Fire Pump Controllers can be divided into diesel and electric fire pump controllers, and since fire pump controllers are always specific to only one fire pump, they are never combined – there is always one control panel per fire pump for safety reasons. Fire pumps are started with a signal from a pressure-switch.
They are designed to control and monitor the fire pumps, fulfilling the requirements described by the fire pump controller standards. Most fire pump controllers are certified and listed by the certification authorities, like FM (Factory Mutual), UL (Underwriters Laboratories) or VdS (Vertrauen durch Sicherheit) and others.
The controllers are located in the fire-pump room and typically in visual contact with the fire pumps to see them operate. The fire pump controllers monitor the operation status and in the case of fire, the controller will receive a signal from the pressure switch and start the fire pump. If a duplex system (two fire-pumps) is activated, the duty pump will be activated as no. 1 since the pressure switch has a higher set point compared to the standby pump.
Fire controllers are wired fail-safe, and in the event of any control cable becoming loose, the fire pumps will start. The controllers will typically operate the pumps in an automatic on/manual off condition. Once the fire pump has started via the controller, a facility manager will have to go to the pump house and shut down the pump manually. This is to ensure that the reason for the activation is known, and also to prevent the pump from shutting down if a sprinkler head is still in operation.
Grundfos supplies fire systems with fire pumps and fire pump controllers for industrial and commercial fire protection.