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Your Fire Pump Needs Exercise Too!

Posted on: May 13, 2011

Imagine if you did nothing but sit on the couch for six months, watching TV and eating pizza. Then, all of a sudden, you have to get up and run a mile as fast as you can. Wouldn’t be easy, would it? Now imagine that your NJ fire pump has been sitting in the pump the pump room, unused, for the same amount of time. How well do you think it would be able to put out a fire that sprung up in your building?

Eventually, a fire pump that just sits in the pump room will start to deteriorate. Parts will settle, environmental conditions will wear away the joints and connections and accidental (or intentional!) tampering can prevent proper fire pump operation. If left alone too long, your fire pump may not be able to start immediately when it needs to (or may not work properly at all), costing you precious seconds and potentially costing you your entire building.

How to Exercise a Fire Pump

Fortunately, exercising a fire pump is a fairly easy process. Different types of fire pumps require different testing periods:

  • 10 minutes per week for electric fire pumps
  • 30 minutes per week for diesel fire pumps

Exercising a fire pump couldn’t be simpler – in fact, it doesn’t even need to be carried out by a fire protection specialist! Basically, exercising your fire pump involves inducing a drop in pressure to create a response similar to what would happen in a real fire. In layman’s terms, this means you’re basically simulating what would happen if your sprinkler heads opened up.

To exercise your fire pump, first open up the test line. This will cause the water pressure in your fire pump system to drop, the same way it would if your sprinkler heads had opened. If everything is going well, your fire pump will kick on and start pumping water into the test line (don’t worry, this water won’t find its way into your building – it will drain outside). If this doesn’t happen, call a fire protection services company to come inspect your pump.

Exercising your fire pump should be done once a week (though you might be able to get away with doing it once a month). It should be performed as part of your regular fire pump maintenance plan, as a supplement to your annual professional fire pump inspections.

If you need fire pump inspection or maintenance in New Jersey, Delaware or Philadelphia, call Confires today!

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