What is the correct pump testing procedure for my annual pump test?
Test procedures can be found in chapter 18 of the “NFPA 1911, 2012 Edition.” This includes conditions of the test site, environmental conditions, and equipment required to perform the test. If it is impractical to perform the test at a standard test pit or water source, alternative methods may be used as authorized by the AHJ (Authority Having Jurisdiction) (NFPA 1911, 18.6.2).
As an example, new style portable above ground test pit services can be used to test the pump. If this procedure is utilized, it is recommended that it be repetitively used each year so that equal comparisons may be made to determine continued pump conditions. If testing at a pit or open water source, the drafting lift shall not exceed 10 feet or be less than three feet. Primary tests consist of:
- A primer/vacuum test
- Pressure control device test
- 100 percent test of rated flow at 150 PSI for 20 minutes
- A spurt/overload test at 100 percent of rated capacity at 165 PSI for five minutes; 70 percent test of rated flow at 200 PSI for 10 minutes; 50 percent test of rated flow at 250 PSI for 10 minutes.
This test shall also be performed whenever major pump repairs have been performed, or any other condition that may affect pump output (engine or transmission overhauls are examples). If the testing procedure indicates a failure of any portion of the test, the testing stops and any needed repairs are then performed by trained personnel. The test procedure should be performed in a complete process from beginning to end without interruption.
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