Your fire pump is an indispensable part of your building’s fire protection system that pushes out water to fight fires. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has specific testing requirements for buildings with fire pumps. These are put in place to ensure that your fire pump is inspected regularly and working as intended.
Let’s walk through some of the requirements that business and building owners need to be aware of.
Inspections and Testing
The NFPA will require you to go through various inspections and tests to confirm that your fire pump will perform optimally in the event of a fire. An inspection is a simple, visual way to check for any physical damage.
A more hands-on test is usually best for diagnosing issues that might not be noticeable with the naked eye. Both are considered essential for keeping your fire pump up to code.
The tests and inspections are divided into weekly, monthly, and annual categories. Following the recommended schedule is the best way to ensure you stay NFPA compliant and protected in case of a fire.
The Recommended Weekly Tests
Weekly tests are relatively routine and include things like:
- Checking the fire pump system for any damage
- Inspecting the condition of the pump house
If your system is a diesel pump, this will be the time to test its operation. To test these pumps, you should perform a no-flow/churn test for at least thirty minutes. These weekly tests are designed to keep you aware of your system’s health at all times, so it’s crucial that you make time for them.
The Monthly Fire Pump No-Flow/Churn Test
As of 2011, the NFPA 25 requires that any electric motor-driven fire pump be operated every month.
The test should be executed as follows:
- Run your fire pump for at least ten minutes
- Note the system’s suction pressure and discharge pressure
- Note any strange noises or vibrations
- Check pump casing or bearings for signs of overheating
- Check the pump for any possible discharge
- Check volt and amp readings
- Record all results
The NFPA-required no-flow test will give you even more insight into the health of your fire pump.
The Annual Fire Pump Flow Test
The fire pump flow test should be done yearly to measure your pump’s flow and pressure. This test can help diagnose and fix any problems with the pump’s performance.
You’ll want to run a full flow test for diesel and electric pumps. Hoses attached to the discharge test header will be run to a location where you won’t incur any water damage. The test results should then be recorded and compared to previous results and the factory specifications.
The Experts on Fire Security
There’s no better protection from fires or emergencies than proper preparation. So protect your business with expert fire prevention from Koorsen Fire & Security. Call our associates today to learn more about how we can keep your business or property safe and secure.