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Bulletin 2000-1
Issue Date: January 2000


SUBJECT: Periodic Tests of Water-Based Fire Protection Systems as required by Section F-506.1 & F-516.6


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.

 


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