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Performance Testing


Performance Testing Summary (1 of 2) Failure of the pump to deliver the required water at a certain pressure impairs the suppression ability and safety of fire fighters. – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Transcript and Presenter's Notes

Title: Performance Testing

Performance Testing
Knowledge Objectives
  • Describe the requirements for the performance
    tests as required by NFPA 1911.
  • Describe the criteria for re-rating fire pumps.

Skills Objectives (1 of 2)
  • Perform the no-load governed engine speed test.
  • Perform the pump shift indicator test.
  • Perform the pump engine control interlock test.
  • Perform a gauge meter test.
  • Perform a flow meter test.
  • Perform a tank-to-pump flow test.

Skills Objectives (2 of 2)
  • Perform a vacuum test.
  • Perform an internal relief valve test.
  • Perform a priming system test.
  • Conduct the pumping and overload tests for fire
  • Perform the pressure control tests.

Introduction (1 of 7)
  • An apparatus accepted and placed in service must
    be properly inspected, operated, maintained, and
    tested over its lifetime.
  • Pumping system delivers certain amount of water
    at desired pressure
  • Pumps failure to deliver required water at
    certain pressure impairs fire-suppression ability
    and safety of fire fighters

Introduction (2 of 7)
  • An apparatus is subject to annual performance
  • Certification testing can be done by agencies
    other than the UL.
  • Critical that apparatus be tested periodically by
    independent, third-party certifying agency

Introduction (3 of 7)
  • Performance tests are conducted after the
    apparatus is put into service to determine if its
    performance meets predetermined specs or
  • Performance testing of pumps is integral and a
    vital part of apparatus safety and maintenance.

Introduction (4 of 7)
  • Insurance Services Office (ISO) reports that fire
    is still the leading cause of loss cited with
    personal and commercial property insurance
  • Definite correlation between improved fire
    protection and compliance with NFPA standards
  • ISO Fire Suppression Rating Schedule assigns the
    highest point total to apparatus pumps.

Introduction (5 of 7)
  • NFPA 1911, Standard for the Inspection,
    Maintenance, Testing, and Retirement of
    In-Service Automotive Fire Apparatus, calls for
    annual service testing of apparatus pumps
  • Fire pumps have a rated capacity of 250 GPM
    (1000 L/min) at 150 psi (1000 kPa) net pump
  • Test fire pumps yearly to determine if they are
    still able to achieve designed performance.

Introduction (6 of 7)
  • Performance tests test the entire system.
  • Engine, transmission, pump, and related
    accessories and devices used in operating the
    pumping system
  • Stress test for the apparatus
  • To pass, the apparatus must
  • Deliver original design flow and pressure
  • Show no signs of overheating, loss of power, or
  • Not exhibit other major defects

Introduction (7 of 7)
  • The test should be annual for all apparatus with
    a fire pump with 250 GPM capacity or if the pump
    and/or engine has been repaired or modified.
  • The test is not the same as the New Apparatus
    Acceptance or UL Test, which is by an
    independent agency for the manufacturer.
  • NFPA 1911 calls for a test when major repairs or
    modifications are made to the pump or a component
    of the apparatus used in pump operations.

Fire Apparatus Requirements (1 of 6)
  • Engine-driven accessories should not be
    disconnected or inoperative during the annual
    performance test.
  • If a chassis engine drives the pump, all
    headlights, running lights, warning lights, and
    air conditioners should operate during the
    pumping portion of the test.

Fire Apparatus Requirements (2 of 6)
  • Devices turned off or not operated during the
    pump performance test
  • Aerial hydraulic pump
  • Foam pump
  • Hydraulic-driven equipment
  • Winch
  • Windshield wipers
  • Four-way hazard flashers
  • Compressed-air foam system compressor

Fire Apparatus Requirements (3 of 6)
  • If electrical loads are connected through an
    automatic electrical load management system, the
    system should automatically disconnect loads
    during the test.
  • When operating the pump, the engine temperature
    must be kept within a proper range.
  • Neither cold nor excessively hot engine will give
    good service

Fire Apparatus Requirements (4 of 6)
  • Watch the oil pressure to see that the engine is
    properly lubricated.
  • Monitor the transmission gears for overheating.
  • Note and manage engine or pump vibration or leaks
    in pump casing or connections.

