Saturday, February 22, 2014

Dry Sprinkler Systems -Extreme Cold can have Dire Consequences for building owners who do not maintain the system Drum Drip

Dry Sprinkler systems are used in cold climates to prevent pipes from freezing and in cold applications like large freezers   but even these dry systems can present dire consequences when not properly maintained.
Dry systems work by pumping in dry air with a compressor or air tank  into piping which holds down the wet valve holding water back. When a head melts and releases the compressor or tank can not maintain the pressure and water is released.  This way only the area where water comes up out of ground needs to be kept warm instead of heating entire building.
However a critical piece to the whole system is the drum drip pictured below.


This is where condensation in the lines is captured to be drained off and failure to keep these drains maintained and not allowing them to fill up is critical as many times they have been installed in areas where temperatures go below freezing. Pressure then builds up against the frozen drip drum and fittings on drum will explode off releasing all the air and flooding area where drip drum is with water .
Yes even thou dry air is pumped into piping it still contains moisture  which must be removed and this is what the drip drum does.
While some more sophisticated dry systems use nitrogen in them to keep down condensate and corrosion they are more expensive to maintain so air from a compressor is the norm. The big problem with these drip drums there is usually more than one and they are hiding in corners and get stuff shoved in front of them. they should require a plaque on dry systems showing where all drip drums are located so system can be properly maintained because its usually the building owner or maintenance man doing it because some systems require being drained monthly.
I take care of several dry systems for customers because they just do not want to deal with it or worry there people trusted to do it will forget to do  it. 

3 comments:

  1. I agree that the cold can be detrimental to your sprinkler system. If there is water in your sprinkler system while it is cold, the water could freeze inside the system and damage it. I have had an experience with that at my old home. I had to get a few pipes replaced before I could use my sprinkler system again.

    http://www.springshowers.ca

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  2. I never knew that the cold could effect the drum drip. This is something that I am going to check as soon as I get home. I have always drained the water in the sprinkler system but haven't done much to prepare the drum drip for winter. This is something that I will certainly keep in mind in the future. http://www.turfbuildersirrigation.com

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  3. When a head melts and releases the compressor or tank can not maintain the pressure and water is released. This way only the area where water comes up out of ground needs to be kept warm instead of heating entire building.
    Sprinkler System Installation

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