economical way to install fire sprinklers?

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Old 05-24-14, 02:15 AM
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Question economical way to install fire sprinklers?

Remodeling existing 1200 square foot house on 5000 sf lot in urban area. Requirement is for around 12 heads, flow calculation is for two heads each spraying 15 gallons per minutes for 10 minutes. One general contractor estimated $25k turnkey. One fire sprinkler installer estimated $8k not including plumbing, not including new water meter, not including new water line from street, not including backflow prevention. NFPA publishes estimates averaging $1.31/sf, what's up with that? I'd write a check to the first qualified person who can do it turnkey for $6000 and show up for the fire inspector. My state supposedly allows homeowner-installed and plumber-installed systems but I haven't found an independent engineer who'd design it or a plumber who knows how to do it. Tank and pump would save me the new water meter, water line, and backflow preventer. Standard-compliant (13D) tank and pump advertised on Internet for $3k, can see water level, has a test port, refills automatically. Refill valve is at top of unit so I think air gapped, no chance of contaminating domestic water or causing back pressure on water company mains. Haven't found anyone who knows how to install it. So I've heard enough about how important sprinklers are to safety and to building officials. I hope to hear about getting it done for something like the price that sprinkler advocates claim, OK?
 
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Old 05-24-14, 05:49 AM
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Dont know if your asking a question here... But there are many fire suppression installers. Look in the yellow pages in your area...get a few more quotes

But in your area of CA it may be the $2.50 sq ft...... ( Per your link)
 
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Old 05-24-14, 06:16 AM
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Of all the projects I can think of, fire suppression is not on the DIY list, IMO. It must be certified and inspected regularly, and that inspection is not just a cursory look around. When I winterize higher end houses, I draw down and deactivate all sprinkler systems. I will, however, never bring them back on line. I provide the names of several fire system companies for the owner to contact for that.
 
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Old 05-24-14, 01:49 PM
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>Of all the projects I can think of, fire suppression is not on the DIY list, IMO

Chandler, thanks for responding. Fire protection contractors aren't licensed to do the whole punch list, and homeowner is responsible for supplying enough water and fulfilling other requirements which can include backflow protection, driveway work, electrical, structural... so it's both. Without a general contractor, a homeowner needs certs and DIY. And code is perfectly clear on not needing a general.

As for scheduled inspections, I haven't seen officials requiring them on single-unit detached-home sprinkler systems in my area. But test hardware is mandatory and I would expect to voluntarily have scheduled tests.
 
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Old 05-24-14, 02:23 PM
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> Dont know if your asking a question here...

Fair enough - lawrosa, thanks for responding - please forgive any repeat links

Has anyone tried legally using their own engineer and a plumber?

Likewise, anyone used an air-gapped pump and tank? Seems to comply - hope that link to NFPA 13D 6.2(4) works for everyone. Seems to save on plumbing and driveway work.

Any other tips to avoid triggering costly backflow-prevention requirements while remaining safe and compliant? My opinion: Contractors do only limited cost engineering.

> But there are many fire suppression installers.

I've been working the phone and email with fire protection contractors, including referrals from tank vendors. They all have me scurrying to get bids from additional trades including plumbing, driveway, and electrical. I am not seeing any turnkey bid that has a fixed cost, including generals ($25k figure I gave earlier in thread was the middle of the range a general gave me).
 
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