The Importance of Testing Your Fire Pump
A fire pump is an integral component of a total fire protection system. A fire protection system at a facility may include automatic sprinkler systems, standpipes, hose stations, and/or fire hydrants.
The purpose of a fire pump is to provide or enhance the water supply pressure from public mains, suction tanks, gravity/elevated tanks, lakes, and other bodies of water.
The building owner or a representative (e.g., management company) is responsible for the maintenance of the fire pump. Fire pumps should be inspected, maintained and tested per the manufacturer’s specifications. If the manufacturer’s specifications are unavailable, refer to the standard for the maintenance of fire pumps NFPA 25 (Standard for the Inspection, Testing, and Maintenance of Water-Based Fire Protection Systems) or contact the Protegis Fire & Safety’s Automatic Sprinkler Systems Inspection, Maintenance, and Testing Department.
A comprehensive maintenance program is generally broken down into three components: inspection, maintenance and testing.
Inspection. A visual examination of the fire pump to verify that it appears to be in operating condition and is free of physical damage. Examples include:
- Heat in pump room is minimum 40 degrees F (70 degrees F for diesel engines)
- Pump suction, discharge, and bypass valves are open.
- Controller pilot light (power on) is illuminated.
Protegis also offers maintenance that is performed during this inspection.
- Lubricate pump bearings
- Clean pump room louvers
- Clean coolant strainer in coolant system
Testing. A procedure used to determine the status of the fire pump and auxiliary equipment by conducting periodic physical checks. Examples include:
- Conduct a routine churn test as required by NFPA 25
(run pump without water flowing)
- Conduct an annual full-flow performance test
- Operate alarm, supervisory, and trouble signals
Measures should be taken during an impairment to ensure that increased risks are minimized and that the duration of the impairment is limited. NFPA 20 provides a trouble-shooting checklist to help in identifying causes of pump problems. Qualified personnel, such as Fireguard, must make the necessary repairs and adjustments to ensure proper pump operation.
Understanding the proper selection, installation, and maintenance of a fire pump can make the difference between business as usual and a catastrophe at a facility. Let Protegis Fire & Safety be there for you for all your needs. We are your one stop shop for all commercial fire protection needs. Our services range from the installation of fire protection systems in new construction projects to retrofits, to service, testing and inspection of fire sprinkler systems, fire pumps, fire alarm systems, fire extinguishers, kitchen hood systems and emergency lights.