What is the Importance of Fire Pump Inspection and Tests and How Often Should Fire Pumps be Tested?
At Getz Fire Protection Co., we have decades of experience serving our customers’ fire-safety needs. Our experience includes helping ensure that our customers’ fire pumps are operating properly. We have extensive experience handling pump inspection and testing requirements to ensure there is no disruption to the water supply when fire suppression is necessary.
When are Fire Pumps Required?
Fire pumps are added to a local water system when that system is not capable of producing sufficient water pressure to effectively service a sprinkler system. High elevations, such as in high-rise buildings or hills often correspond with pressure loss. Also, applications that require larger-than-normal volumes of water, such as storage warehouses, may also be subjected to pressure loss. In these situations, or when the water source is located in a ground-level tank, a pump is often required.
Fire Pump Operation
Generally, an electric motor or a diesel/gasoline engine is used to power these pumps, but in less frequent cases a steam turbine can also provide the power needed. An emergency generator is often required if the power source is electric.
The pump turns on when the pressure in a sprinkler system falls below a specific level. When one or more sprinklers detect heat that is higher than a specific design parameter, a pressure drop occurs that causes the release of the water. This drop may also take place when other firefighting related connections are opened.
NFPA 25 Standard for the Inspection, Testing, and Maintenance of Water-Based Fire Protection Systems explains the testing, inspection, and maintenance requirements. The types of testing and inspection activities that should be performed on your pumps include:
- Electric pump operation – 10 minute no flow start and run test
- Fire pump alarm signals
- Complete flow test for both electric and diesel pumps
- Yearly maintenance service for mechanical transmission and motor and hydraulic systems
- Additional maintenance on the pump and attendant components completed per the manufacturers’ recommendations. These maintenance requirements will vary
At Getz Fire Protection Co., we closely follow the National Fire Protection Association Code as we deliver our services to help ensure compliance and safety is maintained for our clients.