Acceptance Testing of Fire Protection Systems 101 • Touch on all types of Fire Sprinkler of systems • Fire Pumps and Standpipes • Requirements for Acceptance Testing per NFPA and the State Fire Marshal • Industry Jargon and Common terminology • State Rules- Texas Insurance Code Chapter 6003 & 28 TAC SS 34.700 • Information in these slides comes from NFPA Standards 13, 14 and 20
Defining Terms • “Authority Having Jurisdiction” • Listed and Approved • “Shall” vs. “Should” • Hydrostatic Testing And Cover • Add and Relocates (Remodels) vs. New System installs • Main Drain Test
Control Valve Testing • Tagging Requirements • System Type- Wet, Dry, Preaction and Deluge with specific differences and required tests for each • Specific Application System- ESFR, Control Mode, Residential, Double Interlock, etc
Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ) 3.2.2* “An organization, office or individual responsible for enforcing the requirements of a code or standard, or for approving equipment, materials, an installation, or a procedure”
Examples: • Fire Chief, Fire Marshal • Labor Department • Health Department- TDADS • Building Official, Electrical Inspector, Plumbing Inspector • Insurance Organizations and their Representatives • Commanding Officer on Base
…essentially… Anyone with a vested interest in the system performing as intended
Listed 3.2.2* “Equipment, materials, or services included in a list published by an organization that is acceptable to the authority having jurisdiction”….
Approved Approved Materials 3.2.1 “Acceptable to the authority having jurisdiction” All materials and methods for installation are to conform to Chapter 6 of NFPA 13- 2007 or the individual product listings and approvals. When in doubt……..
…Make the installing contractor prove it to your satisfaction!!!! • If it looks incorrect, it probably is • Be wary of new products, have contractor provide cut sheets when in doubt • Good review with thorough walk through at hydro at end of job
Your interpretation of the codes and standards is to be met or proven incorrect- codes/ standards are in writing- not inferred • Sometimes corners are cut by unscrupulous contractors • Some poor installs are mistakes or “human error” - BUT….
REMEMBER… • You are the last line of defense to ensure the end user gets what they expect and paid for!!! These are your customers, you are their expert! • Poor installs fail annual inspections and cost the owner money later for repairs
Shall 3.2.4 “Indicates a mandatory requirement.” Should 3.2.5 “Indicates a recommendation or that which advised but not required.”
System Acceptance • Acceptance Testing of systems is contained in Chapter 24 of NFPA 13-2007 Edition • All required tests are listed, but required extra heads and some paperwork is not.
Hydrostatic Test • Section 24.2.1- “All piping and attached appurtenances subjected to system working pressure shall be hydrostatically tested at 200 psi (13.8 bar) and shall maintain that pressure without loss for two hours”
Section 188.8.131.52- Portions of systems normally subjected to working pressures in excess of 150 psi (10.4 bar) shall be tested as described in 184.108.40.206 at a pressure of 50 psi (3.5 bar) in excess of working pressure
Things to watch at Hydro • Need to know expected pump churn pressure and expected system working pressure, are PRV’s required? • Hydrostatic test pressure is taken at the bottom of the system, not the top (Section 220.127.116.11)
Know the limits of the materials- pressure limitations of fittings and sprinkler heads • If there is freeze potential, an interim pneumatic air test at 40 psi can be conducted for 24 hours per 24.2.2. This does not remove or replace the requirement for a hydrostatic test.
This test is referred to as a “Hydro Test” or “Cover Inspection” • All systems require this type of test- Sprinkler, Standpipe, Pump • In new construction the pipe should not be covered up during the test • A procedure for removing “test blanks” must be in place
Retrofits are typically covered up. These are existing buildings and not all areas are accessible. Use your own judgment. • Walk systems during the two hour test, look for leaks. Small leaks are not cause for concern. • Excessive water leakage and pressure drop are cause for failure and re-test of system
Hydro Test Procedure • Contractor should have system pumped up above 200 psi or 50 above working pressure, prior to your arrival to remove air pockets • Note Pressure on gauge upon arrival. • Walk system- look for leaks.
While walking system, note areas that are in need of repair or changes required in the system to installing contractor. • At end of two hour period, note pressure (loss if any). Have Contractor drain system to zero the gauge out in your presence.
Things to Keep in Mind • FDC piping is often overlooked- Needs to be tested @ 150psi after repair/ replacement- Sec 18.104.22.168 • Temperature changes affect system pressure during hydro. • Trapped air in the system takes time to escape, if the system has not been pumped up for some time then air will escape.