Fire Apparatus Requirements (5 of 6)
  • Use side intakes only when performance testing
    the fire pumps.
  • May use front- or rear-mounted intakes with side
    intake suction(s) for all pumps providing flows
    of 1500 GPM
  • Keep all other intakes closed and properly
  • Remove Storz fittings before testing. Replace
    with steamer caps during the test.

Fire Apparatus Requirements (6 of 6)
  • In case of apparatus failure, leave time for
  • Failure is defined as a cessation of proper
    functioning or performance.
  • Document other defects in the engine or pump
  • Correct minor defects immediately if possible.
  • If repairs cannot be done on site, reschedule
    apparatus testing for later.

Environmental Requirements (1 of 3)
  • Before beginning tests on pumps, determine and
    record the environmental conditions
  • Ambient air temperature
  • Water temperature
  • Atmospheric pressure
  • NFPA 1911 specifies tests be conducted when
    ambient air temperature is 0F to 110F (18C to
  • Days with moderate temperatures are ideal.

Environmental Requirements (2 of 3)
  • Warm water is more likely to cavitate inside the
  • May result in a loss of 500 GPM (1900 L/min) in
    flow rate
  • Cold water is more likely to freeze and foul the
    test equipment, especially if the air temperature
    is also low.
  • Recommend a water temperature of 35F to 85F
    (1.7C to 29C) 60F (16C) is ideal

Environmental Requirements (3 of 3)
  • To correct local atmospheric pressure readings to
    sea level, add 1 in. Hg (25 mm Hg) for every
    1000 (305 m) of elevation at the site.
  • High pressure pushes harder on the surface of the
    water being drafted, making it easier to lift.
  • Low pressure makes it hard to lift.
  • If environmental conditions are not within
    specified limits, delay the test.

Test Site (1 of 7)
  • The test site should be on an improved roadway or
    solid ground with water 48 (1.22.4 m) below
  • Water should be 4 (1.2 m) deep at the strainer
    to provide clearance below and sufficient depth
  • Conduct all tests requiring flowing water with
    the pump drafting.

Test Site (2 of 7)
  • When a suitable drafting site is not available, a
    chosen site must provide a level area, a source
    of water, and a discharge area.
  • Site elevation and lift should be recorded.
  • Lift is the vertical height that water must be
    raised during drafting.
  • Maximum lift is the greatest elevation difference
    at which the apparatus can draft required water
    under established characteristics of operation

Test Site (3 of 7)
  • The rated capacity of the pump determines
  • Suction arrangement
  • Diameter of the suction hose
  • Maximum number of suction lines
  • Maximum allowable lift

Test Site (4 of 7)
  • Characteristics to consider for maximum lift
  • Pump design
  • Engine adequacy
  • Condition of the pump and engine
  • Size and condition of the suction hose and
  • Pumping site elevation above sea level
  • Atmospheric conditions
  • Water temperature

Test Site (5 of 7)
  • Fire departments that want the best pump
    performance should consider other factors when
    conducting performance tests.
  • Select a test site with adequate clear, fresh
  • Salt water is denser than fresh water and should
    not be used in tests.
  • Avoid muddy water since it contains hidden debris
    and can clog the pump, valves, fittings, and
    gauge lines.

Test Site (6 of 7)
  • Make sure the water source allows good
    performance and easy accessibility.
  • Apparatus should be able to park on a level, hard
  • A properly designed pump test pit is an option in
    conducting performance testing.
  • If using a test pit, make sure the usable pit
    capacity is 10 gal for every 1 GPM of the pump.
  • Pits with less capacity can result in air
    entrapment and excessive water temperature rise.

Test Site (7 of 7)
Equipment Requirements (1 of 5)
  • Before conducting performance tests on apparatus,
    AHJ must ensure the availability of proper
    equipment and satisfactory working conditions
  • Equipment needed during testing
  • One 0300 psi test gauge
  • One 030 in Hg vacuum gauge
  • Two 0150 psi test gauges
  • Two Pitot gauges

Equipment Requirements (2 of 5)
  • Equipment needed during testing (continued)
  • One or more flow meters in lieu of Pitot gauges
  • Assorted smooth-bore testing nozzles
  • Mechanical or digital hand-held tachometer
  • Strobe-type tachometer and tape if the apparatus
    does not have a pump shaft
  • Suction hoses of appropriate sizes and lengths
  • One or more mallets
  • Two deluge appliances with stream straighteners

