Tests need to be performed to check the performance of standpipes. These maintenance testing have been defined in NPFA 25 as the general standards that are there to inspect, test, and maintain the fire protection systems that are based on water ejection.
We undertake comprehensive standpipe testing and inspection to ensure your systems are functional and up to the mark.
- Waterflow Alarm Test
Waterflow alarms are of three kinds. We design them in such a way that they alert the bystanders and the building personnel if a fire protection system has been activated.
- Vane-type water flow alarms are typically used in wet standpipe systems. Its working is based on a paddle that goes inside the pipe through the wall.
The paddle moves when the water starts to flow through the pipe, and in turn flips a switch. The switch triggers an electrical alarm. To be on the safe side and to avoid any false alarms, the alarm can be set on the delay of any preferred amount of time.
- Mechanical water flow alarms feature a hammer that is attached to a paddle that moves with the flow of the water. The hammer hits the bell with every revolution that it makes. The best thing about this alarm is that it requires no electrical connection, as it is powered just by the flowing water.
- Pressure switch water flow systems make use of a sensor. This sensor can detect any change in the pressure of the water. This change may occur due to any amount of water that is diverted. You can also set this to delay at any time you prefer to limit the number of false alarms.
The method we use mainly depends on if the pipes are dry or wet. Or, what kind of temperature does the building have and if it is okay to allow the flow of water and not let it freeze.
However, they all work on the same principle, the connection of water flow to an outlet to see if it triggers an alarm.
- Main Drain Test
The main drain of a standpipe is a drain that runs downstream from the water supply and the main control valve. If you close the main control valve first and then open the main drain, the system will be completely drained.
This will allow us to maintain or repair the main drain. According to NFPA 25, the main drain must be tested on a quarterly or annual basis. This is done to make sure all the blockages or any partially closed valves have been checked till the main drain. We also check the water pressure to make sure it is steady.
- Gauge Test
The gauges are supposed to be checked monthly, or quarterly. But apart from that, they must also be replaced after every five years. And the gauges that deflect more than 3% of the complete scale must be replaced or recalibrated.
Full scale means the maximum reading. The gauges are of relatively low prices, so replacing them is the best option.
- Supervisory Signal Device Tests
According to the NFPA 25, all supervisory signals must be tested annually, except for the valve supervisory switches. The NFPA 72 states that a supervisory signal initiating device is a device that initiates, for example, a supervisory switch, low air pressure switch, or a water level indicator.
It is placed on the sprinkler system of dry pipes. If there occurs a change in signals, it will indicate a condition that isn’t normal.
- Testing the Control Valves & Supervisory of Control Valves Test
Every control valve is supposed to be given a full round of motion at least once every year. This indicates that a valve that stays open is to be fully closed first and then opened again. It should be conducted along with a drain test, so it is a good idea to coordinate both of them.
- Flow Tests
These are to be conducted on automatic standpipe systems every five years. The purpose of this test is to ensure that the pressure at even the most remote hose connection is achievable when the standpipe is working on the demand of the system.
The pressure in class one and three systems needs to be 500 gpm. And the class two system must achieve a flow of 100 gpm. The flow meter is used to measure these values.
The values are measured by placing the flow meter at the hose outlets, and the individual gauges or the difference between the pressure of both can also be used to interpret this.
- Pressure Reducing Valve Tests
These tests are to be conducted every five years or annually. The tests are meant for relief valves or pressure reducing valves, particularly located at either hose rack assemblies, or hose connections.
The hose connections are present in class one and class three systems, and hose rack assemblies are present in class two, and sometimes class three systems.
You are supposed to conduct a full flow test every five years. We do this by taking the readings of the pressure of upstream as well as downstream of every single existing valve. This is to be done when the highest flow of water is flowing through the pipe.
- Backflow Preventer Tests
The job of backflow preventer is to prevent the re-entering of stagnant water into the city water supply. It is more like maintenance than testing. We check the valves with the backflow preventer to make sure they are not stuck in a closed position.
To conduct the test, we open a connection that is downstream of the backflow preventer. This creates a system demand flow.
- Hydrostatic Tests
The piping from the fire department check valve to the fire department connection requires hydrostatic testing. To be specific, every piping in manual wet, semi-automatic dry and standpipe systems is to be tested after every five years.
However, the only case in which this test can be avoided is when the manual wet system is combined with sprinklers.