Top Causes of Fire Sprinkler Leaks

Did you know that fire sprinkler heads cause an average of $35,000 in damage when activated? Many Canadians learn this the hard way after someone in their building accidentally activates a sprinkler head, and they can do nothing but watch helplessly as they wait for the fire department to arrive. Our sprinkler head shutoff tool allows home and business owners to turn a sprinkler head off within seconds. Before we describe how it works, we think it is important to understand the main causes of water leaking from the fire sprinkler head.

Damage to Heads and Pipes of Sprinkler Head

Sprinkler heads can sustain damage when forklifts, ladders, or other types of construction equipment strike them while workers complete a project. Unfortunately, vandalism is a leading cause of sprinkler head damage as well. The best way to protect your sprinkler head from accidental or intentional damage is to surround it with protective netting.

Fire Sprinkler Equipment Failure

Fire sprinkler manufacturers produced approximately 35 million defective O-rings more than 20 years ago, some of which still remain in Canadian businesses. With exposure to water contaminants, the O-ring on a fire sprinkler can leak and corrode. Sprinkler heads not prepared or installed properly can also develop problems with leaking. Improper manufacturing of the sprinkler head itself contributes to this issue as well.

Sprinkler Head Corrosion

Your sprinkler head may corrode over time due to moisture exposure or a lack of oxygen. Here are the most common indications of sprinkler head corrosion.

  • Discolored water
  • Foul odor similar to a rotten egg
  • Obstruction somewhere on the sprinkler head
  • Rusting

If you notice these signs, it could be a warning that you will soon start seeing water leaking from the fire sprinkler head. You may want to contact a fire safety inspector to determine the exact cause of the leak.

When Sprinkler Heads Freeze

Heating system failure is a leading cause of sprinkler heads freezing, but this can also occur for several other reasons. Placing a sprinkler head too close to a window can cause it to freeze and leak from the cold exposure. Be sure to remind everyone in the building to close all windows at the end of the day. You may also want to complete a walk-through to make sure that no one forgot and make sure that all closed windows have a tight seal.

What is a Sprinkler Head Shutoff Tool?

Shutgun offers a tool that allows firefighters and maintenance personnel to turn off an activated sprinkler head using only one hand. The one-hand feature improves your safety when you use Shutgun while standing on a ladder. Shutgun has a fusible link that releases at a temperature of 73 degrees Celsius or 164 degrees Fahrenheit. If a fire does break out, Shutgun ensures that the building remains protected while awaiting assistance from the fire department. We recommend placing a Shutgun sprinkler head shutoff tool near every fire extinguisher in your building for easy access in case of accidental activation of a sprinkler head.Feel free to contact us with additional questions or to order Shutgun for your facility.

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