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§903-01 Flow Testing of Residential Sprinkler Systems
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(a) Scope. This section sets forth standards, requirements and procedures for flow testing of sprinkler systems in buildings, or parts thereof, classified as Occupancy Group R-2 and certain other residential occupancies. This section applies to all such sprinkler systems, including sprinkler systems that only protect a part of the building or space, such as compactor sprinkler systems.
(b) Definition. The following term shall, for purposes of this section and used elsewhere in the rules, have the meanings shown herein:
Inspector's Test Connection. A pipe with a diameter of not less than one (1) inch, that is connected to the sprinkler system on the uppermost story of the building, at the end of the most remote branch line, to which is attached a valve that discharges the flow of water equivalent to one (1) sprinkler head of a type having the smallest orifice installed in the system.
(c) General Provisions.
(1) Flow testing of sprinkler systems. Sprinkler systems in buildings or parts thereof, classified as Occupancy Group R-2 (including sprinkler systems in apartment houses, apartment hotels and other residential buildings with three (3) or more dwelling units that are primarily occupied for the shelter and sleeping accommodation of individuals on a month-to-month or longer-term basis), and in every converted dwelling, or every tenement used, in whole or in part, for single room occupancy, regardless of occupancy classification, in which a sprinkler system has been installed pursuant to the requirements of the New York State Multiple Dwelling Law, shall be flow tested in compliance with the requirements of FC903.5.1 and 903.5.2 and this section.
(2) Scheduling. Flow tests shall be scheduled on behalf of the owner by the plumber or master fire suppression contractor who is to conduct the test.
(3) Other flow testing. The procedure and standard set forth in this section for required sprinkler system flow tests shall not be construed to prohibit an owner of a sprinkler system from conducting any other lawful flow test of such a system. The provisions of this section shall not be applicable to any such other flow test, except for the provisions governing the reporting and correction of sprinkler systems that fail flow tests.
(4) Frequency. Sprinkler systems shall be flow tested annually, except that in buildings other than converted dwelling, or tenements used in whole or in part for single room occupancy, such system may be flow tested once every 30 months, provided that the pressure gauge located at or near the inspector's test connection is checked during the required monthly inspection to make certain that the system design pressure is being maintained.
(5) Witnessing. A flow test of a sprinkler system shall be witnessed by a representative of the Department at least once every five (5) years. Fees for such witnessed test shall be as set forth in FC A03.1(20).
(6) Reporting of required flow tests. The initial flow test result reported to the Department shall include a copy of the installation contractor's Department of Buildings B Form FP85.
(7) Reporting of other flow tests. The result of a flow test not required by this section shall be reported to the Department in accordance with R903-01(e) to the extent required by such section.
(d) Flow Test Procedure and Standard.
(1) The flow test required by this section is intended to ascertain whether there is sufficient pressure in the sprinkler system to ensure the flow of water in the event the system is activated. The flow test shall be conducted in the following manner:
(A) All control valves on the system, including the main supply control valves, shall be inspected and determined to be sealed in the "open" position either by an approved wire and seal or a lock and chain.
(B) The flow test shall be conducted using an inspector's test connection. Such inspector's test connection shall be installed in accordance with the Building Code. If a sprinkler system is not provided with an inspector's test connection, such test connection shall be installed in accordance with the Building Code prior to conducting any required flow test.
(C) The contractor's testing apparatus shall be attached liquid tight to the sprinkler system inspector's test connection. The contractor's testing apparatus shall consist of:
(1) an adapter that connects to the inspector's test connection valve;
(2) a calibrated pressure gauge with at least a two (2) inch diameter dial graduated in psi to at least twice the static pressure of the sprinkler system; and
(3) a valve and a length of hose suitable to drain the discharged water to a safe location.
(D) The inspector's test connection valve shall be opened, the contractor's testing apparatus valve shall be closed and the static pressure indicated on the inspector's test connection pressure gauge, if provided, and the contractor's testing apparatus pressure gauge recorded.
(E) The contractor's testing apparatus valve shall be fully opened allowing water to discharge from the system until the water runs clear, but in no event shall less than ten (10) gallons be discharged.
(F) The contractor's testing apparatus valve shall be closed and the static pressure indicated on the inspector's test connection pressure gauge, if provided, and the contractor's testing apparatus pressure gauge recorded.
(2) A sprinkler system shall be determined to have passed the flow test if:
(A) the static pressure indicated on the contractor's testing apparatus pressure gauge before and after draining the water is unchanged when all control valves are sealed in the open position;
(B) the contractor's testing apparatus pressure gauge indicates a pressure of at least 15 psig or the pressure required by hydraulic calculations, whichever is greater;
(C) the inspector's test connection pressure gauge, if provided, and the contractor's testing apparatus pressure gauge readings recorded, as required in R903-01(d)(1)(D) and (d)(1)(F), are similar.
(D) there is no other indication that the sprinkler system is not in perfect working order.
(e) Flow Testing Reporting Requirements.
(1) Reporting of successful flow tests. When a sprinkler system passes a flow test required by this section, the plumber or master fire suppression contractor conducting such flow test shall certify that all control valves associated with the sprinkler systems covered by the report have been identified, inspected and observed to be sealed in the open position by either an approved wire seal or chain and lock; that they conducted a flow test of such sprinkler systems in accordance with the procedures and standards specified in R903-01(d); that the sprinkler systems passed the flow test in accordance with the criteria specified in R903-01(d); and that there is no other indication that the system is not in perfect working order. Such results shall be certified by completing a Residential Sprinkler System Flow Test Report in a form prescribed by the Department Such report shall be submitted to the Department and maintained for examination as follows:
(A) Residential Sprinkler System Flow Test Reports for flow tests that are not required to be witnessed by a Department representative shall be completed and mailed to the Department within five (5) business days after the completion of such test. Such mailings shall be addressed to:
New York City Fire Department Bureau of Fire Prevention 9 MetroTech Center, 3rd Floor Brooklyn, NY 11201-3857 Attn: Fire Suppression Unit.
(B) Residential Sprinkler System Flow Test Reports for flow tests witnessed by a Department representative shall be certified immediately upon completion of the flow test.
(C) The owner or managing agent of the building or space shall maintain a copy of each Residential Sprinkler System Flow Test Report for a period of not less than five (5) years from the test date. Such reports shall be maintained on the premises and made available for examination by any Department representative. Such reports shall be made available for examination by the occupants of the building or space during regular business hours.
(2) Reporting of unsuccessful flow tests. Any sprinkler system that fails a flow test, whether or not such test is required by this section, is in violation of the requirement of FC901.6 that such system be maintained in good working order at all times. The owner of such sprinkler system shall take immediate corrective action and shall continue such corrective action until such time as the sprinkler system passes a flow test conducted in accordance with the procedure and standard required by this section. If such corrective action cannot be completed and a successful flow test result obtained by the close of business of the same day, the plumber or master fire suppression contractor conducting such flow test shall notify the Department by telephoning the Department communications office (dispatcher) for the borough in which the premises is located. Nothing contained herein shall preclude the Department from taking enforcement action with respect to any sprinkler system that is not in good working order.
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