Ice plugs… One of the biggest issues faced by fire sprinkler systems in cold storage
facilities today. So much so that per the 2008 version
of NFPA 25 chapter 14 section 3, the National Fire Protection Agency requires
an annual internal inspection of dry or pre-action fire pipe that protects or
passes through freezers or cold storage rooms.
While there are processes in place used to attempt to detect
these ice plugs, the current testing procedures require a shutdown of the
site’s sprinkler system to open the pipe. In addition to the inconvenience, this process unnecessarily exposes the system to humid air and can very well miss even significant ice obstruction. See
SoniTech NDT's Ultrasonic
Localized Guided Wave (ULGW) scanning technology offers the only method currently
available that can quickly, quietly, and cost effectively detect
these ice obstructions while your sprinkler system remains fully operational.
In addition to satisfying the NFPA 25 annual requirement
and having the peace of mind knowing your fire sprinkler system will perform as designed in the
unfortunate event of a fire, you may very well qualify for a substantial
discount on your commercial property insurance. The photos shown below came
from a freezer facility that had their system inspected as usual, and the
system passed the inspection with “no ice obstruction present”.
The facility’s property insurance provider
offered a significant discount on the policy following a second inspection of
the sprinkler system using SoniTech’s ULGW Scanning service. Shown below,
significant ice buildup was discovered and a potential system failure was
prevented. In the most severe case shown below, a 6” diameter pipe was reduced
to approximately 1½” in diameter, drastically reducing the flow rate of the
precision engineered system.