5 Christmas Fire Safety Tips

christmas-tree-83122_960_720Holiday decorations and Christmas trees account for a significant amount of fires each year according to the NFPA. We’ve previously told you how winter is the most prevalent time for home fires, and offered some general winter prevention tips here on our blog.

Adding to those previous winter fire prevention tips, we’ve put together this brief list of Christmas themed fire prevention tips for those celebrating the holiday season. Be sure to keep these tips in mind and help protect yourself and your family this holiday season.

  • Keep any flammable items or decorations at least three feet away from an open flame or heat source.
  • Any decorations that pull electricity should not be worn out. If the wires look to be in poor shape, it’s time to recycle them.

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Steven Brown & Associates Now Offers Peerless Pumps

peerless-logoWe’re excited to announce that we’ve added one of the largest manufacturers of vertical pumps to our existing line of quality and reliable products. In our efforts to better serve our customers, Steven Brown & Associates now proudly offers Peerless Pump fire pumps, drives, controls, accessories, and more.

A recognized leader in the fire pump industry, Peerless Pump features a variety of fire pump choices, including horizontal, in-line and end suction centrifugal fire pumps, and vertical turbines. Peerless Pump features products that are customizable and built for your unique application, while also meeting all requirements put forth by the UL, ULC, FM, NFPA 13, NFPA 20, and MBMA.

Take a look at some of the great features of choosing a Peerless Pump housed fire pump packed system: Continue reading

Choosing the Right Fire Pump

There are a large variety of fire pumps available in the market today, fabricated by several different manufacturers. Many in the industry are interested mainly in the hydraulic performance of the pump in question – specifically the gallons per minute (US GPM) and the pressure boost (US PSI) of the pump. If a pump can be found to deliver a specific GPM and PSI, and it is listed by a trusted 3rd party agency, then the evaluation often ends there. Rarely is the “type” of fire pump considered. In this article we will discuss the various types of UL/FM fire pumps available in the market today, in an effort to point out the advantages and disadvantages of each. We will focus on centrifugal fire pumps that carry either a UL or FM label, and are used specifically for stationary fire protection.

Horizontal Split Case

Horizontal Split Case (HSC) pumps are given their name due to the “split”” design of the casing, where the casing cover can be lifted off of the pump to expose the internal components. These components include the impeller, bearings, pump shaft, and so on. HSC pumps have two bearings, located on either side of the impeller, which are useful to withstand the large amount of vibration and thrust forces often caused by water turbulence in the suction piping. The pump casings are often designed to handle higher working pressures, and are often heavier. The durability of the HSC design allows the pump to be used for very large water flows – often in excess of 5000 GPM. It should be noted that an HSC pump is not always mounted horizontally, it is possible to have the same durability design features and have the pump designed to be mounted vertically.

Horizontal Split CaseThe HSC pump is often connected to either an appropriate driver by a coupling or driveshaft. When mounted horizontally, this can take up more floor space. It is because of a concern for floor space, that you do not see as many HSC pumps for flows below 1000 GPM as in prior years.

The impeller of an HSC pump is dependent on even water flow entering the eye (or inlet) of the impeller. There are two entry points of water into an impeller of an HSC pump, which is where the term “double suction” is used. If water enters the impeller unevenly, hydraulic imbalance can occur and cause stress to the pump shaft or bearings. The need for smooth, laminar flow in the suction piping of an HSC pump is precisely why the NFPA 20 has strict rules regarding the length of straight piping required on the suction side of an HSC pump (see NFPA 20 2013 4.14.6.3.1, and 4.14.3.1). As a general rule, the larger the volume of water to be pumped, the more important it is to have smooth laminar flow of water into the pump casing. Continue reading

Steven Brown & Associates Celebrates 15 Years

We’re proud to share with you that we are celebrating our 15th year in the fire pump sales and service industry! Since our founding in 2000, we’ve been at the forefront of fire pump sales and have been recognized among the leaders for Aurora Pump sales from 2001 to 2013.

