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This article is about the device discharging the water. For the complete system, see fire sprinkler system. A fire sprinkler mounted on a ceiling A fire sprinkler or sprinkler head is the component of a fire sprinkler system that discharges water when the effects of a fire have been detected, such as when a predetermined temperature has been exceeded. Fire sprinklers are extensively used worldwide, with over 40 million sprinkler heads fitted each year.
In buildings protected by properly designed and maintained fire sprinklers, over 99% of fires were controlled by fire sprinklers alone. History In 1812, British inventor Sir William Congreve patented a manual sprinkler system using perforated pipes along the ceiling. When someone noticed a fire, a valve outside the building could be opened to send water through the pipes. It was not until a short time later that, as a result of a large furniture factory that repeatedly burned down, Hiram Stevens Maxim was consulted on how to prevent a recurrence and invented the first automatic fire sprinkler.
It would douse the areas that were on fire and report the fire to the fire station. Maxim was unable to sell the idea elsewhere, though when the patent expired, the idea was used. Henry S. Parmalee of New Haven, Connecticut created and installed the first automatic fire sprinkler system in 1874, using solder that melted in a fire to unplug holes in the otherwise sealed water pipes. He was the president of Mathusek Piano Works, and invented his sprinkler system in response to exorbitantly high insurance rates.
Parmalee patented his idea and had great success with it in the U.S., calling his invention the "automatic fire extinguisher". He then traveled to Europe to demonstrate his method to stop a building fire before total destruction. Parmalee's invention did not get as much attention as he had planned, as most people could not afford to install a sprinkler system. Once he realized this, he turned his efforts to educating insurance companies about his system.
He explained that the sprinkler system would reduce the loss ratio, and thus save money for the insurance companies. He knew that he could never succeed in obtaining contracts from the business owners to install his system unless he could ensure for them a reasonable return in the form of reduced premiums. In this connection, he was able to enlist the interest of two men, who both had connections in the insurance industry.
The first of was Major Hesketh, a cotton spinner in a large business in Bolton who was also Chairman of the Bolton Cotton Trades Mutual Insurance Company. The Directors of this Company and its Secretary, Peter Kevan, took an interest in Parmalee’s early experiments. Hesketh got Parmalee his first order for sprinkler installations in the cotton spinning mills of John Stones & Company, at Astley Bridge, Bolton.
This was followed soon afterwards by an order from the Alexandra Mills, owned by John Butler of the same town. An 1897 Grinnell automatic sprinkler advertisement Although Parmalee got two sales through its efforts, the Bolton Cotton Trades Mutual Insurance Company was not a very big company outside of its local area. Parmalee needed a wider influence. He found this influence in James North Lane, the Manager of the Mutual Fire Insurance Corporation of Manchester.
This company was founded in 1870 by the Textile Manufacturers' Associations of Lancashire and Yorkshire as a protest against high insurance rates. They had a policy of encouraging risk management and more particularly the use of the most up-to-date and scientific apparatus for extinguishing fires. Even though he put tremendous effort and time into educating the masses on his sprinkler system, by 1883 only about 10 factories were protected by the Parmalee sprinkler.
Back in the U.S., Frederick Grinnell, who was manufacturing the Parmalee sprinkler, designed the more effective Grinnell sprinkler. He increased sensitivity by removing the fusible joint from all contact with the water, and, by seating a valve in the center of a flexible diaphragm, he relieved the low-fusing soldered joint of the strain of water pressure. By this means, the valve seat was forced against the valve by the water pressure, producing a self-closing action.
The greater the water pressure, the tighter the valve. The flexible diaphragm had a further and more important function. It caused the valve and its seat to move outwards simultaneously until the solder joint was completely severed. Grinnell got a patent for his version of the sprinkler system. He also took his invention to Europe, where it was a much bigger success than the Parmalee version. Eventually, the Parmalee system was withdrawn, opening the path for Grinnell and his invention.
