Fire Department Connection (FDC) Inlet Flow Assessment

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A Fire Department Connection (FDC) is “A connection through which the fire department can pump supplemental water into the sprinkler system, standpipe, or other system, furnishing water for fire extinguishment to supplement existing water supplies.” FDCs are required on all standpipe systems per NFPA 14, Standard for the Installation of Standpipe and Hose Systems, and sprinkler systems per NFPA 13, Standard for the Installation of Sprinkler Systems.

In 2007, the Technical Committee for NFPA 14 added the requirement for one 2 ½ inch inlet per every 250 gallons per minute (gpm), but this requirement lacks supporting scientific documentation. Since the 2007 edition several committee members have been trying to replace this requirement by requiring fewer inlets to accomplish the same task. There is a need to conduct flow testing to determine the amount of water that is possible to flow into an FDC inlet. Traditionally, 250 gpm flow is used for the average 2 ½ inch hose inlet, but what is the actual flow that can be achieved for each 2 ½ inch inlet on an FDC?

Research Goal: To determine the actual flow that can be achieved for each 2 ½ inch inlet on an FDC to provide technical basis to the NFPA 14 Technical Committee for a possible change to the standard.

Download the project summary. (PDF, 143 KB)