NFPA 20 HDBK
Stationary Fire Pumps Handbook
|Publication Date:||1 January 2010|
NFPA 20 is an installation standard for stationary fire pumps. As an installation standard, NFPA 20 does not specify when or if fire pumps must be installed to supplement an existing water supply. The purpose of the standard is to specify how to install a fire pump properly when one is needed and which components, equipment, and power supplies are acceptable for use in a fire pump installation. In other words, NFPA 20 indicates how to properly arrange and install a fire pump and its supporting equipment. The standard does not identify when a fire pump is required or needed.
Stationary fire pumps, such as the centrifugal or positive displacement types, are pumps that are permanently installed in a building. The term stationary is used to distinguish between the types of pumps described in NFPA 20 and the motorized types used by public and private fire departments.
The need for a fire pump is usually determined through an analysis of the fire protection system being considered, the water supply required for the system, and the water supply available, as indicated in Part I of this handbook. Fire pumps are principally used where pressure from the attached water supply is insufficient. Where capacity of the water supply is also in question, means in addition to a fire pump, such as water tanks, also need to be considered.
When considering whether a fire pump is necessary, the reader should refer to the other National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) standards that address various types of waterbased fire protection systems.
For more information, see NFPA 25, Standard for the Inspection, Testing, and Maintenance of Water-Based Fire Protection Systems, and NFPA 70, National Electrical Code, Article 695.
This standard deals with the selection and installation of pumps supplying liquid for private fire protection.
The scope of this document shall include liquid supplies; suction, discharge, and auxiliary equipment; power supplies, including power supply arrangements; electric drive and control; diesel engine drive and control; steam turbine drive and control; and acceptance tests and operation.
In addition to the selection of the fire pump, NFPA 20 includes minimum requirements for the attached water supply, power supply arrangement, type of driver, and acceptance test procedures.
This standard does not cover system liquid supply capacity and pressure requirements, nor does it cover requirements for periodic inspection, testing, and maintenance of fire pump systems.
For liquid supply capacity and pressure requirements, see the appropriate system installation standard such as NFPA 13. For inspection, testing, and maintenance requirements for existing fire pump installations, see NFPA 25, Standard for the Inspection, Testing, and Maintenance of Water-Based Fire Protection Systems.
This standard does not cover the requirements for installation wiring of fire pump units.
See NFPA 70®, National Electrical Code®, for requirements related to the installation of wiring for fire pumps.
The purpose of this standard is to provide a reasonable degree of protection for life and property from fire through installation requirements for stationary pumps for fire protection based upon sound engineering principles, test data, and field experience.
Fire pump installations are a critical and essential component of the water supply for a fire protection system, as they provide the necessary system flow and pressure. The performance of any water-based fire protection system is dependent on the availability, adequacy, and reliability of the water supply to which it is connected. Fire pumps installed in accordance with NFPA 20 and inspected, tested, and maintained in accordance with NFPA 25 ensure that the available water supply will have the necessary operating pressure and flow when needed during an emergency. An important point to recognize, however, is that fire pumps cannot create water; they can only boost or supply the pressure and flow in an available water source. Fire pumps do not increase the capacity of a water supply.
NFPA 20 provides the minimum requirements needed for the satisfactory operation of all types of listed fire pumps. Even though the overall level of performance intended might be enhanced by exceeding the minimum requirements stated, the provisions of NFPA 20 allow for proper and effective fire pump performance.