Hubbell Launches a New Line of Metron Fire Pump Controllers

Metron-smallRecently the great minds at Hubbell Industrial Controls, Inc., manufacturer of Metron fire pump controllers and transfer switches, released a new product we’d like to bring to your attention. Our blog today outlines this new MPT Fire Pump Controller series and what features are offered with this new line.

Fire pump controllers with integral automatic transfer switches provide a reliable means for bringing emergency power directly to the fire pump in case of loss of normal power. While this feature is important, the drawback to this arrangement historically has been that those controllers take up a lot of space in a mechanical room, especially with a more advanced, reduced voltage starting method, such as Solid State Soft Start, or Wye Delta Closed Transition. Today’s mechanical rooms are even smaller than previous years, and often engineers and architects are under pressure to condense their fire pump room layouts even more.

But what do you do if you want a reduced voltage starting method with a transfer switch, and you have a limited mechanical room floor space? Continue reading

How to Adjust Fire Pump Packing Glands

If you’re looking for information on how to properly make a packing gland adjustment, you’ve come to the right place! Our blog today looks at the proper procedures for packing gland adjustments which will help extend the service life of your fire pump.

Follow these two steps:

  1. At the beginning of the pump operation, loosen the gland nuts and allow the packing boxes to leak liberally.
  2. Every 20 minutes, tighten the packing gland nuts, one flat at a time until the leakage has been reduced to about 60 drops per minute.

Please note: This process may require two to three hours. Continue reading

Fire Pump Parts & Accessories Availability

Cla-Val relief valveWe know it can be difficult to not only find replacement parts and accessories for your fire pumps, but when you finally do find them the turnaround times are often not acceptable. At Steven Brown & Associates we’ve decided to eliminate both problems by offering a wide variety of replacement parts for the fire pump industry that also ship out quickly. This helps get your fire protection systems operating normally again as soon as possible, which is great news for everyone involved!

Long time customers have come to rely on us for their both large and small jockey pump emergencies. Whether it’s through Aurora’s “Quick Ship Program” for larger jockey pumps, or direct from our warehouse for smaller jockey pumps, we’re relied on frequently for accurate and fast turnaround on our jockey pumps. Continue reading

2016 Changes to the NFPA 20

Steven Brown presented to the AFSA Mid-Atlantic Chapter on NFPA 20, and the changes between the 2013 and 2016 editions in Newark, DE on January 21, 2016. While covering the changes to the 2016 edition, Steven also discussed key items from each chapter that while not necessarily new, are certainly often overlooked or misunderstood.

A discussion about what is new to 2016 is actually quite useful, since NFPA 20 no longer annotates the codebook to indicate what wording has been modified, added, or deleted.

Multi-stage, Multiport Pumps

New to the 2016 edition of NFPA 20 is the concept of a multi-stage, multiport pump. This type of pump is not often seen in the United States, and is basically a pump with more than one discharge flange. Since Factory Mutual no longer permits using fire pumps in series, there is a renewed interest in the concept of a pump which can serve more than one zone in high rise buildings, and do so without using more than one pump, motor, or engine. Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

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, and 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