Prevent Frozen Sprinkler Systems at your Business
Frozen water exerts thousands of pounds of pressure on a pipe, causing it to burst and result in flooding and major damage to your business. One major source of water most people don’t think about is the fire suppression systems. Implementing the below tips can greatly reduce a building’s potential structural and business operations loss due to freezing temperatures, large snowfalls or ice, and extended power outages.
Tips on reducing the risk of sprinkler lines freezing:
- Seal all exterior cracks, holes, windows, and doors to prevent cold air from entering the wall cavity.
- Insulate all attic penetrations such as partition walls, vents, and plumbing stacks.
- Install a monitoring system that provides notifications if the building’s temperature dips below a pre-determined number (recommended to never set lower than 55 degrees Fahrenheit).
- Sprinkler systems should be consistently monitored by a central station to provide early detection of a pipe failure. Always be sure to heat unheated sprinkler control rooms in times of cold weather.
- Install insulation and/or heat trace tape connected to a reliable power source on parts of wet sprinkler system piping. This includes main lines coming up from underground passing through a wall as well as sprinkler branch lines.
- Install an automatic excess flow switch on the main incoming water line to monitor and provide early detection of a broken pipe or valve.
- Have a reliable backup power source to ensure heat to the building and sprinkler rooms.
- UL-approved gas or electric unit heaters can be installed in unheated sprinkler control valve/fire pump rooms. If back up power is provided, the heaters should also be connected to this power source.
- A monitored automatic excess flow switch can be placed on the main incoming domestic water line to provide early detection of a broken pipe or valve when the business is closed.