How to turn off fire sprinkler?

I live in an apartment with several fire sprinkler in the ceiling.
If the sprinkler goes off due to fire or malfunction, can I turn it off
after the fire is out? Is it the same valve near the water heater or is
there a different one?
I?m more worry about water damage (to electronics and computers) than fire
damage. Perhaps because I?ve never had a fire before and this is the first
time I moved to a place with fire sprinklers.
Alternately, is there a switch to cut off power to computers or other
devices when it senses water? This would reduce short-circuits caused by
water when the device is powered.
Reply to
bob
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@Bob:
The fire sprinkler system in your apartment is being inspected on an annual basis by the local AHJ... So a "malfunction" is not very likely to occur... You do realize that each individual sprinkler head must "activate" by having a bi-metal piece or glycerin syringe melt/pop in order for water to flow from it... It is not a "deluge" type system unless it is very very very old or deployed in special situation like a theatre stage...
As to turning off the sprinkler system after a fire, the fire department will take care of that before they turn the building back over to the owner during the overhaul...
Well, your new home is much safer than your previous domiciles as you will not be burnt to death in a fire and have a much longer escape window during a fire event in a sprinklered building than in one without...
As to your question about water damage to electronics, that is what happens when things get soaking wet -- this is many more times likely to happen from a water leak from a tenant on a floor above you than from sprinkler leaks or an actual fire... As someone else stated, get renter's insurance... There is already a device which will shut off power when water logged devices short circuit, it is called a circuit breaker... However I wouldn't worry that much about it, as during a serious fire event in a building the fire department generally shuts off the power to the building to make the fire fighting operations safer and remove electrical short circuiting as a source of ignition...
~~ Evan
Reply to
Evan
@Oren:
It is not that the water is dirty, as it is the same water that you could drink in most places... It is that during the many years of sitting in the black pipe the manganese and other dissolved solids settle out of solution...
~~ Evan
Reply to
Evan
And, believe it or not. most consumer electronics/PCs (with the possible exception of of LCD displays), handle getting wet pretty well, as long as it is not immersed and the water is clean. I've salvaged plenty of stuff that was left outside, or under an accidental sprinkler discharge. Unplug, hold upside down to drain, field-strip it, blow it out gently with an air source, and leave in a sunny window for a day or three. May have to use a little electronic spray cleaner on any pots or circuit boards that show water trails, and replace a popped fuse here and there, but it usually still works.
The odds go down with a sewage leak, or plumbing supply line leak that came down through drywall and insulation, of course. But my old-school Sherwood stereo receiver in the other room came out of a dumpster, where previous owner thought it was ruined because a cat pissed in it. Cleaning and new fuses, and it lit right up and sounds fine.
Reply to
aemeijers
On Sat, 25 Jun 2011 17:25:41 -0400, aemeijers wrote:
I think it would help if you explained what field-strip means here.
Reply to
mm
It's not like in the movies and TV where you see all the sprinkler heads start spraying water at the same time. It doesn't work like that if that worries you. Only the sprinkler head tripped by flames releases water. Many systems are dry, meaning there is no water, only compressed air in the pipes which keeps the main water valve shut until a sprinkler head is activated by fire. The wet pipe systems have to be drained to flush them out on a regular basis to keep crud out of them, the dry systems don't have that problem and the maintenance folks have to keep an eye on the air pressure in the system which is usually remotely monitored through the alarm system. If you are in a multi-floor apartment building , each floor may have a maintenance closet where there is a valve for your floor.
TDD
Reply to
The Daring Dufas
In this context, it means take it apart as far as you can, and still be able to put it back together. Take the case off or apart, take out any boards that are held in place with screws and unpluggable connectors, pull the knobs off- basically anything that wouldn't take a Real Electronics Expert (which I am not) to put back together. Use eyes and a real bright flashlight, and maybe a cheap VOM, to look for any simple mechanical damage, or contaminant trails that can easily be cleaned out. Use VOM or flashlight to check fuses, and any solder joints that may have cracked that can be repaired without specialized tools.
