Special Rules for Electric Motor Fire Pump Controllers

Electric motor fire pump controllers are different from many traditional motor controllers in the world.  The major difference is that, with some special exceptions, there are no thermal overloads in the controller or devices designed to protect the motor by shutting off the power circuit.  With fire pumps, since they provide such a crucial property and life-saving purpose, they are designed to keep power to the fire pump, even if the motor literally burns up.  The fire protection and insurance industries figure that the building property and life being protected is more important than protecting a fire pump motor.  In that regard, they are correct and have their priorities straight.

UL/FM fire pump controllers, or “listed” fire pump controllers, are guided by requirements in NFPA 20 and NEC regarding their components, as well as considerations for their installation.  Most fire pump Continue reading

What is a fire pump controller?

Fire pump control panelIn simple terms, a fire pump controller is a device to reliably start and stop a fire pump, as well as monitor conditions in an ongoing manner that could hinder or prevent the proper operation of a fire pump. They act the same way any motor controller operates, except they are built with more strict standards to ensure that the priority is protecting a property and its occupants over the fire pump motor (or engine) itself.

UL and FM both “list” or “approve” fire pump controllers. This listing ensures that all fire pump controllers, regardless of manufacturer, all contain specific elements and design to ensure reliable operation in the event of a fire. The minimum required components of fire pump controllers are governed by NFPA 20 and will be discussed in detail in later articles.

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Future Safety Features in Fire Pump Controllers – Master Controls

We are often interested in directing industry attention to important future advancements in fire protection. Today’s topic pertains to an effective and creative solution to minimizing the dangers of arc flash in fire pump controllers. For the purposes of this article, we will be discussing electric fire pump controllers. Continue reading

How Long Should My Fire Pump Last?

As a fire pump distributor, we have a unique perspective on the useful life of a fire pump. We commission and test brand new equipment, and are frequently called in to replace and repair older pumps. We are often asked about when the best time should be to replace a given fire pump, or how long a life should a new fire pump be expected to have. So, these questions brought to life the idea to write about fire pump life expectancies. For the purposes of this article, we will focus on the fire pump itself, and not the motors, controllers, engines, or other items that are often in a mechanical room. Continue reading

well installed diesel fire pump

Check out this Impressive Fire Pump System Installation

As an industry leader in the sale of fire pump systems, we have a unique perspective of the final product — when the fire pumps, drivers, and controllers are sold and installed in a building with a sprinkler system. As we prepare to test the fire pump in the mechanical room where it is installed, we see the wide spectrum of installations, ranging from good to bad. Often, a lack of space contributes to less than ideal installations.

But the important thing is that the fire pump equipment works as specified and is ready for operation when needed. But every so often we see an installation that exceeds our expectations, and when one is spotted, we want to call attention to it. Continue reading

peerless pump

Get Comprehensive Fire Protection in a Packaged Pump House

If there are additions or zoning changes in an existing building, and there is not enough space to accommodate a new or upgraded fire pump system, then consider a new packaged fire pump house. Such a structure can be delivered with not only a new fire pump and controller but with all suction and discharge piping per NFPA 20, as well as all electrical wiring per NEC Article 695. Plus, add in emergency lighting, heating, louvers, fire department connection — even its own sprinkler system! — and not only do you know your installation is done correctly, but it arrives in a packaged housed structure, with piping connection terminations set to discharge through the walls or underground. Continue reading

Steven Brown in the Media: Choose the Right Fire Pump

Back in May, Steven Brown & Associates was featured in Pumps & Systems magazine! We wanted to help our customers and others learn about the advantages and disadvantages of different pumps used for stationary fire protection.

We discussed two types of fire pumps in our article: horizontal split case pumps and end suction horizontal pumps. The differences between these two pumps are drastic, so it’s important to truly understand what each one has to offer. Continue reading

Fire Safety in the Home

While we at Steven Brown & Associates have many products designed to be used for fire safety in a business or company setting, we feel that it’s also important to cover the importance of fire safety in the home as well. Here are a few important steps to take in order to keep your family and your home safe in the event of a fire. Continue reading