 US regulations Fire sprinkler application and installation guidelines, and overall fire sprinkler system design guidelines are provided by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 13, (NFPA) 13D, and (NFPA) 13R. California, Pennsylvania and Illinois require sprinklers in at least some new residential construction. Fire sprinklers can be automatic or open orifice. Automatic fire sprinklers operate at a predetermined temperature, utilizing a fusible element, a portion of which melts, or a frangible glass bulb containing liquid which breaks, allowing the plug in the orifice to be pushed out of the orifice by the water pressure in the fire sprinkler piping, resulting in water flow from the orifice.
The water stream impacts a deflector, which produces a specific spray pattern designed in support of the goals of the sprinkler type (i.e., control or suppression). Modern sprinkler heads are designed to direct spray downwards. Spray nozzles are available to provide spray in various directions and patterns. The majority of automatic fire sprinklers operate individually in a fire. Contrary to motion picture representation, the entire sprinkler system does not activate, unless the system is a special deluge type.
Open orifice sprinklers are only used in water spray systems or deluge sprinklers systems. They are identical to the automatic sprinkler on which they are based, with the heat-sensitive operating element removed. Automatic fire sprinklers utilizing frangible bulbs follow a standardized color-coding convention indicating their operating temperature. Activation temperatures correspond to the type of hazard against which the sprinkler system protects.
Residential occupancies are provided with a special type of fast response sprinkler with the unique goal of life safety. Quick Response Sprinklers The NFPA #13 standard was revised in 1996 to require Quick Response Sprinklers in all buildings with light hazard occupancy classification. The 2002 edition of the NFPA #13 standard, section 3.6.1 defines quick response sprinklers as having a response time index (RTI) of 50 (meters-seconds)1/2 or less.
The term quick response refers to the listing of the entire sprinkler (including spacing, density and location) not just the fast responding releasing element. Many standard response sprinklers, such as extended coverage ordinary hazard (ECOH) sprinklers, have fast responding (low thermal mass elements) in order to pass their fire tests. Quick response sprinklers are available with standard spray deflectors, but they are also available with extended coverage deflectors.
 QUICK RESPONSE FIRE SPRINKLERS Quick Response per NFPA 13 RTI < 50 (ms)1/2 Nominal Diameter in mm Norbulb Model Operating Time in Seconds Response Time Index (RTI) (ms)1/2 Yes 2.5 N2.5 9 25 Yes 3 N3 11.5 33 Yes 3.3 N3.3 13.5 38 No 5 NF5 23 65 No 5 N5 32 90 Operation Standard spray sprinkler head with a blue bulb indicating a high release temperature Each closed-head sprinkler is held closed by either a heat-sensitive glass bulb (see below) or a two-part metal link held together with a fusible alloy such as Wood's metal and other alloys with similar compositions.
 The glass bulb or link applies pressure to a pipe cap which acts as a plug which prevents water from flowing until the ambient temperature around the sprinkler reaches the design activation temperature of the individual sprinkler. Because each sprinkler activates independently when the predetermined heat level is reached, the number of sprinklers that operate is limited to only those near the fire, thereby maximizing the available water pressure over the point of fire origin.
The liquid in the glass bulb is color coded to its show temperature rating. The bulb breaks as a result of the thermal expansion of the liquid inside the bulb. The time it takes before a bulb breaks is dependent on the temperature. Below the design temperature, it does not break, and above the design temperature, it breaks, taking less time to break as temperature increases above the design threshold.
The response time is expressed as a response time index (RTI), which typically has values between 35 and 250 m½s½, where a low value indicates a fast response. Under standard testing procedures (135 °C air at a velocity of 2.5 m/s), a 68 °C sprinkler bulb will break within 7 to 33 seconds, depending on the RTI. The RTI can also be specified in imperial units, where 1 ft½s½ is equivalent to 0.
