Updated: Jan 10, 2019
1) Wet Pipe Fire Sprinkler Systems
The most commonly used type of fire sprinkler, wet pipe fire sprinkler systems are a type of sprinkler system that uses automatic sprinkler heads attached to a piping system that comes pre-charged with water from the fire pump. With this type of fire sprinkler system, the fire sprinkler heads open in response to heat and water is discharged instantly after the heads open.
Wet pipe fire sprinkler systems are found in most typical office buildings and provide a standard level of fire protection.
2) Dry Pipe Fire Sprinkler Systems
A dry pipe fire sprinkler system uses fire sprinkler heads that are attached to pipes filled with pressurized air as opposed to water. When the sprinkler heads open, the air is released and a valve is opened allowing water to flow through the pipes and out the open sprinkler heads. While this causes a slight delay in water discharge, it is useful in buildings where water could freeze if kept in the pipes.
Dry pipe fire sprinkler systems are less common than wet pipe fire sprinkler systems because they are more expensive and more complicated. However, they are very useful in certain situations, such as in unheated buildings, parking garages, and refrigerated coolers where temperatures get cold enough that water could freeze in the fire sprinkler pipes.
3) Deluge Fire Sprinkler Systems
A deluge fire sprinkler system uses open fire sprinkler heads attached to a piping system which is itself connected to a water supply by a valve. When the smoke or fire alarm goes off, this valve open and sends water through the pipes and sends water through all of the sprinkler heads at once. Deluge fire sprinkler systems are used in applications where fires could spread quickly unless large quantities of water are delivered as quickly as possible.
4) Pre-Action Fire Sprinkler Systems
Pre-action fire sprinkler systems are basically a combination of a deluge fire sprinkler system and a wet pipe fire sprinkler system—water enters the pipes via a valve and flows through the sprinkler heads when they are activated by heat. They are commonly used in spaces containing expensive and valuable equipment that could be damaged by the accidental triggering of the sprinklers.
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