There is no question that commercial buildings need fire protection. In most cases, fire sprinkler systems work as a solution to protect both your people and your property. There are some situations in which you may have to drain your fire sprinkler system if your building has a fire sprinkler system. The following information covers when a fire sprinkler system needs to be drained, how it is drained, and what it looks like for different types of systems.
Is It Necessary To Drain Fire Sprinkler Systems?
You may need to drain your fire sprinkler system for a number of reasons, including:
- Inspecting, repairing, and maintaining fire sprinkler systems
- System testing for fire sprinklers
- Activating a dry-pipe system
- Adding to an existing system
- Adapting to new fire protection laws and regulations
Draining a Fire Sprinkler System
Sprinkler components can be damaged due to improper draining. To ensure your fire sprinkler system is drained safely and effectively, it’s important to understand each step of the process. Be sure to follow these steps:
Ensure that appropriate parties are notified
Your first step should be to notify various parties of the plan to drain, how long it’s expected to take, and what precautions you’re taking while the fire sprinkler system is back online. These groups include:
- Your Insurance agent
- The Fire department in your area
- The emergency response team at your facility
- Your employees
In addition to these groups, you may want to let anyone around who may be affected or involved in your fire sprinkler system going off for any period of time.
Learn about your fire sprinkler system’s drainage location and where it flows
The next critical step in the draining process is finding your fire sprinkler drains. The most common types of drains in fire sprinkler systems are the main drain, the test drain, and the auxiliary drain.
- Your fire sprinkler system’s riser is where the main drain is located.
- In most fire sprinkler systems, the test drain is located at the end.
- Auxiliary drains can be found wherever your fire sprinkler system’s pipes switch directions.
It is crucial to find out where your drains flow, or where the water goes after your system discharges, once you find your drains. To prevent damage in your property, you can reroute the flow in critical areas based on the results of this analysis.
Draining Your Fire Sprinkler System: Wet vs. Dry Sprinkler Systems
You are probably aware that wet and dry fire sprinkler systems are the most common. There is always water in the piping of a wet fire sprinkler system, and it is activated when it detects heat. Dry sprinkler systems, on the other hand, are filled with compressed air and only release water when triggered.
These systems operate differently, so they have different draining protocols. Let’s explore both of them.
Draining a wet fire sprinkler system
- Turn off all sprinkler valves.
- Mark all closed valves.
- Drain the system by opening the primary and auxiliary drain valves.
- Close the main drain valve and the auxiliary drain valve once the water has drained.
- Make sure there are no auxiliary drains at any low points in the piping. Remove the piping so it can drain, then replace it.
- Drain valve pits of water.
- Open all sprinkler control valves that were previously marked as closed.
How to Drain a Dry Fire Sprinkler System
- Make sure both auxiliary drain valves are closed if they are not already.
- Place a container over the bottom valve to collect drained water after the plug is removed.
- Let any remaining water drain out by opening the top valve slowly.
- Make sure the bottom valve is closed.
- Repeat steps 3-4 until no more water drains out.
- The bottom valve should be closed, then the top valve should be opened slowly, and then the plug should be replaced.
Hire a Professional to Drain Your Fire Sprinkler System
When it comes to draining your fire sprinkler system, it’s always best to call a professional sprinkler service or fire protection company. These professionals are experts in these processes, and they ensure that everything is drained properly without causing any harm to your system.
Been some time since your fire sprinkler system has seen service or maintenance? Get help with your fire safety needs by White Palms Fire!