Leaking fire sprinkler head

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  #1  
Old 07-10-09, 06:49 PM
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Leaking fire sprinkler head

One of the heads has sprung a leak, looks like where the joint was made. The leak is small, I have a 5 gallon bucket underneath and it is filling in about an hour.

The problem is I don't know how to turn off the water, I walk around the house, crawl under the crawlspace, but cannot see where a stop valve might be.

Can anyone offer an advice as to how I can deal with it?
Thanks in advance.
 
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Old 07-10-09, 06:58 PM
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Are you in a single-family house or a multi-unit (condo, apartment, townhouse, ?) building? If you are in a multi-unit building then you must call whoever is in charge of maintenance and describe the problem. Same advice if you are a renter, even in a single-family home.

Often (not always) fire suppression sprinklers are connected to a monitored alarm system. Do you know if yours is? If yes, then call the alarm company for some further instructions.

If you are in a stand-alone situation (single-family owner-occupied home without a monitored fire sprinkler alarm) then you need to turn off the water supply supply to the sprinkler system. If you do not know where this valve is a likely place to look is where the water service enters the house. You might also try to turn off all the water to the house and see if that also shuts off the water to the sprinkler system.

Once you get to this point you will need to remove the sprinkler hear and re-do the leaking threaded joint or replace the sprinkler head if it is damaged.
 
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Old 07-10-09, 07:24 PM
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I am in a stand alone situation without alarm monitoring.

How easy is it to replace the head, is it similar to lawn sprinkler system?

I can see where I need to cut open the plasterboard around the head. How is the head typically secure?

Can I get sprinkler head at the home center?

Thanks for your quick answer.
 
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Old 07-10-09, 07:41 PM
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You shouldn't need to remove any plaster or drywall to replace the head. Most sprinkler heads have a 1/2 inch pipe thread. They have a flat for using either an adjustable wrench or a special sprinkler head wrench. I have never seen fire suppression sprinklers available at a homecenter. You could (temporarily) install a regular steel pipe plug until you can get a new sprinkler head.

I have only worked on fire suppression sprinklers that are installed in steel piping systems in commercial and industrial locations. I think most residential sprinklers are installed using specially rated PVC or CPVC (plastic) piping. Most residential sprinklers are also of the "drop down" type that have a flush plate at the ceiling and this plate drops off and the sprinkler drops down in case of a fire. It may be necessary to have a second wrench (or big pliers) on the plastic fitting in order to remove the sprinkler head.

Sorry, but you're on your own now. Maybe someone else has more information.
 
 

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