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  1. #1
    Jeff Byfield's Avatar
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    Default Homemade Fire Suppression System

    I found this last week in a 1954 Phoenix home, i guess sometime in the past someone decided they would install a sprinkler system in the attic, looks like he set up a system to water all of his vermiculite.
    (First time poster, very informative site for an Inspector)

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Homemade Fire Suppression System

    So, how was it installed? If it was not done to code, it may not have proper valves to prevent backflow. If this is the case, there can be a prolem with stagnant water in the lines.

    I have seen some improvised systems, that although they were not done to code, in order to prevent a problem with the water, the water main and supply to the fixtures was looped through the house with sprinkler heads added along the way. The only problem that did arise was when the water flowed through the lines, there was a noise problem throughout the house.

    Steven Turetsky, UID #16000002314
    homeinspectionsnewyork.com
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  3. #3
    Jason Lewis's Avatar
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    Default Re: Homemade Fire Suppression System

    Thanks for the post. Great pic.


  4. #4
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    Default Re: Homemade Fire Suppression System

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Byfield View Post
    I found this last week in a 1954 Phoenix home, i guess sometime in the past someone decided they would install a sprinkler system in the attic, looks like he set up a system to water all of his vermiculite.
    (First time poster, very informative site for an Inspector)
    Welcome Jeff!

    Great picture for your first post! That is not a fire suppression system, it is an asbestos suppression system for that vermiculite!

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Homemade Fire Suppression System

    Quote Originally Posted by Steven Turetsky View Post
    So, how was it installed? If it was not done to code, it may not have proper valves to prevent backflow. If this is the case, there can be a prolem with stagnant water in the lines.

    It really doesn't matter how it's installed. Those are lawn irrigation sprinklers installed in the attic. It all needs to come out or be properly decommissioned.

    Dom.


  6. #6
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    Default Re: Homemade Fire Suppression System

    Come on guys, all ya got to do is hide some plants up there and you're in business ...





    ... or do as Dom said:
    Quote Originally Posted by Dom D'Agostino View Post
    It really doesn't matter how it's installed. Those are lawn irrigation sprinklers installed in the attic. It all needs to come out or be properly decommissioned.

    Dom.


    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  7. #7
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    Default Re: Homemade Fire Suppression System

    That ceiling is already fireproof. Vermiculite is fantastic at blocking a fire.

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    Default Re: Homemade Fire Suppression System

    Why would it have to come out?
    It may be a dry system? It may not even be hooked up.


  9. #9
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    Default Re: Homemade Fire Suppression System

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymond Wand View Post
    Why would it have to come out?
    It may be a dry system? It may not even be hooked up.
    Do you want a lawn sprinkler in your attic?

    Those parts aren't rated for that type of installation.


  10. #10
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    Default Re: Homemade Fire Suppression System

    No kidding!
    We don't know it is even hooked up. If was hooked up yes I would recommend removal.
    If its not hooked up it could be left in place.


  11. #11
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    Default Re: Homemade Fire Suppression System

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymond Wand View Post
    Why would it have to come out?
    It may be a dry system? It may not even be hooked up.
    No it MAY NOT.

    The branches and the loppers in the first picture must also be removed.

    You have totally missed what has been pictured or what had actually been said more than 7 months earlier.

    Dom said: "It all needs to come out or be properly decommissioned."

    That is what we call an "either OR" statement, the "EITHER" is implied.


    I'll substitute AND for Dom's OR and adopt the statement. "It all needs to come out AND be properly decommissioned.

    It gets cold at night and oftentimes below freezing, even in the dessert SW. Doesn't belong above the thermal envelope open attic "crawl".

    Last edited by H.G. Watson, Sr.; 01-13-2012 at 02:50 PM.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Homemade Fire Suppression System

    Yes and if non functional/decommissioned, there will be nothing to freeze. Therefore it can stay in place.


