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Can I Paint Around My Fire Sprinkler System?

One of the biggest mistakes homeowners and commercial businesses make when they choose to repaint their properties is accidentally covering their fire sprinkler system in a coat of paint. Although a touch of paint may seem harmless at first, there are steps you will want to take to prevent the damage or obstruction of your fire sprinkler system before you begin painting.

Can Sprinkler Heads Be Painted?

It can be tempting to conceal a noticeable sprinkler head with a fresh coat of paint. However, your fire system facelift may have to wait. Painting over your fire sprinkler system may void your warranty and, more importantly, endanger your safety in a fire.

Sometimes painting over your sprinkler head happens by accident, or you may notice that a previous tenant has gone ahead and coated everything in paint. If such is the case, you will want to contact a fire system repair service immediately to inspect, repair or replace your fire sprinkler system as it may no longer be working.

Why Painted Sprinkler Heads May Break

Automatic fire sprinkler systems use a comprehensive system of pressurized pipes containing water and air to detect and respond to symptoms of a fire. If a fire were to happen, air pressure around a sprinkler head drops, which instructs the sprinkler system to fill with water and flow through the activated sprinkler head and disperse water evenly below. 

Another component of the fire sprinkler system is the colored glass bulb that rests within the sprinkler head. For those of us who don’t know what accidentally sets off a fire sprinkler, the internal bulb may hold several answers. This is the component of the sprinkler that, when it breaks (as it will under fire temperatures) sets off the valve below it to drop down and begin releasing water. When a fire sprinkler is painted over, this bulb can be insulated with paint that will make it inoperable to respond to a fire.

How to Repair a Painted Fire Sprinkler Head

Is it too late to remove paint from your fire sprinkler? The answer is, it depends. Repairing a painted-over sprinkler head is not easy, and you may have to get a licensed sprinkler company or fire protection service to take the following measures: 

  • Test— Houston, Texas fire code recommends monthly inspections of your fire sprinkler systems. This often includes a visual check for obstructions, code violations or damages.
  • Repair— Valves, pumps, and fire sprinkler head repair may be needed to ensure that your fire protection is in maximum working order to keep you, your family and belonging protected.
  • Install— Over time, your building may be out of code or due for new fire sprinkler installations. This can be especially important if your property has expanded or has aged sprinkler systems.
  • Replace—Paint has no place in your fire safety devices. If paint has damaged your fire sprinkler beyond what can be repaired or maintenance, you may need to request a replacement.

Repairing a painted-over sprinkler heads is not simple. You have to get a licensed sprinkler company or licensed plumber to shut down and drain the system to install new sprinkler heads. Any time painted sprinkler heads are ignored it puts lives at risk.

Working with a fire protection company is the best way to ensure that your fire sprinklers are up-to-date, up-to-code and properly working. To schedule your consultation for fire protection services in Houston, TX, contact Kauffman Co. online or call us today.

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