Fire Sprinkler System Freeze Protection: How to Maintain Auxiliary Drains

Fire sprinkler system freeze prevention is vital for facility managers as temperatures drop. Compromised life safety, facility damage, and more plague facilities with poor maintenance plans.

Proper auxiliary drain maintenance is key to preventing freezing on dry sprinkler systems. Facilities can save thousands each winter with these key steps:

      1. Locate Auxiliary Drains
      2. Perform Preventative Maintenance
      3. Use Correct Service Frequency
      4. Simplify the Plan

So how do you maintain auxiliary drains, and what are they? Let’s dive in.

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Which States Require Air Vents? NFPA 13 (2016) Adoption Map

NFPA 13 (2016) and later editions require air vents on all wet pipe fire sprinkler systems utilizing metallic pipe. Jurisdictions across the US have been adopting these editions on their own or by reference in an IBC 2018 adoption. This chart shows which states have NFPA 13 (2016) adoption (or later editions) and which states will be adopting soon.

*Please consult your AHJ to confirm local code requirements

AGF’s PURGEnVENT line of manual and automatic air vents make it simple to meet code requirements with flexible installation options. Plus, PURGEnVENT patented air vents help protect your system from corrosion by releasing trapped air.

For questions about NFPA 13 (2016) changes regarding air vents and corrosion or NFPA 13 (2016) adoption, please contact us to talk to a member of our technical staff.

What is K-Factor for Fire Sprinklers?

AGF’s TESTanDRAIN and Inspector’sTEST valves come in a range of k-factors to best meet your needs. But what is k-factor for fire sprinkler systems?

What is K-Factor?

K-factor helps to calculate the discharge rate from fire sprinkler heads. It’s calculated in imperial units for the United States by using the flow in gallons per minute (gpm) and the pressure in PSI. Metric calculations use the flow in liters per minute and pressure in bar.

Essentially, the k-factor is the orifice size needed for a particular flow and pressure. Low k-factors have a smaller diameter and restrict the flow while larger k-factors allow for more flow.

Meyer Fire offers a tool to compare pressure requirements and flow rates for different k-factors.

AGF offers a full range of orifice sizes to accommodate multiple k-factors for our TESTanDRAIN and Inspector’sTEST models.

Fractional Size vs K-Factor

The chart below shows the imperial and metric k-factor’s equivalent fractional size.

K-factor conversion chart
*Available on 1-1/4″, 1-1/2″, & 2″ size units only **Available on 1-1/2″ and 2″ size units only

Do you have more questions about K-factor? Contact us at 610-240-4900 to speak with a member of our technical staff.