-- aem sends...
Reply to
aemeijers
It also will tu rn stagnant, stsink like a sewer and turn black. We discovered that the day I had a fire in the jail and spinklers activated. One real mess to clean up. I suppose what happens to it depends on the local water supply but turn stagnant it will.
Harry K
Reply to
Harry K
Probably not. Except for a couple parts near where the cord comes in, the voltage inside a receiver is about 12DC or lower. Even the 110v parts are well insulated except for a few solder spots.
Reply to
mm
Typically the sprinkler risers are in the stairwells, with the floor control valves on each landing. HOWEVER - if you are not a firefighter, fire marshal, or sprinkler contractor, you probably don't want to touch those valves, unless you like having legal problems. The valve controls all the sprinkler for the whole floor, therefore if the fire is out in your apartment but not in your neighbor's, and you cut the water off, well, you get the idea.
I too share your concern on a visceral level about having all that pressurized water in pipes above all my valuables, but honestly, the sprinkler system is probably better maintained than the domestic water supply. So long as you don't bust a sprinkler head (it happens, especially with non-concealed types) you don't have a lot to worry about.
nate
Reply to
Nate Nagel
Water is clean? you ever smelled water that has been sitting in sprinkler pipes for a long time? That water is anything *but* clean. Certainly not "potable" even.
But like I said in my previous post, it's not something that the OP should be losing sleep over; odds are far higher of having a domestic water leak than an unneeded sprinkler activation incident.
nate
Reply to
Nate Nagel
Dry systems are typically only used where ther eis a risk of freezing. The vast majority of residential sprinklers are wet pipe.
nate
Reply to
Nate Nagel
"Nate Nagel" wrote
The code in our state (maybe nation?) is that the sprinkler heads have to be changed every 50 years.
They can go off accidently, but it is very rare. I've seen sprinkler pipes banged by errant fork lift drivers and nothing happened. Except one time, many years ago. To guys were done for the day and were racing back to the charging station. They had the stand up type of lift and were playing Chariot race, like Ben Hur. One went under a mezzanine with his fork partly raised and he took out a 3/4" pipe. Lots of water in the storeroom that night.
At our business, they put in a new system in parts that had no sprinkler and changed out some 50 year old heads. Never had one go off. The system is tested twice a year.
Reply to
Ed Pawlowski
Dry systems are a bitch to maintain and they tend to rust faster than a wet system due to the oxygen and moisture contained in the pipes. I used to keep an eye on a system that had two risers and compressors. I can't tell you how many times I had to scramble to trouble shot a compressor before it tripped and charged the system. Rust, pin holes, bad connections... dry systems tend to develop small leaks and the compressors have to work harder and harder to keep up as the system gets older. If the diaphragm trips unintentionally due to a drop in pressure there is always a chance some of the heads may fail due to the hammer effect.
Reply to
Ned Flanders
We have two freeze prone areas at work. They have a glycol system. The pipes are filled with an anti-freeze solution and there is a reservoir tank attached to it also in the last heated section. This was recommended by both the sprinkler company and the insurance carrier.
Reply to
Ed Pawlowski
[snip]
I once got a good clock-radio out of a dumpster. It just needed to be cleaned out because it was full of roach shit.
Reply to
Mark Lloyd
On Sun, 26 Jun 2011 02:19:38 -0400, mm wrote:
[snip]
Pee is electrically conductive enough to could hurt on 12V.
Reply to
Mark Lloyd
But it ain't a continuous conductive stream, at least according to Mythbusters. At least for humans, standing up. Not sure about a cat, being lower to the ground and all.
Reply to
aemeijers
The dry systems I'm familiar with had compressed air dryers for the compressors to keep moisture at a minimum. I've repaired many a compressor and air dryer system. The dry air was to prevent the exact problems you mentioned. An engineer I was working with on the first indoor cooling tower type setup in The Southeast, bumped a sprinkler head with his hardhat and lucky for us it simply leaked so I tend to believe the things are quite tough as far as resisting water hammer.
TDD
Reply to
The Daring Dufas

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