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Jockey pumps are small, motor driven pumps used in conjunction with main fire pumps to compensate for minor leaks in the fire protection system and automatically maintain stand-by pressure. This reduces wear on the main pump and controller caused by unnecessary, frequent operation. Jockey Pump controllers are available for across the-line starting.
Occasionally in a Fire Pump system, water leakage will occur at flanged or threaded pipe connections, valve stems, stuffing boxes, etc. This normal loss of water will lower the system pressure gradually until the main Fire Pump is required to start. To minimize wear on the Fire Pump resulting from unnecessary operation, a Jockey Pump is recommended for the system. In a Jockey Pump system a small pump, motor, and controller/pressure switch unit is installed in the piping system.
When the water pressure drops below the pre-set level, the pressure switch energizes a starter which activates the Jockey Pump. Correct water pressure is therefore maintained at all times. An optional minimum run timer will prevent the Jockey Pump from being started too frequently. This timer will ensure operation for a minimum of 3 minutes. If a fire should start, the pressure will continue to drop and the main Fire Pump will start. Automatic controllers also include a “Hand-Off Automatic” selector switch for manual operation.