Thursday, May 14, 2015

A poorly designed Dry Pipe Sprinkler System Assembly leads to problems when installed In a new Church by less than reputable sprinkler company.

Victaulic is a Sprinkler company that has been in business for many years there are thousands of there systems in use all over the country. But recently I question their quality after problems with an install  of a new dry system with self resetting  valve at  a  church in Butler County. Came up.

The church has both a wet pipe and a dry pipe system and ever since the dry pipe assembly was put in place  there have been constant problems with the low air pressure alarm going off.
 Some times every day some times not for a couple days . The janitor has had to respond to check building and the church has paid the sprinkler company  from Allegheny County which has a poor reputation  for its work
hundreds of dollars to find the problem which they then come back and say the problem is the air pressure monitor switch attached to alarm.

I disagree but decide to change it just to shut them up and disprove them and did I ever disprove them.

First problem we found is that water shut off valve to the dry system does not shut off properly so it popped the dry valve.  I change  pressure switches all time and the dry valves never pop so serious issue number 1#  bad valve install.

Problem 2# seems like every fitting on this assembly which came in was only finger tight  a bad thing this allows air leaks so we tightened several fittings while awaiting a Sprinkler Company I have used for 30+ years to arrive to reset the system  and also help solve what is going on with this air leak.

My Sprinkler tech arrives and starts looking over the system and rolls his eyes when he sees the poor installation that was done from copper pipe with Shark Bite pipe connection from compressor etc. and goes on to explain how his company switched to Tyco Sprinkler Products after having so many problems with these new self re-seating dry valves.
and the many redesigns that Victalic has had to do to them and how the whole unit comes in as one assembly and often times it comes in not properly tightened like we found this unit. When I asked about this unit on a sprinkler group on Facebook and other sprinkler fitters I know I got a lot of negative feedback on it .They tell me they have been dealing with issues with them and hopefully Victualic will resolve them as the company has always had an excellent reputation but with new technology always seems bugs need worked out and some times no matter how well you design something there is always something you miss or does not show up till years down the road.

He looks system over and after few minutes he finds what is causing the problem of all the calls for low pressure.

Seems unlike older dry valve systems where you must undo front cover and manually reset valve and which require 40 pounds of  air pressure to hold dry valve in place  that the self resetting valves only need 13 pounds  so  the problem is almost all air compressors come in set to 40 pounds from factory  too much so an additional air pressure valve is put in line to hold pressure at 25-29 pounds.

But instead of using a high quality brass regulating valve and setting it at 20-29 pounds the company that installed the regulating valve used a cheap plastic one and set it for 35 pounds of air  which this plastic valve can not properly handle  it will start bleeding off over time as pipes expand and contract which is exactly what we had going on  valve would seat then release then re-seat  with expansion and contraction of pipes  He dropped pressure to 29
pounds and it stopped leaking and we have not had a problem since. a simple valve adjustment was all that was needed to be done but since the original installing sprinkler company sent a flunky out who had no idea what he was doing and failed to fix the problem and charged church hundreds of dollars for repairs never needed all the church had was headaches . Needless to say the church has fired the original installers and sprinkler company I use will doing work from now on.


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