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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 examples below. 

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.