NFPA Journal®, November/December 2005
Comments? Please send your information to: NFPA Journal, 1 Batterymarch Park, Quincy, MA 02169-9101; E-mail: email@example.com
Guidance on fireproofing
There should also be more guidance and possibly testing on things such as attachments that includes pipe hangers, small supports, etc. that are installed after the fireproofing has been applied and result in parts of the fireproofing being removed. Do they need to be covered? How much? How far?
Matthew Murtha, PE
When the work is completed, architects and specifiers will have a clearer understanding of which products are compliant with the intended application. Until then, manufacturers should provide sufficient evidence that the products they offer will withstand the anticipated need for long-term durability.
Point of confusion
I did notice one point of confusion in the “Latest Devices” box (page 66). You indicate that the 2003 edition of NFPA 20 does not recognize variable speed drives. The 2003 edition does specifically recognize both variable speed diesel engine drivers and variable speed controllers for motor driven fire pumps. To wit: See Clauses 10.5.5 for electric drive fire pump controllers and 18.104.22.168 and 22.214.171.124. for variable speed diesel drivers, and, finally, 126.96.36.199.6(5). Also see 188.8.131.52.7.3 in the test and maintenance chapter. Other references are in 3.3.45, 184.108.40.206, 220.127.116.11, 18.104.22.168, 10.5.5.
It is true that the committee is adding additional clauses to cover variable speed electric drive controllers for the 2006 edition. These will be quite numerous and have already cleared both the public proposal and the public comment stages.
Highlighting an important issue
The diesel fire pump controller does not control the speed of the diesel engine, but the speed is controlled by the engine itself, either with a mechanical or electrical governor.
Also, variable speed devices, either electrical controller or diesel engines, are described in detail, but the sidebar mistakenly states that they are not recognized by NFPA 20 (2003 edition). These devices were not recognized previous to the 2003 version, but were added in 10.5.5 and 22.214.171.124.
Finally, my experience has been that variable speed controllers for electric units are considerably more than two times the price of an ATL controller.
The technology of fire pumps and their associated equipment continues to progress significantly, with improved pump designs and user-friendly controllers. Ultimately, this equipment must be tested and maintained by trained, experienced personnel to be effective as designed.
Darren Dale Mansur