What we believe truly sets us apart is our commitment to quality, exhaustive attention to detail, and over 50 years of combined experience in the industry. Helping us to ensure our commitment to quality is a fantastic team of dedicated individuals. Continue reading

Diesel Fire Pump Start-up and Flow Test Checklist

If you are looking to get a start-up and flow test for your diesel-driven fire pump, we’ve established a simple checklist to make sure nothing is missed. Save yourself the headaches, time, and cost of having to have multiple trips by ensuring each item has successfully been completed before the arrival for your test.

We’ll begin our checklist with the most commonly overlooked items below.

A completed diesel fire pump

  • 120 volts of power is brought to the fire pump controller, and a separate power source is hard wired to the engine block heater. DO NOT ENERGIZE THE BLOCK HEATER!
  • Ensure the fire pump controller is wired to the engine junction box according to the instructions inside the panel door.
  • You need 50 foot 2½ inch hoses and U.L. Playpipe nozzles with 1¾ inch tips brought to start-up with one hose per 250 gpm rating of the fire pump. You’ll also need a way to secure them. If you have Hose Monsters®, these are acceptable.

Other items you’ll need to complete and check for your diesel-driven fire pump start-up and flow test are: Continue reading

Resource Center Updates

You already know Steven Brown & Associates as the go-to resource for everything in the realm of fire pump sales and service. Our large selection of fire pump products as well as the team to service your equipment puts us at the forefront of fire safety products. Our knowledge of the industry is also a valuable asset we like to share with you through our monthly blogs, as well as through other areas of our website as you’ll be able to see shortly.

In addition to making our website mobile friendly, allowing you easy access and a uniform look to our website on any device, we’ve also recently completely overhauled the resource center. Here you can find hundreds of helpful PDF’s broken down into easily manageable sections that help you quickly locate the relevant document you may need. Continue reading

Part II: Hitchhikers Guide to the Jockey Pump

The following is a list of information to gather to make the most efficient use of your time:

1. Get the pump model number and serial number. It’s on the pump, not the motor itself.This seems obvious, but 4 times out of 5 people don’t copy down the right information because they simply are looking at the wrong nameplate, especially on turbine jockey pumps.

Turbine jockey pumps look like this:

Pentair Aurora Turbine PumpPentair Aurora Turbine Pump Model & Serial Number

We will get into more technical detail on turbine pumps in other blogs, but suffice it to say you can always tell a turbine jockey pump from other styles because the motor is 75% to 90% of the pump unit. In fact, the motor itself is used to hold the pump together — to directly connect to the impeller and hold the casing together at the same time. Because of this, people look at the pump and motor together as a unit and call it “the pump”. For all intents and purposes, they are correct. Continue reading

Hitchhikers Guide to the Jockey Pump

Bluffton Jockey PumpProper selection and sizing of a jockey pump is typically handled by a consulting engineer or pump salesman during the first phase of a new installation. The amount of usage a jockey pump can handle depends on the system size, temperature changes, proper function of check valves, and whether or not there are any leaks in the piping. Regardless of the installation, no one will argue that the expected life of a jockey pump is far less than that of the fire pump itself, mainly due to its repetitive use.

While replacing a jockey pump in an existing installation is a simple endeavor, gathering the necessary information to make it happen properly and accurately is not as easy as it seems. Continue reading

Examples of Proper Fire Pump Equipment Installations

Whether it is through a new fire pump sale or from a service or repair troubleshooting call, we see a lot of fire pump mechanical rooms. Occasionally we see an installation of new fire pump equipment which catches our eye in a good way — that is, the installing contractor did an exemplary job with installing the equipment. The proper installation of fire pumps and controls is covered in NFPA 20, as well as in NEC Article 695. Going forward, when we see exceptional work in this regard, we will point out the aspects that make the work stand out. We want good work recognized!

For this blog, we feature an installation in Phoenixville, PA, installed by H & H Systems, Inc.

Peerless horizontal split-case fire pump install 1

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Aurora Launches New PVM Jockey Pumps

In case you haven’t heard the exciting news, as of the beginning of this month Aurora’s current PVM jockey pump models are no longer available and have been replaced with a brand new series. TAurora Logohis new flow series consists of several models, including 316 stainless steel models that are all 3rd party certified to NSF-61 and NSF-372 water quality standards. If you prefer the cast iron or 304 stainless steel models, these are available as well. Continue reading