Fire Sprinkler System

How to Drain a Fire Sprinkler System

The reasons, procedures, and tools for draining a fire sprinkler system

Without water, most fire protection systems are empty pipes fastened within walls and ceilings. We’ve routinely emphasized the importance of supplying adequate water to your building’s fire sprinkler and standpipe systems. But today, we tend to explore the alternative goal: Why would a fire protection system ought to be drained?

In this article, we’ll discuss the four primary reasons why you will ought to drain a fire sprinkler system. Then we’ll dive deep into the various varieties of drain valves, NFPA’s perspective on the location and usage of these valves, and conclude with some useful recommendation regarding the signs and decals required to spot drain valves.

Fire Sprinkler System Overview

Before we tend to dive into draining a fire sprinkler system, it's crucial to grasp where these drains fit into the system you will have in your building. It's additionally vital to understand where the water to be drained is held before and when the system is activated.

As a quick refresher, there are four basic varieties of fire protection systems. Each has its own manner of doing an equivalent job; controlling or extinguishing a fire threat.

  • Wet System: A wet fire sprinkler system invariably has water within the piping and a sprinkler activates once it's triggered by heat.
  • Dry System: A dry fire sprinkler system is full of compressed air or nitrogen and solely full of water once a sprinkler is triggered.
  • Preaction System: A preaction fire sprinkler system begins as dry; once an event happens water fills the system. Non-interlock systems activate when the detection system is triggered or a sprinkler activates; single-interlock systems activate once the detection system activates; double-interlock systems spring into action once the sprinkler and also the detection system activate.
  • Deluge System: A deluge fire sprinkler system is usually open, and also the water is command back till an alarm is triggered.

Now that we've got refamiliarized ourselves with the various varieties of systems and the way the system holds an extinguishant, let’s think about why you'd ought to drain a fire sprinkler system.

Why would a fire sprinkler system need to be drained?

There are many events that might warrant the requirement for a fire sprinkler system to be drained.

  • Repairs – Repairs ought to be created in varied instances, like once a fire protection system isn't properly maintained and there are signs of corrosion, the system was broken when a natural disaster or an act of vandalism happens. You'd ought to drain the fire sprinkler system before beginning repairs.
  • Restoring an activated dry-pipe system – A dry pipe system doesn't have water within the pipes sort of a wet pipe system. Compressed air or nitrogen fills the pipes till the fire sprinkler system is activated. Once activated, the system has to be drained to revive it to normal operation.
  • Extending an existing system – Once a building has an addition otherwise you are otherwise extending an existing system to hide additional space, you'd ought to drain the fire protection system before work begins.
  • Laws modification – You never apprehend once new laws are going to be enacted.

New rules for fire protection may initiate regarding the age of the pipe, the kind of pipe, or the kind of valves. Each of those would warrant drainage of the fire sprinkler system to form the mandatory changes to the existing system.

Each fire protection system will need to be drained at some point. NFPA 13: Standard for the Installation of Sprinkler Systems specifies that all systems must have the ability to be drained when needed.


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