Add and Relocates • 22.214.171.124- “Modifications affecting 20 or fewer sprinklers shall not require testing in excess of system working pressure”
Per Section 126.96.36.199- Modifications above 20 sprinklers, isolate the affected portion of the system and hydro • Per Section 188.8.131.52- Modifications that cannot be isolated (i.e.. Relocated drops) shall not require tested in excess of system working pressure
Main Drain Test • 184.108.40.206.1 “The main drain valve shall be opened and remain open until system pressure stabilizes” • 220.127.116.11.2 “The static and residual pressures shall be recorded on the contractor’s material and test certificate” • Use the bottom gauge
Often overlooked • Required on State “white tags” • Provides baseline water supply test information to measure water supply deterioration in subsequent NFPA 25 Inspections. • This is required on all systems! The importance cannot be stressed enough!
Size of main drains Table 18.104.22.168.2-Drain Size_________ Riser or Main Size Size of Drain Connection Up to 2 in. 3⁄4 in. or larger 21⁄2 in., 3 in., 31⁄2 in. 11⁄4 in. or larger 4 in. and larger 2 in. only No test orifices on main drains!!!! Need fully open for Main Drain Test. Listed Test and drain assemblies are acceptable if capable of full flow.
Operational Tests • Referred to as a “Final” • While performing this test, an inspection should be performed. Things to look for: • Loaded or painted sprinkler heads • Adequate coverage of all spaces • Missing pieces or incorrect install • Tamper and flow switch operation • Fire Alarm System should be on “Test”
Walk the space- Check head coverage • Light Hazard • 225 Sq Ft • Max. 15’ X 15’ • Ordinary Hazard • 130 Sq Ft • Max. 15 ft X 8’-8”
Extra Hazard • 100 Sq Ft • Max. 10’ X 10’ or 12 X 8’-4” • Storage, ESFR, Control Mode • Look up each individual section- these change often • Request the sprinkler cut sheet from the Contractor- these are specific application and may have some special requirements
Obstructions • Depending on the type of head and the obstruction • Refer to Chapter 8 in NFPA 13- ’07. • All types of heads are broken down individually
Testing Alarm Switches • Inspector’s test connection should have at least 1 inch pipe connected to a corrosion resistant orifice equal to the size of the smallest orifice on the system. • Open ITC all the way, alarm should sound in less than 5 minutes
If bell goes off too quick, have contractor adjust delay on alarm device to account for water hammer in city water to avoid nuisance alarms. • Ensure cover is on WF switch after test is performed • Call the monitoring company- verify signals are correct for the space/ bldg
Testing Tamper Switches 22.214.171.124.2.1- “Valves on connections to water supplies, sectional control valves, and other valves in supply pipes to sprinklers and other fixed water based fire suppression systems shall be supervised by one of the following:”
Central station, proprietary, or remote station signaling at a constantly attended point • Local signaling service that will cause the sounding of an audible signal at a constantly attended point • Valves locked in the correct position • Valves in fenced enclosures under the owner’s control
Testing Tampers • 126.96.36.199.1 “All control valves shall be fully closed and opened under system water pressure to ensure proper operation” • Check the valve operation • Check Tamper operation and signal to monitoring company
Common Misinterpretation • PRV’s should be a Pressure Reducing Valve- NOT Restricting or Relief Valve • True PRV’s Reduce pressure under both Flow and Static Conditions • NFPA 14-’07 Sec. 188.8.131.52 • NFPA 13-’07 Sec. 184.108.40.206.1
Where Required • Sprinkler-When working pressure exceeds 175 psi unless all downstream components are rated for the higher pressure • Standpipe-For Fire Hose Valves where pressure exceeds 175 psi on 2-1/2” FHV’s pressure shall be limited to 100 psi- 1-1/2” valves can be of regulating type
PRV Requirements-Fire Sprinkler • 220.127.116.11.2- Pressure gauges shall be on the inlet and outlet sides of each pressure reducing valve • 18.104.22.168.3- A relief valve of not less than ½” shall be provided on the discharge side set to operate at a pressure not exceeding 175 psi.
22.214.171.124.4- A listed indicating valve shall be provided on the inlet side of each PRV, unless the PRV meets the listing requirements for use as an indicating valve. • 126.96.36.199.5- Means shall be provided downstream of all PRV’s for flow tests at sprinkler demand
Acceptance Testing PRV’s • 188.8.131.52- Each pressure-reducing valve shall be tested upon completion of installation to insure proper operation under flow and no-flow conditions. • 184.108.40.206- Testing shall verify device regulates outlet at maximum and normal conditions
220.127.116.11- The results of the flow test of each PRV shall be recorded on the contractor’s material and test certificate • 18.104.22.168- The results shall include the static and residual inlet pressures, static and residual outlet pressures and the flow rate
Standpipe Hose Valve PRV’s- NFPA 14-’07 11.5.4 • Ask for PRV Testing Logs to show work was completed • NFPA 14- 7.2 requires 1-1/2” hose valves residual pressure limited to 100 psi and 2-1/2” hose valves static and residual pressure limited to 100 psi where pressure exceeds 175 psi