Equipment Requirements (3 of 5)
  • Equipment needed during testing (continued)
  • Numerous lengths of 2½? (64-mm) or 3? (76-mm)
  • Two wheel chocks
  • Assorted wrenches and Allen keys
  • Roll of plumbers tape
  • Assorted spanner wrenches
  • Hydrant wrench
  • Calculator

Equipment Requirements (4 of 5)
  • Nozzles for testing are found in the departments
    regular equipment.
  • Should know the actual coefficient of discharge
    of each nozzle
  • Choose a nozzle size to give the desired
    discharge at a nozzle pressure of 6070 psi
    (410480 kPa).
  • Use only smooth-bore nozzles.
  • Pitot tube with air chamber and pressure gauge is
    necessary for determining velocity pressure of
    the water at the nozzle

Equipment Requirements (5 of 5)
No-Load Governed Engine Speed Test (1 of 4)
  • Check governed engine speed.
  • If not within 50 rpm of governed speed when
    apparatus was brand new, correct the problem
    before proceeding with the tests.
  • Check speed while preparing the apparatus before
    the testing day.
  • Failure to operate at the correct governed speed
    during performance tests is a common problem.

No-Load Governed Engine Speed Test (2 of 4)
  • To get the maximum engine power, run the engine
    up to the governed engine speed and make sure it
    stays once the engine reaches a normal operating
  • Do not let the engine exceed a rated no-load
    governed speed.
  • Check the air cleaner and fuel filter
    restrictions and replace filter elements to avoid
    power loss.

No-Load Governed Engine Speed Test (3 of 4)
  • To get the maximum engine power (continued)
  • Check the fan belt and adjust the tension to
    provide adequate cooling during the pump
    performance test.
  • Check that the alternator belt tension and
    battery charge will provide enough electrical
    power to allow 45 seconds of uninterrupted primer
    operation during the vacuum and priming device

No-Load Governed Engine Speed Test (4 of 4)
  • Readings should equal the no-load governed engine
    speed from when the apparatus was new.
  • Information is listed on the original acceptance
    form(s), on or near the pump panel on the UL

Intake Relief Valve System Test
  • If apparatus is equipped with an intake relief
    valve system or combination intake/discharge
    system, test to ensure the system operates by
    manufacturers specifications
  • Relief valve device that allows bypass of fluids
    to limit the system pressure
  • Conduct the test using a second pumper to supply
    water to the pumper being tested.

Pump Shift Indicator Test
  • Test to verify the pump shift indicators in the
    cab and on the panel indicate the correct status
    when the pump is shifted from road to pump mode.
  • Pump shift indicators in the cab and on the pump
    panel require an electromechanical device to
    sense the pump shift status.

Pump Engine Control Interlock Test (1 of 2)
  • 1991 NFPA 1901 required an interlock system on
    any apparatus equipped with electronic or
    electric engine throttle controls to prevent
    engine speed advancement.
  • Unless chassis transmission is in neutral with
    the parking brake engaged
  • Or unless the parking brake is engaged, the fire
    pump is engaged, and the chassis transmission is
    in pumping gear
  • Or unless apparatus is in Okay to pump mode

Pump Engine Control Interlock Test (2 of 2)
  • NFPA 1911 standard requires testing interlock in
    only two configurations.
  • Various combinations for arranging chassis,
    transmission gear, parking brake, and pump shift
    in driving compartment
  • Engine speed control should be adjustable at the
    panel when using that combination.

Gauge and Flow Meter Test (1 of 3)
  • Can check discharge pressure gauges quickly
    against test gauges for accuracy
  • Cap individual discharge lines with gauges and
    open the discharge valve slightly.
  • Test gauge, master discharge gauge, and all other
    discharge gauges should have the same reading.

Gauge and Flow Meter Test (2 of 3)
  • Check each water pressure gauge or flow meter for
  • Check pressure gauges at at least three points
  • 150 psi (1034 kPa)
  • 200 psi (1379 kPa)
  • 250 psi (1723 kPa)
  • Any gauge off by more than 10 psi (69 kPa) must
    be recalibrated, repaired, or replaced.

Gauge and Flow Meter Test (3 of 3)
  • Check flow meters (flow minders) individually
    using hose stream with smooth-bore tip and Pitot
    tube to measure actual flow
  • Check each flow meter for accuracy at the flows
    included in the test.
  • Most flow meters can be recalibrated using a
    small screwdriver or magnet during the test.
  • Follow the manufacturers recommendations when
    recalibrating the flow meter.

