Why is a 5-Year Inspection for Fire Sprinklers Important?

If you manage or own commercial property, chances are you have a sprinkler system to protect against a fire. Hopefully, you never need it. But, if you do, you expect them to work properly.

If your fire sprinkler system hasn’t had proper care and maintenance over the years, then there is a chance that it may not function properly when you need it to. There could be unseen rust, internal corrosion, a buildup of slime, or other foreign objects that would prevent your sprinkler system from working correctly.

That is why it’s critical to have a 5-Year Internal Piping Condition and Obstruction Inspection done, which is also required by the fire codes (NFPA 25).

Whether you have a wet, dry, pre-action, or deluge system, all of these fire sprinkler systems have several similar components that require a 5-Year fire sprinkler system inspection, testing, and maintenance.

Examples of piping buildup with slime, sludge, rust, etc.

Examples of piping buildup with slime, sludge, rust, etc.  These can cause damage and blockages in your fire sprinkler system, which will prevent it from working properly when you need it most! 


What is the purpose of the 5-Year Inspection?

The purpose of the 5-Year Inspection is to ensure that there are no blockages in the piping that would prevent the free flow of water through the piping when needed, in the event of a fire.

What are you looking for during the Inspection?

The Inspection will identify various possible internal obstructions or problems that exist or are developing in the piping. Some examples include:

  • Rust
  • Slime
  • Sludge
  • Microbiologically Influenced Corrosion (MIC)
  • Other foreign organic or inorganic materials

What does a 5-Year Internal Piping Condition and Obstruction Inspection entail?

The Inspection will include an initial assessment, opening the flushing connection at one of the main ends, and removing a sprinkler tower from one end of a branch line. If any foreign object or material is obstructing the piping or sprinklers, then there will be a more comprehensive investigation. An investigation at a minimum of four points in the fire sprinkler system will include:

  • System valve
  • Riser
  • Cross main
  • Branch line
A complete flushing program will be conducted to remove all foreign materials from the piping if obstructions are found.


When should a 5-Year Inspection be done?

Ideally, these inspections are being performed during the warmer months (Spring through early Fall) to avoid any additional issues with frozen pipes that may be found during the Winter season in New England.

Fire Equipment Inc. understands the importance of the NFPA-25 standard and can provide comprehensive fire sprinkler system inspections, testing, maintenance, and repairs to help you avoid an impaired system at the most critical moments during a fire. If a 5-Year Inspection isn’t performed correctly, it can cost you property damage or loss of life.

Contact FEI today to schedule your inspection or to learn more.