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#215973 - 08/31/15 09:28 PM Fire Pumps - fire rated conductors  
Potseal  Offline
Member
Joined: Feb 2013
Posts: 208
Saskatchewan
I have been researching the various rules regarding what methods are acceptable for providing the proper fire rating for conductors that are providing power to a building's fire pump. This information is needed for a job where the existing fire pump is being ran off the normal power supply and needs to be switched over to the emergency power supply. Since the existing will be altered it has to be installed using the updated code rules. Besides being fed from the normal power supply the conductors are ran in EMT from the room that houses the fire pump to another room on the other side of the building which house the main emergency power supply. As far as I know, the existing conductors being run EMT does not meet code. Of the few fire pump installations I've seen it's always been MI cable (Pyrotenax).

Does anybody know what alternatives there are to MI cable that can be ran through a building (outside is not an option) without resorting to encasing in concrete? I see there is a product called Snake Tube that is supposed to have a 2 hour fire rating:
http://www.americantechsupply.com/snaketube.htm

Then I would assume you would need to pull in suitable conductors...


Any suggestions? Obviously trying to be cost effective while meeting CSA, ULC and NFPA standards.


A malfunction at the junction

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#215974 - 08/31/15 09:43 PM Re: Fire Pumps - fire rated conductors [Re: Potseal]  
HotLine1  Offline


Member
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 6,803
Brick, NJ USA
A quick look at the linked site seems to tell me that Snake Tube probably would not be suitable for a fire pum[.

The largest size seems to be under 1-1/2", and the text mentions control and data cabling.

There was a conductor around that was UL for fire pumps, without the 'outside' 'concrete', etc drill that was proposed for a 450' warehouse run, but....when the cost $$$$$$$$ was determined....they saw cut the slab.

Perhaps, some of our Canadian friends have some info.




John

#215975 - 08/31/15 10:55 PM Re: Fire Pumps - fire rated conductors [Re: Potseal]  
twh  Offline
Member
Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 903
Regina, Sask.
Appendix B mentions a shaft with a 1 hour rating.


#215976 - 09/01/15 01:12 AM Re: Fire Pumps - fire rated conductors [Re: twh]  
Potseal  Offline
Member
Joined: Feb 2013
Posts: 208
Saskatchewan
Originally Posted by twh
Appendix B mentions a shaft with a 1 hour rating.



True. I don't have my code book in front of me but I believe it states "at least a 1 hour rating". Most of what I read talks about conductors with 2 hour ratings and the only one to my knowledge that is UL/ULC certified is MI cable (Pyrotenax). Haven't found anything listed as "1 hour". The only reason I mention this is because if there was a suitable alternative I'm sure a "1 hour" rated conductor would be less expensive than a "2 hour".


A malfunction at the junction

#215977 - 09/01/15 01:19 AM Re: Fire Pumps - fire rated conductors [Re: HotLine1]  
Potseal  Offline
Member
Joined: Feb 2013
Posts: 208
Saskatchewan
Originally Posted by HotLine1
A quick look at the linked site seems to tell me that Snake Tube probably would not be suitable for a fire pum[.

The largest size seems to be under 1-1/2", and the text mentions control and data cabling.

There was a conductor around that was UL for fire pumps, without the 'outside' 'concrete', etc drill that was proposed for a 450' warehouse run, but....when the cost $$$$$$$$ was determined....they saw cut the slab.

Perhaps, some of our Canadian friends have some info.




Control and data cabling - damn... As well, I see it comes on 300' rolls. I suspect you can't buy smaller quantities.


A malfunction at the junction

#215978 - 09/01/15 01:24 AM Re: Fire Pumps - fire rated conductors [Re: Potseal]  
twh  Offline
Member
Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 903
Regina, Sask.
You can enclose the raceway or cable in a shaft with a 1 hour rating. It's the shaft that has the rating, not the conductor.


#215979 - 09/01/15 10:32 AM Re: Fire Pumps - fire rated conductors [Re: Potseal]  
Potseal  Offline
Member
Joined: Feb 2013
Posts: 208
Saskatchewan
I was looking into that as well. The problem I am having is finding specific sources of information that give a good example of an acceptable method of achieving the 1 hour rating. Here's a PDF file I found online supposedly published by the "British Columbia Safety Authority" which gives examples of the 3 methods from the CEC:

http://safetyauthority.ca/sites/default/files/Module4Handout2012ElectricalCodeChangesFinal_3.pdf

On page 6 it shows MI cable, concrete and a 1 hour rated shaft between the room that houses the pump and the room that houses the generator. The latter two are described as needing an engineer's verification and professional design. I realize this is an important life saving installation but if I don't use MI cable it appears outside help will be required.


A malfunction at the junction

#215986 - 09/02/15 10:51 PM Re: Fire Pumps - fire rated conductors [Re: Potseal]  
HotLine1  Offline


Member
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 6,803
Brick, NJ USA
OK, down on this side of North America, a 'common' 1-hour fire rating is 3/4" nominal (5/8th) fire code sheetrock.

A 2-hour rating is 2 layers, staggered seams, spackle first layer 1 coat. The framing can be wood or metal studs.

This is normal 'fire rated' construction, but....I have not seen anyone propose this method for anything related to a fire pump feeder.

THe 'outside', 'under slab', or concrete encasement are all that I have seen.


John

#215989 - 09/03/15 03:07 AM Re: Fire Pumps - fire rated conductors [Re: Potseal]  
Potseal  Offline
Member
Joined: Feb 2013
Posts: 208
Saskatchewan
Well, it's been narrowed down to using MI cable. No other method seems feasible. At one point we considered using abandoned MI cable (originally used for the same purpose - a fire pump) from a different site. I took a rough measurement and it was too short by about 30 - 50 feet. Had it been long enough it would've likely been the right size since the pump it originally serviced is significantly larger than the one I am running power to. Oh well, moving on...

Now I have a supplier checking into pricing for new MI cable from Pentair. I was in contact with another MI cable manufacturer for technical advice and once he found out what I was using the cable for he made it clear that he couldn't sale his product to me since it's not UL/C certified. Nonetheless, he was more than happy to offer his expertise. That was greatly appreciated.


A malfunction at the junction

#216011 - 09/05/15 05:02 PM Re: Fire Pumps - fire rated conductors [Re: Potseal]  
Potseal  Offline
Member
Joined: Feb 2013
Posts: 208
Saskatchewan
Talked to a friend in the trade who said his company did a similar installation. They built a bulkhead between the generator room and fire pump room to run their Teck cable in. Apparently they used 2 layers of fire-rated drywall to achieve the 1 hour fire rating. In the code book it states "metal raceways". Not sure how that passes but it's worth looking at.


A malfunction at the junction


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