Tank-to-Pump Flow Test
  • Compare flow rate with rate designated when
    apparatus was new or with rate established in
    previous testing
  • Rates less than previously established indicate
    problems in tank-to-pump line or tank pump
  • For tanks with capacities greater than 750 gal
    (2840 L), use the same test except use the flow
    of 500 GPM (1890 L/min).

Vacuum Test (1 of 3)
  • Pump on the new apparatus must be able to develop
    a vacuum of 22 in. Hg (75 kPa)
  • Unless the altitude is greater than 2000 (610 m)
  • The vacuum inside the pump or suction hose should
    not drop more than 10 in. Hg (34 kPa) in 5

Vacuum Test (2 of 3)
  • Vacuum test is a test of the priming system
    tests pump tightness, including valves and
  • Not a test of the pumps ability to maintain
    vacuum while pumping water
  • Use the required vacuum based on elevation above
    sea level as noted in NFPA 1911

Vacuum Test (3 of 3)
  • Leaking gaskets and improperly adjusted pump
    packing are two problems on the test, so
    preparation of the apparatus is important.
  • If the primer device fails to produce a vacuum of
    at least 22 in. Hg (75 kPa) at sea level,
    determine and correct the reason for the
    discrepancy before conducting further testing.

Priming System Test (1 of 3)
  • At the start of the vacuum test, pay attention to
    the ease with which the pump develops a vacuum.
  • Before priming, close all discharges, drains, and
    water tank valves and petcocks.
  • Make sure the gaskets in the suction line hose(s)
    are in place and free of foreign matter.
  • Close the intake valves.
  • Tighten the intake caps and couplings.

Priming System Test (2 of 3)
  • For pumps operating at less than 1500 GPM (5678
    L/min), a priming device should create the
    necessary vacuum in 30 seconds to lift water 10
    (3 m) through 20 (6 m) of suction hose of an
    appropriate size.
  • Priming device on pumps of 1500 GPM should
    accomplish this task in 45 seconds

Priming System Test (3 of 3)
  • Might need extra 15 seconds where pump system
    includes auxiliary 4 (100 mm) intake pipe with
    volume of 1 ft3 (0.03 m3) or more
  • Operate controls to develop pressure, then open
    one discharge valve to permit water flow.
  • If pump does not pull draft in specific time,
    note the cause and adjustment and/or repair as

Pumping Test Requirements (1 of 5)
  • Make sure loads not required for the pumping test
    are turned off or shed by the load manager.
  • NFPA 1911 requires that if the pump is driven by
    the apparatus engine, engine-driven accessories
    should not be functionally disconnected or
    rendered inoperable during the tests.
  • If a chassis engine drives the pump, all
    headlights, running lights, warning lights, and
    air conditioners should operate during the test.

Pumping Test Requirements (2 of 5)
  • Other equipment driven by the engine must operate
  • Check for
  • Air system leaks
  • Improper operation of air compressor unloader
  • Improper activation of fan clutch
  • Other potential power loss

Pumping Test Requirements (3 of 5)
  • During the pumping test, do not stop the pump
    except when discharges are closed to permit
    changing the hose layout or nozzle diameter.
  • Keep flowing water from the discharge outlet when
    changing testing nozzles to avoid overheating.
  • Keep the engine compartment closed during the
    test unless the apparatus meets an older standard.

Pumping Test Requirements (4 of 5)
  • When testing the pump at elevations up to 2000
    (610 m), use 20 (6.1 m) of suction hose of
    appropriate size for the pumps rated capacity.
  • Number, length, condition of suction hoses, plus
    altitude, water temperature, atmospheric
    pressure, and lift affect the performance while
    pumping from a draft.

Pumping Test Requirements (5 of 5)
Pump Performance Test (1 of 20)
  • For pump testing, there are three factors
  • Pump speed
  • Net pump pressure
  • Pump discharge rate
  • A change in any factor causes a change in at
    least one other factor.
  • Using variables is the only way to reach the
    standard test condition desired.

Pump Performance Test (2 of 20)
  • During the test, operate the pump at a reduced
    capacity and pressure for several minutes to let
    the engine and transmission warm up gradually.
  • Increase the pump speed until reaching a desired
    pressure at the pump.
  • If the desired pressure is not attained, add one
    or more lengths of hose, use smaller nozzle, or
    throttle the discharge valve.

