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  • Might be heading your way next...

    Happened today in N.C.

    Guilford County, NC - Local firefighters want sprinklers in every home statewide and they're taking that message straight to Raleigh on Tuesday.

    Firefighters demonstrated the need for sprinklers to a crowd of people at their fire safety event Saturday.

    Guilford County's fire response time is between 4 to 6 minutes, but in many cases, homes are fully engulfed before they even get the call.

    Without a sprinkler, they say you could lose your home and loved ones.

    "Sprinklers do many things, but the most important thing is it takes care of the fire in its early stages, giving you and your family the opportunity to get out alive," said Guilford County Emergency Services Director, Alan Perdue.

    Perdue says most people don't want sprinklers because of the cost. But he argues sprinklers are much more affordable and the systems themselves can actually save homeowners money in the long run.

    "You can't unburn something. You can dry something out but you can't unburn it," said Perdue.

    On Tuesday, The North Carolina Building Code Council will consider making it mandatory for all town homes to have sprinklers. Right now they're only required for commercial properties and apartment complexes.


    Make them mandatory everywhere. Then we can start laying off some of the Firemen.


    J.C.

  • #2
    Re: Might be heading your way next...

    2011 IRC / IPC will be including residential fire sprinklers as code...

    Unless your jurisdiction waves the requirement like mine is planning

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Might be heading your way next...

      Originally posted by OkieBill View Post
      2011 IRC / IPC will be including residential fire sprinklers as code...

      Unless your jurisdiction waves the requirement like mine is planning
      It's went back and forth. They at first wanted it in everything built. Now I think they are just shooting for connected townhomes. I believe once that gets a foothold and becomes the norm for inspectors to look at that it will then go into everything.

      You can bet on one thing, the Viega and Uponor boys are going to push hard and ring phones for it while we're all at work.

      J.C.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Might be heading your way next...

        My view on most things is the government needs to stay out of my life as much as possible. That being said, I don't really see this as a bad thing. It will add a little more cost to a new home, but it should also add safety. And more work for plumbers is always a good thing in my opinion.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Might be heading your way next...

          Originally posted by Nevada plumber View Post
          My view on most things is the government needs to stay out of my life as much as possible. That being said, I don't really see this as a bad thing. It will add a little more cost to a new home, but it should also add safety. And more work for plumbers is always a good thing in my opinion.
          Here's a current kicker, a sprinkler license-even residential-here is required for "designing" a system. That's the way the current code is written as I understand it.

          So I can install it, but must have a drawn design from a sprinkler contractor as I don't hold this license and I would have to check, but think it has a 2 year apprenticeship then testing requirement.

          Pretty sure sprinkler contractors are not going to pursue just drawing and selling designs to homeowners even though that may not be a bad idea.

          J.C.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Might be heading your way next...

            I've never personally installed one, but what about those Wirsbo sprinkler systems that use the potable water for the heads?

            You think if it becomes the norm to install sprinklers in new work, Wirsbo or some company might start a program along the lines of send us your prints, and we will design the system for you? It would be a great way to guarantee more sales. Just state that the system is only certified if you only use their product?

            Just a thought.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Might be heading your way next...

              Originally posted by Nevada plumber View Post
              I've never personally installed one, but what about those Wirsbo sprinkler systems that use the potable water for the heads?

              You think if it becomes the norm to install sprinklers in new work, Wirsbo or some company might start a program along the lines of send us your prints, and we will design the system for you? It would be a great way to guarantee more sales. Just state that the system is only certified if you only use their product?

              Just a thought.
              Come to think of it, I recall having a Uponor catalog somewhere talking about that. So, I think you might be right on and things may go that way.

              J.C.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Might be heading your way next...

                they've been required here for years with most new homes and remodels. the single family homes come off the domestic water service main.

                rick.
                phoebe it is

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Might be heading your way next...

                  Originally posted by Nevada plumber View Post
                  My view on most things is the government needs to stay out of my life as much as possible. That being said, I don't really see this as a bad thing. It will add a little more cost to a new home, but it should also add safety. And more work for plumbers is always a good thing in my opinion.
                  I agree. Bureaucracy tends to give me both a nervous rash and a nervous twitch, but this can and will save lives. Maybe the most heartbreaking fire tragedies that happen every year are the Christmas tree fires, which often kill members of the household...and often in the middle of the night.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Might be heading your way next...

                    What about rural well systems? a normal well producing 7 to 10 GPM cannot handle a fire flow? We need to drill wells for a sprinkler system? I dont see how they can make this a requirement for rural environments where it is more neccessary as there arent hydrant to combat the fire?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Might be heading your way next...

                      Originally posted by wrench spinner View Post
                      What about rural well systems? a normal well producing 7 to 10 GPM cannot handle a fire flow? We need to drill wells for a sprinkler system? I dont see how they can make this a requirement for rural environments where it is more neccessary as there arent hydrant to combat the fire?

