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  1. #1
    Jack Ahern's Avatar
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    Default Residential sprinklers

    Twice in the last two months I have observed a lone sprinkler over a oil/gas heating appliance in the basements. I think it's a good idea. Any comments from the other HIs in other parts of the world?

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    Default Re: Residential sprinklers

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Ahern View Post
    oil/gas heating appliance in the basements.
    What is a "oil/gas heating appliance" and what are "basements".

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  3. #3
    Nolan Kienitz's Avatar
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    Default Re: Residential sprinklers

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Ahern View Post
    Any comments from the other HIs in other parts of the world?
    Jack,

    I echo Jerry's .

    Also I'll add:
    • Is it "new construction" or "existing construction"?
    • Condo, town home or single family?
    I have heard or read somewhere in recent past about sprinkler systems being considered for residential use.


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    Default Re: Residential sprinklers

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Ahern View Post
    Twice in the last two months I have observed a lone sprinkler over a oil/gas heating appliance in the basements.
    Being real this time ...

    You stated "lone sprinkler", there are no other sprinklers in the structure?

    If not, what supplies this system, what pressure, what gpm, what pressure was the sprinkler system tested to, what material was used for the sprinkler system, etc., .... ?

    If so, then there should be more sprinkler heads in the basements for the coverage required of sprinkler systems.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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    Default Re: Residential sprinklers

    I inspected an 11 year old, 3 bed 2 bath doublewide with water heater and air handler occupying a 2' x 5' utility area (closet) with a lone sprinkler head. This unit was plumbed with Qest PB-2110.
    I made no representations as to the worthiness of the sprinkler, just informed my client of its existence.

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  6. #6
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    Default Re: Residential sprinklers

    I'm seeing more and more residential fire sprinkler systems. One town near me requires them on all new construction. I think they it is a good idea to have them in new construction. From what I have learned is that it cost around $5,000 for a fire suppression system on a 3,000sf home if it is installed during construction.

    Scott Patterson, ACI
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    Default Re: Residential sprinklers

    The city of Ocean Isle NC had a fire last year that killed 9 college students. In the aftermath, there was a brief discussion on making fire suppression systems mandatory on new construction, however, the discussion died down. Apparently cost was a factor. Guess who screamed the loudest?
    The development industry, including the N.C. Home Builders Association.

    Sprinkler measure fails at NC code council

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    Default Re: Residential sprinklers

    I've been putting them in my rental rehabs; my insurance agent says he has never seen damage in excess of 10K - including water damage - from a residential fire when a modern fire suppression was present. Typically I pay $65 a year for the backflow test and save around $350 per on insurance, payback is around 12-15 years... unless there is a fire.

    Michael Thomas
    Paragon Property Services Inc., Chicago IL
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    Default Re: Residential sprinklers

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Patterson View Post
    I'm seeing more and more residential fire sprinkler systems. One town near me requires them on all new construction. I think they it is a good idea to have them in new construction.
    NFPA is recommending fire sprinkler systems on all dwelling units, no one is buying that yet for a code standard, but I think it may be coming down the pike in a few years - things like that take a number of years to wear the resistance down and overcome 'cost of $$$' and convert into 'cost of lives', for which there is NO equation between the two ... just 'greed' versus 'safety' ... 'greed' wins for a while, then, after enough fires kill enough people, 'safety' comes to the forefront.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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    Default Re: Residential sprinklers

    Quote Originally Posted by Victor DaGraca View Post
    ... with a lone sprinkler head. This unit was plumbed with Qest PB-2110.
    As in poly bute?

    Can't see a fitting at that galvanized elbow, is that PB coming out of the wall? If so, that PB is going to deflect downward under pressure from the sprinkler head operating, which could then crimp the PB, stopping the flow or at the very least cutting the flow to the sprinkler down dramatically.

    Even the CPVC which is rated and approved for use with fire sprinkler systems needs to be secured within 6" of the elbow (for systems greater than 100 psi - 9" for systems 100 psi and less) for 3/4" pipe. PB is a lot more flexible than that CPVC.

    Those CPVC systems are tested at 200 psi too.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  11. #11
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    Default Re: Residential sprinklers

    In another life as a builder I always installed a sprinkler head at the water supply piping above the gas fired water heater/FAU whether they where located in the garage or a mechanical closet.
    Out here on the left coast we didn’t build basements, but in the last few years they’re coming back into vogue. City planning departments in their percentage of lot coverage and height restrictions have folks putting in full basements for their cars, wine storage, au pair, and media rooms. I used to enjoy writing up the lack of EE from some of those areas when I was inspecting them. It always amazed me how so very many people had more money then sense.
    "But it was built with a city permit so it has to be right!"

    Jerry McCarthy
    Building Code/ Construction Consultant

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    Default Re: Residential sprinklers

    I see complete sprinkler systems here in some of the cities (Plano and Frisco) when the total square footage is over a certain amount, 5000' or so.

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Dallas, Texas

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    Default Re: Residential sprinklers

    Jerry;
    The elbow and nipple were galvanized, they were the only metal I saw in the whole supply system. I couldn't chase it down to figure how they achieved the transition from PB to Galvanized.

    The rest was all polybutylene.

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  14. #14

    Default Re: Residential sprinklers

    Pleasantview Tn requires sprinkler systems on residential new construction, is that the town you were referring to Scott?

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    Default Re: Residential sprinklers

    Quote Originally Posted by John Goad View Post
    Pleasantview Tn requires sprinkler systems on residential new construction, is that the town you were referring to Scott?
    Nolensville, TN.

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
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  16. #16
    Jack Ahern's Avatar
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    Default Re: Residential sprinklers

    Reply to all-- basements are usually under a house. Up here in 16-0 country, most houses have all of there mechanicals in the "basement"-- Some in garages. The lone sprinkler was elbowed/tee'd off of a potable cold water copper line. Can not remember whether the heat was oil or gas?
    It took me some thinking to embrace the idea. I'm going to cut in a sprinkler over my oil boiler in Needham and then one over my gas furnance in Maine.
    Can't hurt. Might sleep better. Bridgton Fire Dept. never lost a foundation. Needham FD averages 6 minutes to my neighborhood.
    Hope this helps. Go Pats


  17. #17
    Rick Maday's Avatar
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    Default Re: Residential sprinklers

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry McCarthy View Post
    Out here on the left coast we didn’t build basements, but in the last few years they’re coming back into vogue. City planning departments in their percentage of lot coverage and height restrictions have folks putting in full basements for their cars, wine storage, au pair, and media rooms. I used to enjoy writing up the lack of EE from some of those areas when I was inspecting them. It always amazed me how so very many people had more money then sense.
    "But it was built with a city permit so it has to be right!"
    With all the rains you've had, I bet some wish they didn't have a basement! What happens to them in an earthquake?


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