• NFSA, National Fire Sprinkler Association
  • AFSA, American Fire Sprinkler Association
  • NFPA, National Fire Protection Association

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is 13D?

The term 13D is short for NFPA 13D, which is the National Fire Protection Association printed standard for the installation of Sprinkler Systems in One-and Two-Family Dwellings and Manufactured Homes.

What is the Darley® StarterPaq™?

The Darley® StarterPaq™ is an automatic pump system designed to meet the minimum requirements defined by NFPA 13D for residential fire protection. The Darley® StarterPaq™ provides the installing contractor everything they need to get started installing a pump based system.

What is included with the Darley® 13D StarterPaq™?

The Darley® 13D StarterPaq™ includes the pump, motor w/integrated pressure switch, and a pre-assembled discharge manifold system that is pressure tested to +90psi.

What is included on the Darley® 13D StarterPaq™ discharge manifold system?

The Darley® 13D StarterPaq™ Discharge Manifold includes a groove lock style coupling, check valve, a 1” port for a flow switch if used, a 1” test valve, a liquid filled pressure gauge w/isolation valve, and a pressure sensing line pre-connect to pump pressure switch with its own isolation valve.  The manifold system is made using black iron fittings and brass and/or stainless steel valves. Comes pre-assembled and pressure tested to +90psi.

Can I customize my Darley® 13D StarterPaq™ manifold?

Absolutely. Darley® understands this is not a “one size fits all market” and changes are possible. Email us for more information.

Why is a pump based system needed on a residential fire sprinkler application?

A pump based system is used whenever adequate water volume and/or water pressure is not available from local sources. Typical demand for a sprinkler system is +24 gallon per minute, meaning to avoid using a storage tank and pump system the supply system, including the primary line feeding the residence, needs to be designed to handle the design load of the sprinkler system. If for any reason it can’t, it is likely a pump and tank system will be required.

The Darley® website shows panels available for each StarterPaq™, why? Is a panel required?

The Darley® panels are designed specifically for the NPFA 13D residential fire sprinkler market. Each panel is designed to automatically start a pump when system pressure drops. NFPA 13D does not require use of a panel, but Darley® highly recommends the use of a control panel for several reasons; Our Control panel provides a single disconnect switch, it provides a power available light on the exterior of the panel, it has built in run and stop timers so the pump system does not get stuck rapid cycling, it provides third party alarm monitoring contacts, it provide a flow switch start contract, and it provides a leak detection contact so a probe can be connected to the panel and alert owners should water start to accumulate below the pump.

What is Rapid Cycling?

Rapid Cycling is an event that occurs when a pressure switch on a pump is constantly being exposed to rising/dropping pressure. This causes the pressure switch to continuously open and close, and if allowed to occur can quickly cause catastrophic system failure. This is particularly risky when a “one size fits all pump” is used on an application and the chosen pump turns out be oversized for the application. What happens in this situation is the pump produces significantly more water than a single head can deliver causing the pump to continuously build enough system pressure to reset the pressure switch, all through there is still an active demand. So, because there is an active demand when the pressure switch resets, pressure quickly drops and the pump starts again, but quickly repeats the same cycle over and over again. The cycle will cause breakers to trip, pressure switch points to burn, or electric motors to fail. The Darley® Control panels, either our Standard StarterPaq™ Panel or our Self Testing StarterPaq™ Panel, eliminate the chance of rapid cycling.

Is a bigger pump not always better, more water to fight a fire, right?

No, a bigger pump is not always better when it comes time to select a pump for a residential fire sprinkler system. Sprinkler heads are not connected in a way that if one sprinkler head trips they all trip. Sprinkler heads are triggered by heat and only by heat.  Meaning when a fire is started only the heads near the fire will trip, which could be just a single head. A single head can only discharge so much water, for example 15 gallons per minute. So, if you purchased a 60 gallon per minute pump and only a single head becomes active, where does the other 45 gallons per minute the pump is trying to move go? Answer is the pump system quickly builds pressure in the system back up and the pressure switch resets and the risk of creating a rapid cycling event occurs. In a situation like this use of a panel is highly recommended.

How do I know which 13D residential fire pump I actually need?

Once the demand for a residential system is determined you can check our documentation and pick the pump that best fits your demand. Example if you need 24 GPM @ 40 PSI, the StarterPaq™ ES2 would be a great choice, but if you need 40 GPM @ 40 PSI then the ES3 would be a better selection. If you don’t see anything close you your demands on our charts, please email us for additional options.

What is a Self Testing Darley® StarterPaq™ Panel?

A Self Testing Darley® StarterPaq™ Panel is an upgrade to the Standard StarterPaq™ Panel. Similar in everyway, but the Self Testing panel includes a timer designed to start an automatic test once a week. Each automatic test last about 60 seconds and each test confirms the pump automatically started when a drop in system pressure occurred. This Self Testing feature significantly increase ease of ownership and we have made it an extremely affordable feature.

Where can I purchase a Darley® Starterpaq™?


How long will I need to wait for my unit to ship?

We try to stock all units.  Typical lead time is 24 hours.

Does Darley® offer a skid mounted system for 13D residential fire applications?

Yes, Darley® offers a complete StarterPaq™ Skid, so users receive a complete plug and play system. 

Can Darley® supply the storage tank for 13D residential fire applications?

Absolutely, just email us for pricing

Can Darley® provide additional pump options for a 13D residential fire application that needs to meet demands that may fall outside what is shown on the StarterPaq™ selection chart

Absolutely, the pumps shown on www.starterpaq.com were selected because they fit the majority of the residential applications we have seen, but we are well aware there are many needs in the 13D residential market and we are quite positive we have a solution for all of them.

Where can I find typical Darley® StarterPaq™ specifications

On the StarterPaq™ Documents page.