Beyond the Basic Auxiliary Drain

Two Upgrades that Save Thousands

A broken auxiliary drain, sometimes referred to as a drum drip, is at best an inconvenience to building tenants. At the worst, it costs facility owners thousands (or in some cases, hundreds of thousands) of dollars. One international furniture retailer reported that shutting down due to a broken auxiliary drain cost them $50,000 per hour in lost business, plus the cost of system maintenance and fines paid to the fire department for responding to a false system trip.

With that high of a cost for a broken drain, why would they re-install the same basic drain and hope it didn’t freeze again? But what other options exist? AGF Manufacturing, Inc. heard this struggle, and similar tales, from facility owners and developed the COLLECTanDRAIN line of auxiliary drains to provide a preventative solution to the frozen drum drip.


Water Detector and Alarm

AGF’s Model 5100ALBV easily connects to existing collection assemblies.

Many auxiliary drains freeze and break because maintenance personnel either forget about them completely, miss one by accident, or don’t realize they need to be drained of even the smallest amount of accumulated condensation. What if the drum drip could tell staff when it needs draining? AGF’s Model 5100ALBV detects water in the collection assembly and triggers a visual and audio alert. That way, staff know exactly which drain they need to tend to. They can also wire it to a Fire Control Panel or BMS for remote notification.

The furniture retailer outfitted their auxiliary drains with these detectors to simplify their maintenance and decrease their risk for freeze-ups. It was simple for them to attach the detector to existing auxiliary drains. With proper response to the alerts, they’ll never have to lose money from a frozen drum drip again.


Heated Cabinet for the Most Problematic Drains

Some drains collect condensation so fast that they seem to require constant attention, so a simple alarm is not enough. For those drains, AGF introduced their Model 5400 auxiliary drain with a temperature-controlled cabinet. An insulated cabinet houses an auxiliary drain with a heater and a float switch. When the temperature drops below 40 degrees Fahrenheit, the heater turns on to keep the drain from freezing. When it’s completely full and needs to be drained, an alarm alerts maintenance staff. It also has the capability to connect to a Fire Control Panel or BMS for the convenience of remote notification.

AGF’s Model 5400 keeps this auxiliary drain temperature-controlled to prevent freezing.

Some of the most popular applications for the Model 5400 COLLECTanDRAIN include parking garages, self-storage facilities, airport service areas, warehouses, stadiums, big box retails, higher education, and health homes.  Hospitals throughout the country have utilized the Model 5400 for their covered entries, ambulance bays, and parking garages, to eliminate the threat and inconvenience a frozen auxiliary drain would potentially cause patients and staff.

With the cost of a broken auxiliary drain—thousands of dollars, inconvenience to building tenants, extra maintenance for staff—a new approach in the auxiliary drain itself could put an end to many difficulties. With proper maintenance, both AGF devices will prevent auxiliary drains from freezing and breaking, saving a facility from frustrating costs.

As seen in the October 2019 issue of Fire Protection Contractor