Fire Fighting Pumps - A Buyers Guide

fire fighting pumps - Water Pumps Now Australia

When bushfires threaten your property, you can protect your home and property if you are well prepared.

Fire fighting pumps are used for many other applications including water transfer, boom spraying, irrigation, stock watering, washdown and many other farm pump jobs around your property where you require pressurised water, making them a very handy all-purpose water pump.

At Water Pumps Now we sell an extensive range of fire fighting pumps to suit all budgets and applications.

There are a number of decisions to make when choosing a fire fighting pump too ensure you get the right pump for your situation and budget.

Petrol or diesel fire fighting pump

Fire fighting water pumps can be powered by either petrol or diesel.

Diesel engine fire fighting pumps are an industrial duty pump with a longer pump life, more durable and with higher torque which are generally used in industrial applications. Diesel engine pumps are generally more expensive to buy than petrol pumps.

Petrol fire fighting pumps are the popular choice of many for their versatility around the home and farm at a price to suit most budgets. Petrol fire fighting pumps use 4 stroke unleaded petrol.

Fire fighting pumps - Water Pumps Now

Electric start or recoil start fire fighting pump

Electric start fire fighting pumps operate by turning a key on the side of the pump, much like turning the key in a car. Electric start pumps need to be wired with a wiring harness set to the battery for power. Most will have the battery with harness gear mounted on the base, inside the roll frame, beside the pump for easy portability. You can also connect your pump to your vehicle battery as another option or to a separate portable battery. The electric start option is generally a quick start up when required.

NOTE: The minimum specifications for a battery are: 200CCA/35AH (amp hours)

Recoil start on a fire fighting pump is like starting a lawn mower. You turn the ON switch, then pull the handle/cable to start the pump. No battery required.

Single impeller or twin impeller fire fighting pump

Twin impeller fire fighting water pumps create more pressure than a single impeller fire fighting water pump. The extra pressure created by the twin impellers results in a higher head. (Head is the height from the original water source up to the highest point to which the fluid will be pumped - also called the discharge point).

Do I need a roll cage

The choice is yours. Pumps without a roll cage generally come with a carry handle. A roll cage is also great for sitting the battery within the frame of the cage for portablility of electric start fire fighting pump models.

Now you have worked out the style of fire fighting pump you require you then need to look at the specifications of the pump to ensure you get the flow rate and pressure you application requires.

Pressure and water flow required in a fire fighting pump

For applications such as irrigation, fire fighting and farm equipment washdown you’ll need good pressure. To calculate pressure of the pump you multiply the maximum head given in the pump specifications by 1.42 to give you the PSI (pressure).

EG: Maximum head is 76m. The pressure is 76 x 1.42 = 107.92 PSI. As a guide a garden hose or house tap will operate at 30 to 40 PSI.

Flow rate of water required per minute

In a domestic situation for fire fighting you will require a minimum of 200 litres per minute calculated in conjunction with the maximum head.

Maximum head:

Refer to the maximum head (height the fire fighting pump can pump to).

EG: If the water source to the water pump has a lift of 7m and the rise to the discharge point is a further 40m, then the suction height and lift combined is 7 + 40 = 47m. Therefore to have water at the discharge point you need a minimum head of 47m. Additionally for every 100 metres of pipe you will lose at least another 1m of head in friction loss.

Size of the inlet and outlet

The inlet and outlet size of fire fighting pumps will generally vary from 1” to 4”. The inlet valve draws water from your water source and it is then moved through the discharge valve. The larger the outlet the quicker the transfer of water will be.

What are the different engine driven pump styles used for

Engine driven pumps also come in Trash pumps for pumping dirty water with solids and also water transfer pumps. There is a large range available and your choice will be made dependant on whether you require diesel or petrol, with or without roll frame, electric or recoil start. The same calculations are applicable for determining flow rates and maximum head as used for fire fighting pumps.

What is the difference between engine driven water transfer pumps and fire fighting pumps

Engine driven diesel water transfer pumps and petrol water transfer pumps move large volumes of water quicker but with lower pressure. High flow – low pressure.

Fire fighting diesel and petrol pumps have high pressure to spray/deliver the water further and wider with less flow. Lower flow - high pressure.

A fire fighting pump works on a similar principal to a small FL3203 12 volt diaphragm pump for farm chemical spraying for single wand spray. The FL3203 is high pressure at 100PSI with low flow of 5 L/min combining to give a fantastic chemical wand spray for weeds off your ag bike.

Engine drive fire fighting pump range

Honda engine petrol pump - Reefe RP fire fighting pump series:

Highly sought after these firefighting pumps are absolute value for money. Built in our Brisbane warehouse with a genuine Honda motor with 3 year motor warranty and 2 year warranty on both thewet end and roll frame. These highly popular fire fighting water pumps are available in both electric and recoil start without or without roll cages and with either single or twin impellers.

Yanmar and Kohler diesel engine pump - Reefe RDY fire fighting pump series:

The premium range industrial grade Yanmar and Kohler diesel fire fighting pumps come in either single or twin impeller, recoil or electric start and with or without roll cages with a 2 year warranty on both the motor and wet end and roll frame.

Waterpro fire fighting pump series

Waterpro offer a value for money fire fighting pump solution offering both a single impeller or twin impeller option with recoil start and roll cage with a 1 year warranty.

Popular fire fighting pumps in our range are:

Home owner on small to medium flat block

  • Honda GX200 Single Impeller Fire Fighting pump - Recoil start with roll frame

Home owner on flat domestic block

Property owner on sloping land

  • Twin Impeller Honda GX200E Fire Fighting Pump - Twin Impeller, electric start with roll frame


The above information will have helped you to decide which type of pump is best for you. Browse our full range of fire fighting pumps or contact us by either email or phone 1300411366. We’re here to help!


Paul Girdler

Paul Girdler, Managing Director/ Sales
Water Pumps Now Your Online Pump Shop

We welcome your enquiry. Check out Water Pumps Now full range of pump products.