Common Mistakes Committed While Installing Fire Sprinkler Systems

Posted by: Piyush Singh

Building outlines, fabricated on the grounds of imprudent errors, cannot pull through unascertained or even specific critical situations. Specifically, the ones that do not have a well-considered, structured arrangement of fire sprinkler systems. In such a case, the accountable entities are not constructing a building. They are, indeed, framing their pathways towards fatal accidents.
And when we talk about New York City, well the area, factually, has some of the most demanding fire protection codes in the world. So, if your sprinkler system is flawed, the authorities would assuredly detect the same during inspections, even before the building could start operating. Nonetheless, revisions and improvements can prove to be quite expensive. Thus, it is in your best interest to avoid such lapses in the first place.
Now, the most reliable way to prevent installation errors is by hiring professional services from the inception of the project design phase. The supervision of experts can ensure that everything is installed according to the approved design certificates.
And the design engineering team of the exceptional fire protection services, Millbrook Fire Protection, can, certainly, help you to abide by all the laws and construct safe premises for your residents, workers, or family.
However, the following points can provide you with an overview of a few typical errors committed when installing fire sprinkler systems. Though you wouldn’t have to worry about these common mistakes if you are already working with qualified professionals, but some extra technical knowledge wouldn’t hurt anyone, right?

millbrook(I) Installing Sprinklers Above Obstructions
Several times, the placement of sprinkler systems is framed based on the void layout of the room. However, furniture, decor, and painting in the respective room can disrupt the water spraying pattern of the sprinkler system. For example, if a huge file cabinet is installed right under a sprinkler, plenty of sprayed water will hit the top of the cabinet and, eventually, not reach the intended location.
Therefore, confirm to solve this blocking issue by establishing communication between sprinkler system engineers, architects, and interior designers. Ergo, walking along these lines, optimize the coverage of your entire room with the least number of sprinkler heads, while also solving the obstacles of obstruction, that might not be evident during the designing stage.

millbrook(II) Installing Sprinklers Too Close to the Ceiling
There is a misconception that sprinklers must be installed as high as possible. Such positioning could provide better protection.

However, wall sprinkler systems are engineered for a specific mounting height, and, consequently, if installed any higher, their spraying pattern, could rather get disrupted by the ceiling.

Thus, installing sprinklers too close to the ceiling is quite destructive for their performance.

millbrook(III) Pipe It Properly
Installing fire sprinkler systems as per conventional norms can seem to be easy, but this method has quite often built the grounds for abysmal performance issues. Hackneyed outline concepts result in the usage of dysfunctional systems that cannot even provide adequate fire protection.
A properly installed fire sprinkler system that best suits the design and structure of your building and determines compliance with country and state codes and ordinances, ultimately proves to be effective for the safety of your loved ones.
Thus, for a fire sprinkler system to operate accurately, the pressure and flow rate must be according to the assessment of design engineers and shall adhere to all the applicable fire protection codes. Undersized piping leads to insufficient flow, while oversized piping leads to excessive pressure. Eventually, there is no substitute for a detailed calculation procedure by a qualified design professional.

millbrook(IV) Changing the Sprinkler Model in Design Documents

Fire sprinkler models are not like light bulbs. One cannot simply switch the selected brand. Each model of sprinkler has operating parameters that are considered when calculating piping, pressure, and flow rate. You must note that the installation will not function as intended if the sprinkler model is changed, at the very last moment.

millbrook(V) Adding Valves Not Allowed by Codes
A valve is an extremely important piece of equipment in any water supplying device. Thus, if during a plumbing installation, the valve is closed accidentally, the worst that could happen is the blockage of water supply to all plumbing fixtures downstream, and this issue would be evident, quite easily. However, the same process could prove to be extremely precarious in sprinkler systems. Why?
• Closed valves are not detectable as sprinklers only activate during emergencies.
• If a fire starts, it may be too late to open the valve.
Therefore, that is the reason building codes prohibit the willful use of valves that cut water supply for sprinkler systems, totally or partially. However, valves may be allowed in cases where sprinklers and plumbing fixtures share water supply because the effects are quite evident, even if a valve is closed unintentionally.
But if the water supply of a sprinkler system is cut accidentally by a valve that should not have been installed in the first place, fire can, indeed and unfortunately, spread uncontrollably.

Always be particular about not committing the mistakes mentioned earlier while installing fire sprinkler systems. And as mentioned above, you should seek professional recommendation for conducting the selfsame procedure. Who else other than us, Mill Brook Fire Protection, can help you in doing so!

Author: Piyush Singh