Pump Performance Test (3 of 20)
  • When the pump obtains the desired pressure, read
    the Pitot gauge to see if the required water is
    being delivered.
  • If the discharge is not as desired but the pump
    will deliver more water, increase the discharge
    by speeding up the pump.
  • If speeding up the pump increases the pump
    pressure by more than 5 or 10 psi (34 or 69 kPa),
    take out a length of hose, slightly open the
    discharge valve, or use a larger nozzle.

Pump Performance Test (4 of 20)
  • To achieve maximum pump performance, check the
    suction screen on the pump inlet and remove any
  • Check the priming device fluid level and add more
    fluid if necessary.
  • If the pump has packing seals, check and adjust
    as required to minimize vacuum losses.
  • Check and replace cracked or missing suction and
    discharge hose and cap gaskets.

Pump Performance Test (5 of 20)
Pump Performance Test (6 of 20)
  • Hard suction hoses with smooth interiors produce
    lower friction losses than do more flexible
    suction hoses with spiral-corrugated interiors.
  • Basket-type suction strainers have lower entrance
    losses than do barrel-type strainers.
  • Recommended for use with 1500 GPM (5678 L/min) or
    greater pumps

Pump Performance Test (7 of 20)
  • Testing the pump at a draft is preferable to
    testing from a hydrant because true pump
    performance is easier to evaluate.
  • If no suitable drafting locations are available,
    testing the pump from a hydrant is acceptable.

Pump Performance Test (8 of 20)
  • Discharge pressure
  • Water pressure on the pump discharge manifold at
    the gauge attachment
  • Gauge readings reflect the pressure necessary for
    the pump to perform at a required net pump
  • Reduce the net pump pressure by 1 for the 200 psi
    test, and by 2 for the 250 psi test.

Pump Performance Test (9 of 20)
  • When testing the pump from a hydrant, the intake
    hose size and length should let the needed water
    reach the pump with an intake gauge pressure of
    20 psi (138 kPa) while flowing at a rated
  • Intake pressure pressure on the pump intake
    passageway at the gauge attachment
  • Only a strainer (screen) at the pump intake
    connection is required to test this.

Pump Performance Test (10 of 20)
  • Most apparatus are rated for operations at
    elevations up to 2000 (610 m).
  • Engine and pump performance is reduced at higher
  • If more than 2000 above sea level, contact the
    manufacturer for the corrected pump rating before
    attempting the pump test.

Pump Performance Test (11 of 20)
  • The pump should be subjected to a pumping test of
    at least 45 minutes.
  • Let the pump, transmission, and engine warm up 10
    minutes before beginning the tests.
  • Do not throttle down the pump except when the
    discharges are closed to permit changing the hose
    or nozzle or to change the position of the
    transfer valve.

Pump Performance Test (12 of 20)
  • If the pump is a two-stage, parallel/series-type,
    run the pump in parallel mode at 100 percent
  • Run the pump in series or parallel mode for test
    at 70 percent capacity
  • Run the pump in series mode for test at 50
    percent capacity
  • Do not throttle down the engine except when the
    hose, nozzle, or the position of the transfer
    valve changes.

Pump Performance Test (13 of 20)
  • Take and record the complete set of readings at
    least five times during the 20-minute test for a
    100 percent rated capacity.
  • At least twice during the overload test
  • At least three times during each 10-minute test
    for 70 and 50 percent capacity

Pump Performance Test (14 of 20)
  • Document
  • Time
  • Pump speed counter (rpm)
  • Pump speed (rpm)
  • Pump tachometer
  • Pump intake test gauge (in. Hg)
  • Apparatus pump discharge
  • Testing gauge pump discharge
  • Nozzle Pitot readings
  • Flow meter(s) readings

Pump Performance Test (15 of 20)
  • During each testing period, record on the
    performance test form
  • Engine water temperature
  • Engine oil pressure (psi)
  • Transmission oil temperature
  • Voltage

Pump Performance Test (16 of 20)
  • If the pump flow or pressure readings vary by
    more than 5 percent during the test, determine
    the reason for fluctuation, correct the cause,
    and continue or repeat the test.
  • If the pump counter speed shaft (rpm) is not
    provided, read the engine speed with a
    photo-tachometer or strobe light off the rotating

