Concealed fire sprinklers

auroraborelisApril 19, 2012

We are required by your local code to install firesprinklers throughout our home, and I was curious if any of you have examples of ones that are concealed/low prfile instead of the typical metal ones you see in office buildings and hotels.

Also, any idea on the additional cost of more attractive ones?

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A single family house uses a different fire suppression system than a commercial building (NFPA 13D vs NFPA 13). They use smaller plastic pipes and the heads are a smaller rapid response type. Concealed heads are typical. You can ask the contractor for a savings to use exposed heads but it won't be enough to justify using them. Some jurisdictions allow water storage tanks and a pump in lieu of a separate city water supply.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2012 at 7:06PM
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Oh, interesting. I have only been in a couple new homes that had sprinklers, and they all had the same old metal ones. I can only find a couple of pictures of concealed ones online, and was curious if anyone else has photos.

I'm not yet far enough along that I have a contractor for this item, I'm just working on getting everything covered!

I'm not sure what you mean by "Some jurisdictions allow water storage tanks and a pump in lieu of a separate city water supply". We are actually on a shared well, (no storage tanks on the property, and the area is serviced by fire hydrants). However we are still required to have sprinklers throughout the house.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2012 at 7:17PM
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You can see a couple of my sprinklers in this photo - look in the top left and right corners of the photo. They're recessed and hidden behind a flat cover.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2012 at 7:48PM
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Here is my thoughts on costs, based on what it would have been where I am. Last year, just before we filed for a permit, code requiring sprinklers was turned down so we didnt need them. However, the bid for the sprinkler system added $15k onto the cost of the house. We were on a well, and the sprinkler system needed a separate holding tank. They told us the cost for all the extras due to sprinklers was around $15k.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2012 at 9:50PM
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This is a question you may want to discuss with your homeowners insurance agent.

In our jurisdiction we are not required to install firesprinklers at this time, but the handwriting is on the wall that it will be mandatory very soon.

On the other hand, my daughter just finished building a new home and her architect suggested that she consider installing the system and he also suggested she discuss the proposal with her insurance ppl.

She told me that her insurance company offered a blanket 8% discount on the fire insurance for a basic sprinkler package, but with a few additional tweaks she ended up with a 17% discount.

Basically they said she would get the basic discount if they installed the concealed type as shown above throughout the house, but if she installed the concealed type in the common areas, Living room, dining room, den & family rooms, then install the higher output type sprinklers in the high risk areas, such as bedrooms, primary egress route from the bedroom to the nearest exit, the kitchen, Utility room and garage she would get the maximum discount.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2012 at 2:47AM
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Here are the choices for residential sprinkler heads from Tyco. Click on "View" to see description of each head.

The K-factor given for each head tells the designer the output volume for a given pressure. A low K-factor (4 to 5) is appropriate for the light/ordinary hazards found in a home and allows a lower pressure, smaller pipes and a smaller water supply source (in this case storage tanks). A higher hazard would be the storage of flammable materials, etc. Use of sprinklers with different k-factors in the same system is strongly discouraged by NFPA 13.

Here is a link that might be useful: residential sprinkler head types

    Bookmark   April 20, 2012 at 6:14AM
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Thanks everyone!

I had not idea that there were so many options available! chiefneil your photo helped a lot, if you hadn't have told me there were sprinklers there I wouldn't have known!

And Renovator8, thanks for the link to the options!

I will check with my insurance company, but I will also be hiring a local contractor to do the work who will be conforming with all requirements. I just wanted to get an idea of what they would look like!

    Bookmark   April 20, 2012 at 3:47PM
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The sprinkler installer will have to be qualified to design and install the system and will have to get approval from the building department and probably the fire department too.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2012 at 4:40PM
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Sprinkler systems can be both life savers and property savers. I hope you never need them, but speaking as a firefighter - If you can afford a sprinkler system it can be a VERY good thing! The loss of a house and home is a loss far greater than any insurance policy could ever compensate (let alone the potential for loss of life or serious debilitation).

    Bookmark   April 20, 2012 at 4:45PM
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