Our local high school is fully sprinkled. The sprinklers located in the swimming pool area have turned green. Are these sprinklers required to be replaced?

Yes. Any sprinkler found to be corroded must be replaced in accordance with Section 5.2.1.1.2. Anytime brass is exposed to constant moisture (particularly combined with chlorine), corrosion will result. Sprinklers exposed to these conditions, should be wax coated to protect the sprinkler from corrosion. Wax coated sprinklers are available from any sprinkler manufacturer. Wax is not permitted to be applied after the sprinkler leaves the manufacturer.

When replacing sprinklers in a system, is it necessary to perform a hydrostatic test?

Section 5.4.3 of the standard refers to NFPA 13 \"Standard for the Installation of Sprinkler Systems\" when maintenance or repair involves more than 20 sprinklers. This section is intended to address common installation issues such as pipe, fittings, hangers and so on.


It is sometimes a common practice to hydrotest a system without sprinklers installed, i.e.: with ½\" plugs installed in the bottom of a drop to a pendent sprinkler and then install the sprinkler after final adjustment of the drop once the finished ceiling is installed. Both standards are silent on this issue. My suggestion is to consult the local fire marshal to determine what he/she will accept. In most cases when replacing sprinklers only, and not modifying the pipe, a hydrostatic test is not required.

When is a main drain test required?

A main drain test is required annually or any time the water supply control valve is closed, this includes any time a system undergoes maintenance or repair. This test is essential to ensure that the water supply valve is fully open. Sprinkler systems perform exceptionally well, however when they do fail the major cause of failure (35% of the cases reported to NFPA) the water supply valve was closed, thus the verification of an open water supply valve cannot be over emphasized. The annual test frequency is a minimum requirement, NFPA 25 permits more frequent testing if desired.

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Quick FAQ....

I have a standpipe system with two risers. The original design indicates a total flow of 750 gpm (2839 Lpm). Am I required to flow this much water for the five year flow test?

No. When conducting the five year flow test, one riser is tested at a time. Therefore, the flow should be a total of 500 gpm (1892 Lpm), 250 gpm (946 lpm) for each of the two topmost outlets.