Every owner of a sprinkler system wants to avoid costly and dangerous damage to their sprinkler system. Sprinkler pipes are a lot like a car, if it’s not maintained it can result in expensive and unwanted repairs. At W&M Sprinkler we recommended that all of our customers perform 5 Year Internal Obstruction Investigations to the inspect the internal piping conditions of their system.
What’s in your sprinkler pipe?
Over time sprinkler pipe can age or wear out leading to the accumulation of foreign material or corrosion. An internal inspection can identify microbiologically influenced corrosion(MIC), rust and slime. These obstructions within the piping, valves or other devices can highly compromise the system, in some cases making it inoperable, which can potentially put lives in danger in the event of a fire. At W&M Fire Protection we believe the importance of internal testing is critical in the maintenance and health of your sprinkler system. Below is some general information regarding the procedures and benefits of 5 year internal inspection.
Internal investigations are done at the following points in the system: System valve, riser, cross main, and branch line. If any corrosion or obstructions are found, water samples can be sent to an independent lab for analysis. Once the investigation or analysis is completed, we can make recommendations for appropriate actions to correct the problem.
Benefits of 5 Year Internal Inspections
There are many benefits to having the NFPA required obstruction investigation done, some of these are listed below:
- Peace of mind for residents, employers, employees, or other occupants of the property
- Maintaining your financial investment
- Insurance savings (most insurance companies offer reductions for buildings that are completely covered by sprinkler systems)
- Protection for property and life
Code Requirement for Automatic Fire Sprinkler Systems
NFPA-25 (2011 edition) 14.2.1 states:
“An inspection of piping and branch line conditions shall be conducted every five years by opening a flushing connection at the end of one main and by removing a sprinkler toward the end of one branch line for the purpose of investigating for the presence of foreign organic and inorganic material.”
In 2002, NFPA (National Fire Protection Association) updated the code requirement for automatic fire sprinkler systems. NFPA adopted a code requiring that an internal investigation of piping be conducted every five years (or when conditions indicate the need for an internal investigation). This investigation can help to identify MIC (microbiologically influenced corrosion), rust and/or slime that may obstruct the sprinkler piping and compromise the sprinkler system.