Servicing fire sprinkler systems as recommended is key to making sure it performs as required when there is a fire emergency. However, the process of servicing or repairing a fire sprinkler system can result in disruptions in your home or office space. A fire protection expert should take you through the entire process. One of the questions most property owners have is regarding the alarm that normally goes off after servicing their sprinkler system and turning the water back on. Why does this occur?
Turning Off The Water Valve
During fire sprinkler system servicing, the water valve needs to be turned off in order to replace the sprinkler head or repair any leaks in the line. Sometimes the fire alarm will register a fire when you switch the water off. Make sure you disable the building’s fire pump as well. Let’s take a look at the step by step procedure you need to follow when servicing a fire alarm sprinkler.
Start by checking how the fire alarm system is monitored. If the system is monitored by a third party, it is going to be indicated in the panel as “offsite”. You need to get in touch with them and inform them that the system will be serviced so that they can put it “on test” for a specific time duration.
The next step is to ensure that the audible signals are disabled so that they do not sound accidentally when the system is being serviced. Some sprinkler alarm systems have silent test features which automatically disable these audible signals. If you are not sure of how to do this, consult your building manager or the local fire protection expert for help.
Next, identify the discharge tube for the floor you are draining. Most fire alarm systems come with a test drain that is designed to discharge water in an abandoned area such as the building’s parking. You just need to make sure there’s no property in the area that is at risk of damage if water is discharged.
You can turn off the water valve in the floor area that is affected and then remove the cover of the alarm flow switch. Identify the position of the stem in the switch and push it to open the testing drain. You can release the stem if you can’t hear any more water flowing. Once this is done, you are free to perform any servicing that is required on the sprinkler system.
If your building has a fire pump, make sure you disable it. You can then refill the system by closing the testing drain. Simply turn the valve stem until you can hear the water running back again then put the cover of the flow switch back.
Once this is done, you can reset the fire alarm system and re-enable any fire alarm signals. Make sure there are no trouble indications on the control panel. Call the monitoring station to ensure everything is fully restored.