How To Test Various Fire Sprinkler Systems Components

Investing in a fire sprinkler system is adding a major layer of fire protection to your house. Like any other safety precaution, the challenge is in knowing if the system will deliver when the emergency arises. For fire sprinklers the first step in ensuring they can work is getting trained and certified installers to do the work. This is not a simple DIY project and you need to ascertain the accreditation of the installers before you engage them. Aside from this, before the completion of the project, the company that is doing the installation has to perform certain tests. These can only be done by trained and certified personnel. The tests are in line with the various standards assuring quality.

Water Flow Switches

These switches rely on a paddle in the sprinkler pipe to activate the fire alarm system. They are tested by flowing water through the piping of the sprinkler system.

Sprinkler Shutoff Tamper Switches

These switches are what ensure that the water supply valves remain in the open position. When the valves are not in the fully open position they send an alert on the fire alarm panel.

Fire Pumps

They are used to attain the required sprinkler water system pressure. This is usually a necessity in high rise buildings. As a test, enough water pressure must be present at the highest or last sprinkler for the sufficient water needed to extinguish a fire.

Backflow Preventer Valves

These are one way valves which prevent the water in a sprinkler system from interacting with the domestic water supply. They prevent contamination of the drinking water.


The piping is pressure tested to ensure there is no leakage of pressure from external piping. The test is performed first by an installation check which is then followed by a hydrostatic test of the pipe line. It can take 2 hours of duration. For proper functioning gauges at each end, there should not be any significant change in the pressure within the piping at the end of the test period.

A general functional test can then be conducted on the sprinkler system. There are two steps by which this is achieved. The first step is to ensure the water motor alarm gong operates in conjunction with the fire alarm system bell and the main pump. When the test valve on the alarm check valve is open, the water motor alarm gong should operate. When the sure test valve is opened, the motor alarm gong should sound, the fire alarm system bell should ring and the main pump should start.

After the first step, a heat source can be introduced to a remote fire sprinkler. The process should be repeated with water spray being released to cover specified area.