Monthly Archives: November 2014

Fire Pump Testing and NFPA 25 – Automatic Starting is the Priority

Over the course of this year, we have encountered several disabled fire pumps due to burnt up or failed fire pump controller components.  This can happen for various reasons — age, misuse, lightning, power surges, etc.  But, for one particular installation, what troubled me the most was that for months at a time, no one knew there was a problem at all.  To the outside observer, everything seemed to be working fine. You press the ‘start’ button and the pump runs.  But it wasn’t until a simulation of a pressure drop was performed that the problem revealed itself:  the automatic start circuitry was damaged.  The pump would start manually, but not automatically.  Several “monthly tests” did not reveal the problem because no one thought to test the equipment automatically.

NFPA 25 – the Standard for the Inspection, Testing, and Maintenance of Water-Based Fire Protection Systems provides an excellent guide as to what equipment needs to be tested, and how frequently.  And very often, the property or building owner hires the right person — licensed and qualified — to run the fire pump through its proper test.  But if you are not careful, it is easy for someone to simply press a start button to test the operation of a fire pump, and in so doing forget or neglect to test the automatic starting of the fire pump. Continue reading