Practical tip: post-operation is also pre-operation

At high watermark, every second counts. That is why firefighters use portable pumps besides sewage and submersile pumps as long as the contamination level of the water permits. Rosenbauer portable pumps have a proven track record that goes back decades. But various usage instructions have to be considered in order to ensure smooth operation.


The FOX III portable pump can be refueled during operation, thus making continuous duty possible. On the other hand, the only step necessary for pump out operation is the disengaging of the priming pump. Furthermore, as a result of the clear control panel, the engineer constantly has all the operational parameters within his field of vision and thanks to its unsurpassed low weight of only 167 kg (368 lb) in a complete stand-by condition, the FOX III can be easily carried by four persons to an emergency scene however remote.

Practice makes perfekt

As by comparison with use in relay systems, the pumping out of (dirty) water using portable pumps is seldom practiced, Rosenbauer recommends that this type of operation also be part of an exercise. The priming pump must be disengaged during pump out operation and regular checks of the manometer on the suction side are vital in order to prevent clogging of the suction strainer, as well as the recognition of cavitation and hence the avoidance of possible total pump failure.

Care and maintenance are essential

Thorough servicing is essential, especially after extended operations or operations involving dirty water, in order to ensure that the pump once again functions perfectly during the next emergency. Therefore, Rosenbauer suggests that the following points be examined (in line with the operating and maintenance instructions):


General points relating to portable pumps

  • Do not employ running water for cleaning, as splashing can damage the electrical components. Therefore, dirt should only be removed with damp cloths
  • Do not use any solvents!


  • In accordance with the maintenance schedule (e.g. FOX III) all oils (engine and suction pump) are to be changed once a year or after 50 operating hours. In addition, a check should be made as to whether an oil change is needed in line with duration of operations.

Centrifugal pump

  • The entire pump should be inspected with regard to the smooth running of all its components, as well as damage or defects
  • The functionality of all valves, instruments and gauges should be tested
  • The hose couplings should be examined with regard to their water-tightness and solid fit
  • The cleanliness of the intake strainer in the intake connection should be checked.

Priming pump

  • If dirty water or seawater is sucked in by the priming pump, subsequent rinsing with clean water is essential, as the aggressive nature of these media could otherwise result in piston corrosion
  • Draining and purging by priming are important even after every operation. The functional readiness of the pump should be ensured by a monthly dry vacuum test:
    • Drain the pump entirely
    • Close the suction inlet with a cap (when checking the suction hose, couple them to the suction inlet and seal the end with  a cap)
    • Close the drain valve and all pressure outlets
    • Start the engine and prime it. If only the pump is to be examined, a vacuum of approx. 0.8 bar will be obtained within seconds
    • Stop the engine
    • The pump sufficiently waterproof when the vacuum does not drop from 0.8 to 0.7 bar within one minute
    • If a vacuum of 0.8 bar cannot be attained, the pump should be subjected to pressure. Pressure of 3-6 bar (44 - 87 psi) connected to the suction inlet is sufficient
    • Before the portable pump is put into storage, the pressure valves should be opened by a half turn in order to ease the pressure on the gaskets
    • The V-belt should be checked for mechanical damage anually. Oil or grease on the V-belt are to be avoided.

The operational capacity of a portable pump is not entirely dependent upon the device itself, as in order to ensure smooth operation, the operator must receive the best training possible. This guarantees a long durability of your pump.


With these tips, Rosenbauer wishes you further successful operations!