Seven Tests Made of the Fire Pumps Located on Various Floors of the World’s Tallest Building—Pumpers to Force Water at Later Date

The Chrysler Building This is the world's tallest structure, still taller building is bein« erected.

THE Chrysler Building, tallest in the world (until the Empire State Building is completed in 1931) standing 1040 feet high to the tip of the spire, or seventy-four stories, on Lexington avenue from 42nd to 43rd streets, opposite Grand Central Terminal in New York City, had its fire line standpipe system recently tested by the staff of the Bureau of Fire Prevention of the New York Fire Department. Fire Commissioner John J. Dorman has not as yet formally approved the system, pending adjustment of certain technicalities in construction relative to the location of control valves which have not yet been placed in the pump room of each relay unit.

The test was conducted by Chief Inspector Michael J. Reidy of the Bureau of Fire Prevention, assisted by the staff of the Fire Appliance Division of the Bureau. According to the official blueprint made of the test and issued by Chief Inspector Reidy, the Chrysler Building has three pumps and four tanks feeding three main risers of eight inches each, supplied by a six-inch City water supply main.

The cellar has a 300 h. p., General Electric, alternating current, slip ring induction motor, 3-phase, 220 volts, 60 cycles, 662 amperes. The cellar pump is rated 750 gallons against a head pressure of 470 pounds, with 1,750 R. P. M„ Le Courtney centrifugal. The control panel has 12 speeds, Sundh control, 300 h.p., 1,200 ampere switch.

The 25th story has a 200 h.p. motor, G. E., A. C., 3-phase, 60 cycle, 208 V., 458 amps., 1,800 R.P.M.; a 750-gallon pump against 288 pounds head pressure, 1,750

R.P.M., fire control panel of nine speeds, 200 h.p., 800 ampere switch.

The 48th story has a 150 h.p. G. E., A.C., motor, 60 cycles, 220 V., 348 amps., 1760 R.P.M.; a 750 gallon pump against 197 pounds head pressure. 1750 R.P.M., a fire control panel of five speeds, 150 h.p., 208 V., 340 amps., and 360 ampere switch.

The water supply :—

  1. Cellar—a 10,000 gallon suction tank, fed by 6-inch connection from city water main containing 55 pounds minimum pressure.
  2. 27th story—15,000 gallons gravity and suction tank, (5,000 gallons fire reserve).
  3. 49th story—15,000 gallons gravity and suction tank (5,000 gallons fire reserve).
  4. 73rd story—15,000 gallons gravity tank (3,500 gallons fire reserve).
  5. Two, 250 G.P.M. tank filling pumps, drawing from separate 5,000 gallon tanks in the cellar.

All tests conducted with 2 1/2 inch hose, with 1 1/8 nozzles discharging into tanks described in the following schedule of tests:—

Test No. 1—Cellar to 27th story. Starting at 160 pounds on first speed, the pump delivered 25 pounds by a piezometer reading at 27th story tank. Pressure raised to 5th speed, 210 pounds, showing 65 pounds within five minutes on 27th story. No suction indicated.

Test No. 2—Cellar to 49th story tank. Starting at 200 pounds on first speed, the pressure was raised in six minutes to 9th speed, showing 315 pounds, piezometer reading on the 49th story indicating 55 pounds. No suction recorded.

Test No. 3—Cellar to 73rd story tank. Started at 190 pounds, Pressure built up in five minutes to 10th speed, 388 pounds showing 20 pounds on piezometer. Speed then advanced to 12th notch in two minutes, giving 422 pounds and showing 55 pounds on piezometer at 73rd story tank. No suction indicated Cellar pump to 73rd story is not a legal requirement under the stand pipe rules of the New York Fire Department but the test was made to ascertain if that feat could be accomplished.

Diagram of Arrangement of Pumps

Test No. 4—25th story pump to 49th story tank. Started at 137 pounds giving 15 pounds at piezometer. Pump raised to 5th speed in four minutes, giving 220 pounds, with an indicated 70 pounds at the 49th story. Suction ten pounds.

Test No. 5—25th story pump to 73rd story tank. Started at 255 pounds, then 5th speed showed 10 pounds at piezometer, pressure then raised in two minutes to 9th speed, giving 305 pounds at the pump and 60 pounds at the piezometer. Suction 10 pounds.

Test No. 6—48th story pump to 73rd story tank. Started with 115 pounds and 6 pounds suction. Pressure raised to 5th speed within 3 1/2 minutes, giving 210 pounds and indicating 70 pounds at the piezometer. Suction 6 pounds.

Test No. 7—Relaying water by using all pumps simultaneously and boosting supply to 73rd story tank. Cellar pump was started at 1st speed. Within two minutes pressure at pump indicated 152 pounds at 5th speed and discharged through an 8-inch emergency fill-line (by-pass) into the 27th story tank. The 25th story pump was started at 1st speed discharging into the 49th story tank 141 pounds, showing 10 pounds suction at 5th speed in four minutes. The 48th story pump was started at 1st speed with 6 pounds suction and within four minutes at 5th speed showed 210 pounds on the pump and 70 pounds pressure on the 73rd story piezometer.

A full load endurance test was made of motors and pumps through a 4-inch test line. For two hours, the cellar pump was operated from a minimum of 95 pounds to as high as 260 pounds. For one hour and a half the 25th story pump was operated from as low as 95 pounds to as high as 250 pounds. For one hour and five minutes the 48th story pump was operated from as low as 70 pounds to as high as 200 pounds. The piezometer was not used during the endurance test.

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N. Y. Tests Chrysler Standpipe System

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In connection with the standpipe fire line there is a system of telephonic communication, with stations on every alternate floor, with the master station in the main corridor of the building, so that a fire department officer from that strategic point can communicate with the pump rooms or pump operators, or with the firemen at the outlets on each floor.

Nearly a score of attaches of the Bureau of Fire Prevention participated in the test. The test was held under the direction of Chief Peter C. Spence of the Bureau of Fire Prevention. Chief Inspector Michael J. Reidy was in personal charge of the operation. Peter J. Maher, Departmental Consultant for Plan and Field participated as did Max Cohen, Chief of the Plan Division, T. E. A. Smith, examiner-in-charge of the Plan Division, Thomas Murphy, Inspector-in-charge of the Mechanical Division of the Bureau, and the following Inspectors: Chris E. Maddox, George W. Walters, Leo McEvoy, Edward H. Bransfield, David O’Connor, Robert E. Alster, James Connolly, John Plunkett.

The Electrical Division was represented by W. J. Mulligan, Chief of that branch; Electrical Plan Examiner Wm. J. Mangan and Electrical Inspectors R. C. Lent, (in-charge), Francis H. Zeiser, P. J. Goodge, Nicholas Pellegrino and Raymond Thackaberry.

The Fire fighting bureau (uniformed force) of the department was represented by Lieut. William J. Fealy, Supervising Engineer of the Department.

Up to this writing, a fire engine pumping test has not been held. The 1st and 2nd due engine companies responding on the first alarm to the Chrysler Buliding are 1,000 gallon pumps— Engine Co. 65 (Ahrens Fox) and Engine Co. 21 (AmericanLaFrance). It is proposed to soon hold a fire engine test by utilizing these two pieces of apparatus. The standpipe system was installed in the building by Louis T. M. Ralston, represented by D. F. Horgan, Sanitary Engineer in charge.


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