What is the 5-Year Internal Piping Condition and Obstruction Inspection?
The 5-Year fire sprinkler inspection is an NFPA mandated inspection examining the insides of your fire sprinklers’ piping. The examination must be carried out a minimum of every 5 years and is known as the 5-Year Internal Piping Condition inspection.
• Its Purpose: the purpose of the inspection is to ensure there are no blockages in the piping that would hinder the effective and free flow of water through the piping when needed in the event of a fire.
• What it Identifies: the inspection will search for and be able to identify a variety of internal obstructions or problems developing within the piping, including:
o MIC (microbiologically influenced corrosion)
o Other foreign organic or inorganic materials
• What it Usually Entails: the inspection will first include an initial assessment. The initial assessment will include opening the flushing connection at one of the main ends and removing a sprinkler tower from one end of a branch line.
*As identified in A.14.2.1 of NFPA 25, though, draining the system and opening a flushing connection is not the only means for conducting the internal assessment. This section specifically states that nondestructive or noninvasive methods for conducting the assessment are permitted and provided by CertiPro Fire and Life Safety, Inc.
If sufficient foreign organic or inorganic material is discovered to be obstructing the pipe or sprinklers, then there will be a more comprehensive obstruction investigation.
The obstruction investigation will take place at a minimum of four points in the fire sprinkler system:
o System valve
o Cross main
o Branch line
If obstructions are found, a complete flushing program will be conducted to remove all foreign materials from the piping.
Why is it Important?
Even over a relatively short period of time and even in new fire sprinkler pipes installed in a newer structure, sludge and build up can occur surprisingly quickly.
When these obstructions develop, they diminish or even prevent the flow of the life- and property-saving water through your fire sprinklers in the event of a fire. Keeping your fire sprinkler piping up to code by adhering to the 5-year internal inspection will mean ensuring that both your property, your employees and your customers are safe.
While draining the system and looking inside the pipe has remained an industry staple for conducting internal assessments, it is not the only recognized approach. For facilities that are sensitive to downtime or the potential for water damage, such as hospitals, data centers, and production facilities, CertiPro Fire and Life Safety offers alternative assessment methods, which may be a better fit and tell a more complete picture for the facility manager.
Not sure whether your fire sprinkler system is due for its 5-Year Internal Inspection or who you should arrange to perform it?
If you need expert professional sprinkler system inspection and maintenance services in Arizona, connect with CertiPro Fire & Life Safety. Our technicians have extensive experience in performing complete assessments on-site, and we have the expertise needed to recommend the ideal system that suits your property’s needs as well as your budget. We also provide installation, inspection, maintenance and repair services whenever needed.
Contact us to find out how we can help protect your commercial or residential property today.