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  • Residential Fire Sprinkler System Help?

    Greetings:
    New laws in my area make it mandatory to add fire sprinklers to any new homes.

    I’m doing a renovation that will have most of my walls/ceilings exposed. As my home isn’t new it’s not mandatory to add a sprinkler system but I’m considering it. I plan on using CPVC.
    I would be:

    1st floor - room 1 = 40’ x 20’ (open living/dining combination) no partition wall separating the areas.

    1st floor – Kitchen 12’ x 20’ (I’m fear full of placing a sprinkler there as a small issue may kick it off)?

    2nd floor - room 1 = 20’ x 20’ bedroom, 2nd = room 12’ x 18’ bathroom, 3rd room = 20’ x 9’ bedroom.

    3rd floor - room 1 = 20’ x 20’ bedroom, 2nd = room 12’ x 18’ bathroom, 3rd room = 20’ x 9’ bedroom.

    I’m thinking that I will need two heads on the first floor ( no more than 7’ from the wall and centered between the two).
    2nd and 3rd floor one in each room and each of the two hallways?

    I’m also concerned about water damage. I am under the belief that only the sprinkler that experiences the heat will kick off reducing the chance of unnecessary water damage.

    The major question I have is – when the head trips does it dispense water until the water is turned off or can they be adjusted for a specific period of time or temperature. The reason for asking is – if it stays on for an extended period of time and it happens to be a 3rd floor event it could ruin the 1st and 2nd floors?

    Can anyone recommend a couple of sprinkler heads (recessed/hidden). Because this is a residential I don’t plan on installing them in the center of the room as I don’t want them to be eye sores. Are there any directional residential heads. I’m also thinking about mounting a few on the upper walls.

    Are there any gottchas that I should look out for?

    Thank you in advance for your assistance.
    Regards.
    Regards,
    K. Nezz

  • #2
    Re: Residential Fire Sprinkler System Help?

    When a sprinkler head opens, is there a water flow sensor which automatically calls the fire department?
    If not, you could have water damage far greater than the fire.

    In my fire protection district, the sprinklers flow until a firefighter inserts a wedge to stop the water or the system is turned off.
    (We carry wedges and it was great fun wedging open sprinklers. I was able to accidentally aim a stream at my lieutenant.)

    I oppose residential sprinkler systems.
    Will it result in enough of an insurance savings to ever pay for itself?

    (Our State Farm Insurance office says they offer NO discount for residential sprinklers.
    They do have discounts for monitored smoke alarm systems.)
    Last edited by Robert Gift; 01-04-2011, 04:33 PM.
    I'd take an educated guess - but I'm unqualified.
    It ain't just soot, it's paydirt.
    "I swear, wherever Gift goes, argument follows." -Youtube comment

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Residential Fire Sprinkler System Help?

      Originally posted by Robert Gift View Post
      When a sprinkler head opens, is there a water flow sensor which automatically calls the fire department?
      If not, you could have water damage far greater than the fire.

      In my fire protection district, the sprinklers flow until a firefighter inserts a wedge to stop the water or the system is turned off.

      I oppose residential sprinkler systems.
      Will it result in enough of an insurance savings to ever pay for itself?
      I agree...here there is no turning off the water until you enter the sprinkler room in the building...so if the fire doesn't get it the water will... Waste of time and money in my opinion.
      Poor Planning On Your Part Does Not Constitute An Emergency On My Part!!
      You can fire me...but you can't tell me what to do!

      Derek

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Residential Fire Sprinkler System Help?

        it isn't about insurance savings, or property damage. It's about buying your family the extra seconds they need to get out of the house. I say install it.
        No, it's not rocket science, it's plumbing and unlike rocket science it requires a license.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Residential Fire Sprinkler System Help?

          Frost of all I am no expert on the sprinkler systems, but I think you would be wise to deal with reputable dealer, and have a person with experience help design the system,

          I looked in to a sprinkler system a year or so ago, and want to put some thing in my barn,
          and in the process there is a lot more to it than just a few sprinkler heads in the top of the room, hooked up to the water system, there are formulas on water flow, pipe sizing, head size, and other considerations, and the lay out of the sprinklers,

          If your going to the work and the expense of the system you want it to work when it is needed, and want it to do what you need or want it to do.
          Push sticks/blocks Save Fingers
          ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
          "The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good."
          attributed to Samuel Johnson
          ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
          PUBLIC NOTICE: Due to recent budget cuts, the rising cost of electricity, gas, and oil...plus the current state of the economy............the light at the end of the tunnel, has been turned off.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Residential Fire Sprinkler System Help?

            Originally posted by MoJourneyman View Post
            it isn't about insurance savings, or property damage. It's about buying your family the extra seconds they need to get out of the house. I say install it.

            This might be true but they sure don't market that way here...they throw the code book on the contractor then the contractor throws the extra exspense on the buyer...then the insurance from what little I've seen doesn't give any breaks... adds more on to the owner...could be small town bullcrap games...?
            Poor Planning On Your Part Does Not Constitute An Emergency On My Part!!
            You can fire me...but you can't tell me what to do!

