Temporary Fire Protection FAQ
Xylem Rental Solutions offers a complete temporary fire protection solution for any application. Learn more about temporary fire protection and Xylem’s capabilities in this FAQ.
Where are temporary fire protection pump systems used?
- Commercial buildings, from high-rises to offices to hospitals
- Industrial facilities, including off-shore platforms
- Shipyards and marine repair facilities
- Fuel-loading terminals
- Lumberyards and sawmills
- Historic structures, such as tourist attractions
When would a temporary fire protection pump system be needed?
- An emergency due to failure
- As backup during scheduled maintenance of the permanent fire protection system
- During construction, if the permanent fire protection system is not yet operational or available
- At temporary use facilities, such as those hosting sporting events and festivals
- On naval and entertainment ships when docked or not operating
How long is a project considered “temporary?”
There is really no standard definition for temporary installation. “Temporary” means as long the system is needed to back up the permanent NFPA 20 stationary fire pump. A typical range is a few days to six months or even a year, depending on the situation for which it’s needed. As with any life protection system, the local authority having jurisdiction (AHJ) should be contacted for approval, especially if a temporary fire pump is expected to be used for longer durations.
What does a temporary fire protection pump system consist of?
A Xylem Rental Solutions temporary fire protection pump system typically consists of a Godwin Diesel Dri-Prime HL Series pump. The system includes the engine and the pump as one unit mounted to a trailer or skid base. All hoses and fittings are included, as is a jockey pump and Xylem’s proprietary PrimeGuard 2 Controller with Field Smart Technology (FST).
What are PrimeGuard and FST?
The Godwin PrimeGuard 2 Controller is a fully programmable microprocessor engine control system allowing for inputs from level, pressure or flow transducers or standard floats. Using any of these systems, a Godwin Dri-Prime pump can start and stop automatically with no operator intervention required.
With Godwin's remote monitoring and control offering, Field Smart Technology (FST), engine and pump data is collected in one-minute intervals through cellular signal or satellite connection. This data, as well as the ability to start and stop the pump, is available on a private website accessible anywhere, which allows for better use of labor and resources.
Are there any requirements for approvals and listings of fire pumps for temporary use?
Currently, there are no NFPA 20 or UL or FM written standards for temporary fire protection. Xylem temporary fire protection systems strive to meet NPFA 20 requirement for stationary fire protection as closely and as reasonably possible with the type of equipment required. Xylem has been providing temporary fire pumps with AHJ approval for more than 40 years.
Is the NFPA 25 weekly pump test also required with a temporary system?
While there is no standard for a temporary installation and the NFPA 25 code does not cover temporary fire pumps, a weekly test is still recommended to circulate the fuel, oil and coolant within the system. The Xylem PrimeGuard 2 Controller features automatic on and off to run the diesel engine to ensure battery life.
Does the fire alarm system interface with the temporary fire protection system?
How does the system protect against tampering?
Alerts via phone or email are available with the PrimeGuard 2 Controller and Field Smart Technology (FST). The panel can be locked out without a code if tampering is suspected. Critically silenced enclosures have locking doors.
What are the overall space requirements for these installations?
Does the pump have to be fixed in a particular way to the ground?
The system is typically affixed to skids or a trailer. Larger suction and discharge hoses are supported to ensure there is no strain on the skid itself or that the pump is not acting as pipe support, which could put stress on the shaft and bearings.
Is the water supply through a fire department connection or through the water main?
For connecting the discharge into the system, the fire department connection is ideal. If the supply is coming from a hydrant through a pump to the FDC, the connection can be made through the hose header. If the permanent fire pump is out of service and there is access to the fire pump, it can be connected directly to the piping system.
Are there any limitations on the distance from the water supply source?
