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A Couple Question About Fire Protection Sprinkler Systems

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Old 01-21-2018, 12:19 PM   #1
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A Couple Question About Fire Protection Sprinkler Systems

I have a question about the different types of valves related to a sprinkler system for a commercial building. I don't need to do anything with them, but would like to know for my own knowledge, as I deal with sprinkler contractors at work and need to sound like I know what I'm talking about.

The main valves I know of and what I believe they do are the:

PIV (Post Indicator Valve): This is basically the main shut off for the entire building, that is outside the building. This is mostly for the fire department, but I notice that sometimes sprinkler guys will shut this off if they need to drain the system, and sometimes not.

Fire control Valve: As far as I can tell, I think this does the same thing as the PIV, but may be more for sprinkler guys to use. This is normally inside with the riser, but can also be on the exterior on the other side of the wall

Drain Valve: This is always on the riser, this is the main drain that drains the entire system

Flow Switch: This is an electric sensor that detects water flowing in the riser and sends a trouble alert to the fire panel

Inspectors Drain Valve: This is normally on the low point of a system and where you have to drain it after you drained it from the other main drain. I'm not sure why it's called an inspectors test?

Other misc. isolation valves: There are other valves throughout in case you want to isolate one area.

Fire Pump: This is used to increase the pressure to the entire building system when the city water pressure is too low. This can be electric or diesel. There are all kinds of controls, valves, and switches on this thing that I have no idea what they are?!

I think this is all generally correct, but there are some that I am confused on. Like what is the difference between the PIV and the fire control valve?

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you
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Old 01-21-2018, 01:07 PM   #2
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Re: A Couple Question About Fire Protection Sprinkler Systems

I can help with the fire alarm part-

Flow switch- sends an Alarm not a trouble condition to the FACP, it is a vane inside the pipe once it moves from water movement it sends the alarm

Tamper Switch- on main sprinkler supply valve, sends trouble signal to FACP. Usually a rod laying against a notch in the valve shaft, when shaft rotates rod moves setting off switch

Beware some Fire Depts. will respond to a trouble condition just like it was an alarm condition.


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