Sunday, October 9, 2016

Improperly Wired Sprinkler Systems The Ticking Time Bomb in too many buildings due to those who should not be working on fire systems

I see it all to often both Wet and dry sprinklers wired improperly and failing to send a signal to a fire alarm system when they trip which can result in hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage  if it happens over night in unocupied structures

I recently ran across two  such set up in a church in Penn hills  and a church in Ben Avon Pa. which had additions  built in the 90's before both towns had active Fire Marshals inspecting .

The wet and dry system switches along with the tamper switches all wired on 1 zone when it should have been 3 separate zones.  . The fire panel allowed for it but laziness on the part of the contractor  allowed it to happen.

Now back in early 70's before modern fire panels came on the market this was acceptable but as panels and codes evolved in 80's it was then required that tamper valves no longer be wired in same circuit as flow and pressure valves  and then  dry and wet systems had to be separately Annunciated .

So obviously these churches should have had 3 separate zones which was not done. In fact there are still so called fire alarm installers still installing wiring  the wrong way.

They get away with it because Pa. has no training or license standards and too many  inspectors who would not know to even check for it . How many of these bad systems are out there  in my estimates up to 60% have problems based on what I find in the field.

Whats being done about it nothing unless a tech like my self catches it and re wires it  or inspector catches it and has it corrected. 

This means a valve could be turned and no one knows and or when tamper valve is turned  or low pressure switch  activates it blocks signal from a flow switch.

This is why NFPA changed the code no misinterpreting signals and no wondering what has activated

You know its the dry system  pressure  switch the wet system flow switch the low pressure trouble switch or the valve tamper switch. .

In the case of these churches they have been rewired properly but thats 2 out of how many are bad and how many each day are being installed improperly all over this state and if the wiring is being installed improperly you know the piping is as well and I see plenty of horror story's there as well.. with building codes so dependent on sprinklers coming on and activating to protect lives you think people would be more cautious how they do thing but they do not care and are putting yours and my life on the line should a catastrophic condition  occurs . 


  1. That crap is still common in the alarm business.
    Sadly, most customers really dont understand what they are buying, The slap & dash nature of alarm installation/installers perpetuates.