As time goes by, fire sprinkler systems will require a repair or full line replacement due to natural wear and tear. When dealing with old piping, it is common to experience corrosion and deterioration that will eventually result in a leak. Replacing or repairing a sprinkler system due to a leaking pipe is the most common reason for a piping upgrade. However, there are also several other common reasons for a repair.
Fire sprinkler systems are required to be inspected and tested on a regular basis. Upon inspection, you may become aware that the pipe does not provide adequate water pressure per current plumbing code. This may be a result of an old and corroded pipe that does not allowing water to flow. In some cases, the corrosion itself may be restricting the flow of water on the inside of the pipe.
Another reason for low pressure may be a result of a faulty OSY valve, which is used to control the water on the inside foundation wall of your building. If the OSY valve is corroded, you may be forced to replace the entire service line along with the OSY to resolve the pressure problem. If your piping is in fair condition, you may only need to replace the faulty OSY valve.
If you have an existing sprinkler main and you are doing a renovation in your home, you may be required to upgrade your system and complete a full line replacement. For example, if you have a 2.5” pipe, this very well may not fall within the current plumbing code. You may be required to upgrade to a 3” or 4” pipe.
These details should be provided by the engineer who is responsible for following the code when drawing the new plans and submitting them to the city for approval. Fire sprinkler installations in NYC are becoming more common as time goes on due to the continuous regulation updates.
Faulty curb valve
The Fire Dept. has been checking and issuing violations for non-existing and non-functional curb valves over the previous few years. The purpose of the curb valve is to allow control over the water flow from the outside of the house in the event of a leak inside your house.
In this case, there are two options. The first would be to close the water from the curb valve and stop the water from flooding the house. If the curb valve is not functional, the Fire Dept. may have to break down the door to control the water from the main control valve. In a case like this, it is common for a non-functional curb valve to result in a fire sprinkler installation in NYC. In other areas this may differ as the town or city may be responsible for repairs.
The same applies if you do not have a curb valve, you would be required to install a new valve which is also dependent on the age and condition of the piping below ground. Is the material makeup of your pipe in compliance and will it allow for a repair? Talk with a local water main contractor if you are uncertain.
It is important to research all the details associated with your sprinkler repair, there are many variables that the layman may not consider. Becoming aware of these factors will assist in making an educated, cost-effective decision if you’re sprinkler system is malfunctioning.