Testing of Fire Pumps
There appears to be some
confusion regarding the periodic testing of fire pumps, now that NFPA
25-95 is a referenced standard. The Fire Prevention Code, at Section
F-516.6, requires testing in accordance with the standard.
At section 5-3.2.1, NFPA
25 requires a weekly test of electrical, diesel powered and steam turbine-driven
pumps without flowing water. The time of the test varies from 10 to
30 minutes, depending upon the source of power to the pump. Operating
the pump without flowing water is sometimes referred to as "churning"
and is similar to the operation of fire department apparatus, where
the pump may frequently be engaged without flowing any water.
During the annual pump test,
minimum, rated and peak flows of the pump are to be determined. While
flows are required for the annual test, closed-loop metering will permit
accurate evaluations without releasing large volumes of water. If the
pump is not equipped for closed-loop metering, the owner may be advised
of this as an option to the release of water. Where the owner is charged
for metered water, he may decide that it would be less expensive in
the long run to revise his system to permit closed-loop metering.
Frequency of Tests
In an Errata issued by NFPA
in December 1995, an error in Table 9-1 was corrected by NFPA. The monthly
inspection of Fire Department Connections was corrected to read quarterly,
in accordance with the text of section 9-7.1.