Have you winterized your dry pipe sprinkler system?
Many buildings have dry pipe sprinkler systems. We usually see them in unheated warehouses, parking garages, attic spaces, and loading docks. Dry sprinkler systems are necessary in unheated areas, since if the sprinkler systems contained water, the water would freeze in the colder weather, and break the pipe.
Unlike wet sprinkler systems, dry pipe sprinkler systems only have air in the pipe. In the event of a fire, the sprinkler head will open, and release the air. Once enough air has left the system, the dry pipe valve will open, and water will then enter the pipe, travel through the open sprinkler head, and onto the fire.
While there is no water in dry sprinkler system piping, condensation can collect during warmer weather and is susceptible to freezing during the winter Condensation occurs when the warmer air in the pipe cools, and becomes liquid water. This same thing happens when you are taking a shower, and the hot air in the bathroom makes contact with the colder mirror, and creates liquid water.
In order to minimize the problem of frozen sprinkler pipes, NFPA 25 requires that the drains in the dry pipe sprinkler system are drained before the onset of cold weather conditions. This is absolutely prudent since a failure to keep the dry pipe valve system free of water can result in damage and expensive repairs to both the sprinkler system and the building!
Capitol Fire Sprinkler’s Winterization Check-up Process
In order to minimize the amount of water in the dry pipe valve system, we can winterize your system. To do this, we will perform a combination of locating and opening all of the auxiliary drains (known as drum drips), and adding air pressure to the system to help push the water through the pipe.
How Else Can Capitol Fire Sprinkler Help?
We have a 24 hour, 7 days a week emergency repair hotline. If you have a freeze up, and the pipe or an accessory has malfunctioned, please contact us immediately at 718-533-6800.
As a final note, you are responsible to maintain a temperature of at least 40oF in the dry pipe valve sprinkler room (this is the room that contains the actual dry pipe valve). In fact, as per NFPA 25, you are required to inspect this temperature on a daily basis during the cold weather, although if the valve room contains a low temperate alarm, you can inspect the room on a weekly basis.