We have been asked if a 20+ year old wet pipe sprinkler system we installed into a paint application room is the correct method of protection for a specific paint product that is currently being used.
The MSDS sheets for a few of the products they now use indicate protection with dry chemical, foam, or water fog.
I have been told that the MSDS sheets typically refer to the product as its being stored and not necessarily as its being applied. The storage is not happening in this room of course, but in approved fire-rated storage cabinets outside the area. None of the typical requirements for alternate protection are met per NFPA 33.
Basically other than the product data sheets, this is a run of the mill paint application area. Nothing automated or fancy.
Anyone have any experience with a similar situation?
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1/19/2021 08:09:25 am
The paint booth will have limited quantities of the liquids so other than verifying design criteria per current NFPA requirements (if needed), I don't see an issue with the booth itself.
1/19/2021 09:16:12 am
Agree with Dan here. and it depends on the paint. Let's presume its a Class I Flammable Liquid. The application in the paint booth is your question, so this is EH-2 requiring a density of 0.40 / 2,500 with 500 hose. If your wet pipe automatic sprinkler system can achieve that density then I'd submit its adequately protected.
2/1/2021 09:14:14 am
Keep in mind that with the EH-II protection you need K11.2 heads because of the 0.4 gpm/sf density requirement. Most older protection in paint booths don't have K11 heads installed.
2/1/2021 09:39:02 am
Thanks Taylor. Yeah, my 25 year old self knew enough to use 11.2Ks 20 years ago for hydraulic purposes at the very least. Sometimes I cringe when I have to go back and look at what I did in the early years, but usually I find that I did okay. My 45 year old self would probably give the 25 year old me a B- on most of my stuff... lol.
1/19/2021 09:47:32 am
For the Paint Booth (Spray Room), I would check the condition of the sprinkler(s) provided within.
1/19/2021 10:27:42 am
This will likely require a review by a fire protection engineer or code consultant to ensure that the existing system is adequate for the hazard. In addition, my company has observed reduced water supplies across the country as municipalities try to cope with aging infrastructure. If you are an installer, assuming your company does not have the qualifications to perform this analysis, and you would like some assistance in reviewing the existing sprinkler system for adequacy, please feel free to contact me at email@example.com.
1/20/2021 12:17:49 pm
Thanks Sarah! I actually deal with one of your cohorts here locally, Corey Kinsman. He helps out on some things from time to time.
1/19/2021 10:34:04 am
I think all we need to do to judge adequacy is a calc. We know that EH-2 applies requiring 0.40 / 2,500 w/ 250-hose. If we have a flow test we can calc this system to see if we get that density. Before our fancy-schmancy 3D design software we have now there were a lot of software products that would easily run a quick calc. As an insurance HPR engineer, we calc'd EVERYTHING. I used an ancient MS-DOS software called Hypercalc. It was a little keystroke intense for a tree system, which is probably what you've got there, but once we determined the end head pressure available it was quick and easy to find the overall density.
1/19/2021 11:04:59 am
Questions I would ask are what was the paint booth used and calculated for previously 20+ years ago?
1/19/2021 11:49:08 am
The MSDS data sheet is to fight a fire with manual firefighting means (i.e. portable fire extinguishers). This is why it is not refered to sprinkler protection.
1/20/2021 12:25:30 pm
Thank you everyone for the comments. That's what I needed. The request came from a local AHJ inspection and only the paint application room has the existing EH 2 system. The only comment was verify that the existing system is okay to cover the paint product being used due to the MSDS sheets saying wet protection might not be advisable.
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