A sprinkler system can go unnoticed for years until there happens to be a fire and the homeowner discovers in the middle of seeing his house being burnt flat to the ground that the sprinkler system does not work. While installing the system may require professional help, checking to see that it is actually working in advance does not require the help of plumbers. The first and foremost thing that should be checked is the smoke detector, because it is responsible for sending the necessary signal to the sprinkler system.
How To Check and Replace a Smoke Detector
There is nothing really magical or technical about checking a smoke detector and as such any homeowner can do this without ringing up a plumber to do it. The only way this is done after pressing the battery-test button and deliberately producing smoke to see if it reacts. You should never apply direct heat to the smoke detector as this can damage it. Once you have done the necessary checks and nothing seems to be wrong, then continue doing this routine check at least once a month. If you find that the smoke detector is not responding them check to see:
- If the batteries are still functional (if your smoke detector operates off a battery) and if they are not them replace them. Some smoke detectors may give signs that the batteries need changing and these signs can appear as beeps or other sounds coming from it.
- If all electrical wires are intact and not rusted or with signs of deterioration.
- If there is any dust or build up of barriers that will compromise how it functions.
- Always check to ensure that your smoke detector is not installed close to any windows or areas that have constant smoke. If so, then remove it to somewhere where:
▪ Smoke will not always be present to trigger off the alarm
▪ Smoke will not run the risk of not reaching the smoke detector in time, for example: close to a window.
If after replacing the battery and checking for everything else you still do not see a response from the smoke detector then it is time to get a new one.
Your Fire Sprinkler Heads
Time and corrosion are two factors that work against any sprinkler head. There are also the constant changes in certain laws that result in the recall of a number of sprinkler heads year after year. Homeowners should always be ready for these changes and not have to call a plumber to change their sprinkler heads if they know what they are doing. Once it is obvious by looking that the sprinkler heads are becoming corroded or not functioning according to how they should, then changing then is a question of surviving a possible house fire. Some of the common steps that should be observed to change fire sprinkler heads without the need of a professional are:
- Check to see if any new regulations that are in place allow you to make the changes yourself. If there are no new regulations then check to see if the regulations from the sprinklers that were previously installed allows you to change them.
- Identify how many sprinkler heads you are going to need along with the type of sprinkler heads that will be needed to replace them.
- Carefully study and make a list of all the mechanisms that you will need to replace the sprinkler: nipples, caps, etc.
- When you have everything in place then make sure that the water to the sprinklers is off.
- The pipeline that is connected to the sprinklers should not be compromised in any way. This means that when you are installing the new sprinklers all care should be taken to avoid any damages to both sprinklers and pipes. Inserting a sprinkler does not mean banging on the pipes or any strenuous force, read the instructions carefully to see what needs to be done.
- Once you have installed the sprinklers then turn the water back on again. Always ensure that what you are doing is in line with your local building authorities. If a professional is required to install your broken sprinkler then obey your building code.
If you find that water is not reaching the sprinkler then you may need the help of a plumber to identify the area that is giving problem in the sprinkler system. This problem can either be caused by a broken pipe, lack of pressure, a pumping unit with defect or blockage in the pipe system.
Disclaimer. The information that is contained in this article is solely to be used as a guide and was not written with the intention of replacing professional guidance. All the information that is contained within is deemed accurate to the best of our knowledge and this website along with its owners will not be held liable for any losses or damages suffered while performing any of the steps outlined above.