Test Your Fire Pump Annually
An annual service pump test is a documented procedure to prove your apparatus can perform at its rated capacity from draft. The chassis drivetrain, pump, pump transmission and associated plumbing are run through a progressive series of tests that are designed to prove the system is in sound working order.
Prior to testing is a great time to do periodic maintenance on the apparatus. Changing the engine oil, pump transmission oil, and even servicing the transmission before testing every year will ensure yearly maintenance if your department doesn’t already have an established periodic maintenance program.
THE ANNUAL PUMP TEST ACTUALLY CONSISTS OF SIX SEPARATE TESTS
TEST #1: FIVE-MINUTE VACUUM TEST
Run the pump vacuum for 5 minutes to begin the actual pump test.
TEST #2: TIMED PRIMER TEST
This determines how long it takes to lift water to the pump so that pumping can begin. For pumps rated up to 1,250 gpm, a 30-second maximum time is allowed, and a 45-second max is permitted for pumps rated for 1,500 gpm or higher.
TEST #3: 100% TEST
Run the pump for 20 minutes at 100% of rated capacity, with a net pump pressure of 150 pounds per square inch (psi).
TEST #4: 5-MINUTE OVERLOAD
The NFPA requires this test for pumps rated for over 750 gpm. Immediately after the 20-minute test, run the pump for 5 minutes, at its rated capacity, at 165 psi.
TEST #5: 70% TEST
Run the pump for 10 minutes at 70% capacity and 200 psi.
TEST #6: 50% TEST
Run the pump for 10 more minutes at 50% capacity and 250 psi.