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How To Troubleshoot A Fire Sprinkler System Leak

by Wallace Gonzales

Fire sprinkler systems provide a great way to help control a fire should there be one in your area. Unfortunately, you may experience a leak, which would make it less effective. Here are some ways to figure out what is going on and why your fire sprinkler system is leaking.

Inspect the System

The first thing you need to do when you have a fire sprinkler system is inspect the entire system. Before you can find the cause of the leak and start fixing it, you need to figure out exactly where it is coming from. Typically, the water will puddle around the area where the leak is occurring, so if you see a small puddle of water where the sprinklers are located, you know that is probably the general area where the leak is. However, make sure you still inspect the entire system or the potential problems. Check all of the sprinkler heads and inspect the piping joints, as these could also be the source of the leak.

Prepare for Repairs

If either the pipe joints or sprinkler heads were the cause of the leak, you need to have them replaced. However, if you couldn't find the source of the leak, you should call a professional to inspect the system. Otherwise, start gathering the materials you will need to fix the leak. If any of the sprinkler heads were leaking water, you should replace all defective ones. If you have an older fire sprinkler system, it is probably a good idea to replace them all now so you don't deal with more problems in the future. If you noticed pipe joints that were leaking, first test them to see if they are loose. If so, they might not be sealed properly, so you should pick up pipe sealant compound.

Replace the Sprinkler Heads

If you have decided to replace the sprinkler heads, start by turning off the water. Make sure all faucets and water that goes into the sprinkler pipes are disconnected from the water source. You will first need to remove the mounting hardware from the sprinkler heads, then remove them from the piping system. Make sure you don't remove all sprinkler heads at one time. You want to replace them one-at-a-time in order to protect the piping. If you attempt to remove all at once, you might distort the piping connection.

There should be a nipple that came with your new sprinkler head. That gets attached to the pipe, followed by placing the sprinkler head on top. Next, attach the new mounting hardware.

Repairing the Pipe Joints

If the leak was caused by loose pipe joints, you will need a wrench to fix them. Take your wrench and attempt to tighten the connections, being sure not to break the pipes. If this doesn't help solve your problem, remove the fittings and drain the water. You will now need to apply pipe sealant around the connection, then reattach the fittings. For more information, contact a business such as Rakeman Plumbing.

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