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Winterizing Your Fire Suppression Systems

Posted on: January 14, 2014

While this winter has been unusually cold, we’re no strangers to low temperatures here in New Jersey. Is your fire protection system designed to handle subfreezing temps?

Cold Weather Fire Suppression System Design

It’s important to remember that water in your fire sprinkler system is the same as water anywhere else—it will freeze when it gets below 32 F, which can cause the pipes to burst and lead to extensive damage to your office or warehouse.

While dry pipe fire suppression systems are an option, simply installing this type of system is not always enough—dry pipe fire suppression systems come with their own fair share of problems, including needing to be completely drained of water before every winter.

Taking the time to properly winterize your fire suppression system could literally be the difference between life and death, so it’s critical that every component of your system remain in good working order all year long.

How to Winterize a Fire Suppression System

  • If your system is made of CPVC and is connected to a potable water supply, you should use an antifreeze solution of glycerine, not glycol. Using glycol-based antifreeze solutions creates a chemical environment that can damage CPVC pipes.
  • If your sprinkler system is connected to a potable water supply and made of a material other than CPVC, you can use a propylene glycol antifreeze solution.
  • All antifreeze solutions must be diluted with water. Pure antifreeze tends to thicken when it approaches 32 F.
  • Local building codes may require a backflow preventer if the sprinkler system is connected to a potable water supply.

Winterizing your fire suppression system should be performed by licensed professionals who can ensure the work is being done properly and your system will keep you safe all winter long. For fire suppression service in New Jersey, Delaware, or Philadelphia, call Confires today.

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