Signs of a Fire Sprinkler Leak

By: Tom Hartel
Aside from the obvious dripping, it may be hard to determine a fire sprinkler leak, or a soon to be leak. If water is visibly coming out of your system, that is something you should take care of as soon as possible. Not only for the sake of not damaging whatever is under the leak, but also for the health of your fire protection system. Leaving a fire sprinkler leak untreated could unintentionally activate the system, which creates an even greater problem.

Here are a few signs that you should be on the lookout for a leak or should call a professional to look at your fire protection system.

Equipment Problems

Leaks can cause fire protection equipment failure. In dry systems, if your compressor is continuously running, it is a sign of a leak. The system is trying to keep water out of your pipes, and that is why it is running. If left to run, the compressor may become overheated or fail. Like we mentioned earlier, the system can unintentionally activate if the leak is left for too long.

Corrosion

Corrosion is another major indicator of a fire sprinkler leak or soon to be leak. If you spot an area on your fire protection system that looks rusty or discolored, then the area is likely corroded. You may also come across water that smells or is discolored dripping from your system, which is a sure sign of a fire sprinkler leak. Get a professional out to inspect your system if you see signs of corrosion and treat it quickly before the corrosion spreads or the leak starts.

Visible Damage

Keep an eye out for visible damage as well. Accidents happen, and while sometimes you are lucky enough to not have it break and spew water, the damage may still have been enough to start a leak. Tampering on sprinkler heads or pipes may also cause problems. The best way to prevent this is to install guards on them. These can usually take the brunt of any impact on your sprinkler heads and make tampering more difficult.

Failed Inspections

You are required to have your fire protection system checked once a year, and for a good reason. These inspections will be able to help identify leaks or problem areas early. If they find deficiencies in your system, you can take care of the issue right away. It is best to take care of any problems found as soon as possible because the longer you wait the worse the problem can get. A small fire sprinkler leak can turn into a much greater time and money investment.

Freezing

It is extremely important to make sure that your wet pipe fire protection system does not drop below 40 degrees. It is basic science that water expands when it freezes. If the water in your pipes freezes, it can do a lot of damage to the pipes. You will not notice the new leaks until the water thaws. Make sure windows are closed, and the heat is on where you have a wet pipe fire protection system during winter months. Install dry pipe fire protection systems in areas where it can regularly drop below freezing.

If you have noticed any of these signifiers of a potential fire sprinkler leak or have water dripping out of your system, give Valley Fire Protection & Plumbing a call to repair your system.

By: Tom Hartel
I acquired my expertise by directing day-to-day operations of the business for over 20 years. Continuous hard work helped me become a nationally recognized speaker and expert on fire protection, fire sprinklers, special hazards, and plumbing systems. In this blog, I share my knowledge that will hopefully help you make better decisions for your projects.

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