Can I Replace My Own Fire Sprinkler Heads?
Fire sprinklers provide peace of mind, knowing your building is protected 24 hours a day. When a fire ignites, the heat rises and activates one sprinkler head at a time to douse the flames below while minimizing water damage.
If you notice something wrong with your fire sprinkler heads, it’s important to act fast so you don’t leave your building unprotected. This might have you asking—can I replace my own fire sprinkler heads? Find the answer to your question here.
Knowing When to Replace Fire Sprinkler Heads
Sprinkler heads are durable fixtures with longevity that often rivals the building in which they are installed. However, problems sometimes occur that cause the system not to activate correctly in an emergency. Imagine your dismay if you thought your building was adequately protected, only to discover that problematic sprinkler heads prevented the water from flowing freely!
Because many problems are impossible to detect just by looking, the only way to know for sure if your sprinkler heads need to be replaced is with regular inspections and testing. Here are the problems to watch out for:
- Plunge test failure: If one fixture from a sample set fails to activate correctly during a plunge test, all sprinkler heads within the system must be replaced.
- Heavily loaded sprinkler heads: A sprinkler head caked with dust, dirt, or grease is difficult to clean without accidentally activating it, so a replacement is best.
- Painted-over sprinkler heads: Never paint sprinkler heads or cover plates. If you do, you’ll need to replace them.
- Leaky, rusty, or corroded sprinkler heads: Replace fixtures with these problems as soon as possible to ensure their performance isn’t hindered during a fire.
How to Replace Fire Sprinkler Heads
While we don’t recommend it, you can attempt sprinkler head replacement yourself by following these steps:
- Locate the fire sprinkler water valve. This is most likely located next to the main water meter, which could be in an underground box near the curb, in the basement, or next to the water heater. Turn the handle clockwise as far as possible to stop the flow of water.
- Unscrew the cage or cap covering the sprinkler head, if applicable. Then, turn the head slowly with a wrench or pliers to gradually release the pressure behind it. Keep a bucket handy to catch any water that drips out.
- Apply anaerobic pipe thread sealant to the threads of the new nipple and attach the sprinkler head, being careful not to over tighten it. Reattach the cage or cap, if applicable.
- Return to the water valve and turn the handle counterclockwise to restore water flow to the fire sprinkler system.
- Test the sprinklers as directed by the manufacturer to verify proper functionality.
Why Let a Professional Replace Your Fire Sprinkler Heads?
For an experienced professional, replacing a fire sprinkler head is a fast, straightforward task. However, we don’t recommend attempting this job yourself if you are unqualified to do so. Here’s why:
- You could unintentionally violate building codes.
- You might attempt to install the incorrect replacement sprinkler head, which could result in improper function if a fire ignites.
- You could damage the new sprinkler head during installation, causing leaks and other headaches.
Call Kauffman Co. for Fire Sprinkler Head Replacement in Houston
Don’t let a damaged fire sprinkler head compromise the safety of your home or business—call Kauffman Co. for the fire sprinkler repair you need! We provide 24-hour service for our customers in the Houston area to ensure you don’t leave your building vulnerable to fire any longer than necessary.
Contact us today to schedule the fire sprinkler services you need!
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