New York City sprinkler code requires working fire protection systems to be in place in many buildings. But how do you know your fire sprinkler system is working properly? Do you know the signs of a fire sprinkler leak?
Here’s what to watch for:
Signs of a Fire Sprinkler Leak
If there’s water on the floor underneath the sprinkler heads, this is a sign there may be a problem. These puddles can be very tiny – just a few small drips – or they can be larger. While it’s easy to dismiss tiny puddles, the fact is they are your early warning sign to call the plumber and have the problem fixed.
#2: Discolored sprinkler heads or ceilings
Dripping water can cause the sprinkler head or surrounding ceiling area to become discolored. Discolored ceilings are always concerning, as ceilings change color before they eventually fail and fall. Obviously you want your ceilings to stay overhead, so if there’s water damage showing near or surrounding the sprinklers, call in your local plumber for help right away.
#3: A Constantly Running Compressor
Ideally, the pipes in your sprinkler system are free from water unless needed for emergency purposes. When there is water in the pipes, such as is the case when you have a leak, the compressor will run in an effort to clear that water from the lines. This should be a relatively rare event. If your compressor is running all of the time, there is a problem with your sprinkler system. The problem with the compressor running all of the time is that this will cause the compressor to overheat and eventually fail. This will require expensive repairs, so you want to prevent the problem if you can.
#4: Rising Water Bills
Often the first clue about leaking sprinkler systems a property owner pays attention to is a significantly increased water bill. We all know the City is very diligent about billing for every drop of water used – whether that water is for designated purposes or leaking through the sprinkler system. If your water bill has suddenly spiked, and you don’t know why, call in your local licensed plumber to investigate. Your sprinkler system may be the cause!