The vacuum plant shall be installed in a well-lit, ventilated, and clean location with accessibility. The location shall be provided with drainage facilities in accordance with this code. The vacuum plant, where installed as a source, shall be located separately from other medical vacuum system sources and shall be readily accessible for maintenance.
Medical-surgical vacuum sources shall consist of the following:
- Two or more vacuum pumps sufficient to serve the peak calculated demand with the largest single vacuum pump out of service.
- Automatic means to prevent backflow from any on-cycle vacuum pump through any off-cycle vacuum pumps.
- Shutoff valve or other isolation means to isolate each vacuum pump from the centrally piped system, and other vacuum pumps for maintenance or repair without loss of vacuum in the system.
- Vacuum receiver.
- Piping between the vacuum pump(s), discharge(s), receiver(s), and vacuum source shutoff valve in accordance with Section 1308.5, except brass, galvanized, or black steel pipe which is permitted to be used as recommended by the manufacturer.
- Except as defined in Section 1314.2(1) through Section 1314.2(5), materials and devices used between the medical vacuum exhaust and the medical vacuum source that are permitted to be of any design or construction appropriate for the service, as determined by the manufacturer. [NFPA 99:188.8.131.52.1.2]
Category 2 systems shall comply with Section 1314.2, except as follows:
- Medical-surgical vacuum systems shall be permitted to be simplex.
- The facility shall develop their emergency plan to deal with the loss of medical-surgical vacuum. [NFPA 99:184.108.40.206]
Category 3 medical-surgical vacuum systems if used, shall comply with Section 1314.2. [NFPA 99:220.127.116.11]
Additional pumps shall automatically activate when the pump(s) in operation is incapable of adequately maintaining the required vacuum.
Automatic or manual alternation of pumps shall allow division of operating time. If automatic alternation of pumps is not provided, the facility staff shall arrange a schedule for manual alternation. [NFPA 99:18.104.22.168.5.1, 22.214.171.124.5.2]
Receivers for vacuum shall meet the following requirements:
- They shall be made of materials deemed suitable by the manufacturer.
- They shall comply with Section VIII, "Unfired Pressure Vessels," of the ASME Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code.
- They shall be capable of withstanding a gauge pressure of 60 psi (414 kPa) and 30 inch (762 mm) gauge HgV.
- They shall be equipped with a manual drain.
- They shall be of a capacity based on the technology of the pumps. [NFPA 99:126.96.36.199.3]
The medical-surgical vacuum pumps shall exhaust in a manner and location that minimizes the hazards of noise and contamination to the facility and its environment. [NFPA 99:188.8.131.52.6.1]
The exhaust shall be located as follows:
- At least 25 feet (7620 mm) from any door, window, air intake, or other openings in buildings or places of public assembly.
- At a level different from air intakes.
- Where prevailing winds, adjacent buildings, topography, or other influences will not divert the exhaust into occupied areas or prevent dispersion of the exhaust. [NFPA 99:184.108.40.206.6.2]
The end of the exhaust shall be turned down and screened or otherwise be protected against the entry of vermin, debris, or precipitation by screening fabricated or composed of a noncorroding material. [NFPA 99:220.127.116.11.6.3]
The exhaust shall be free of dips and loops that might trap condensate or oil or provided with a drip leg and valved drain at the bottom of the low point. [NFPA 99:18.104.22.168.6.4]
Vacuum exhausts from multiple pumps shall be permitted to be joined together to one common exhaust where the following conditions are met:
- The common exhaust is sized to minimize backpressure in accordance with the pump manufacturer's recommendations.
- Each pump can be isolated by manual or check valve, blind flange, or tube cap to prevent open exhaust piping when the pump(s) is removed for service from consequent flow of exhaust air into the room. [NFPA 99:22.214.171.124.6.5]