Assume you are asking in regards to a manual standpipe.
See Annex A of the current edition of NFPA 14 for alternatives.
You can use only hydrant pressure and then mathematically adjust the FDC inlet and HVC outlet pressures to demonstrate compliance with the standard.
one time we had to rent a large pump on a trailer because the FD required a test, but refused to provide a pumper truck.
another AHJ we have worked with simply did the test to confirm that the piping was connected and un-obstructed. We opened the hose valves and flowed water from the city connection, but there was no flow/pressure requirement for the test.
NFPA 25 126.96.36.199:
A flow test shall be conducted every 5 years on all
automatic standpipe systems to verify that the required flow and pressure are available at the hydraulically most remote
hose valve outlet(s) while flowing the standpipe system
Keyword is automatic. These are already connected to a water supply.
I've seen pumper truck used but maybe they don't want to deplete onsite water.
If a pumper truck is used, they may be testing manual systems if required by the AHJ.
It's important to note that connected to a water supply doesn't necessarily mean the standpipe is 'automatic'. Most of us understand that a standpipe fed from a 3/4" line is just a manual wet standpipe (obviously not automatic). However, it can be challenging to determine if the standpipe is automatic or not if you don't have the plans. For example, an unsprinklered building that is 6 stories (less than 75') and has a class III standpipe may be an automatic standpipe but have flow rates equivalent to a class II standpipe per NFPA 14. That same 6 story building with a fire pump and fully sprinklered may have a manual class I standpipe. Performing 5 year inspections without having plans or a calc plate that says it is a manual standpipe or shows the flow rate required can be tough.
On a separate note, I have never seen a fire department require a contractor to use a fire truck to flow test the standpipe on a manual standpipe. Some do it themselves regularly, but I've never seen it as a contractor requirement.
per NFPA 14 all standpipe systems need acceptance testing to match the calculated flow.
Assuming the system is not automatic. 11.5.1 of 14 Ed. states to verify system demand, this can be waived by the AHJ. 11.5.2 For a manual standpipe, a fire department pumper, portable pump of a capacity to provide the required flow and pressure, or other approved means shall be used to verify the system design by pumping into the fire department connection.
188.8.131.52 Where allowed by the authority having jurisdiction,
the test required by 11.5.2 shall be permitted to be waived.
A.11.5.2 It is not always necessary to use a pump to test a standpipe system. See Figure A.11.5.2(a), Figure A.11.5.2(b), and Figure A.11.5.2(c) for examples of possible test methods.
Where using the method shown in Figure A.11.5.2(c), it is
necessary to flow the system demand while observing the pressures at the FDC inlet and the hydraulically remote standpipe hose valve. While the standpipe test might indicate that a greater pressure is required at the FDC inlet than what was indicated in the hydraulic calculations, this is not necessarily a cause for failing the test. This greater pressure, if acceptable to the AHJ based on the ability of the fire apparatus to provide the additional pressure, should be incorporated into the standpipe sign required at the FDC by 184.108.40.206.2.
A FD vehicle is not necessary but somehow you need to create the flow and pressure. The flow and pressure at the discharge needs to be measured. I have seen portable pumps on trailers used at the FD connection and, if a building has a fire pump, it can also be used.
Thankfully the AHJs in our area that require the flow testing also provide a Engine Co. to conduct the test. Without that, I guess we'd have to figure something out.
Reference NFPA 14 for the definition of an AUTOMATIC system:
220.127.116.11 Automatic Wet Standpipe System. A standpipe system
containing water at all times that is attached to a water
supply capable of supplying the system demand at all times
and that requires no action other than opening a hose valve
to provide water at hose connections.
Also reference testing requirements per NFPa 14:
13.1 General. A standpipe system installed in accordance with
this standard shall be properly inspected, tested, and main‐
tained by the property owner or an authorized representative
in accordance with NFPA 25 to provide at least the same level
of performance and protection as originally designed.
I understand AHJ may be different.
OP didn't specify system type. Just saying.
System type doesn't matter for acceptance testing
System type does matter because an automatic standpipe must provide the 100 PSI residual without FDC support. IE High rise
In regards to when flow testing is required...system type does not matter for acceptance testing, all types are required to be flow tested....system type does matter for 5 year testing of existing systems, automatic systems are required to be flow tested whereas manual systems are not
We have been performing MWSD tests for the AHJ's and othe SPK contractors in NY for the last 8 years. We purchased a used fire pumper truck, 4- 2.5" hose monsters and hoses. At the top of the furthest SD install two- 2.5" FHV connections and a gauge run hoses out of the building and connect to the 2- hose monsters they must provide 500gpm @100psi. Repeat the same at the top of each other SD with one FHV, run hoses out of building to 1- hose monster, each of them must provide 250gpm @100psi. Connect the 5" suction hose from hydrant to the fire truck and multiple 2.5"hoses as required from truck to the buildings FDC connection. Adjust the RPM on truck and throttle FHV on SD until proper GPM@PSI is reached. 3men @ $4750/test paid upfront if working for another sprinkler contractor LOL.
Great info. How close are the hyd. calcs to predicting what is actually required at the FDC?
In 30+ years I'd never been required by an AHJ to do one. Then I moved. Now in the last two years, I've done 4 new system acceptance tests. The first 3 were within 5psi of what I expected. I got cocky. The last one was way short and took 2 tries - first try shut down early due to communication & potential flooding issues, and then fire crew had to leave. Between attempts, I mapped out actual installed elbows/footages, plugged it all in to calcs, and was convinced it would be easy to achieve. It was 15-20psi off. Fire Marshal boosted the pumper truck, got the pressure/flows and signed off on it and we had a sign made to that pressure. We didn't have the time or manpower to dig further. What have you been seeing?
99% of the MWSD tests are on 4story or less buildings and the limit of the test is 1000gpm at 100psi, we have never fell shoot meeting the requirement since I can just rev up the pumpers rpm's and make pressure and flow. So far so good, most of the fire marshals are happy seeing 100psi at the top gauge and 45psi on the hose monster pitot gauge using 1-1/8"orifice. Good luck out there!
To answer OP: Since Mr. Ercolano and truck are on the other coast, we use the FD's pumper truck and crew. Some FD's charge, others do it for free. We have HM's, calibrated gauges, rent a ton of hose, and have at least 6 people on site for valve spinning and gauge reading.
Most of the FD will not perform this test do to liability issues.
In my locale for a manual standpipe I have only seen a requirement for a visual requirement on an annual basis. There is also the 5-year requirement for a flow test. For the flow test I will reach out to the AHJ and explain my role as a facility's <a href='https://www.fireprotectionlincoln.com/'>fire protection</a> contractor and ask if they will bring a truck on site while we are there.
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