There are several fire sprinkler system types that can be installed in industrial facilities or warehouses. The three most common systems include wet systems, dry systems, and preaction systems. As a facility manager, it’s important to know which fire sprinkler type(s) protects your building. Each system requires a unique maintenance routine to ensure they’re functioning properly. Proper maintenance can save you the headache of malfunctioning systems and property loss.
Wet systems are the most commonly installed sprinkler system. In wet systems, the sprinkler heads are connected to pipes that have a continual water supply. Water is immediately released from the heads when the ceiling reaches 155-165℉, causing the sprinkler’s fuse/bulb to break.
It’s important to know whether your facility has a wet system so you can better prepare your system for cooler months and understand what can go wrong. During cooler months, the pipes supplying your sprinkler system run the risk of freezing if your facility is not kept at 40+℉. A frozen system would be unable to release water to extinguish flames should a fire occur in your building.
Dry sprinkler systems function similarly to wet systems. The biggest difference is that dry sprinkler systems are not continually supplied with water. The water is held behind a valve and only released into the sprinkler pipes when a sprinkler head is activated by a broken fuse/link due to high temperatures. These systems are a good option for facilities that may drop below 40+℉, as water is not stored in the pipes and will not freeze.
Dry systems are slightly more complex than wet systems. It’s good to know if your building has a dry system so you can be prepared for increased maintenance and costs. It’s also good to be prepared for a slight delay of water release should a fire occur in your facility.
Like dry systems, preaction sprinkler systems do not have a continuous supply of water in their pipes. Preaction systems require two steps prior to the release of water from sprinkler heads. First, a fire is detected by an independent fire detection system, causing the preaction valve to open and send water into the pipes. This essentially turns the system into a wet system, and water is released from individual sprinkler heads as their fuses/bulbs break.
Preaction systems are often used in water-sensitive environments such as museums and data centers. It’s important to know if your building utilizes preaction systems, as they are more complex. With the added complexity comes an increased risk for system failure. It’s important to stay on top of routine maintenance and inspection by trained professionals if your building is outfitted with a preaction system.
This fire sprinkler type also has size limitations. If you intend on increasing the size of your system, you need to know whether or not you have a preaction system. Preaction systems that are too large will allow too much time to pass between fire detection and water release at the distant end of the pipe. This additional time can be the difference between life and death for employees and equipment alike.
Fire Systems, Inc.
If you are unsure of which fire sprinkler type your facility utilizes, one of the highly trained Fire Systems, Inc. technicians can help determine the type of system(s) installed and initiate a proper maintenance routine.
Fire Systems, Inc. is the Atlanta area’s go-to for full fire protection services. From design to installation, maintenance, and beyond, our team is happy to help. Visit our website or give us a call at 770-333-7979.