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Fire Suppression System: Wet Pipe

Fire Suppression System: Wet Pipe

The Wet Pipe Fire Sprinkler System

Wet Pipe Fire Suppression Systems are the most prevalent type of fire sprinkler system. Although at some point all fire sprinkler systems become wet pipe when activated, the term Wet Pipe Fire Sprinkler System is used to denote the fact that as used the system is always under pressure and charged with water from a reliable and sustainable supply. Beginning at a connection to a public or private water supply, which could be a street main, a water tank, a reservoir, pond, or swimming pool, the system is configured thru a series of valves, passing on to the piping and terminating at the fire sprinkler head.

Where or Why is it used?

Systems similar to that described herein are used for the protection of property or commodities and in the instance of residential fire protection for the main purpose of protecting people. The system should be installed in all spaces which can be maintained above freezing temperatures, in other words, heated and in a manner, as prescribed by code or guidelines (some installations require more stringent installations depending on the requirements of an insurance authority or others, etc.)  It is not recommended for areas where freezing is possible unless and of course it is protected from that possibility, for example, an unheated attic space in a cold climate or a large freezer box in a commercial application or a cold storage facility.

Alternative uses or?

First a word about the movie industry’s portrayal of fire sprinklers all going off at the same time NO They Don’t unless they are part of a special system known as a Deluge System.

How does it work?

Now that we cleared up that point here is but a brief description of how the components of the system work in harmony to provide actuation and protection. Starting at the water supply connection the system enters a property thru a series of control and or check valves and proceeds thru an assembly referred to as the riser. This assembly usually has a means to sound an alarm, indicate its condition, On/Off, and provide for draining during service work. Immediately following the riser assembly is a series of sized piping, older systems were pipe scheduled and newer systems are hydraulically designed to be compatible with the level of protection desired and the available water supply. Attached to the end of a piping system is a device is known as the fire sprinkler head, the heart of the system. There are heads of almost any configuration, size, and color, consequently chose a qualified designer to meet your specifications.

How do you Maintain or update?

The best practice in maintenance can be as simple as observing the position indicators on the control valves and the pressure readings on the gages; if they show open with the pressure you should be in operating condition. A visual check of the heads to assure they are not obstructed, damaged, or and this is a definite no, no, painted.

To ensure a properly functioning alarm, open the test connection and listen for the bell.

It’s a good practice to decide early on the value of your protection as it will aid you in deciding the level of reliability you want from your system; are you protecting life, property, or both: shall my inspections be conducted quarterly, semi-annually, annually or every five years?

For more definitive discussions addressing the components, one will be advised to consult additional portions of this site for more informative instructions & explanations.

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