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Fire Pump Testing and Fire Safety in the Valley

The fire pump is considered the core of your property’s fire safety system. It is the part of the system that ensures that adequate pressure is available to all of the building’s fire protection equipment, and also the part of the system that is most likely to fail during a fire. It’s vital for building owners to arrange for comprehensive preventative maintenance of the fire system and fire pump, as well as testing it on a regular basis.

What is fire pump testing?

Fire pump testing is required for all newly installed fire pumps as well as for older fire pumps that have not been operated for a significant period of time. The purpose of fire pump testing is to demonstrate that the fire pump will function as intended when needed. During the test, the fire pump is run at a pressure slightly higher than the anticipated design pressure.

The test pressure is chosen to be greater than the expected highest design pressure, but less than the pump’s maximum permitted design pressure. The fire pump test will show if the pump will function as designed at the chosen test pressure. The fire pump test pressure is selected to ensure the pump will perform properly at the lowest possible pressure for which the pump is designed. The pressure is selected to prevent damage to the pump.

What does a fire pump test include?

A fire pump test has an initial and periodic test to determine the pump pressure and flow rate capabilities at the rated flow and pressure. The test will include a pressure test to 80% of the rated pressure to ensure there is no leaking in the system.

The pump vendor has the option to provide the AQL requirements for the pump assembly, pump installation, and installation procedures. If they choose to provide this information, it must be available for your review before the pump is purchased.

Pro Tip: The pump manufacturer should also provide the maximum allowable flow and pressure for the pump. With the pump assembly chosen, the next step is to determine the proper pump installation.

When should a fire pump be inspected?

The correct frequency of testing depends on various factors such as the type of fire pump installed, the type of fire protection system, the type and quantity of sprinklers installed, the water storage capacity, and the fire fighting system.

The pump should be inspected at least once a year, preferably twice. This is based on the manufacturer’s recommendations and on the standards of the NFPA (National Fire Protection Association). Any pump that has been in service for more than ten years should be inspected at least twice a year. A good time to do this is during the annual service inspection and cleaning. Even if the pump is checked regularly, it should be tested periodically.

Why is fire pump testing important to fire safety?

Fire pump testing ensures the fire pump and its associated components are functioning properly. The purpose of fire pump testing is to ensure the pump provides the required water supply to the fire sprinkler system and that the system will operate when needed. It is vital to test the fire pump and associated equipment regularly to ensure the entire fire fighting capability of a building is maintained.

The lifespan of the fire pump equipment is about 20 years if it is not maintained. Replacing a fire pump is the most expensive component of a fire safety and protection system, costing a lot of money.

In a recent report, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) noted that the replacement of a fire pump is the most costly and time-consuming maintenance or repair activity for a fire department.

According to the report, departments that had somewhat adequate pump maintenance found that replacing aging pumps required an average of 22 days. In comparison, departments that had good pump maintenance found the replacement of a similar pump required an average of eight days.

Fire pump testing, maintenance, and repair in Coachella Valley

Residents of the valley need not worry about their fire pump testing and maintenance needs. The fire safety and protection experts at the World Fire Protection Palm Desert are here to help. We offer yearly maintenance contracts covering pump testing, maintenance, and repair. Our team is available around the clock to address any emergency at your Coachella Valley area property. Call us today to schedule a free consultation to discuss your needs and provide you with a quote for our services.