Fire Pump Packing Failures

failed fire pump packing
Your trusty old fire pump’s packing has failed. Bad! Fortunately, you’ve found your way to this page, where we’ll be happy to guide you through the repair. (We can do more than that too, if you need our help. See the last paragraph.)

Most packing, if properly maintained during the pump’s operation, should last around 2 to 3 years.  When it is time to replace it, how much of a project it is depends on the type of fire pump you have.  A horizontal (or vertical) split-case design, where packing exists on either side of the pump impeller, is more challenging because it can be difficult removing the old packing without removing the top half of the pump casing.  Some people just try to pull out the packing without removing the pump casing, but we do not advise doing that.  Not only can you possibly miss some remaining packing in the pump interior, but placing new packing into the pump will be equally challenging.  The proper job requires safe and clean access to all pump packing rings, and for a split-case pump design, that often means removing the top half of the pump casing.   This is challenging work, so be sure to consult the professionals to ensure that the pump components are properly installed, and the the pump is reassembled correctly.  If you have a vertical inline pump, the packing is usually very easy to reach without disassembling the pump. Continue reading

Why is FM Approval Important?

Many folks often recognize the UL (Underwriters Laboratory) Listing and FM (Factory Mutual) Approvals marks, but few understand what each of these marks means. If you’re a regular follower of the Steven Brown & Associates blog, you’ll know we recently outlined the meaning behind a UL Listing mark. Today we wanted to dive into FM Approval, and exactly what that means in relation to the realm of fire pumps.

Factory Mutual (FM) Global is similar to Underwriters Laboratories (UL) in that they both are focused on safety. FM Approvals is the independent testing division of FM Global, and it focuses on researching and testing all products to ensure that they meet only the highest standards for property loss prevention and safety. Continue reading

What does it mean to be UL Listed?

Throughout our website you may have noticed reference to our selection of fire pumps meeting the stringent requirements of Underwriters Laboratories (UL). We wanted to elaborate on what this means for anyone who may be unfamiliar with this classification.

First, it’s good to know that Underwriter’s Laboratory is a company that has been in business for a long time. In 1894, William Shields opened the Underwriters’ Electrical Bureau, and on March 24 of that year, the bureau conducted its first test, on non-combustible insulation material. Since then, UL has grown steadily and expanded its services into many different fields.

UL’s focus is strictly on the safety of manufacturers, retailers, consumers and others involved with the products that bear a UL Mark. Approved to perform safety testing by OSHA, UL provides a variety of inspections, training and other services designed at helping to make the world safer.

Aurora LogoIn the realm of fire pumps and engines, our suppliers such as Aurora look to meet and exceed the standards developed by UL. The UL standards outline requirements for these items: Continue reading

Manufacturer Spotlight Series: Tornatech

ViZiTouch V2 color touch screen Throughout the month of January, Steven Brown & Associates is celebrating the manufacturers who make our jobs much easier by offering superior products at great prices. The first three manufacturers detailed in our series were Aurora, Metron and Peerless Pumps, so if you missed any of those we encourage you to check them out through the links provided.

Last but certainly not least in our fire pump spotlight series are the folks headquartered in Montreal, Canada: Tornatech. Tornatech specializes in the conception and manufacturing fire pump controllers listed by UL and approved by FM, and of course built in accordance with the NFPA 20.

With over 30 years of experience, Tornatech has stood out amongst its competitors by offering the following benefits:

  • Innovative products
  • Premium quality
  • ISO 9000 certification
  • Cost-effective
  • World class customer service
  • International presence

What kinds of fire pump controllers does Tornatech offer? Here’s a quick breakdown: Continue reading

Manufacturer Spotlight Series: Peerless Pumps

peerless-logoThroughout the month of January, Steven Brown & Associates is celebrating the manufacturers who make our jobs much easier by offering superior products at great prices. The first two manufacturers detailed in our series were Aurora and Metron, so if you missed either of those two, we encourage you to check them out.

Next up in our fire pump spotlight series is Peerless Pump. A recent addition to the Steven Brown & Associates lineup of fire pumps, Peerless Pump is one of the largest manufacturers of vertical pumps in the industry. Not only does Peerless Pump feature top-quality, reliable fire pumps, it also carries fire pump drives, controls, accessories and more. Continue reading

Manufacturer Spotlight Series: Metron

TMetron-open-smallhroughout the month of January, Steven Brown & Associates will celebrate the manufacturers who make our jobs easier by offering superior products at great prices. The first in our series focused on our friends at Aurora pump, so if you missed that blog post, be sure to go back and check it out.

Next in our fire pump spotlight series is Metron Fire Pump Control Division of Hubbell Industrial Controls. For those of you who follow our blogs, you may remember our post about Hubbell launching a new line of Metron advanced, compact fire pump controllers last year, which has generated an enthusiastic customer response.

This success is not unexpected, as we’ve witnessed the benefits of Metron firsthand and are proud to offer the line to our customers. Here is what helps Metron stand apart from the competition:

  • High quality fire pump controls and accessories.
  • Approval by the most demanding regulatory group in the electrical industry – Underwriters’ Laboratories, Inc. – which ensures the highest levels of safety and reliability

Metron’s dedication to quality, safety, and reliability helps explain our customers’ loyalty to their product offerings, including: Continue reading

Manufacturer Spotlight Series: Aurora Pumps

Aurora LogoAs we move through 2017, we inch closer to the centennial of one of the best-known brands in the fire pump realm. Since 1919, Aurora Pump (a brand of Pentair) has maintained a superior reputation as a pump and system supplier across the United States and the world. What helps Aurora to stand out amongst its competitors? We’ve observed three traits:

  • Consistent manufacturing quality
  • Long-lasting performance
  • Reliable customer service

Continue reading

CST Industries Joins our Expanding List of Product Offerings

cst water storage tankAs your trusted supplier of all things in the realm of fire pump sales and service, we’re always looking to expand on our offerings and increase our value to you. That is why we’re proud to announce that we recently added CST Industries to our growing catalog.

For those of you unfamiliar with the company, CST Industries is the global leader in storage tanks and covers. The company portfolio includes CST Storage, CST Covers and Vulcan Tanks. Their bolted and factory-welded steel tanks meet or exceed NFPA 22, FM, LPS, AWWA, USACOE and other internationally recognized industry standards. Continue reading

Remember These Thanksgiving Safety Tips

turkey dinnerThanksgiving is a wonderful time of year when everyone gets a moment to take a break from the hustle and bustle of work and sit down with family and friends to celebrate everything they have to be thankful for.

Because we here at Steven Brown & Associates are all about safety, whether it’s fire safety or any other form of safety, we thought we’d share some helpful tips to keep your holiday happy and problem-free. We know how hectic preparations can be for those extra guests, so add these items to your Thanksgiving Day checklist to ensure a worry-free holiday.

We’ve broken these tips down into two parts, both fire safety (for obvious reasons), and other general tips. Continue reading

Aurora Fire Pump Troubleshooting Guides

Aurora Turbine PumpOne of the necessary beasts that accompanies any piece of machinery is its eventual malfunction due to wear and tear over the years. Aurora fire pumps, while among the most reliable fire pumps available, are not immune from the occasional malfunction.

Fortunately, Aurora Pump has established an extensive library of troubleshooting guides that help you locate the problem and find the probable cause, and offer suggestions how to fix it. We’ve included these resources below to help you get your Aurora fire pump functioning normally once again, and to avoid having a minor problem becoming a major headache. Continue reading