Pump Performance Test (17 of 20)
  • Subject the pump to a pumping test consisting of
  • 20 minutes pumping at 100 percent rated capacity
    at 150 psi, net pump pressure
  • 10 minutes pumping at 70 percent rated capacity
    at 200 psi, net pump pressure
  • 10 minutes pumping at 50 percent rated capacity
    at 250 psi, net pump pressure

Pump Performance Test (18 of 20)
  • Capacity test/150 psi test (100 percent test)
  • Conduct the capacity test within several minutes
    after the priming test is successfully completed.
  • This sequence ensures that the engine, pump, and
    transmission have adequate time to warm up.

Pump Performance Test (19 of 20)
  • Overload test/165 psi test
  • If the pump has a rated capacity of 750 GPM (3000
    L/min) or greater, subject the apparatus to an
    overload test.
  • Do not start the pumping tests until the pump
    pressure and discharge quantity are satisfactory.

Pump Performance Test (20 of 20)
  • 200 psi test (70 percent test)
  • Conduct a 200 psi (1379 kPa) test immediately
    after the 165 psi overload test.
  • No time delay between tests unless you are making
    a nozzle tip change
  • 250 psi test (50 percent test)
  • Conduct a 250 psi (1723 kPa) test immediately
    after the 200 psi test.

Pressure Control Test (1 of 2)
  • Test the pressure control device, relief valve,
    or the pressure governor on the pump panel at 150
    psi (1034 kPa), 90 psi (620 kPa), and 250 psi
    (1723 kPa).
  • Perform a pressure control test using net pump
    pressure and net pressure rise readings.
  • Some pressure control systems might not operate
    correctly if the hydrant pressure is too high.

Pressure Control Test (2 of 2)
  • Closing all discharges in less than 3 seconds
    could cause instantaneous pressure rises.
  • The pressure control device might not respond
    rapidly enough to avoid damage to the pumping
  • Taking more than 10 seconds to close all
    discharges is not a reasonable test of the
    pressure control device response capability.
  • Controlling the closure of discharges can be
    performed manually or otherwise.

Post Performance Testing (1 of 9)
  • After conducting the performance tests, reduce
    the apparatus engine speed to idle.
  • Let the engine, pump, and transmission cool down
    for approximately 10 minutes.
  • After cool down, turn off all engine-driven
    accessories turned on during testing.

Post Performance Testing (2 of 9)
  • After 5 minutes, switch the apparatus from pump
    to road mode.
  • Keep the apparatus idling to let the engine turbo
    cool down.
  • Pump and suction lines still have a vacuum, so
    open the discharge valve to remove the vacuum
    inside the pump.
  • Remove testing equipment, hoses, hard suction
    hoses, and nozzles put apparatus back in service.

Post Performance Testing (3 of 9)
  • When operating from a draft or static source,
    backflush the pump and tank after testing.
  • Backflushing requires attaching the apparatus to
    a clean water source and flushing the discharge
    and intake valves and pump.
  • Drain and refill the tank.

Post Performance Testing (4 of 9)
  • The pumping system should exhibit no undue
    heating, loss of power, or other defect during
    the test.
  • Calculate and record the average flow rate,
    discharge pressure, intake pressure, and engine
    speed at the end of each test phase.

Post Performance Testing (5 of 9)
  • When the apparatus operates at or near full
    engine power while stationary, heat raises the
    temperature of certain components above what
    could be touched without discomfort or injury.
  • Performance is considered acceptable as long as
    the apparatus can be operated, used for required
    duration under those conditions, and engine
    coolant temperature stays within a normal range.

Post Performance Testing (6 of 9)
  • Normal wear in the pumping system can require
    speeds greater than required at the time of
    delivery for the pumping test.
  • Variances are acceptable as long as the apparatus
    passes performance tests without exceeding the
    no-load governed engine speed.

Post Performance Testing (7 of 9)
  • Final test results
  • Record all test conditions, readings, and
    information to receive full credit for
    performance tests.
  • Compare most recent results with previous ones to
    look for long-term changes that could indicate
    hidden problems.

Post Performance Testing (8 of 9)
  • NFPA 1911 contains a test data form to be used
    with annual performance tests.
  • Contains headings and blank spaces to record data
  • Record information neatly.
  • Use a pen instead of a pencil.
  • Fill in Witnessed by and Date lines at the
    bottom of the first page to make the test form
    more legally defensible.

