fire sprinkler system designIt’s no secret that fire sprinkler services are imperative to preventing and maintaining commercial fires. In fact, hotel and motel fires result in $76 million in property loss every year. But before you assume that your fire sprinkler system design will be operable at any time, it’s important to understand that sometimes leaks occur. Here are just a few causes of fire sprinkler leaks.

  1. Corrosion:
    While microbiologically influenced corrosion was thought to be the main cause of fire sprinkler corrosion for quite some time, it was recently discovered that the real culprit is oxygen. If you notice a sulphuric odor, rusting, or discolored water, it’s likely that corrosion is the culprit of the leak. You should always be on the lookout for these signs, but it’s also ideal to have frequent fire sprinkler inspections from a professional.
  2. Equipment Failure:
    It’s not uncommon for leaks to be caused by equipment failure due to a manufacturing or human error. There was a recall back in 2001 on more than 35 million o-ring sprinklers, and there are millions that have yet to be replaced. Furthermore, improperly designed, repaired, or installed sprinklers can also be a root cause of the problem.
  3. Freezing:
    This is not as common a cause of leaks as the others listed here, but it’s still important to be aware of the possibility. Heating system failure is the main cause of freezing, so you should always monitor the temperature and make sure it doesn’t drop below 40 degrees if the heat ever needs to be turned off or insulation is removed. In these situations, it’s critical to turn the heat back on or re-insulate as soon as possible after the work is finished. You should also be aware that any fire sprinkler heads that may be in close proximity to an open window are also susceptible to freezing. Keep windows closed as often as possible during colder temperatures.

Ultimately, it’s important to be aware of these potential causes of leaks to make sure your fire sprinkler system design is and will remain in good working order. For more information about fire sprinkler system designs, contact United Fire Protection.

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