If you’re a property manager or an owner of a high-rise building or a warehouse there is a good chance you may have a fire pump on your property. Fire pumps are commonly installed at these locations because they provide your fire sprinkler system and fire hoses with the water pressure required in a case of a fire emergency. Fire pumps pump the water up.
Fire pumps are mandatory to meet the hydraulic design requirements of the fire sprinkler system when the building is very tall, such as high rise buildings, or in a storage warehouse. Fire pumps are also
needed if fire protection water supply is provided from a ground level water storage tank.
A Fire Pump is a part of a Fire Sprinkler system’s water supply that can be powered by electric or diesel. The Fire pump provides water flow at a high pressure to the sprinkler system and hose standpipes in the event of a fire. Your fire pump starts when the pressure in the fire sprinkler system drops below a threshold.
The purpose of your Fire Pump inspection is to verify that it is in good working order and is free from physical damage. Per NFPA 25, Chapter 8 your fire pump shall be tested
- Weekly for Diesel pumps
- Monthly for Electric pumps
- Annually for both Diesel and Electric
Note: Previously electric fire pumps were required to be tested weekly, but starting Jan 1 2014 in accordance with new changes in NFPA 25 it is now required to be tested monthly.
Weekly and Monthly Testing:
Your weekly and/or monthly test is performed by running the pump in a “no-flow” or “churn” situation with all the valves open as per normal. Your Aura Fire Safety Inc. (AFS) specialist will run the pump for the proper time interval, 30 minutes for diesel and 10 minutes for electric.
Your weekly and monthly test are performed to insure that the pump house housing your fire pump is in proper condition and that your pump, control valves and fire pump controller are operational in the event of a fire emergency.
Your annual test is performed by running your fire pump under minimum rated and peak flows of the fire pump by controlling the quantity of water discharged through approved test devices. Your fire pump is specially designed and calibrated to your buildings water needs, your annual test is performed to insure that your fire pump still meets those calibrations.
Your AFS Specialist will perform your annual test by conducting a minimum, rated, and peak load. You must place a demand on the suction supply; this requires a test via hose streams or via a flow meter loop to drain or to the reservoir. You can use a flow-meter loop piped to the pump suction (closed-loop metering) in the off years. The annual test data should be compared to the acceptance test and the certified factory test curve.
Upon test completion you shall receive a report documenting the date and findings of your Weekly, Monthly, or Annual inspection including any deficiencies.
AFS Inc. is always ready to answer any questions that you may have regarding your life safety systems. Call 415-333-2588 or visit www.AuraFireSafety.com.