Measurements provided for pump and tank capacities depend on the location of the fire department described.

Measurement Systems[edit | edit source]

Imperial Gallons[edit | edit source]

Imperial units are used in Canada, the United Kingdom and parts of the Commonwealth. Canadian fire departments often still refer to pump and tank capacities in UK Imperial gallons, although most have changed over to metric measurements. Officially, Canada has adopted the metric system. The Canadian fire buffing community tends to use UK Imperial measurements.

Pump capacities are referred to in IGPM (Imperial Gallons Per Minute) and tank capacities in IG (Imperial Gallons). Aerial device lengths are expressed in feet. Length/distance measurements are the same in imperial and US.

Most of the pumps on Canadian fire apparatus are American made, so the pump models are identical but simply express their capacities differently.

US Gallons[edit | edit source]

The United States has its own system of fluid measurement, similar to Imperial in that the units have the same names (gallons, pints, ounces). However, the actual sizes, numerically measured, are different.

Pump capacities are referred to in US GPM (United States Gallons Per Minute) and tank capacities in USG (United States Gallons).

Metric System[edit | edit source]

Most of the world uses the metric system. Articles for metric countries express pump / tank capacities in litres, namely LPM (Litres Per Minute) or L/min and simply L (litres) for tanks. Aerial device lengths are expressed in metres.

Conversion[edit | edit source]

Imperial gallons are larger than their US counterparts:

  • 1 Imperial gallon = 4.5 litres
  • 1 US gallon = 3.8 litres

The typical conversion between the two is

  • 1 IG = 1.2 USG
  • 1 USG = 0.8 IG

Typical Measurements[edit | edit source]

Standard conversions are often used when referring to pumps. The math may not be exact, but these are the measurements typically used. Pump capacities are generally measured at 150 PSI (10 Bar/100 kPa), except for pumps with rated capacities of over 3000 USGPM, which are measured at 100 PSI (7 Bar/670 kPa).

US gallons per minute (US GPM) Imperial gallons per minute (IGPM) Litres per minute (LPM or L/min)
4 000 3 300 15 000
3 000 2 500 11 000
2 650 2 200 10 000
2 500 2 000 9 500
2 250 1 875 8 500
2 100 1 750 8 000
2 000 1 665 7 600
1 750 1 500 7 000
1 500 1 250 6 000
1 250 1 050 5 000
1 000 840 3 800
960 800 3 600
900 750 3 400
800 665 3 000
750 625 2 800
720 600 2 700
600 500 2 300
530 440 2 000
500 420 1 900
480 400 1 800
450 375 1 700
400 330 1 500
360 300 1 350
300 250 1 150
250 210 950
200 165 800
150 125 550
120 100 450
100 85 400
80 65 300
60 50 230
50 40 200
30 25 115
25 20 100
20 15 75
  • Size in bold are standard pump size.
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