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6/11/2016

NECRulesforFirePumps

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NECRulesforFirePumps
ElectricalConstructionandMaintenance
MikeHolt

ByMikeHolt,NECConsultant
Tue,2013041616:30

ThegeneralphilosophybehindmostCoderequirementsistoprovidecircuitprotectionthatwillshutdown
equipmentbeforethesupplyconductorsbecomeoverloaded,overheated,anddamaged.ButArt.695isbased
onadifferentphilosophy:Thefirepumpmotormustrun,regardlessoftherisktotheconductors.
Afirepumpsupplieswatertoafacilitysfireprotectionpiping.Ifthepumpdoesntrun,notonlywillthose
conductorsbedamaged,buttheentirefacilitywillalsobeindangerofburningdown.Consequently,themany
requirementsofArt.695aimtokeepthepumprunning.
Obviously,thepumpismorelikelytokeeprunningifitslocationminimizesexposuretofire,anddoingsoisan
NECrequirement.Thisdoesntconflictwithotherrequirements,butmanyArt.695requirementsdo.For
example,contrarytowhatotherarticlesrequire,thedisconnectmustbelockableintheclosedposition
[695.4(B)(3)(a)(2)].
AccordingtothescopestatementofArt.695,itcoverstheinstallationofthefirepumpsupplyandcontrols.It
doesntcoverthejockeypumpsortheinternalwiringofthesystem(Photo).

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Withthe2011NEC,thepowerrequirementsfoundinArt.695havechangedextensively(seeSIDEBAR:Power
Source(s)forElectricMotorDrivenFirePumps).However,aswithpreviousNECeditions,youmustsupply
powerfromareliablesource.Thissourcemustbeabletocarrythelockedrotorcurrentofthefirepump
motor(s)andpressuremaintenancepumpmotors,plusthefullloadcurrentofassociatedfirepumpequipment
[695.3(A)].
Electricmotordrivenfirepumpsmusthaveareliablesourceofpower,whichissubjecttotheapprovalofthe
AHJ.Itneedstobeoneormoreofthefollowing:
Aseparateelectricutilityservice[695.3(A)(1)].
Aconnectionlocatedaheadof(butnotwithin)theservicedisconnectingmeans[695.3(A)(1)].
Anonsitepowersupply,suchasagenerator,locatedandprotectedtominimizedamagebyfire[695.3(A)
(2)].
Adedicatedfeederderivedfromaserviceconnectioninaccordancewith695.3(A)(1)[695.3(A)(3)].
Ifreliablepowercantbeobtainedfromoneofthesesources,thenitmustbesuppliedbyoneofthefollowing
multiplesources[695.3(B)]:
1.Individualsources.Anapprovedcombinationoftwoormoreofthesourcesfrom695.3(A).
2.Individualsourceandonsitestandbygenerator.Anapprovedcombinationofoneofthesourcesin
695.3(A)andanonsitestandbygenerator.
Exceptionto695.3(B)(1)and(B)(2):Analternatesourceofpowerisntrequiredwhereabackupenginedriven
orbackupsteamturbinedrivenfirepumpisinstalled.
Ifyouhave:
Amultibuilding,campusstyleinstallationwherethesourcesjustdiscussedarentpracticable,followthe
requirementsof695.3(C).
Anonsitestandbygeneratorasanalternatesource,followtherequirementsof695.3(D).
Arrangemultiplesourcessothatafireatonesourcewontcauseaninterruptionattheothersource[695.3(E)].
Phaseconvertersarenotpermittedforafirepumpservice[695.3(F)].

Continuity
Circuitsthatsupplyelectricmotordrivenfirepumpsmustbesupervisedfrominadvertentdisconnection
whethertheconductorsconnectdirectlyorthroughadisconnectingmeansandovercurrentdevice[695.4].
Ifyouhaveadirectconnection,thesupplyconductorsmustdirectlyconnectthepowersourceeithertoalisted
firepumpcontrollerortoalistedcombinationfirepumpcontrollerandpowertransferswitch[695.4(A)].
Ifyouconnectthroughadisconnectandanovercurrentprotectivedevice(OCPD),thenyoucanuseasingle
disconnectingmeansandassociatedOCPD(s)betweenthefirepumppowersourceandoneofthefollowing
[695.4(B)(1)]:
1.Listedfirepumpcontroller.
2.Listedfirepumppowertransferswitch.
3.Listedcombinationfirepumpcontrollerandpowertransferswitch.
SelectorsettheOCPDtocarryindefinitelythesumofthelockedrotorcurrentofthefirepumpandpressure
maintenancepumpmotor(s),and100%oftheampereratingofthefirepumpsaccessoryequipment.
IfthelockedrotorcurrentvaluedoesntcorrespondtoastandardOCPDsize,thenusethenextstandardOCPD
sizeper240.6(Fig.1).Therequirementtocarrythelockedrotorcurrentindefinitelydoesntapplytofire
pumpmotorconductors[695.4(B)(2)(a)].

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Disconnectingmeans
Thedisconnectingmeansforthenormalpowersourcemustbe[695.4(B)(3)]:
Identifiedassuitableforuseasserviceequipment.
Lockableintheclosedposition.
Notlocatedwithinequipmentthatfeedsloadsotherthanthefirepump.
Locatedsufficientlyremotefromotherbuildingorotherfirepumpsourcedisconnectingmeans.
MarkedFirePumpDisconnectingMeans.Thelettersmustbeatleast1in.high.Peoplemustbeableto
seethemwithoutopeningenclosuredoorsorcovers[695.4(B)(3)(c)].
Whatifanonsitegeneratoristhealternatepowersource?Inthatcase,installitsdisconnectper700.10(B)(5)
foremergencycircuits,andensurethedisconnectcanbelockedintheclosedposition[695.4(B)(3)(a)(2)].

