Tips on Repairing or Replacing Fire Protection Components
It’s no secret that a building’s fire protection system is the key to reducing the impact of these severe events. Whether it’s a small kitchen spark or a full-fledged fire, these components work together to transfer clean water into the sprinklers and disperse it in a way that effectively quells the worst of the flames. As such, when your own system starts to show signs of decay, it’s vital that you take the proper steps to get it running reliably again. Use these tips on repairing or replacing fire protection components to ensure that you always have these devices when your need them most.
The Importance of Fire Protection System Maintenance
Though they often go overlooked among daily business operations, fire protection systems are essential parts of maintaining building safety. As mentioned previously, they’re responsible for either suppressing a fire until help arrives or putting out the flames entirely. Both setups require fully operational components and access to a clean source of water. Otherwise, you could be left with no way to fight back in one of these dangerous situations.
Regular maintenance of these components is also a requirement of the law. For the local government to allow individuals to spend time in a building, it must show that it aligns with their safety codes. This includes having an evacuation plan and a functioning suppression system in place in the event of a fire.
Essential Repair and Replacement Tips
With that in mind, repairing or replacing faulty components is one of the most important things you can do for the safety of everyone in your building. As such, we’ve provided a few tips to help you make the most of this process.
Decide Whether To Repair or Replace First
Before taking any steps to fix your worn-down fire protection components, it’s crucial that you first have a detailed understanding of what you’ll need to do. Not all situations warrant the full replacement of your system, yet you still need to identify exactly which parts are presenting an issue. So, if you suspect that you have some faulty parts on your hands, spend some time inspecting the system to best narrow down which ones.
Generally, repairs are most effective when you can easily acquire a part to correct the issue. But should this process become more costly than simply replacing the component, you may want to opt for that instead. Remember that this decision depends entirely on your current situation and assessing it properly is the key to making the right choice for you.
Consider How Long You’ve Had Certain Components
One important consideration for making the choice between repair or replacement is how long you’ve had your current setup. Though designed to last for several years, these sprinkler system components don’t stay in ideal performing condition forever. As such, their age could be an indicator that it’s time for something new. Think about the last time you changed any of its parts and how well it’s performed for you over the years. If there’s been a drastic decline in performance and an increase in necessary maintenance, you should reconsider a repair job.
Find Replacements Similar To the Original Component
If you ultimately decide to replace your components, you want to make sure that they’re as close to the original model as possible. While upgrading your system isn’t always a bad idea, you still want to ensure that your replacement parts are compatible with your sprinklers and attached valves. Because of this, searching for something close to the original is the best way to ensure operational success. Fortunately, there’s a wide variety of fire protection components on the market to choose from, and some may even provide that upgrade you’re looking for.
Reference the Manufacturer’s Guide for Advice
Another important tip for repairing or replacing fire protection components is to look through your system’s manufacturing guide. These booklets provide all the information you could ever need about your setup. From the dimensions of each part to how they all fit together, using your guide could give you great insight into whether it’s best to replace or repair certain parts. Depending on the issue you’re experiencing with your system, these manuals may even have a way to troubleshoot the problem.
Hire a Qualified Professional
It’s highly recommended as well that you hire an experienced professional to handle the repair or replacement work. Fire protection systems contain a lot of sensitive components, and setting the right pressure is the key to running it effectively. As such, it takes someone who’s worked with these devices in the past to accurately make adjustments and test them. Reach out to a licensed sprinkler contractor in your state to guarantee your setup meets all legal and performance specifications.
Inform the Necessary Authorities
However, even with the aid of a professional, it’s important to note that these jobs can take some time to complete. Since buildings aren’t considered safe until then, it’s your responsibility to notify the correct parties of the work being performed. This includes your local fire department as well as insurance providers, facility supervisors, and the building’s alarm company. Communication during this time ensures that you’re covered in the event of an accident and that you aren’t found in non-compliance with safety codes.
Inspect for Additional Corrosion
In addition to performing repairs and replacements, it’s also encouraged to inspect for any pipe or valve corrosion while you’re at it. Rust can form in a series of different ways. From developing around the site of damage to building up along the interior of your sprinkler heads, it can happen when you least expect and wreak havoc on the rest of your system. Because of this, tackling this issue at the same time you’re fixing certain components can be greatly beneficial.
In a fire protection system, backflow preventers are among the most vital components for sealing off water flow and preventing cross connections and contamination with the clean water supply. So, when this component fails, your system is both ineffective and unsafe to use. We at Backflow Direct provide premium backflow prevention assemblies that are compatible with a series of different sprinkler setups. This way, you know that your sprinkler system is clean and that these components are always safe to use.