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Fire Pump Inspection Testing and Maintenance

Fire pumps are used to ensure an adequate water supply by increasing pressure for fire suppression and, as such, are an integral part of the fire protection system for a facility. Failure of a fire pump to operate under fire conditions can result in a major loss. To help ensure the fire or booster pump is working, there needs to be periodic inspection, maintenance and testing of the pump. The following information provides an overview of the requirements; a separate checklist for electric pump and diesel pump is attached at the end of the document.
Download a PDF for printable checklists.

Who Can Perform the Inspections and Testing

NFPA 25, Standard for the Inspection, Testing, and Maintenance of Water-Based Fire Protection Systems, states that inspection testing and maintenance should be performed by a qualified person who has developed competence through training and experience. Many companies use a qualified outside contractor for the annual flow test on a pump and use in-house personnel for the weekly or monthly tests. Some states require that the person conducting the annual fire pump test be certified.

What Needs to Done

Inspection, testing, and maintenance requirements are outlined in NFPA 25, Standard for the Inspection, Testing, and Maintenance of Water-Based Fire Protection Systems. Below is an overview of the inspection and testing activities that should be completed on your pump. A detailed checklist for an electric pump and diesel pump follow on subsequent pages.

Weekly
  • Pump house, heating, ventilating louvers
  • Fire pump system
  • Pump Operation (Diesel only)—no flow start and run test for 30 minutes
Monthly
  • Pump Operation (Electric only)—no flow start and run test for 10 minutes
Annual
  • Full flow test both diesel and electric pumps
  • Fire pump alarm signals
Maintenance
  • On an annual basis service hydraulic systems, mechanical transmission and motor
  • All other maintenance on the pump and associated components varies and should be completed in accordance with the manufacturers’ recommendations.

Hanover Risk Solutions Can Help

Your Risk Solutions consultant can meet with you to explain the inspection, testing, and maintenance requirements based on the fire protection systems installed at your facility. They can discuss the options with you for helping to ensure that your systems are adequately maintained. See attached checklists or download a print version.

Diesel Pump Inspection, Maintenance* and Testing—Weekly Visual Inspection

EQUIPMENT CONDITION
Pump House Heat not less than 40ºF (with engine heater) OR Heat not less than 70ºF (no engine heater)
Ventilating Louvers Operating freely
Housekeeping Room free of combustible storage
Valves Pump suction, discharge and bypass valves fully open
Piping Free of leaks
Suction Line Pressure gauge normal
Reservoir/Tanks (If applicable) Suction reservoir or tank full
Controller Pilot Light Light Pilot light (power on) illuminated
Fuel Tank Fuel tank at least two-thirds full
Controller Selector switch in “AUTO” position
Batteries
  • Voltage readings normal
  • Charging current readings normal
  • Pilot lights on
  • Pilot lights off terminals free of corrosion
Alarm Pilots Alarm pilots off
Engine Oil Engine oil is full
Cooling Water Cooling water is full
Engine Running Time Meter Meter is reading
Jockey Pump (If provided) Power to jockey pump

*MAINTENANCE: maintenance of the pump and its components should be in accordance with the manufacturers’ recommendations.

Weekly No Flow (“Churn”) Test

EQUIPMENT CONDITION
Pump
  • Start Properly
  • Run for 30 minutes
Record pressures readings
  • Suction pressure psi=Normal?
  • Discharge pressure psi=Normal?
Pump glands Slight discharge when running
General pump function No unusual noises or vibration
Packing Box, bearings, and pump casings No signs of overheating in packing box, bearings, or pump casings
Heat Exchanger Cooling water flow

Annual

EQUIPMENT CONDITION
Full Flow test Date of test results satisfactory?

The recommendation(s), advice and contents of this material are provided for informational purposes only and do not purport to address every possible legal obligation, hazard, code violation, loss potential or exception to good practice. The Hanover Insurance Company and its affiliates and subsidiaries (“The Hanover”) specifically disclaim any warranty or representation that acceptance of any recommendations or advice contained herein will make any premises, property or operation safe or in compliance with any law or regulation. Under no circumstances should this material or your acceptance of any recommendations or advice contained herein be construed as establishing the existence or availability of any insurance coverage with The Hanover. By providing this information to you, The Hanover does not assume (and specifically disclaims) any duty, undertaking or responsibility to you. The decision to accept or implement any recommendation(s) or advice contained in this material must be made by you.
LC 13-01