Hi, all! I came across this forum by accident at the perfect time. I am having a dilemma with the building department.
I am conducting an annual flow test on a 500 gpm (at 100 psi) fire pump from the test header off the pump discharge with the valve closed as to not disturb the system. I achieved 100% and 150% with no issues and the curve was almost identical to the pump's design curve.
The Department of Buildings is rejecting the test because the test was conducted from the discharge manifold. I was trying to avoid flowing from the roof because it's a very high end building and did not want to risk anything. Now, this system has been recently installed and the jockey pump panel is reading 100 psi on the system.
When I tested my pump, it pushed out 168 psi on discharge and 48 psi on suction for a net of 120 psi (the pump is rated at 124 PSI for churn). I can conduct the test from the roof with no issue as long as the building feels comfortable with their storm drain's ability to handle the flow, but I am worried about over-pressurizing the system.
Am I permitted by code to test off the header and not from the roof?
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3/31/2021 08:00:25 am
Unless you are testing the Standpipes per 25-19' 6.3.1, there is no requirement to test from the roof if the means are available to test the pump via the test header/flow meter (depending on the cycle). As long as you are complying with 22.214.171.124 for testing through "approved" test devices (valves in/adjacent to the pump room), you are in compliance with 25.
3/31/2021 09:22:18 am
Adding to Dan's comment above - Storm drains are not sized to handle the large amount of water flow from a fire pump test.
3/31/2021 09:23:39 am
I would ask them to provide the code requirement that has a test from the roof. If they stick to their guns I would have them sign an waiver that they are responsible for any water damage or window washing etc. due to the mandatory test.
Arthur J Tiroly
3/31/2021 09:56:58 am
NFPA 25 requires a standpipe flow test every 5 years from the top or roof.
3/31/2021 10:08:53 am
There is nothing to prohibit you from testing the fire pump from the roof (or standpipe hose valves) in NFPA 25. NFPA 25 only requires that the means 'be approved'. Which means, that the AHJ says "yes, that is ok with us". Obviously (to most of us), if there is a test header, that is the preferred means to which you should be discharging water. However, a lot of older buildings do not have test headers installed and there is no retroactive requirement in NFPA 20 or NFPA 25 to install a test header that is not present, but that doesn't appear to be an issue for you as you indicated a test header is present.
3/31/2021 10:34:25 am
I think that the 120 psi is at churn, which would be in line with a 100 psi at nominal flow (120%).
3/31/2021 10:40:51 am
As clearly indicated by Peter, the Jockey pump setting is not correct.
3/31/2021 10:58:45 am
I think everyone covered it pretty well. I would just ask exactly what your scope is for this project. Was it an annual fire pump test only, was it to also provide standpipe testing? Is it time for standpipe testing? It's kind of like being a short order cook. Did the customer order the eggs and bacon, or just the eggs? One of the biggest mistakes companies make is to quote an "NFPA 25 inspection" without specifically saying what they include or don't include. Also very important to clarify if its an annual, semi-annual, quarterly, monthly, or even a 3 year/5 year item, and don't forget the sprinkler testing intervals. So basically if the customer only ordered the eggs but now they need the bacon too, that's extra. The liability, of course, is a lot different between serving breakfast and inspecting life saving equipment. Also, a 120% churn is not out of line too badly, but it's a sign of a pump that is close to maxed out. Probably saved a few hundred $ or so on the pump. Not that there is anything wrong with that, just that there is a time where you really want a lower churn % and other times it doesn't really matter. Great question.
3/31/2021 12:05:07 pm
4/5/2021 02:25:48 pm
I suspect that this is the NYC Building Department. Now all bets are off.
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