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Vector Fire News

This is where we'll announce the most recent additions to our web site. If you've visited us before and want to know what's changed, take a look here first.

Rob Parker Joins Vector Fire

In January 2010 Rob Parker joined the Vector Fire organization bringing many years of sprinkler fitting knowledge to our company.  Rob's experience in sprinkler  system service make him an extreme value to us.

Rob works out of the Baltimore, MD area and is equipped to provide foam system service and Planit Safe foam system testing.  Please join us in welcoming Rob to our company.  Rob can be reached by e-mail at rparker@vectorfire.net.

Vector introduces Planit Safe Advanced Foam System Testing Procedure

Vector Fire Technology, Inc. announces a revolutionary new method for foam system testing.  Vector's Planit Safe concept of testing foam system proportioning performance provides fast, accurate test results without the need for discharging foam solution.

Planit Safe involves a new concept for testing foam systems without releasing foam concentrate to the environment.  An alternative non-foaming, environmentally benign, test liquid is used in place of the foam concentrate stored in the system.  This substitute liquid is specifically formulated to mimic the physical properties of the actual foam concentrate while having characteristics that enable its injection rate to be monitored by conductivity measurement.  Since the proportioned solution from a Planit Safe test is non-foaming and contains no environmentally harmful chemicals, it is usually acceptable for direct release to storm drains leading to municipal waste water treatment facilities.  The Planit Safe testing procedure is applicable to bladder tank and pump type balanced pressure proportioning systems.  This method can save considerable time and expense while preventing possible environmental and effluent discharge issues related to foam solution discharge.

In many cases, Planit Safe test liquid can be used by simply substituting it for actual foam concentrate in the foam system.  Most pump type balanced pressure proportioning systems are easier to test with alternate test liquids since they usually have auxiliary foam pump suction and return connections that are normally used as flush in and out points.  These points can normally be used to connect a container of alternate test liquid to the proportioning system and conduct a proportioning test.  The foam tank suction and return valves on the system would be closed to isolate the test liquid from the actual foam in the system. 

When installed bladder tank systems are involved an additional component is required to act as a separator to isolate the foam concentrate or water and Planit Safe test liquid.  In this case injection of Planit Safe test liquid is accomplished by means of a portable isolation/injection device that stores the Planit Safe test liquid and then expels the contents into the system proportioner.  The device provides a means to positively separate the Planit Safe test liquid from the foam concentrate used to force it out of the device and into the proportioner.  Alternately, water pressure can also be used to expel the Planit Safe test liquid thereby saving the complication of forcing the foam concentrate back into the foam tank after testing.  Hose connection points are added to the foam concentrate or water feed piping to enable the device to be temporarily tied into the foam system for testing.

Several measurements of proportioning system performance can be monitored and recorded by laptop computer simultaneously during a Planit Safe test procedure. Typically measurements include conductivity of the proportioned solution, system flow rate, and pressures at various points on the system.  Conductivity and flow are measured by means of on line sensors installed downstream of the proportioner.  Pressure transducers are placed wherever system pressure readings are desired.  All system performance is recorded in real time.  The laptop computer is programmed to reflect percent injection rate by comparing the measured conductivity of the test solution stream to the conductivity of various percentages of precisely pre-measured solutions made with the alternate test liquid and on site water.  Once the instrumentation is installed, on line real time data can be monitored and recorded very quickly thus reducing the total volume of solution discharged.  System performance data can usually be gathered in less than 30 seconds from start of system operation.  Since all data is recorded electronically at high speed it is possible to generate graphs and charts showing system performance from start to finish of test.  This enables much better analysis of system performance than the current test procedures that depend on grab samples of the proportioned solution stream.

As is true with all technical procedures, qualified, well trained personnel are critical to assure that testing is done with proper care and attention to detail.  With over fifty years experience involving design, test, and maintenance of foam systems, Vector Fire Technology, Inc. is uniquely qualified to provide the services required.

Last modified: 06/14/10