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Electric Fire Pump Assemblies & Controllers - Alarms and Signals Remote from Controller

Monday, February 05, 2018

The fire pump controller monitors several alarms and devices specific to the fire pump operation. Fire Protection industry professionals commonly recognize and understand the signal devices on the controller are further defined in Chapter 10, of the National Fire Protection Association, Pamphlet 20, "Standard for the Installation of Stationary Pumps for Fire Protection", 2013 edition. Sections 10.4.6 and 10.4.7, along with 10.8.3.12.1, 10.8.3.12.2 and 10.8.3.14, indicate which functions need to be monitored in the fire pump controllers and fire pump power transfer switches.

Often, additional coordination and communications between the sprinkler fire protection contractor and the construction or building facility team is necessary to make sure the NFPA requirements for the fire pump alarm and signal devices remote from the controller are properly supervised. Although, not specifically noted in NFPA 20, the building fire alarm system offers the most reliable means of supervising the operational readiness of the fire pump assembly.

Section 10.4.7 specifically outlines the NFPA requirements for alarms and signals remote from the controller including:

  • 10.4.7.2.1 - Fire Pump or Motor Running. The signal shall actuate whenever the controller has operated into a motor-running condition.
  • 10.4.7.2.2 - Loss of Phase. The fire pump alarm shall actuate whenever any phase at the line terminals of the motor contactor is lost.
  • 10.4.7.2.3 - Phase Reversal. This fire pump alarm circuit shall be energized by a separate reliable supervised power source or from the pump motor power, reduced to not more than 125 V. The fire pump alarm shall actuate whenever the three-phase power at the line terminals of the motor contractor is reversed.
  • 10.4.7.4 - Controller Connected to Alternate Source. Where two sources of power are supplied to meet the requirements of 9.3.2, this sign shall indicate whenever the alternate source is the source supplying power to the controller.

Listed fire pump controllers come equipped with contacts to operate circuits for the above conditions, including when an alternate source of power is provided. It is in the interest of the fire protection contractor to coordinate these remote alarm and signals remote from the controller as early as possible with the appropriate construction or building facility team members, and later validate for correct alarm and supervision during the commissioning, testing and field acceptance of the fire pump assembly.

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