Dry pipe sprinklers
A dry pipe sprinkler system is just as it sounds – a fire protection system with no water in its pipes. No water will enter the pipes until an emergency triggers its release from the valves to the pipes, and eventually to the sprinkler heads.
Dry pipe sprinkler system to protect unheated buildings
Unheated buildings are quite common in many types of structures, including warehouses, parking garages, large refrigerated areas and outdoor pavilions, among others. These structures need fire protection just as much as a heated structure, and the best option is almost always a dry pipe sprinkler system.
The most common property types for a dry pipe sprinkler system are those that do not maintain and ambient air temperature of at least 40 degrees Fahrenheit. The dry pipe system is the second most popular behind wet pipe systems, and they are slightly more complex to design, build and install.
Dry pipe systems designed for buildings susceptible to freezing
Many property types that don’t require heat are susceptible to freezing, but they still require a fire protection system that will knock down any blaze. Garden or supply centers, exposed garages and unconditioned attics are areas of buildings that will often face the brunt of cold weather in the winter and have no reprieve. Therefore, the dry pipe system is a perfect solution, as the lack of water in the pipes leaves no risk of freezing or ruptured pipes. In the event of an emergency during a cold snap, the force of the water running through the pipes and out the sprinkler heads will not allow it to freeze, giving the system the opportunity to extinguish a blaze, quickly and effectively.
Dry sprinkler systems are mostly installed in unheated areas
Properties that are heated will most often use a wet pipe system, as they do not require the more complex and costly dry pipe system. However, it’s only the unheated areas that are the most appropriate for a dry system – water-sensitive areas are also good candidates. Furthermore, the dry system works well in active areas where exposed piping runs the risk of collision, such as with a forklift or other heavy machinery that could rupture a pipe on impact. While water will eventually come out of a ruptured pipe, the system can be shut down in time to prevent flooding, and repairs can be made to damaged areas.
Dry pipe system repair and maintenance for a variety of industries
Regardless of what industry you’re in, your dry pipe system has somewhat complex parts that need to be regularly maintained. Some dry pipe systems are under constant air pressure, which is frequently nitrogen. Most systems have 1 psi of air pressure keeping up to 6 psi of water pressure behind the valve. Once the air/gas is released, the water is allowed to take its place and flow to the sprinklers. The dry pipe valve is actually a simple concept, yet there are different options that must be considered with repair and maintenance.
Advantages and disadvantages to using a dry pipe fire sprinkler system
The most obvious advantage to using a dry pipe system is that it can be used in a building where freezing is a possibility. From unheated warehouses and attics to exposed landings and loading dock areas – they all benefit from the protection of a dry pipe system. Furthermore, dry pipe systems are a huge advantage to properties that have contents that are water sensitive.
Unlike a pre-action system, should a dry pipe come into contact with anything that delivers significant impact, there is probably only a minute delay before the water will flood, because there is no two-step initiation process or electric valve release, as one would find in pre-action system. Furthermore, the dry pipe system is more complex than most other systems, is costlier in terms of installation and maintenance, offers less design flexibility and has the potential for corrosion after it is activated and not fully dried afterward.
Valley Fire Protection’s staff works directly with both architects and professional technicians to produce the designs. Our collaboration allows us to configure systems that meet the specific requirements of your job, no matter how large or small.
We understand the importance of following schedules, which is why our project managers work closely with the design-build staff, material suppliers and installers. Our experts will ensure the process runs smoothly, finishes both on-time and within budget.
Whether it is a pre-quoted and pre-scheduled service or an emergency repair, we offer peace of mind to our customers.
We are on call 24/7/365. Valley Fire Protection has a highly trained team of 30 service technicians with fully equipped vehicles positioned throughout Chicagoland and Indiana.
Prevent water damage with dry pipe fire sprinkler
For those using a dry pipe system, they know there will be a slight delay from the time an alarm or sensor triggers the flow of water to the sprinkler heads, but this is a good tradeoff as they would otherwise not be able to any type of system installed, which is often due to the freezing temperatures in and around the structure. When water freezes in pipes, the result is often water damage due to a ruptured pipe.
At Valley Fire Protection, we have designed, built, installed and maintained a number of dry pipe systems for a variety of industries, so we know exactly how to tackle any project that requires this type of fire protection. Let’s talk about your fire protection needs and get started on installing the right system for your structure.