Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Need a Fire protection Sprinkler and no city water supply ? Introducing the Pressure Tank for these situations

Recently I picked up a large church expansion job which needed a Fire system and also had to have a Sprinkler system as well . normally not a big deal but this church sits in a rural section of butler county and there is no city supplied waterline only a well providing water to the church.
OK so whats the solution to having an available water supply its called a Pressure tank as seen in picture below.
In this case a 10,000 gallon tank the size of a railroad car  was required which is filled 2/3 full with treated water and then 100-150 pounds of air pressure is maintained on tank by a small air compressor you see in left of picture  and pressure to tank is monitored by  a supervisory fire system switch for air pressure loss.    The tank  is attached to sprinkler piping and
when one of the heads activates the pressure in the tank will supply the sprinkler heads for 5-10 minutes time  and fire alarm will activate via the flow switch on piping  and notify fire dept.
When fire dept arrives with there engine they set up a small pool which there tanker truck and other arriving tanker trucks dump there water  into which engines suctions out and is then attached to the FDC Fire dept connection which will then continue to feed the sprinkler system till fire is put out .
a similar but much smaller tank is used for residential systems where a well is involved .
While adding the tank and pump adds significantly to cost of a sprinkler system it solves the problem for now till this community gets big enough city water will be brought to it or better way of putting out fires is developed. While 5-10 minutes may not seem much in the way of protection often fires are put out or controlled greatly so they are quickly put out upon fire dept arrival

Changing out a Electric Strike reveals why it never worked properly and hack job done to it.

I was recently called to one of my Institutional customer after there front doors electric strike would not lock and the electric strike was in locked open position after a tap it dropped closed and I found the mechanism was wearing out and needed replaced. but in replacing the lock I found what has been an on going problem with the lock not opening or partially opening or not closing when button was released.
What was happening was that when the door lock was first installed it was powered by 24 Volts AC power but some where along the way some one change the lock over to 24 Volts DC as the AC powered locks can be very noisy when they operate.
There is nothing wrong with doing this as long as it is done properly.
and in this case it was not . What the person installing the DC lock did was cheat and use a half wave rectifier which had no filtering which produced raw AC/DC power not a good thing to use on an electromagnet  and to make matters worse he installed the rectifier in the door jam which made it vulnerable to temperature swings which is why when the door frame got extremely cold or hot it would misbehave also the constant power on power off was not good for this component it is meant to be powered continuously.

I put in a new lock and removed the half wave rectifier and inside I installed a proper filtered DC power supply next to the power transformer  and installed surge protectors and door operates with no further problems. I also put in back up battery s as the door lock is used as part of a door access system and unknown to institute was fact when the hacks who put the access system in improperly also never checked to see if door would work during a power failure .
But this is what happens when you hire so called professionals and not properly check them out.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Old School VS New School fancy Alarm Company : Easy to guess who lost when burglars came calling

One of my first customer who has since passed on owned 3 Food Land Super Markets at one time one of them located in library Pa. he closed first after sales declined and he leased the front of the building to a national  drug store chain . they had this  fancy start up company  come in and  Install a new hi Tech Radionics Burglar Alarm System which is a very good system if installed properly which they did not . Right away I saw holes where they installed the motion sensors and just laughed.
Meanwhile my customer Larry kept the large back section of the old supermarket as a storage space to keep stock for one Food Land he still had left.
I took the stores old Moose MPI 25 panel and moved it to the back and proceeded to wire in the doors
and place motion sensors n all the storage areas. 

Well few weeks go by and Larry calls me and said I needed to temporarily trap wire a hole in wall where burglars tried to break into the storage room but where caught.. 
Well I get there good deal we caught burglars with system  win one for the good guys.

But that was only part of the story seems the burglars had broken into the drug store thru roof vent  and drug store system never picked them up they stole drugs and cash then proceeded to break thru back wall into my customers storage area when they where finally detected and captured had my system not been there they would have got away clean. 

Needless to say a embarrassing episode for this fancy alarm company which was eventually sold and is now part of ADT  But this is not only time this company failed there where several times I ran across articles where they where sued where systems failed including a million dollar house where fire system failed.
Of course I would find out why they where having problems after taking over a system a friend had installed at his high end home in Nemacolin  Resort and saw how badly they installed the system including leaving the resistors for smoke detectors in panel and not using power supervision relays .
But it seems all is well as the company's founder is still around in fact he got a big award while back in one of the security magazines I get.

It just amazes me how these guys get all this accolades  awards etc from the alarm industry  for building these big company's then dumping and selling them and go on and build another one  while all along forgetting about the customer its all about how much money you make with a company not hat quality of service you actually provide. 

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Silent Knights new 5820- EVS Panel handles all types of Emergency's from Fire and Gas leak to Armed Intruder

Since the events of 9-11 took place codes and technology's have been evolving to insure the safety of large gatherings of people at work or play  be it a mall,  church  a college campus or large corporate office complex .
This has resulted in systems known as Mass Notification Systems .
Which can deliver messages by several means to notify building occupants or those walking around the structure of a problem such as Fire, Tornado, gas or chemical leak, armed Intruder etc.
Silent Knight a Honeywell Company has now released the SK5820 EVS a combination Fire panel and voice Evacuation and Emergency Communications Panel

5820-EVS center with voice amplifier to right and strobe booster at top 
I recently installed a very large set up at a church in Dormont Pa. which was recently purchased and taken over by a non denominational congregation and operates on 3 floors and has had multiple additions added over the years.
the 5820 -EVS was ideal for the job  
a 50 Watt  distributed amplifier and 6 amp strobe booster was installed on each floor  and  this allows for delivering either pre-recorded or live messages from the command center in main hall.
There was a fire proof chase way up thru center of church and this made for a perfect means to run wiring so conduit was not needed and also an excellent place to locate the equipment you see above which they will build an enclosure around. 
While the main panel at top of panel has the traditional Fire Control Interface you will notice the rows of buttons with white tags below this is where various pre-recorded messages can be set up for different emergencies . 
To activate the buttons you must have an activation code you enter to prevent meddlers from activating it .
 and there is an on board microphone to make live messages or record your own personalized messages. 
The system also uses distributed SBUS technology where only 1 -2 conductor shielded wire for voice and  4 conductor wire for control are needed between the components  to make them all work together as one system and trouble shooting is a breeze as each individual  booster and amplifier panels  individual circuits read out when in trouble.
This is definitely a winner and I have a second install going in  a butler county church later this month .
The other nice thing about this panel it also can use the new  Smoke /  Carbon Monoxide  detectors 
and separate message of CO leak can be delivered which we installed these units at the 2 boiler rooms. 
I installed 72 + hours of back up battery as well since the church is strong and big enough to be used as an evacuation center for neighborhood should there be a community emergency and this will insure evacuees are safe during their stay if there is an extended power failure as well.