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What Is A 5 Year Inspection For Fire Sprinklers?

What Is A 5 Year Inspection For Fire Sprinklers?

When you own or manage a property protected by fire sprinklers, you hope you never need them. But if the day comes that you do need them, you expect them to work properly.

However, if your fire sprinkler system has not received proper maintenance and care during the years it has been installed and waiting for action, there is a good chance it may not function properly or at all.

This is why the 5-Year Internal Piping Condition and Obstruction Inspection is so important.

What is the 5-Year Internal Piping Condition and Obstruction Inspection?

The 5-Year fire sprinkler inspection is an NFPA mandated inspection examining the insides of your fire sprinklers’ piping. The examination must be carried out a minimum of every 5 years.

Its Purpose: the purpose of the inspection is to ensure there are no blockages in the piping that would hinder the effective and free flow of water through the piping when needed in the event of a fire.

What it Identifies: the inspection will search for and be able to identify a variety of internal obstructions or problems developing within the piping, including:

MIC (microbiologically influenced corrosion)
Other foreign organic or inorganic materials

What it Entails: the inspection will first include an initial assessment. The initial assessment will include opening the flushing connection at one of the main ends and removing a sprinkler tower from one end of a branch line.

If sufficient foreign organic or inorganic material is discovered to be obstructing the pipe or sprinklers, then there will be a more comprehensive obstruction investigation.

The obstruction investigation will take place at a minimum of four points in the fire sprinkler system:

System valve
Cross main
Branch line

If obstructions are found, a complete flushing program will be conducted to remove all foreign materials from the piping.

Why is it Important?

Even over a relatively short period of time and even in new fire sprinkler pipes installed in a newer structure, sludge and build up can occur surprisingly quickly.

When these obstructions develop, they diminish or even prevent the flow of the life- and property-saving water through your fire sprinklers in the event of a fire. Keeping your fire sprinkler piping up to code by adhering to the 5-year internal inspection will mean ensuring that both your property, your employees and your customers are safe.

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