Heat traced piping is a technology that was introduced to help prevent the piping on a fire sprinkler system from freezing. It is important to note that not all sprinkler systems are designed for any environment. Every time the temperature drops below 40°F, your system could be at risk of freezing problems if it doesn’t have components like a heat traced controller.
Poor installation of the sprinkler system can cause it not to drain as well. It is important to ensure that the system is properly drained before the temperature drops. Wet fire sprinkler systems need to remain heated and well insulated in order to minimize the potential of freezing. Taking precautions before the cold weather can really help to ensure your system is up and running when you need it most.
How A Heat Trace Controller Works
Other than making sure the sprinkler piping doesn’t freeze, the heat trace controller also works by ensuring there are no shorts or ground faults on the special heat wire. The controller interfaces with a component known as thermocouple which is meant to monitor the ambient temperature in areas that are at very high risk of freezing.
When the ambient temperature falls below a certain range, the heating element is then triggered or turned on to prevent the piping from freezing. The heat trace controller is a very critical system that helps to ensure your sprinkler system functions well regardless of the low temperatures.
Other Steps To Take During Cold Weather
If you are located in an area that received very cold climates, you need to take certain steps to protect yourself from fire emergencies and ensure that your sprinkler system will function optimally when needed. If you have wet fire sprinkler systems, know that there is always going to be the risk of freezing of the piping. If the system doesn’t have a heat trace controller, you may consider installing thermometers just above the ceiling or any other location where the sprinklers are normally installed to keep track of temperature fluctuations. If the wet fire alarm system is still freezing, you may want to consider replacing it with a dry system. The risk of freezing is much lower in a dry sprinkler system. You will still need to perform regular maintenance and monitoring to ensure the system is completely free of freezing.
If you are experiencing extended periods of cold weather in your building, you need to ensure you also increase the level of heat in the building. This includes turning off the energy saving settings in order to keep the area as warm as possible especially during idle periods when there are no occupants in the building. You may also want to ensure any form of heat loss is detected and fixed. For instance, consider improving the building’s insulation to prevent heat loss. Freezing of the sprinkler system’s piping can be avoided by making sure the building has adequate heat. You need to actively monitor and maintain the heat in the building in order to reduce the risk of freezing.