one this spring that stopped 1.1 miles from us as the wind was blowing against it). I could feed it up through the attic and I would use PVC so as not to attract lightning. Hmm! this gives me an interesting project to think about. Thanks again!

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              • #8
                Re: fire pump

                Why not make up a header of pipe and run it along the ridge line. Put sprinkler heads on there spaced out to provide the coverage you need. Pitch the pipe so it will drain because as we both know it gets cold in SNJ. Run a pipe down at one end near the hose bibb and put a hose connector on there so you can manually hook up your hose and send water to the roof. Install a backflow preventer to protect from back siphonage and backpressure.

                Then any time the place is threatened by fire you can step out, hook up the hose and turn it on. If things really get hot you can leave it on low flow and pack up the car and get out of the pines till the fire is out and you can return home.

                DOH!

                Sorry Rick, didn't read your reply. Looks like we are on the same wavelength with this one. I know of a few people who have done just what I suggested in the area.
                Last edited by Bob D.; 06-01-2008, 08:34 PM. Reason: DOH!
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                • #9
                  Re: fire pump

                  You made a commment about no pools allowed in your development. Are you in a HOA that has CCR's? If so you better check with them before you put anything on the roof. If not Rick has some good suggestions.

                  Being a native SoCal and having been involved in many a fire here, you need to make a note of the following.

                  When you have a major fire the water pressure to all the houses drops to nothing. That's because when the fire departments tap into the Hydrants they pull so much water that housing drops to about 10-15 psi if your lucky. That's not enough to run any sprinklers. You ever watch those news reels of the guy standing on his roof with a house and it looks like a drizzle coming out!

                  If you can afford it and you have the yard to do it. Get yourself a couple of Chemtainer 300-or-400 gallon tanks and sink them into your yard. Get a gas powered fire pump. Look in boating magazines, under Dock equipment. These are common items and actually not that expensive.

                  A couple of years back there was a massive fire in the San Bernardino Mnts. Lake Arrowhead area. In one particular neighborhood only one house was left when the fire storm went through. It was owned by a retired Firefighter who had installed two 1,000 gallon underground tanks in his yard, with a diesel powered fire pump system with connections all around his property. He also had a human fire safety vault installed underground. When the fire came through he sent his family down the mountain and fought the fire single handed. He not only saved his house but all the surronding pine trees. The irony, the fire departments could not fight the fires in the area and had to evac themselves, because they had no water pressure at the Hydrants.

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