Do you know of jurisdictions that require Aboveground Test Certificates for sprinkler system modifications that do not involve hydrostatic testing?
Aboveground Test Certificates are provided for documentation of the modifications, however these include provisions for hydrostatic testing. Am I missing something here?
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6/14/2022 08:11:39 am
I require the paperwork on all modifications. The code does not dismiss the hydro testing just alters the requirements to system pressure.
6/14/2022 08:23:00 am
Those forms also include backflow device forward flow testing and flow switch times (both items are existing for most TI's), both of which we typically do not perform as these are existing and part of the ITM.
6/14/2022 08:23:12 am
Several jurisdictions in Texas will require the certificate for modifications. Like Sean mentioned, I would simply note on the certs if tested to system pressure per NFPA 13 (2016) 22.214.171.124 through 4.2.
6/14/2022 08:29:30 am
The testing certificates have been required of all official changes made to the fire sprinkler systems.
6/14/2022 08:37:42 am
NFPA 25 requires it section 4.3 Records, I always have paperwork if any of the systems are touched to cover our department.
6/14/2022 08:49:39 am
Same response as above! I always require it. In my opinion, installing contractors should want to complete the test to ensure they install a system that works and wont leak once they pack up.
6/14/2022 09:19:05 am
As others have said, sometimes the hydrotest consists of just restoring system working pressure and watching for leaks and/or drop in pressure. Now how often that is happening and being recorded on small remodels and TI improvements is probably a crap shoot. IMO, all AHJs should ask for this at the completion of any work that involves permitting on their part. If it's something that falls outside of their permitting process, it is pretty much impossible for them to track and enforce. However, I am encouraged that more and more AHJs have started using compliance engine or something similar, which means better tracking and enforcement and provides an opportunity for better documentation.
6/15/2022 11:55:41 am
I agree Casey I think we should be requiring the Aboveground Test Certificates for TI improvements. Currently, we are only collecting these on the new systems.
6/15/2022 12:55:14 pm
Agreed, and selfishly it helps with any legal and/or warranty issues that may arise for us contractors as well. I'm glad to see you guys starting to use IROL. Sadly, many business/building owners and/or real estate managers will perform preventive maintenance and service their HVAC or plumbing, but give very little thought to their life safety systems. You guys should be applauded for taking the steps to add a third party system and enforcing correction of deficiencies. It's a matter of time before it saves a civilian's or firefighter's life, or both.
6/14/2022 10:22:53 am
Every AHJ interprets code in their own "unique" way. And the worse the mis-interpretation, the more likely it is to spread.
6/14/2022 10:25:44 am
Easy there. AHJs are bound by code, but they don't always have the capabilities, education, resources, or support that others have.
6/14/2022 02:09:47 pm
I agree about the resources. It's so important to support our AHJs at committee meetings, city hall meetings, etc.... and fight for more resources to be allocated to worthwhile causes like compliance and enforcement. How many lives and buildings would be saved by adding just 1 or 2 admin in a small to medium city who's sole purpose is to enforce inspections and corrections of deficiencies for fire alarm and fire sprinklers. I don't know of any AHJs that would say I don't want to be a part of having better code compliant buildings. With the third party software out there now, it's easier than ever (not saying it's easy, but working out the technology side has been done for you by using their systems).
6/15/2022 02:23:03 pm
It’s probably fair to say that a lot of AHJs don’t have the in-depth training we need to know every part of the code. But you must also realize that while contractors usually specialize in ONE area of fire protection that we have to “know” it all. From hydrants to sprinklers to fire alarms, clean agents, fire lanes, the list goes on. So most departments do the best they can to train but just like with any industry you can’t know it all. I’m sorry you have had a bad experience with your AHJs. I’ve been an inspector for just 6 years now and have earned my bachelors in fire and a graduate cert in fire protection engineering and there is still SO MUCH I don’t know. I am always trying my hardest to learn and be a better inspector which is why I am on sites like this. Perhaps you can help by politely offering to explain something to an inspector instead of making them defensive. That doesn’t help anyone.
6/15/2022 02:35:09 pm
Julie, wise words. As a young designer myself almost 30 years ago, it was easy to be mad at the fire marshal, code reviewer, architect, engineer, etc. and it would have done me a lot of good to spend a day or two in their shoes. Having some perspective goes a long way. I encourage all AHJs to open the doors to some young fire sprinkler and/or fire alarm designers and let them spend a day or two shadowing you. I know I would love to have some of my young designers do that. I always get a good laugh when I go back to our design area and one of them are grumbling about a review comment from an engineer or AHJ. I try and explain it's a blessing in disguise. Pick up the phone and have a discussion. You might educate them or even be educated yourself, or both, and also build a relationship while your at it. I wish I would have taken that advice many years ago myself.
I would LOVE that!! Something I have done to learn more is do ride-alongs with installation companies. I have tagged along on a day off with a fire sprinkler company to watch them do 5 year obstruction tests and things of that nature. What I learned was truly eye opening. It gave me more compassion for things I experience in the field and see things from their point of view a bit more. Plus you’re absolutely right, those good working friendships and professional relationships come in handy for both sides when everyone is in a pinch.
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