A Closer Look: Article 695, Fire Pumps

Article 695 first appeared in the 1996 National Electrical Code, it covers the electrical construction and installation portion for Fire Pumps. The performance, maintenance and testing requirements are in NFPA 20.

The committee received 23 proposals during the proposal stage and received 34 public comments during the comment period.

In Article 695 portions are marked with a superscript “”x”” which means it is extracted material from NFPA 20, Standard for the Installation of Centrifugal Fire Pumps. This reflects the work of both CMP 15 and NFPA 20 which has been supported by a joint task group of members of both committees which has been very helpful in providing a good working arrangement with both groups.

The following are some of the significant changes that appear in Article 695 of the 1999 NEC.

Section 695-3 has probably had the most significant changes. The power sources for Electric Motor-Driver Fire Pumps must be reliable and capable of carrying the sum of the locked-rotor current of the hre pump motor (s) and the pressure monitor pump motor(s) and the full-load current of any hre pump accessory equipment when connected to this power sources. Power sources may be one of three types.

  1. A separate utility service.
  2. On-site power production facility.3. Multiple Sources, which are a combination of a generator, Separate service or feeder source, when approved by the authority having iurisdiction.

Section 695-3(b)(2) was added to the 1999 NEC to cover independent feeders serving multiple buildings. This section requires the supply conductors to comply with Section 695-4(b).

Section 695-6 was revised to eliminate some exceptions and to clarify the requirements. 695-6~ address the conductor sizing is based on 125 percent of the fire pump motor and 100 percent of any associated fire pump accessory equipment and not based on the locked rotor current of the fire pump.

Section 695-6(e) now permits the use of Flexible nonmetallic conduct Type LFNC-B as a wiring method for pumps.

Section 695-6(fl reflects that the UL listing requires that no other loads, other than the fire pump motor are to be connected to the fire pump power transfer switch.

Section 695-7 was added to clarify that voltage drop is from the power source and not the power wiring.

Section 695-10 requires the Fire Pump Controller, Transfer Switches and Motors are required to be listed for fire pump service. This requirement has been in NFPA 20 and is not included in Article 695. UL currently has companies that have their equipment listed.

Robert Duncan
Robert C. Duncan, IAEI Representative CMP-15, has been a member of CMP-15 since 1987. He is a member of NFPA 20, Fire Pumps; member NFPA 96, Ventilation Control and Fire Protection of Commercial Cooking Operations; member ASME A17.1 Safety Code for Elevators and Escalators; Electrical Committee member NFPA. He is also a past IAEI chairman of the Southern Section, Florida Chapter and Central Florida Division.