6 Tips to Prevent Your Dry Sprinkler System from Freezing
We may be leaving the holidays behind us, but winter is only just beginning, particularly here on the East Coast. In the spirit of the chilly months that still lie ahead, we at AMC Fire Protection, your source for fire protection services in Atlantic County, are continuing with our theme of how to maintain and care for your dry sprinkler systems.
This month, we’re providing pointers on how you can prevent your dry sprinkler systems from freezing in the winter cold. Although dry sprinkler systems are designed to function in cold temperatures, they are not immune against freezing in frosty climates. Following these tips can help you keep your dry sprinkler systems running smoothly through even the coldest months.
Place compressors in cool, dry places.
Usually, air is supplied to a dry pipe system by a compressor. When positioning the air intakes, avoid warm, damp areas, as the moisture in the air can condense in the piping, later pooling at low points where it may freeze. Also, consider installing air dryers on the air intake or using dry nitrogen gas instead of air.
Install valved drains at all low points.
Further, make sure to open these low point drain valves periodically, at least once a month, to check that the pipes are entirely free of water.
Ensure pipe hangers are in good condition.
Always repair or replace broken or loose sprinkler pipe hangers to maintain proper pitch of sprinkler piping and provide appropriate drainage.
Repair all air leaks.
Make sure to repair all air leaks in the system to prevent the valve from tripping should the compressor ever lose power.
Provide a dry pipe valve enclosure.
Dry pipe valve enclosures can prevent the water in the supply piping from freezing, and should always be heated to at least 40°F.
If possible, position the water supply pipe to come up from the floor in the center of the enclosure.
If the floor is made from concrete that is flush with the earth, this will adequately protect the pipe from freezing. However, if the floor has significant air space underneath, make sure to insulate the pipe by placing sand or dirt over the pipe’s exposed portion.