            Derek

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Residential Fire Sprinkler System Help?

              my insurance agent told me it could actually raise my rates because of the water damage potential. so I don't think it's just your area. When I do my remodel I'll still be installing them. I can dry my house out.
              No, it's not rocket science, it's plumbing and unlike rocket science it requires a license.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Residential Fire Sprinkler System Help?

                Originally posted by MoJourneyman View Post
                it isn't about insurance savings, or property damage. It's about buying your family the extra seconds they need to get out of the house. I say install it.
                People can die from combustion product inhalation or hot combustion gasses before a sprinkler head gets hot enough to open.

                Also, people can die from combustion products from a fire in another area that has not yet set off a sprinkler.
                (Mother and her two children upstairs in a bedroom died in their sleep from smoke from a TV which smoldered and burned out on its own.)

                Smoke alarms are excellent at detecting a fire while it is still so small that occupants may be able to put it out themselves.

                We have a smoke alarm in every room except laundry, kitchen and bathrooms, all interconnected.
                Also two carbon monoxide alarms.
                I'd take an educated guess - but I'm unqualified.
                It ain't just soot, it's paydirt.
                "I swear, wherever Gift goes, argument follows." -Youtube comment

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Residential Fire Sprinkler System Help?

                  so because people have died when sprinklers didn't go off they aren't worth installing?
                  No, it's not rocket science, it's plumbing and unlike rocket science it requires a license.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Residential Fire Sprinkler System Help?

                    I make my living installing fire sprinklers, and you can bet that I will install them when I build my house.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Residential Fire Sprinkler System Help?

                      Originally posted by Knezz View Post
                      Greetings:
                      New laws in my area make it mandatory to add fire sprinklers to any new homes.

                      I’m doing a renovation that will have most of my walls/ceilings exposed. As my home isn’t new it’s not mandatory to add a sprinkler system but I’m considering it. I plan on using CPVC.
                      I would be:

                      1st floor - room 1 = 40’ x 20’ (open living/dining combination) no partition wall separating the areas.

                      1st floor – Kitchen 12’ x 20’ (I’m fear full of placing a sprinkler there as a small issue may kick it off)?

                      2nd floor - room 1 = 20’ x 20’ bedroom, 2nd = room 12’ x 18’ bathroom, 3rd room = 20’ x 9’ bedroom.

                      3rd floor - room 1 = 20’ x 20’ bedroom, 2nd = room 12’ x 18’ bathroom, 3rd room = 20’ x 9’ bedroom.

                      I’m thinking that I will need two heads on the first floor ( no more than 7’ from the wall and centered between the two).
                      2nd and 3rd floor one in each room and each of the two hallways?

                      I’m also concerned about water damage. I am under the belief that only the sprinkler that experiences the heat will kick off reducing the chance of unnecessary water damage.

                      You are correct. Fire sprinklers are individualy heat activated, and contrary to what the movies show, they don't all operate at the same time, unless you have a deluge system, but you won't have that type of system installed in a home.

                      The major question I have is – when the head trips does it dispense water until the water is turned off or can they be adjusted for a specific period of time or temperature. The reason for asking is – if it stays on for an extended period of time and it happens to be a 3rd floor event it could ruin the 1st and 2nd floors?

                      Yes, sprinklers run until shut off, or wedged. There are some expensive solutions to this, such as Fire Cycle systems, but those aren't ideal for the typical residence.

                      Can anyone recommend a couple of sprinkler heads (recessed/hidden). Because this is a residential I don’t plan on installing them in the center of the room as I don’t want them to be eye sores. Are there any directional residential heads. I’m also thinking about mounting a few on the upper walls.

                      There are many different types of sprinkler heads, including sidewall, upright (generally instaled where the piping is exposed) and pendant. There are concealed versions of the sidewall and pendant sprinklers that have a flat, or semi dome shaped escutcheon. The concealed versions are not unsightly, but that's just my opinion.

                      Are there any gottchas that I should look out for?


                      Make sure you use a licensed and insured fire sprinkler contractor, or a plumbing contractor that is licensed and insured for fire sprinklers.There are things like hydraulic calculations to verify an adequate water supply, and making sure the sprinklers are placed to minimize obstructions etc that the proper contractor will be familiar with. This is generally not a DIY job.

                      Thank you in advance for your assistance.
                      Regards.
                      Here is a picture of a concealed sprinkler.


                      .
                      Last edited by bml; 01-04-2011, 07:00 PM. Reason: Added a pic of concealed sprinkler.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Residential Fire Sprinkler System Help?

                        Originally posted by Robert Gift View Post
                        When a sprinkler head opens, is there a water flow sensor which automatically calls the fire department?
                        If not, you could have water damage far greater than the fire.

                        In most instances, yes there is a water flow switch that signals a fire alarm panel, or at least an audible alarm bell mouted on the outside of the building.

