Remote locating of area alarm transducers
By J Lucas, Tri-Tech Medical, Inc
Electricity+Control, February 2015 (page 22)
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As a hospital design engineer, hospital facilities engineer or hospital administrator you should be concerned about the installation location of the hospital’s transducers for area alarm panels. Why?
The long range cost and safety risk aspects of area alarm testing will be increased drastically if the area alarm transducers are installed above the ceiling. Most of the project drawings have notations made by the hospital design engineer for the area alarm transducers to be installed remotely (not in the alarm back box) on the medical gas pipelines. It is left up to the installing contractor to determine the exact location on the pipeline. Unfortunately, in most cases the result is the area alarm transducers are installed above the ceiling. Initially this may be a seemingly cost effective way to install the transducers, as opposed to installing them in the alarm back box or in the zone valve box – but the long term testing costs and safety aspects involved with the area alarm testing will prove much more costly to the facility.
NFPA 99 requires periodic testing of the area alarm panels which for most facilities is once a year. Proper testing requires that the area alarm transducers be physically disconnected from the pipeline to allow the pressure to fall below the low pressure alarm set point and then be connected to a pump which raises the pressure above the high pressure set point.
- NFPA 99 requires annual testing of area alarm panels.
- There is cause for concern regarding the installation and location of area alarm transducers for area alarm panels.
- A retrofit kit and new products are available for safe and cost-effective installation of area alarm transducers.