55 m½s½. The sensitivity of a sprinkler can be negatively affected if the thermal element has been painted. Maximum Ceiling Temperature Temperature Rating Temperature Classification Color Code (with Fusible Link) Liquid Alcohol in Glass Bulb Color 100 °F / 38 °C 135-170 °F / 57-77 °C Ordinary Uncolored or Black Orange (135 °F / 57 °C) or Red (155 °F / 68 °C) 150 °F / 66 °C 175-225 °F / 79-107 °C Intermediate White Yellow (175 °F / 79 °C) or Green (200 °F / 93 °C) 225 °F / 107 °C 250-300 °F / 121-149 °C High Blue Blue 300 °F / 149 °C 325-375 °F / 163-191 °C Extra High Red Purple 375 °F / 191 °C 400-475 °F / 204-246 °C Very Extra High Green Black 475 °F / 246 °C 500-575 °F / 260-302 °C Ultra High Orange Black 625 °F / 329 °C 650 °F / 343 °C Ultra High Orange Black From Table 6.
2.5.1 NFPA13 2007 Edition indicates the maximum ceiling temperature, nominal operating temperature of the sprinkler, color of the bulb or link and the temperature classification. Types There are several types of sprinklers: Quick response Standard response CMSA (control mode specific application) Residential ESFR (early suppression fast response) ESFR ESFR (early suppression fast response) refers to both a concept and a type of sprinkler.
"The concept is that fast response of sprinklers can produce an advantage in a fire if the response is accompanied by an effective discharge density — that is, a sprinkler spray capable of fighting its way down through the fire plume in sufficient quantities to suppress the burning fuel package." The sprinkler that was developed for this concept was created for use in high rack storage. ESFR sprinkler heads were developed in the 1980s to take advantage of the latest fast-response fire sprinkler technology to provide fire suppression of specific high-challenge fire hazards.
Prior to the introduction of these sprinklers, protection systems were designed to control fires until the arrival of the fire department. Quick response Quick response fire sprinkler heads are commonly found in populated buildings, they direct the water up towards the ceiling thus cooling it in order to prevent fire from rising. See also Active fire protection Automatic fire suppression Building code Fire Safety Evaluation System Hydraulic calculation Piping Tyco International Victaulic References ^ "Domestic and Residential Fire Sprinkler Information".
Retrieved 25 March 2014. ^ "Fire Sprinklers". Fire Sprinklers Scotland. Retrieved 6 February 2013. ^ "Industrial Fire sprinklers". Fire Safety Advice Centre. Retrieved 6 February 2013. ^ Dana 1919, p. 12 ^ Chinn, George M. (1951), The Machine Gun, I, Bureau of Ordinance, page 127. ^ US 141-72, Maxim, Hiram S., "Improvement in Fire Extinguishers", issued July 22, 1873 ^ Dana 1919, pp. 16–21 ^ Dana, Gorham (1919), Automatic Sprinkler Protection (second ed.
), John Wiley & Sons, Inc. ^ Wotapka, Dawn (December 22, 2010). "Builders Smokin' Mad Over New Sprinkler Rules". The Wall Street Journal. ^ Asplund, David L. (July 9, 2007). "The Evolution of Modern Automatic Fire Sprinklers" (PDF). Retrieved November 24, 2015. ^ "Glass Bulb RTI". norbulb.de. ^ metal Wood's metal definition at Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.1). Retrieved May 17, 2008 ^ Low Melting Point Bismuth Based Alloys Archived October 12, 2012, at the Wayback Machine.
. Alchemy Castings product information. ^ Sprinkler bulb specifications, Day Impex Ltd. ^ SFPE (NZ) Technical Paper 95 – 3: Sprinkler response time indices. Society of Fire Protection Engineers, New Zealand Chapter. ^ "JOB Thermo Bulbs Product Range". job-bulbs.com. ^ Multer, Thomas L. (1 September 2009). "Sprinkler Protection of Storage Facilities Goes Green". BNP Media. Retrieved 6 February 2013.