  13. #13
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    Default Re: Homemade Fire Suppression System

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymond Wand View Post
    Yes and if non functional/decommissioned, there will be nothing to freeze. Therefore it can stay in place.

    No, it MAY NOT.

    The roof assembly that you keep missing...the non-occupiable/non-habital attic may not.

    Fork is in ya, I'm done. A canadian, who has no clue as to what the codes in AZ are and were, etc. is obviously clueless regarding prescribed fire resistive construction, use and occupancy, maintenance property, etc.


  14. #14
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    Default Re: Homemade Fire Suppression System

    Quote Originally Posted by H.G. Watson, Sr. View Post
    No, it MAY NOT.

    The roof assembly that you keep missing...the non-occupiable/non-habital attic may not.

    Fork is in ya, I'm done. A canadian, who has no clue as to what the codes in AZ are and were, etc. is obviously clueless regarding prescribed fire resistive construction, use and occupancy, maintenance property, etc.
    I am not in the habit of re-quoting posts but in your case I have made an exception.

    We are not talking about code; again if the system has been 'terminated', no water source, non functional, there is no reason why it has to be removed. It can be left in place. Get it?

    And as to your ignorant dig about a Canadian go screw yourself you pompous fart, you know dick about inspecting, and you can't even muster a profile.

    Don't let the door hit your ass on the way out grandpa.


  15. #15
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    Default Re: Homemade Fire Suppression System

    The (heat) conductive metal and plastic (flame spread/smoke index, hazardous noxious gas emitting when burned ABS) may not be left to remain in the non-habital, non-occupiable short height attic with unprotected from same exposed wood-framed wood plank roof assembly.

    The heat & fire spread hazard (and firefighter entry/movement hazard) debris must be removed.


  16. #16
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    Default Re: Homemade Fire Suppression System

    Watson,

    You must have come down from your stupor. You said you were out of here in an earlier post...

    There is all kinds of ABS in attics used for plumbing vent material.

    So stop trying to support your supposition based on ignorance! Your statement above confirms that YOU are not a home inspector!
    Firefighters would never enter an attic! Never! Fires are fought from outside the roof area, and besides fire fighters wear respirators for a good reason.

    Stop shoveling ****!


  17. #17
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    Default Re: Homemade Fire Suppression System

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymond Wand View Post
    Watson,

    You must have come down from your stupor. You said you were out of here in an earlier post...

    There is all kinds of ABS in attics used for plumbing vent material.

    So stop trying to support your supposition based on ignorance! Your statement above confirms that YOU are not a home inspector!
    Firefighters would never enter an attic! Never! Fires are fought from outside the roof area, and besides fire fighters wear respirators for a good reason.

    Stop shoveling ****!
    Sorry Raymond, but as a 28 year veteran of the Fire Service I can say that firefighters often enter attics for a number of reasons, searching for small smoldering fires is just one. We would also spend quite a bit of time in attics checking for extension during the overhaul phase of firefighting operations. I have spent way more time than I care to count crawling through smoke filled attics. The use of thermal imaging cameras have helped to eliminate the need for firefighters to enter these spaces.

    Alton Darty
    ATN Services, LLC
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  18. #18
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    Default Re: Homemade Fire Suppression System

    That still not answer the proposterous statement by Watson that ABS should not be in the attic for fire reasons.

    https://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&q...FS8r2PlkJbEJlQ

    Last edited by Raymond Wand; 01-14-2012 at 10:40 AM.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Homemade Fire Suppression System

    Is that a copper plumbing vent along the back wall of the second picture?
    Looks to be an inverse angle.Notice :the old galvanized in the first picture as it was totally clogged up with sediment.


  20. #20
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    Default Re: Homemade Fire Suppression System

    I tend to agree with Raymond on this one with one exception. Even if it is hooked up why take it out? Unless like Steven said the system is not isolated from the domestic water system with a back-flow preventer.

