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Testing and Commissioning of Fire Fighting Pump Set

May 28, 2013 |

Below is step wise guide for conducting the testing and commissioning of fire fighting pump set i.e. electric pump/jockey pump and diesel pumps.

Before starting the commissioning or testing make sure below requirements are met:

  1. Visual inspection of pump assembly to check no visible sign of cracks, damages, rust etc, if any problem don’t start the pump until supplier is aware of the problem.
  2. Ensure that all mechanical and electrical installations are as per approved drawing.
  3. Pumps assembly base securely anchored with foundation bolts in the concrete floor, and assembly base should be grouted sufficiently to absorb any vibration.
  4. Pumps assembly base is smooth leveled and aligned with all connecting piping.
  5. Ensure that pumps rotates freely when rotated by hand.
  6. Pump installed in the proper direction of flow in relation to the system and the suction and discharge connected correctly and are supported with rigid stand independent of the pump assembly.
  7. Eccentric reducer installed on the pump suction side (if required)
  8. OSY gate valve installed on the suction side of the pump.
  9. Control valve installed on the pump discharge line.
  10. Check valve installed in discharge line and is in proper direction
  11. The following accessories to be checked for installation:
  • Casing relief valve before check valve
  • Drain pipe for stuffing box
  • Automatic air release valve
  • Compound vacuum suction gauge
  • Discharge gauge
  • Pressure relief valve for diesel pump

Sensing lines are connected to their respective controllers according NFPA20 standards

All motors and control wirings are connected

Water tank is filled

Diesel tank is filled

Battery filled with acid

Oil level in engine crank case is verified

Engine cooling system is filled with coolant

Cooling water inlet and outlet are connected

Cooling loop waste outlet is piped to drain

Exhaust pipe is connected according NFPA20

Fuel line is connected to engine

Air inlet filter is installed in the engine

Fresh air supply is adequate for engine combustion and room ventilated

Flow meter is installed with two butterfly valves before and after

Fire-fighting-Pump-Set testing & commissioning

Starting Up For Electric Pump

  1. Open suction valves
  2. Check that pump is full of water and that all air contained in the pump been escaped through the air release valve.
  3. Compress the packing evenly with gland ( i.e. hand tight)
  4. Lower setting of pressure switch to prevent pump from starting
  5. Check incoming voltage for all phases
  6. Place isolator and breaker in “ON” position and check “Power On” light is illuminated
  7. Press start then stop to check the direction of rotation and adjust
  8. Bleed the system to create pressure drop
  9. When the pump starts check if full load current value is within the electric motor name plate rating
  10. Check packing adjustment to obtain slight leake
  11. Stop the pump and allow jockey pump to pressurize the system again

Start up Procedure for Diesel Pump

  1. Open suction valves
  2. Check that pump is full of water and that all air contained in the pump been escape through the air release valve
  3. Compress packing evenly with gland (hand tight)
  4. Close the pressure relief valve using maximum spring pressure
  5. Lower setting of starting pressure
  6. Start engine manually on either battery
  7. adjust relief valve to open at tested pressure of the system
  8. stop engine and open system valve
  9. bleed the system to create pressure drop
  10. when the pump starts check
  • Engine speed
  • Oil pressure
  • Fuel pressure
  • Abnormal noise or vibration
  • Cooling water drain

Check packing adjustment to obtain slight leak

stop the pump by putting selector switch to “Off” Position and allow jockey pump to pressurize the system again

Start Up / Flow Test for Electric Pump

  1. Close system valve
  2. Open gate valve for flow meter discharge valve and keep butterfly valve after flow meter fully close
  3. Press start button to start the pump
  4. Adjust flow by butterfly valve after the flow meter
  5. Take suction and discharge pressure and ampere readings at shut off, rated,150% of rated flow and another intermediate flow
  6. Plot the pump curve and match it with the factory test curve

Start Up / Flow Test for Diesel Pump

  1. Close system valve
  2. Open gate valve for flow meter discharge valve and keep butterfly valve after flow meter fully close
  3. Press start button to start the pump
  4. Adjust flow by butterfly valve after the flow meter
  5. Take sectional discharge pressure and RPM of the engine at shut off, rated, 150% of the rated flow and another intermediate flow
  6. Plot the pump curve and match it with the factory test curve

Testing of Automatic Operation of Fire Pumps

Open system valve and turn all isolating valves to the fully open position

Set pressure switches to the following setting valves:

  • All fire pump stop pressure = fire pump shut off pressure + minimum suction pressure
  • Jockey pump start pressure = stop pressure – 10 PSI
  • Electric pump start pressure = jockey start pressure – 5 PSI
  • Diesel pump start pressure = electric pump start pressure – 10 PSI

Use 10 PSI for each additional pump

The final pressures should not exceed the pressure rating of the system

Place all switches for all control panels to the auto mode

Check Applicable three modes

Automatic Mode:

In case of any pressure drop in line due to hose reel, fire hose, sprinkler opening or any small leak in the lines, if the pressure reaches to the cut-in pressure point for the jockey pump it will start automatically and stop automatically at cut-off pressure. If the jockey pump couldn’t maintain the pressure in the system and pressure drop to the cut-in pressure of the duty pump it will start automatically and stop manually or automatically after 10 minutes if the pressure reaches to the cutoff point.

Incase of electric supply failure or mechanical failure of the electric pump, then the diesel engine pump will start automatically when the pressure in the system will reach to cut in pressure of the standby pump and it should stop manually from the control panel after assuring there is no requirement of fire pump to keep running or automatically after 30 minutes if the pressure reaches to the cutoff point.

Manual Mode Operation

In case of emergency, the pumps can run in manual mode function for jockey pump by placing selector switch in “hand mode”, electric pump by depressing the “start” push button and diesel pump it can start either from control panel or engine itself by putting selector switch in “Manual” mode and depressing “crank push button” for a few second (i.e. for 3-4 seconds only just to reach firing condition of the engine) or from the engine instrument panel. All pumps should stop manually if run in manual mode by returning switch to OFF position or depress stop push button.

Emergency Start 

In case of any problem in the control circuit of Electric and Diesel Controller, Fire Pumps can run through emergency start handle to mechanically close the contactor.


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