That is a tough one to answer. We've seen wet and dry systems begin to have major corrosion issues as soon as 5 years, and have seen others close to 100 years old that are still in operation. Some of the variables are schedule of pipe used (schedule 40 is going to better than schedule 10 of course, because of the thickness), proper pitch for dry system and avoidance of trapped water wherever possible, installation and design to avoid trapped pockets of air in wet systems, installation of air relief valves where wet systems are installed with pipe at pitched ceilings/roofs, installation of a nitrogen system when applicable, installation of galvanized pipe when exposed to exterior or corrosive elements (sometimes galvanized pipe can be a bad call in certain situations unless a nitrogen filled system is provided), and just overall proper maintenance will extend the life of a system many many years.
There are many factors which can effect longevity but an often cited study by German testing authority VDS stated "... found that 73 percent of dry systems have significant corrosion issues at 12.5 years old and 35 percent of wet systems have significant corrosion issues at 25 years after installation. For that reason, VdS guidelines specify that wet systems be thoroughly inspected after 25 years and dry systems after 12.5 years, adding that the inspections include an internal examination with an endoscope and a check of the residual wall thickness with ultrasonic measurement. That’s more relaxed than the NFPA recommendation of inspections every five years.
Our inspector told us we have to replace all dry sprinkler heads in our condos - garages and balconies - because it's more then 10 years old. About 70 total. True?
Is there such regulation? This is in GA. Thank you!
Yes after 10 year Dry pendants or sidewall heads either need to be sent out for UL testing or change them out that is NFPA 25 Inspection and Testing
I read somewhere that on-site testing is a possibility?
That you need to test one out of the same group and if it passes, it's OK for all of them.
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