A well designed and properly installed fire sprinkler system requires very little in the way of maintenance; however, it is imperative to keep up with routine inspections to maximize a system’s firefighting potential and avoid any litigation in the event of a fire. Routine inspection, testing and maintenance will ensure that a fire sprinkler system is working as efficiently as possible in the event of a fire. While different systems have different schedules of inspections, with some requiring weekly, quarterly, or annual inspections, the five year inspection is unique because it involves an internal inspection of the system’s piping.
Combating Corrosion and MIC in Fire Sprinkler Systems
Microbiologically influenced corrosion (MIC) and other forms of corrosion can occur in all types of fire sprinkler systems. While corrosion is common, if it is left unmitigated it can settle in the lowest parts of a sprinkler system, usually in the fire sprinkler heads. A sizable build up of corrosion can seriously impede or block water flow entirely.
Though corrosion can occur in all types of fire sprinkler systems, it is more common in dry pipe systems, which are systems where no water is stored in the piping. Once moisture is introduced into the system it will cause the metal piping the oxidize, producing debris that will settle over time.
While corrosion is a concern, building owners can save themselves time and money in the long run if they keep up with fire sprinkler inspections as required by NFPA 25.
What Does a Five Year Fire Sprinkler Inspection Entail?
When conducting an internal inspection, a fire sprinkler contractor or other professional will check the following four system components:
• System valve
• Cross main
• Branch line
In addition to checking these areas, the contractor will also inspect the system’s valves to ensure they are functioning properly. If the fire sprinkler system is a wet pipe system, that is, a system where the water is stored in the pipes, the contractor will flush the system and check for corrosion.
Finding Corrosion and “At-Risk” Fire Sprinkler Systems
Fire sprinklers systems that are labeled as being “at-risk” are generally over 50 years old. Inspections for at-risk fire sprinkler systems are much more in-depth than other systems. If these systems did not always have regular, routine maintenance over the course of their lives, they may have more buildup and corrosion than usual, and will most likely require some form of maintenance.
Upon completing the inspection, the contractor will submit a report to the building owner. If the contractor found any corrosion or other signs of wear in the system, they will replace or repair any system components that are either inefficient or not functioning.
Contact our Contractors Today to Schedule Your Five Year Fire Sprinkler Inspection
Routine fire sprinkler inspection, testing and maintenance can make be the difference between a sprinkler save or a total loss of the building or, worst of all, a loss of life. Our professional contractors are some of the most skilled in the area and can gauge your fire sprinkler system’s effectiveness and can perform any repairs needed. For more information on how our fire sprinkler contractors can advocate for your property’s fire protection, contact us online today.