Transformers
Ifatransformersuppliesanelectricfirepumpmotor,sizeitatleast125%ofthesumofthefirepumpand
pressuremaintenancepump(s)motorloads,and100%oftheampereratingofthefirepumpsaccessory
equipment[695.5(A)].
SizetheprimaryOCPDtocarryindefinitelythesumofthelockedrotorcurrentofthefirepumpandpressure
maintenancepumpmotor(s),and100%oftheampereratingofthefirepumpsaccessoryequipment.The
requirementtocarrythelockedrotorcurrentsindefinitelydoesnotapplytofirepumpmotorconductors.
Secondaryovercurrentprotectionisnotpermitted[695.5(B)].

Powerwiring
Serviceconductorsandconductorssuppliedbyonsitepowerproductionfacilitiesmustbephysicallyrouted
outsidebuildings[695.6].InstallthemperArt.230.Iftheseconductorscannotberoutedoutsideofbuildings,
thenencasethemin2in.ofconcreteorbrick[230.6(1)or(2)].
Keepfirepumpsupplyconductorsentirelyindependentofallotherwiring.Theycansupplyonlythoseloads
directlyassociatedwiththefirepumpsystem.Makesuretheyareprotectedfrompotentialdamagebyfire,
structuralfailure,oroperationalaccident[695.6(A)(2)].Youcanroutefirepumpconductorsthroughabuilding
byoneofthefollowingmethods[695.6(A)(2)(d)]:
Encasetheminaminimum2in.ofconcrete.
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Runthemwithinanenclosedconstructiondedicatedtothefirepumpcircuit(s)andhavingaminimumof
a2hrfireresistiverating.
Usealistedelectricalcircuitprotectivesystemprotectedbyafireratedassemblylistedtoachievea
minimumfireratingof2hranddedicatedtothefirepumpcircuit(s).

Conductorssupplyingonlyafirepumpmotormusthaveaminimumampacityofatleast125%ofthemotorfull
loadcurrentratingasrequiredby430.22[695.6(B)(2)],asshowninFig.2.Iftheseconductorsalsosupply
relatedequipment,suchasanotherfirepumpmotor,pressuremaintenancepumps,andassociatedfirepump
accessoryequipment,theymusthaveaminimumampacityofatleast125%ofthesumofthefirepumpmotors
andpressuremaintenancemotorsfullloadcurrentsand100%oftheassociatedfirepumpaccessory
equipment[695.6(B)(1)].
Wiringfromthefirepumpcontrollertothefirepumpmotor(notinstalledthroughabuilding,ascoveredin
695.6(B))mustbeinrigidmetalconduit,intermediatemetalconduit,electricalmetallictubing,liquidtight
flexiblemetalconduit,liquidtightflexiblenonmetallicconduitTypeB,listedTypeMCcablewithanimpervious
covering,orTypeMIcable[695.6(D)].Thisrequirementalsoappliestothecontrolwiring[695.14(E)].
Thevoltageatthelineterminalsofthefirepumpcontroller,whenthemotorstarts(lockedrotorcurrent),must
notdropmorethan15%belowthecontrollersratedvoltage[695.7(A)].
Inaddition,thevoltageatthemotorterminalsmustnotdropmorethan5%belowthevoltageratingofthe
motorwhenthemotoroperatesat115%ofthefirepumpfullloadcurrentrating[695.7(B)].
Regardlessofthevoltagedropcalculations,sizethebranchcircuitconductorsnosmallerthanrequiredby
[695.6(B)].

GFCI
Groundfaultprotectionofequipmentisnotallowedonfirepumpequipment[695.6(G)].TheNECdoesnt
prohibityoufrominstallingGFCIprotectedreceptaclesinafirepumplocationforportableequipmentorother
outletsrequiredbytheNECtobeGFCIprotected.

Insummary
BecausethecircuitprotectionrequirementsofArt.695differfromandphilosophicallyconflictwiththe
NECsothercircuitprotectionrequirements,correctapplicationcanbeconfusing.Thecentralquestionto
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answerwheninstallingfirepumpsandrelatedequipmentis,HowdoImakesurethepumprunsnomatter
what?
Remember,thefirepumpmustbekeptinservice,evenifdoingsodamagesordestroysthepump.Itsbetterto
runthepumpuntilitswindingsmeltthantosavethefirepumpandlosethefacility.TheintentofArt.695isto
savethefacility.

SIDEBAR:PowerSource(s)forElectricMotorDrivenFirePumps
Section695.3isthemostheavilyrevisedportionofArt.695inthe2011NEC.Threekeyrevisionsworthnoting
include:
Feedersoriginatingfromaseparateservice(oraconnectionupstreamoftheservice)arenowaddressed
andpermittedasapowersource.
Theprovisionsformultiplesourceshavebeenexpandedtoaddressonsitestandbygeneratorsand
combinationsofservicesandonsitegeneration.Theuseofageneratorasanalternatesourcehasalso
beenaddressed.
Lastly,phaseconvertersarenowspecificallyprohibitedasapowersourceforfirepumps.
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