                        In my fire protection district, the sprinklers flow until a firefighter inserts a wedge to stop the water or the system is turned off.
                        (We carry wedges and it was great fun wedging open sprinklers. I was able to accidentally aim a stream at my lieutenant.)

                        I oppose residential sprinkler systems.
                        Will it result in enough of an insurance savings to ever pay for itself?

                        Most folks will prolly never see enough of a savings to recoup the cost of the installation. However, a sprinkler system does add value to your home.The primary job of a residential sprinkler system is to protect your family.

                        (Our State Farm Insurance office says they offer NO discount for residential sprinklers.
                        They do have discounts for monitored smoke alarm systems.)
                        Originally posted by dcman View Post
                        I agree...here there is no turning off the water until you enter the sprinkler room in the building...so if the fire doesn't get it the water will... Waste of time and money in my opinion.
                        I can almost guarantee that the fire department will cause more damage to your home than a sprinkler system will.

                        Originally posted by MoJourneyman View Post
                        it isn't about insurance savings, or property damage. It's about buying your family the extra seconds they need to get out of the house. I say install it.
                        He gets it!!

                        Originally posted by BHD View Post
                        Frost of all I am no expert on the sprinkler systems, but I think you would be wise to deal with reputable dealer, and have a person with experience help design the system,

                        I looked in to a sprinkler system a year or so ago, and want to put some thing in my barn,
                        and in the process there is a lot more to it than just a few sprinkler heads in the top of the room, hooked up to the water system, there are formulas on water flow, pipe sizing, head size, and other considerations, and the lay out of the sprinklers,

                        If your going to the work and the expense of the system you want it to work when it is needed, and want it to do what you need or want it to do.
                        Very true. There is more to it than gluing pipe together.

                        Originally posted by Robert Gift View Post
                        People can die from combustion product inhalation or hot combustion gasses before a sprinkler head gets hot enough to open.
                        Also, people can die from combustion products from a fire in another area that has not yet set off a sprinkler.
                        (Mother and her two children upstairs in a bedroom died in their sleep from smoke from a TV which smoldered and burned out on its own.)

                        You would be surprised at how fast today's quick response sprinklers operate. I have personally witnessed a 6"x6" credit card machine set off two standard response sprinklers, one of which was about 10' away.
                        Smoke alarms are excellent at detecting a fire while it is still so small that occupants may be able to put it out themselves.

                        We have a smoke alarm in every room except laundry, kitchen and bathrooms, all interconnected.
                        Also two carbon monoxide alarms.
                        .

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Residential Fire Sprinkler System Help?

                          I will have smoke/heat sensors in every room and a heat sensor in the kitchen. They will be wired in series (4 wire to allow me to know which one went off, alarm keypad resetting and ease of troubleshooting faults). I live in a 120+ year old 3 story townhouse. All new construction regardless of it being an apt. or not are required to have sprinkler systems. I’m renovating and am not required.

                          I’m torn – the potential damage due to water has me worried.

                          Originally posted by BHD View Post
                          First of all I am no expert on the sprinkler systems, but I think you would be wise to deal with reputable dealer, and have a person with experience help design the system
                          I agree. Are there any internet resources I can review to have a better understanding of what to ask and verify that the group I choose has a clue? There are many internet resources out there but that doesn’t mean they are reputable in their theory.


                          Originally posted by Robert Gift View Post
                          When a sprinkler head opens, is there a water flow sensor which automatically calls the fire department? If not, you could have water damage far greater than the fire.
                          I plan to have a sensor hooked up to my home alarm but a lot of water damage can be done in the 10 to 15 min it could take for the fire department to get on location.


                          I’m really, really reaching on this one!!! I know there are automatic water shutoff devices out there but am I just asking for trouble trying to have the water automatically shut off after a period of time after activation. As I’m typing I see the flaw in this theory but still want to get other opinions.

                          Originally posted by MoJourneyman View Post
                          it isn't about insurance savings, or property damage. It's about buying your family the extra seconds they need to get out of the house. I say install it.
                          My reasons are for additional safety not insurance incentives.


                          Regards.
                          Regards,
                          K. Nezz

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Residential Fire Sprinkler System Help?

                            The numbers of heads malfunctioning are minimal.All the homes we plumbers go into and I have yet to hear of a head just going off.Even the whole kid kicking the ball around the house hasn't been told to me in real life.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Residential Fire Sprinkler System Help?

                              I think residential sprinkler systems should be optional. Let the owner decide. If you buy a quality sprinkler head it seems it would be reliable. I would rather come home to a flooded house than no house at all.

                              Build your home out of concrete and steel and install sprinkler system and tile floors. There wouldn't be anything to burn or get water damaged except what you bring in the house.

                              Theres a concrete home being built not to far from a job I'm working on so in a few days hopefully i can have some pics. This guys giving the finger to hurricanes,fire,termites,tornado's and water damage.

                              Comment

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