Photoshoot for Waterax in Trabuco Canyon, CA USA Saturday March 19th, 2016.

WATERAX Pumps: Trusted by Wildland Firefighters Around the World

WATERAX fire pumps are trusted by wildland firefighters around the world. We have a long and exciting history that dates back to 1898 when John Colquhoun Watson Jack founded the Watson Jack & Co company. WATERAX sets the industry standard by developing innovative, high pressure and mid-range fire pumps designed for portable use and for wildland fire engines. Our fire pumps meet NFPA 1906 standards and are specified for wildland Type 4, 5, 6, and 7 fire engines and are used as auxiliary pumps for Type 3 engines as well.

Best known for the MARK-3® first introduced in 1964, a patented 4-stage detachable pump end coupled to an 185cc 2-stroke engine, it has been the standard wildland portable fire pump used by forestry agencies around the world. A truly outstanding and reliable performer, the MARK-3® fire pump is designed to withstand the rigors of firefighting and it is at the core of most water delivery systems in wildland operations. Always the benchmark in terms of performance, reliability and durability, the MARK-3® benefited from a series of improvements to its key components, namely a Nikasil-coated cylinder, an impregnated crankcase and a maintenance-free pump end. The improved MARK-3® successfully passed the USDA Forest Service 100 hours endurance test in San Dimas on 08/04/15 and has been requalified under QPL Number 274-001.

WATERAX products are characterized by multi-stage centrifugal pump ends designed to move water while generating high-pressure to meet the difficult requirements of wildland firefighting and other applications when water must be moved over long distances and elevations. With a time-tested legacy of reliability, WATERAX carries on its mission to place powerful, precision-engineered pumps into the hands of the men and women who protect our lives and property.

Fire crews prefer our pumps because they offer the best in-class performance and are extremely reliable. High pressure is critical in setting up long hose lays for terrain where vehicle access is limited. Higher performance also increases the effectiveness of pump-and-roll operations. WATERAX pumps produce compact and effective water streams that enable longer and higher nozzle reach. The longer reach creates greater distance between the nozzle and the fire, thereby keeping the operator at a safer distance.

Our multi-stage pump ends feature a unique blister resistant mechanical rotary seal which prolongs their longevity. This is an impressive feat considering WATERAX pumps already in the field average a service life of twenty-five plus years. It is not uncommon to even see pumps that are over forty years old still in service!

Pump operators love the maintenance-free sealed bearing included on our pump ends because they remove the need for greasing the pump end in the field. Greasing issues are a common cause of pump failure. Under-greasing the bearing can cause it to eventually seize due to a lack of lubrication. Over-greasing, on the other hand, can cause grease to actually pass into the rotary seal and cause seal failure. Having a greaseless pump end eliminates these potential pitfalls and frees up time for the pump operator while reassuring the nozzle operator that water will continue to flow.

Pump ends feature anodized aluminum impellers and pump bodies making them lighter while eliminating the threat of galvanic corrosion, which is a common issue with pumps that feature bronze impellers. Most vehicle-mounted WATERAX pump ends are driven by an outstanding drive assembly that boosts pressure and volume. The drive assembly increases the speed of pump revolutions resulting in increased performance. Belt-driven assemblies are ideal for fire pumps because they are both easy and inexpensive to maintain. This reliable system is more forgiving against water hammer effects and in conditions of sudden stoppage because of the flexibility of the belt. In cases of extreme sudden obstruction, the drive belt and coupling buffer would absorb much of the impact thus sparing the other pump and engine components from severe damage. Gear driven assemblies are more sensitive and prone to extensive pump damage and require regular maintenance.

Pump ends are coupled to the drive assemblies by means of the WATERAX quick release clamp. This innovative feature provides ease of maintenance without having to disassemble the complete unit, thus significantly reducing equipment downtime, which can prove crucial in emergency situations. It also allows for a 2-in-1 system by enabling the easy interchange of pump ends in the field. A high pressure fire pump can be turned into a mid-range fire pump within seconds by simply swapping out the pump ends.

Only the finest engines are paired with WATERAX fire pumps. Our pump models feature a variety of reliable Honda, Briggs & Stratton, and Kubota engines that provide power, quieter performance, and lower fuel consumption and emissions. An exciting recent development is the return of the diesel engine to the BB-4® and B2XTM series. Many fire crews operate diesel-powered fire engines such as the BB-4®Diesel which has been officially listed on the USFS Type 6 Fire Apparatus specifications. Therefore, having a diesel-powered pump means they only need to carry one type of fuel and can also connect the pump’s fuel line to the vehicle’s fuel tank directly.

A product is only as good as the service behind it. At WATERAX, we back up our quality products with steadfast service. Trust us to be there when you need us. Our pumps are as tested and proven as the men and women who use them every day. We’ve got your back.