Fire pump verification simplified

A Katronic non-invasive clamp-on ultrasonic flowmeter has helped SPP Pumps to provide pump verification to satisfy the insurance requirements of a major kitchen manufacturer. The KATFlow 230 portable flowmeter proved that the installed pumps – one diesel powered, one electric – were capable of pumping water at twice their usual rate to supply the factory sprinkler system in the event of a fire.

The electric pump usually operates alone, with the diesel pump present purely as a backup in case of emergency.

SPP engineers used Katronic’s simple chain-based clamping system to fit a pair of small ultrasonic transducers to the outside of the pipe, connected to the KATFlow 230. They then followed simple on-screen instructions to optimise the transducer positioning and make the measurement. The flow measurement is obtained by externally monitoring the time taken for a series of ultrasonic pulses to travel both upstream and downstream within the pipe between a pair of ultrasonic transducers. The electric pump was tested on an ascending section of pipework, primarily to prove the accuracy of the mechanical flow meter that was already in place.

The diesel pump was more challenging to measure, with no operational meter present and only a very short run of straight pipework available. The galvanised steel pipe was measured at an outside diameter of 221.2mm, and a Katronic Wall Thickness gauge measured the pipe wall at 6.1mm. With the aid of the on-board diagnostic and measurement optimisation tools built into the KATFlow 230, it was a relatively straightforward task to check that a strong signal was achievable.

Water flow was measured to 3000 US gallons per minute – a testament to the variety of measurement units available for display as standard. SPP’s UK remedial co-ordinator, Terry Phelps, says: “Key for us is that the equipment is easy to use and does what it says. We find the Katronic equipment very straightforward to apply, very quick to use and gives us measurements that we can rely on.”

Katronic Technologies LTD

02476 714 111

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