My 5-year fire sprinkler inspection found corrosion, now what?

My 5-year fire sprinkler inspection found corrosion, now what_.jpg


Have you had a recent fire sprinkler inspection and it showed corrosion?

It might seem like an overwhelming task, knowing that your fire sprinklers are blocked in the event of a fire, but the solution is simple.

When F.E. Moran Fire Protection conducts a 5-year inspection, the first thing they do is verify the operation and condition of check valves and internally inspect pipes.  This internal inspection is when they would see if the pipe is blocked with corrosion.

What does NFPA have to say about obstruction investigations?

According to NFPA 25, two activities need to be done every five years (chapter 13).  

The first is an inspection (13.2.1) that is conducted every five years internally.  The flushing connection at the end of a crossmain and another single sprinkler at the end of a branchline need to be removed and inspected to look for potential foreign material.

The second is a more thorough obstruction investigation (13.2.2).  It is conducted i any one of fourteen potential conditions are found during the first step of the inspection.  In this step, the system valve, riser, crossmain, and branchline are investigated.  This step is only done if step one found corrosion.


What points are checked during a 5-year inspection? 

  • System Valve
  • Riser
  • Cross Main
  • Branch Line

At these four points, the inspector will look for organic and inorganic foreign matter in the pipes.

Foreign matter was found, what happens next?

If foreign matter is found at any point, the entire system is assessed with an obstruction investigation.

What follows is a quick and painless flushing of the system.  Water is pumped through the system and foreign matter is removed by the pressure of the water through the hose.

While solving the issue of corrosion in fire sprinklers is simple, if it goes unnoticed or ignored, the consequences are major.  The corrosion would result in a blocking of the water in the event a fire activates the sprinklers.  The expense of installing the fire sprinklers in the first case would have been for nothing because a fire could destroy your business without the sprinklers being properly maintained.

In Conclusion

Installing fire sprinklers is the first step, but maintaining them is an essential part of fire sprinkler ownership.  If your building has fire sprinklers, are you getting the inspections that are required?  If not, you could be putting your facility at risk.

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