Post Performance Testing (9 of 9)
  • Conduct testing once per year, every year.
  • Pumps tested less often will not show serious
  • If test conditions are equivalent to those at
    delivery and engine speed increases by more than
    10 percent, determine the reason and correct the
  • Maintain test conditions as consistently as
    possible from test period to test period.

Problem Solving (1 of 7)
  • Most performance tests are conducted without any
    incident, but sometimes trouble may develop.
  • Failure to prime the centrifugal pump is a
    frequent source of trouble.
  • Usual reason for failure is an air leak in the
    suction hose or pump
  • Trace trouble by removing the discharge hose
    lines, capping the discharge openings and suction
    hose, and operate the priming mechanism.

Problem Solving (2 of 7)
  • Locate the leak by listening for air movement.
  • Two causes of failure of pump to deliver desired
    capacity, pressure, or both
  • Insufficient power
  • Restrictions in intake arrangement
  • Insufficient pressure when operating the
    centrifugal pump could be from pumping too much
    water for the available power.

Problem Solving (3 of 7)
  • Possible causes of insufficient power
  • Failure to advance the throttle far enough
  • Using the wrong transmission gear position
  • Engine might need a tune-up
  • Improper fuel grade for adequate combustion
  • Vaporization in the fuel line

Problem Solving (4 of 7)
  • Restriction in intake arrangement is indicated if
    the pump speed is too high for the capacity and
    attained pressure levels.
  • Could result from
  • Too-small suction hose
  • Too-high altitude or suction lift
  • Incorrect strainer type
  • Intake strainer clogged at the pump or the end of
    the suction hose

Problem Solving (5 of 7)
  • Could result from (continued)
  • Collapsed or defective suction hose
  • Aerated water or too warm water (greater than
    90F 32C)
  • Foreign material in the pump
  • Pressure control device set too low or

Problem Solving (6 of 7)
  • An air leak in the suction hose connections or
    pump intake manifold results in an excessive pump
  • Could cause a loss of prime and complete
    cessation of flow
  • Engine speed differences from the original pump
    test could be from
  • Operating an apparatus with the wrong
    transmission gear

Problem Solving (7 of 7)
  • Engine speed differences from the original pump
    test could be from (continued)
  • Stuck throttle control cable
  • Restrictions in intake arrangements
  • Suction hose under insufficient water
  • Air leak on the pumps intake side
  • Changes in environmental conditions
  • Pump and/or engine wear
  • High gear lockup not functioning

Re-rating Fire Pumps (1 of 4)
  • Consider re-rating the apparatus fire pump under
    two conditions
  • When the apparatus is delivered or re-powered
    with an engine that supplies power beyond that
    needed by the pump, warranting a larger capacity
    rating for the apparatus
  • Changes to the environment in which the engine or
    pump was initially delivered so that the engine
    no longer achieves its original performance

Re-rating Fire Pumps (2 of 4)
  • Never consider the pump for re-rating if the
    engine is worn or should have major restorative
  • Do not consider the pump for re-rating if test
    results indicate that the pump has wear or other
  • Theres a good chance the pump will not pass the
    complete pump test.

Re-rating Fire Pumps (3 of 4)
  • If AHJ wants to re-rate the pump, complete a
    pumping test as specified in NFPA 1911, including
    having the test witnessed and certified by an
    accredited third-party testing organization.
  • Problems with engine wear, pump wear, pump
    blockages, and other issues will worsen at an
    accelerated rate if not corrected, resulting in
    catastrophic failure during an emergency.

Re-rating Fire Pumps (4 of 4)
  • Might need to keep using the pump on the
    apparatus that does not meet original rating
    until the pump can be repaired
  • Decide on a case-by-case basis depending on the
    specific pump deficiency and the apparatus
    available for replacement while repairs are being
  • Re-rating the pump downward where deficiencies
    exist creates a false sense of vehicle capability.

Summary (1 of 2)
  • Failure of the pump to deliver the required water
    at a certain pressure impairs the suppression
    ability and safety of fire fighters.
  • Engine-driven accessories should not be
    disconnected or inoperative during tests.
  • First performance test Check the governed engine

Summary (2 of 2)
  • A vacuum test is a test of the priming system,
    including pump tightness plus valves and
  • There are two conditions to consider when
    re-rating a pump.