    What if the installer intended for the system to be operated manually in the event of a fire? What would that hurt? Would you remove a free standing hydrant at the property edge because the homeowner placed it there to fight wild grass fires at the empty lot next door?

    And as far as freezing the attic in Phoenix . . . I don't think so. The ASHRAE design temp is 34įF and that would occur for a very short time, certainly not a condition to cause pipes to freeze.

    IF the system was installed under the intent of a certified fire suppression system then it is in need of attention. If not and there is adequate back-flow protection, leave it alone.


  21. #21
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    Talking Re: Homemade Fire Suppression System

    The pictures are hilarious and wrong. Just call it hilariously wrong and move on. The arguments on freezing, back flow etc. are moot. It is a dry system, all lawn systems are. When it is pressurized water comes out of the head every time. Someone thinking they can turn it on manually is just as funny since all the heads would be melted before you would know there is a fire. Better yet, recommend changing heads to brass sprinkler heads and installing an irrigation timer.

    Don Martin, ACI
    Preferred Home Inspections

  22. #22
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    Default Re: Homemade Fire Suppression System

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymond Wand View Post
    And as to your ignorant dig about a Canadian go screw yourself you pompous fart, you know dick about inspecting, and you can't even muster a profile.

    Don't let the door hit your ass on the way out grandpa.
    Iím also new to this forum and when I discovered it I was excited to potentially find a good inspectorís forum.

    But I must say after a couple of weeks of reading, Iím dismayed at all the cat fighting and outright rudeness to others in some of the threads. Reminds me of a couple of motorcycle forums where there is probably good information to be learned, but all the garbage = whoís got the time to bother?

    Too bad.


  23. #23
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    Default Re: Homemade Fire Suppression System

    Yes it is too bad. So why did you single me out?
    Its obvious you have time on your hand or you wouldn't bother to comment on the conduct of this forum.

    If you want un-professionalism and name calling go to Nachi, this forum is tame compared to what transpires over there.


  24. #24
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    Default Re: Homemade Fire Suppression System

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Harbeck View Post
    Iím also new to this forum and when I discovered it I was excited to potentially find a good inspectorís forum.
    You DID find a GREAT inspector's forum, and, if you have read and followed the posts and threads, you would find that golden nuggets come out of the back and forth. You get out of it what you put into it ... which, so far, has been one single post.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  25. #25
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    Default Re: Homemade Fire Suppression System

    Ken,
    Jerry is right, by comparison the information that you can obtain is quite higher than other forums. I have looked at other sites for some time and find that the level of expertise is much greater at this forum. Sadly some other forums that should have informed members simply lack knowledge and seem to be more self ingratiating than anything else.

    We do have some members that stray from rational discourse and slide into adolescent bickering and name calling. At times the moderator has stepped in and banned members from further participation. This forum has a lot of members with a very diversified backgrounds, education and social skills which give a higher rate of informed and correct responses. Like any group you take some of the bad to experience the greater good that can be obtained.

    I suggest going to the main message board and start reading past threads in the various areas and you will pleasantly surprised with what you can learn.


  26. #26
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    Default Re: Homemade Fire Suppression System

    Phoenix gets hot. Maybe this is his low cost air conditioning system.


  27. #27
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    Default Re: Homemade Fire Suppression System

    Quote Originally Posted by Don Martin View Post
    . . . . The arguments on freezing, back flow etc. are moot. It is a dry system, all lawn systems are. When it is pressurized water comes out of the head every time. . . ..
    doh! Feel a little silly I missed the obvious.




  28. #28
    Alan Jogerst's Avatar
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    Smile Re: Homemade Fire Suppression System

    I hopr they have a good Vapor Barrier


  29. #29
    David Adams's Avatar
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    Smile Re: Homemade Fire Suppression System

    Here in Dallas we have a lot of people who will remove that copper piping for free. Just leave a door unlocked some night and put a sign in the yard saying copper in the attic. Suggest hiding the AC outside unit first however.


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