^ 20th Edition NFPA Fire Protection Handbook Volume II ^ "The Difference Between Standard And Quick Response Fire Sprinkler Heads". Fireline. 2017-07-07. Retrieved 2017-10-22. External links Wikimedia Commons has media related to Fire sprinklers. http://magazine.sfpe.org/sprinklers/whys-behind-fm-global-data-sheets-2-0-and-8-9 The Whys Behind FM Global Data Sheets 2-0 and 8-9 http://magazine.sfpe.
org/sprinklers/historical-perspective-evolution-storage-sprinkler-design A Historical Perspective on the Evolution of Storage Sprinkler Design v t e Fire protection General Active fire protection Passive fire protection Fire suppression Manual Fire blanket Fire bucket Fire extinguisher Automatic Condensed aerosol fire suppression Fire sprinkler system Fire sprinkler Gaseous fire suppression Detection Flame detector Heat detector Smoke detector Notification Drill Fire alarm system Call box Control panel Notification appliance Pull station/call point Smoke detector Awards Arthur B.
Guise Medal Harry C. Bigglestone Award Category Commons Retrieved from "https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Fire_sprinkler&oldid=808189643"
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If you're considering installing fire sprinklers in a new building or need to replace existing sprinklers, it is very important to understand the different fire sprinkler types. The form and shape, as well as the use and purpose, differs among sprinkler head types. Sprinkler heads are available in four primary types including pendent, upright, sidewall, and concealed. Once you've selected a type, additional options become available including temperature, finish, and response type.
While we will address the options throughout this article, it is important to know that each type of fire sprinkler meets a different need so therefore getting the right sprinkler is paramount. But don't worry, by the time you finish this article you'll know exactly which type you need!If you already know the type of fire sprinkler you need, QRFS offers a full selection of Tyco, Victaulic, and Senju fire sprinklers.
How do fire sprinkler heads work?Functionally, the way fire sprinkler heads work is fairly simple: the glass bulb is filled with a glycerin-based liquid which expands to break the bulb at a specified temperature. Once that happens, the flow of water held back by the bulb flows out towards the deflector which disperses it on to the fire.While there are numerous options when it comes to a fire sprinkler head, they all perform the same basic function: containing and extinguishing fires.
Additionally, nearly all fire sprinklers are composed of the same components: a sealing assembly or ‘plug’, a temperature-sensitive glass bulb, a deflector, and a frame. Common wet fire sprinklers are available in two primary sizes: 1/2" and 3/4". A 1/2" sprinkler is the most common for office buildings, hotels, and schools. 3/4", on the other hand, are larger and used when extended coverage is necessary.
For the purpose of this article, we're only going to highlight 1/2" sprinklers but most manufacturers also offer 3/4" variants, too. Call us or browse QRFS.com to see your options.Fire sprinklers are offered in various finishes, as well. Each manufacturer offers different options but most common are chrome, white, and brass.Figure 1: Fire Sprinkler Head ComponentsSprinkler bulb temperature ratingsThe temperature rating determines the ceiling temperature at which the sprinkler will activate.
Options range from 135 to 360 degrees Fahrenheit, which is easily recognizable by the bulb color. See the bulb in Figure 1? The diagram on the right side shows bulb colors with their corresponding temperatures. When selecting a fire sprinkler head, this is an important consideration you definitely do not want to gloss over! Figure 2: Table from NFPA 13 184.108.40.206 Standard vs. Quick ResponseFinally, there's the option of standard response or quick response, which determine reaction speed and, more importantly, the sprinkler's mission.
The main physical difference between standard response and quick response fire sprinklers is the size of the bulb. Quick response sprinklers have a smaller bulb, leading to a slightly faster response time. If you want to learn more about the response types and their specific objectives, check out this blog. What is a fire sprinkler K-Factor? A fire sprinkler K-Factor is the designation assigned to a fire sprinkler head based upon its discharge rate from the nozzle.
A fire sprinkler head with a higher K factor has the ability to discharge more water at a given pressure. The most common K factors for fire sprinklers are 5.6k for one-half inch and 8.0K for three-quarter inch sprinklers. So with this quick background out of the way, let's move on to exploring the four primary types of fire sprinklers: pendent, upright, sidewall, and concealed.Pendent Sprinkler HeadThe most common type of fire sprinkler head is the pendent.