Xylem Rental Solutions will conduct hydraulic calculations based on the physical conditions of the site to ensure the pump capacity meets demand and account for pressure losses through the hoses over the distance. If shutoff is an issue, a pressure control valve will reduce the shutoff pressure. If there is a long suction run, a standard calculation will resolve the friction resistance between the pressure control valve and the pump suction to determine the appropriate psi that is required to overcome friction resistance to the pump and not exceed the limitations of the mechanical seal.
Are there any pressure relief options to prevent damage to piping? Is there a discharge pressure relief valve installed?
Generally, water is coming from the municipal water source or from natural sources, so there’s not a lot of surge in the suction as much as in the discharge. If the system is pumping up a hill or into a high-rise building, there could be a surge coming back at shut-off. In those cases, there is a check valve, and that’s where there would be a pressure relief valve. As far as a regular surge anticipating valve, it’s not typical unless it’s already on the system.
Is a copper sensing line part of a temporary fire protection pump system?
Are backflow devices on fire hydrants available with temporary fire protection systems?
Is the controller typically installed outside?
Can multiple pumps be connected in a series?
Pressure boosting beyond the limits of the pump’s mechanical seal becomes a safety issue, however, there are other equipment options within the Xylem portfolio that could be used in this situation. The Xylem Godwin series of pumps can produce discharge pressures so that series pumping is not needed.
What if pressure/flow outputs needed are higher than the highest pressure pump?
Applications in which the discharge pressure exceeds what the Godwin HL Series pumps can produce is extremely rare, but in those cases, there are alternative Xylem products and designs that can address higher pressures.
What type of fuel is used?
How long does the fuel last and are refill services available? Is additional fuel capacity available for remote locations?
Fire systems typically run for 30 minutes a week during the recommended pump test. In the event the system is running for a longer period, the integral fuel tanks on Godwin HL Series pumps are sized to provide fuel for 14 hours under extreme operating conditions (high flow, high head). Medium flow and head, which is where most systems are designed, allow for longer run times based on lower fuel consumption and should be calculated for each application. With Field Smart Technology (FST), level sensors in the fuel tank will send a notification when the fuel level is low. In situations in which longer fuel runs are necessary, portable 500-gallon fuel containers can be plumbed into the diesel engine. Xylem Rental Solutions can assist in contracting with a third party for refueling services, if requested.
Is there a provision for cold weather operation on very tall, high-rise construction projects?
A Xylem Rental Solutions system starts at the water supply (water tank, hydrant, etc.) and ends at the fixed piping tie-in point to the fire water distribution inside the building. Heat tracing during cold weather from the water supply to the building is commonly used, but once the temporary system is connected to the water system it is part of the permanent installation.
How is a cold-weather situation/operation handled?
If the unit includes a critically silenced enclosure, heat tracing from an available nearby AC supply can be used to control the temperature. The volute and the suction/discharge lines with the heat tracing are wrapped to maintain temperature levels above freezing.
How is cold diesel fuel preheated?
What do rental costs include?
How quickly can a temporary pump be delivered?
With over 3,000 HL pumps in the Xylem Rental Services fleet in 40 metropolitan locations across the United States, pumps are readily available and often installed the same day as requested. Service and sales staff are on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Are vertical pumps available?
There are vertical pumps in the Xylem rental fleet, but they generally require a longer lead time of a day or two in order to allow for fabrication. Vertical pumps are usually customized, from a number of stages that are required as well as overall length. Typically, vertical pumps are part of a planned maintenance setup versus emergencies. Although NFPA 20 restricts above-ground fire pumps from being used in a lift application, there is no such restriction on temporary installations. In many temporary fire protection applications, Xylem self-priming pumps are used to lift water from natural sources.
Where are rental pumps available?
To find a Xylem Rental Solutions facility, go to the locator page: https://www.xylem.com/en-us/support/find-a-location/
Are pumps available outside of the United States?
Yes, the Xylem Rental Solutions fleet of equipment and experts is global. The Americas fleet includes the United States, Canada and Central and South America. There are also Xylem Rental Solutions counterparts in Europe, the Middle East and Asia Pacific.