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Master Pressure Regulating Valve

Posted: Fri Oct 20, 2017 5:10
by regant
We have a PRV that is used to reduce pressure to the sprinklers and hose cabinets in the lower half of our high rise. If it failed closed, we would lose all protection in the lower levels.
The Ontario Fire Code doesn’t seem to address the importance of these valves and doesn’t require specific testing.
NFPA does require testing but this requirement isn’t referenced in the Ontario Fire Code.
What is the legal requirement in Ontario - is it relying on the “out” that says if the Code doesn't cover it, follow the design requirements?

Re: Master Pressure Regulating Valve

Posted: Thu Oct 26, 2017 6:05
The Ontario Fire Code DOES reference testing of this device as it requires all sprinkler systems to be tested to NFPA 25. Even if there's not a specific reference in the Provincial Fire Code, the requirement in NFPA 25:2008 is described in Section 13.5 Pressure Reducing Valves and Relief Valves.

Re: Master Pressure Regulating Valve

Posted: Thu Oct 26, 2017 6:20
by regant
The Ontario Fire Code actually says:

"Compliance with the inspection, testing and maintenance provisions of NFPA 25, “Standard for the Inspection, Testing and Maintenance of Water-Based Fire Protection Systems”, for sprinkler systems is deemed to satisfy the requirements of Subsections 6.5.4., to 6.5.6."

I questioned the Fire Marshall's department on the intent of this statement and I was told that adhering to clauses 6.5.4 to 6.5.6 met the requirements of the Code and that, in this case, following NFPA 25 was just an alternative. Doesn't make much sense to me that the referenced code has more restrictive/wide-ranging requirements than the Ontario Fire Code. It also doesn't make sense that testing of a critical component such as a master PRV, a single device whose failure closed, in our case, would lead to a complete loss of fire water to the lower half of our building, would be left as an apparently optional requirement.

I think the Fire Code "out" is that in section (2) it states that "Where specific references to checking, inspection and testing of fire safety devices are not made in this Code, such devices shall be maintained to ensure they operate as per their design requirements".

All a bit confusing for the user but we are planning to reference NFPA 25 and test our PRV despite the Fire Code's ambiguity!

Re: Master Pressure Regulating Valve

Posted: Fri Oct 27, 2017 12:26
You have to keep in mind that the Fire Building Codes are produced through a process involving a high degree of consensus within the various committees that are looking at specific sections of the Code. Then any changes go out for public comment and review. "Ambiguity" does, on occasion, creep in, but those of us involved in Standards development try to eliminate this aspect. I applaud your initiative concerning the testing of this vital device on a regular basis.