Residential Sprinkler Design ?

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Minister of Fire
Jul 11, 2008
Northern NH
Anyone have any resources on residential sprinkler design?. The Uponor system combined with potable water piping seems to be intriguing, but they seem to be quite guarded with any design info. As a homeowner I can install my own system in my residence in my state but their business model is to only offer info to pros.
I ran into a similar issue with Bedarus. I wanted info on their indirect tanks. I ended up calling from “EatenByLimestone Heating and Cooling”. That was enough that they answered my question. I’m sure a call from “Peakbagger Sprinkler Systems” would get them to answer questions.
I tried to do some research. Basement renovation trying to made code compliant bedrooms. For the residential installs I found almost zero info. Call all the local fire protection companies and none had done any single family residential. I didn’t want to be the first.

What I recall is you need enough flow for two heads.

At the end of the day I decided that fire prevention, ie AFCI breakers to code, replacing all worn outlet’s, and new smoke detectors provided the safety factor I was after. The downside of a leak do to physical damage since I have kids or freezing was worth considering.

If building new construction it would be worth considering. Retrofits seemed more trouble that it was worth.
The bummer is Uponor apparently will do the design buy only for certified installers linked to licensed plumber. I could take part of the certification on line but they require a 3 day in place training at their school for the rest of it. Installation is not that difficult, its just a PEX system but I think there is lot of liability as the piping is hidden in the walls and if it fails its a very wet house or one that burns down. The pump and tank set in the basement is typically preassembled. The Uponor system uses the potable water system so no need for a seperate system and the inevitable brown nasty fire water that comes out if the heads fire off.

I do have a commercial sprinkler head in the water supply line over my oil boiler. Thirty years ago the local fire chief/building inspector mentioned he would really like to see one so I installed it. I think the residential units go off at lower temperatures and I think some of them have bimetallic springs that open and close while the old style have burn out capsules that once open runs until the water turns off.
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I remember reading that some had a plug of a low melting point metal that would melt and free the water.

I flushed my radiators last year and was surprised by the black sediment that washed out. Sprinkler systems must have the same issue.

It sounds like it’d be a pain to go through the certification for a single job, but it also sounds like it could make for a really profitable side gig for retirement cash.