                      Maybe they'll want a 2000 gal. storage tank for fire.


                      Hey,
                      Years ago they made me wear a helmet cause the non-riders thought it would do good to vote it into law.
                      Same thing?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Might be heading your way next...

                        Hopefully it will go through. Im taking my test next thursday(23rd). Its got its kinks but they will be solved. You have to have your plumbing license for a min. of 3 years before you are even allowed to take the exam in nc. Hopefully this will weed out all of the handymen!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Might be heading your way next...

                          This ruling has been postponed until a reconvening in December for N.C.

                          Just an update.

                          J.C.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Might be heading your way next...

                            They started requiring them here a few years ago here but the state legislature made it illeagle for them to require it on any single family home. The construction lobby is too strong in the northwest for them to make it mandatory. Wirsbo will do design for you and give you a material takeoff. For a well system they require a 250 gallon holding tank and pump. It does get expensive at 2.50 to 3 bucks a square foot for a combined poatable/ fire system.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Might be heading your way next...

                              In my opinion this should be part of the plumbing trade but until they get some very serious kinks worked out I see it going nowhere. I've done a lot of looking into this over the past few days and to say it is a mess is an understatement.

                              Here's the problems I see so far.

                              Who does the drawing?

                              Most states require a holder of a NICET Level III or IV in "Automatic Sprinkler Layout" to hold a license or at least prepare drawings. These people are not professional engineers so they don't "stamp" drawings but they are submitted to building & fire departments "under signature".

                              I know North Carolina recently adopted a residential fire sprinkler license but drawings do have to be prepared/submitted by either a professional engineer or a NICET III or IV. Other states that require NICET III or IV include South Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, Alabama, Texas, Louisiana, Kentucky... you get where I am going with this. Not all but most.

                              Either way you go this will not be cheap. I think you will find most PE's won't go near this for liability issues and the NICET people are all working for companies and, in my opinion, they are NUTS to take on the liability without errors and omissions insurance.

                              Concerning the Uponor systems I have read where some make the statement "it's easy, you just read off a chart....." This is not true.

                              Stand alone residential systems (these are not connected to the houses plumbing) are relatively easy to do NFPA #13D has an alternative method for these systems but check this out......

                              From NFPA #13D "Standard for the Installation of Sprinkler Systems in One- and Two-Family Dwellings and Manufactured Homes"

                              8.4.4* Pipe shall be sized by hydraulic calculations in accordance with the methods described in NFPA 13, Standard for the Installation of Sprinkler Systems, in accordance with 8.4.5, or in accordance with the following general method for straight-run systems connected to a city water main of at least 4 in. (102 mm) in diameter [See Table 8.4.4(a) through Table 8.4.4(g)]:
                              (1) The system flow rate shall be established in accordance with Section 8.1, and it shall be determined that the flow allowed by the water meter is adequate to supply the system demand and that the total demand flow does not exceed the maximum flow allowed by the piping system components.
                              (2) The water pressure in the street shall be determined.
                              (3) Pipe sizes shall be selected.

                              snip
                              Take a moment and read that real carefully. The "charts" are relatively easy to follow but do you see where systems hooked to the domestic, where dead ends are prohibited, a system with loops and grids is taking you?

                              The "easy method" outlined in 13D is for straight systems... the systems connected to the plumbing (Uponor) have to be looped or gridded (no dead ends) which kicks out the "easy way" to do calculations.

                              For loops and grids the Hardy Cross method is used and here's a beginners tutorial if you're bored and want to work at something new. To be honest with you it took me a couple years to become comfortable with using it.. I know how but wWith loops it is harder and grids without a computer can get insane depending on what you got. Three connections to an operating sprinkler will almost certainly take a computer unless the technician is well versed in calculations and has a LOT OF TIME that you will pay for.

                              It seems that Uponor spent a lot of time getting ready to sell their product not bothering to set ground work that would keep residential plumbers away from some very serious liability issues.

                              For example make sure your liability insurance provides coverage for fire sprinkler completed operations. Just because you have liability in plumbing operations doesn't mean it extends to sprinklers.

                              Some insurance companies won't even write a policy unless the sprinkler/plumbing company has a full time NICET III or IV employee on staff.

                              I should add the NICET has to be in Automatic Sprinkler System Layout and not Inspections. A NICET certified inspector will not fly.

                              Some here may accuse me of trying to talk plumbers out of the work... that perhaps I want to keep it all for myself but nothing could be further from the truth. I don't want the work, I don't want to do it and it should be plumbers who do one and two family dwellings but everyone is putting the cart before the horse. They didn't lay out the ground work it is as if nobody thought this mess through.

                              If you want to get into this just make sure you do plenty of research first.
                              Last edited by sprinklertech; 10-29-2010, 01:30 PM.

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