A pendent fire sprinkler protrudes and hangs down from the ceiling, like a pendant necklace but spelled differently.Pendent fire sprinklers commonly require an escutcheon to cover the cutout in the drywall or drop ceiling surrounding it. Once water is expelled onto a pendent fire sprinkler's deflector, it sprays in a circular pattern providing the most coverage of any fire sprinkler. The deflector is curved downward, which helps to direct the water out into a cone pattern.
Commercial pendent fire sprinklers are bet used in offices, hotels, factories, etc. Upright Sprinkler HeadUpright fire sprinklers stand upright...imagine that! An upright sprinkler sprays water upwards and the deflector, which is curved, deflects the water back down to produce a hemispherical spray pattern. Don't they look like upside down pendent sprinklers?Upright fire sprinklers are suited for areas that are difficult to access, like around beams, ducts, and other ceiling obstructions, or in ceilings without a finish (eg.
, no drop ceiling or drywall). These sprinklers are commonly found in buildings with exposed ceilings, like many chic restaurants or mechanical rooms. It may be useful to think of an upright fire sprinkler like an upside down pendent fire sprinkler, only with a concave deflector.Sidewall SprinklerIt's probably easy to figure out where a sidewall fire sprinkler is meant to be installed. They protrude through the wall and basically only have half of a deflector, which sprays water in a half circle or crescent shape.
They're designed to protect small rooms, hallways, and other areas where sprinkler pipes are running up walls but not in the ceiling. You've probably seen one in a hotel room, where they are most commonly found. They are designed to be installed on the wall, instead of in the ceiling, along or under a beam. However, sidewall sprinklers perform the same basic functions as other fire sprinklers.Concealed Sprinkler HeadConcealed fire sprinklers are somewhat like pendent fire sprinklers; however, they're located within the ceiling and they're hidden by a cover plate.
Once the cover plate is installed, you can't see the concealed fire sprinkler at all. The cover plate will fall off at a temperature about 20 degrees lower than the fire sprinkler, allowing the deflector of the concealed sprinkler to drop and be exposed to the heat from the fire.While the finish of the cover plate might concern you more than the finish of the concealed fire sprinkler itself, these fire sprinklers are available in brass and are available in quick response and standard response.
The cover plates are available in white, chrome, and black, with special colors available upon request. Word to the wise: whatever you do, do not paint fire sprinkler cover plates.So now that we've reviewed the primary fire sprinkler types it is important to point out that these are far from the only types and options available. Over the years, fire sprinkler manufacturers like Tyco have developed many specialty sprinkler heads for very specific applications.
Extended Coverage Light Hazard (ECLH), Extra Large Orifice (XLO), vertical sidewalls, and even mist systems are all different types of fire sprinklers. However, those are a topic for another day.Fire Sprinkler TypesIn conclusion, there are four primary types of basic fire sprinklers: pendent, upright, sidewall, and concealed. They are all available in a variety of temperatures, finishes, and size.
There is no "best" fire sprinkler, there is only the right fire sprinkler for your specific application. That is why, when considering adding fire sprinklers to a new building, it is critical that you hire a licensed fire sprinkler designer to make sure the sprinkler type, location, and temperature meet the room size requirements necessary to effectively protect the room. If you're considering replacing fire sprinklers, note that the system must be drained in advance.
So now that you are an expert in the four most common fire sprinkler types, click the link below to explore QRFS' selection of commercial and residential fire sprinklers. We stock the four types from Tyco, Victaulic, and Senju Sprinkler. We pride ourselves on outstanding customer service, so if you have questions or concerns just give us a call at 888-361-6662. Otherwise, click the link, order your sprinklers, and we'll deliver them to you promptly!BROWSE ALL COMMERCIAL FIRE SPRINKLER HEADSThis blog was originally posted by Jason Hugo and Courtney Montanye at QRFS.
com/blog on December 29, 2016 and updated by Anna Hartenbach on July 30, 2017. If this article helped you find the right fire sprinkler head type to meet your needs, let others know on Facebook.com/QuickResponseFireSupply or on Twitter @QuickResponseFS.
Title: Fire Sprinkler Head Types