Fire Sprinkler Malfunction

Fire Damage Repair NashvilleA common question we get about fire sprinklers is whether they can damage a building. Fire sprinklers can cause water damage after going off, and such concerns are not unfounded. As a result, fire sprinklers offer a higher level of protection than can mitigate the potential risks.

The concern is that sprinkler heads or sprinkler systems will erupt due to an error or malfunction, commonly referred to as an accidental leak or discharge, causing major damage to equipment inside the building.

Fire sprinkler systems are extremely rare to malfunction accidentally. According to the American Fire Sprinkler Association, about 1 in 16 million sprinklers malfunction due to something other than human error. You have a one in one million chance of being struck by lightning, in comparison! When a systemic leak occurs in your fire sprinkler system, it’s usually due to an old, poorly maintained system that has not been properly maintained, just as it is in your plumbing system.

Five Common Sprinkler Malfunctions

There is very little likelihood of fire sprinklers malfunctioning. When they do occur, they are usually caused by:

Overheating – Sprinkler heads activate when temperatures get too high in specific locations, causing them to go off. Consider the hottest temperatures in your room when installing a sprinkler, even in the summer. In the case of a ceiling temperature of 155 degrees, you will need a sprinkler head with a temperature of 200 degrees, and so on. The temperature at which sprinkler heads go off varies.

Freezing – On the other hand, if proper precautions are not taken, such as adding antifreeze and insulating the pipes, the water in fire sprinklers can freeze. During freezing weather, pipes may expand, crack, and burst, resulting in leaks when they thaw. Dry fire sprinklers leverage air pressure and specially designed valves to prevent water from entering the system until needed, or antifreeze solutions can be added to the pipes, and insulation can be added around the system, or antifreeze solutions can be added to the pipes.

Corrosion – Like any water-based system, fire sprinkler pipes are susceptible to corrosion, which can cause the system to malfunction and cause leaks. Fire sprinkler systems can be prevented from causing this problem if they are inspected annually.

Sprinkler damage – Under-tightened fittings, improper sprinkler heads, and a variety of other installation mistakes can damage fire sprinkler systems caused by poorly installed and maintained fire sprinklers. If you hire a company like Confires to install fire sprinklers, you almost eliminate the possibility of these errors.

Mistakes by humans – human error is the leading cause of fire sprinkler malfunctions. Fire sprinklers are commonly damaged by hanging objects from them, hitting them with forklifts, painting over their heads, etc. Your building’s fire sprinkler heads shouldn’t be touched under any circumstances!

Launch Failure

Fire Damage Repair NashvilleIn spite of 91% of sprinklers activating when they should, they are ineffective approximately 9% of the time. Exactly why? This may be a combination of factors, including an inactive building or an unfamiliarity with the platforms leading to the system being turned off. A sprinkler system may be turned off if there is a water leak throughout the system. Staff members who are less experienced may not realize the importance of a fully functional fire sprinkler system, or they might have simply forgotten to repair it.

The corrosion process

Fire sprinkler systems can fail to deliver lifesaving water when they are needed most if the pipes carrying the water corrode or are damaged. Loss of pressure in pipes or leaks in pipes may also occur as a result of additives that cause corrosion in them. A professional fire protection partner should conduct regular maintenance reviews and rigorous testing to ensure that your system is in good working condition.

A freezing temperature

Higher or freezing temperature also causes issues in sprinkler system; it depends on where your business is located. Often they are piped through industrial areas that may or may not have adequate insulation, so as a result, they can build up ice which can expand within the pipes, causing cracks, leaks and insufficient pressure as a result. A system with antifreeze helps prevent lines from freezing when temperatures drop below -20 degrees.


During the hottest day of the year, your office staff will be unhappy if the air conditioner breaks down, drenching them in the water! Prior to setting the tolerances of the fire sprinkler system, consider the maximum internal temperature that can be reached or is probable.

Poor Installation Or Damage

Inexcusably poor fire sprinkler systems can be caused by poor installation practices and a lack of a structured review process. You can feel confident that you have an up-to-date system by working with a reliable fire sprinkler service provider. By doing so, you protect both your investment and your customers and employees.

Deluge Expectations

In the event of sprinkler failure, your documentation efforts are crucial because they can assist your insurance carrier in determining responsibility. In case the installation process goes wrong anywhere, or if experts don’t perform it, it will cause more issues.

Water damage restoration professionals are responsible for cleaning the scene. Often, the fire sprinkler deluge that floods property is black water, which firefighters call a dark mess. A strong and unpleasant smell comes from the sludge, a mixture of oil, rust, and sediment.

In addition to removing water, mold growth can be controlled by specialized water extraction and drying techniques.

Avoiding commercial sprinkler failures

A well-functioning sprinkler system requires regular maintenance, as described above. An overview of sprinkler system inspection best practices and processes is provided below: 

  • Status test of valves 
  • Inspecting and testing fire pumps regularly 
  • An assessment of the internal piping system 
  • Tests based on performance and risk assessments 
  • Report on pre-planned impairments 
  • Assessment and flushing of hydrants 
  • Assessment of forwarding flow in the case of poor backflow  
  • Test of the fire sprinkler system as a whole 

Your sprinkler system should be corroded at least twice a year if you have one. It is possible to hire a third-party testing professional to conduct the test and produce a report. Metal pipes can be tested using this test. Contact Fire Damage Repair Nashville.