We learned that there are requirements for fire sprinklers: they have to be able to supply 2 heads in a room at 13 gallons per minute per head for at least 10 minutes; the goal is to provide time for human occupants to get clear of the fire.
Thats 260 gallons of water; we have a 200-gallon tank.
Our well pump doesn't provide enough pressure to directly feed the sprinkler heads, but it does have enough to do some filling of the tank during that 10 minutes; best case to worst case, we assume 80-160 gallons, so the combination of the tank and the well pump can supply a great enough quantity of water.
But there's nothing about the tank that, on its own, will let it deliver that total of 26 gallons per minute. That takes a booster pump; experts tell us that 45 psi pumps can deliver an adequate flow.
But that still leaves two challenges.
First, assuming (correctly) that we don't want that pump running full time, we need a switch to turn it on whenever it senses a demand for water, whether because a sprinkler head has opened or because we are opening the system test and flush valve.
And second, because running without an adequate supply of water feeding it can make a pump self-destruct, we need some way to turn the pump off when the water supply to it falls low.
The pump we're using...
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