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UL investigates sprinkler reports

NOTE: This information is from a previously printed press release, newsletter, or other dated document. It is presented here for archival purposes only.

1996: UL is investigating field reports indicating that higher than expected water pressure levels have been required to operate some Central Sprinkler Company "Omega Series" sprinklers.

Laboratory testing conducted at UL has confirmed that operating pressures measured for some of the samples taken from commercial field installations exceeded available water pressures, and, in some circumstances, could affect the intended discharge of water. At this time, operation pressure test results indicate that the problems may be site-specific.

UL has conducted operational testing on sprinkler samples taken from field installations with systems incorporating several of the following Omega Series models: C-1; C-1A; C-1A PRO; C-1A PRO ID; EC-20; EC-20A; EC-20 AID; HEC-12; HEC-12 ID; HEC-12 PRO; HEC-12A PRO; HEC-12 RES; HEC-20; HEC-20 ID; R-1; R-1A; R-1M; AC; M; and Flow Control.

The Omega Series sprinklers are UL Listed. These sprinklers are most likely to be located in institutional facilities, offices, computer rooms, hotels, retail stores and similar occupancies with smooth-finished ceilings.

UL is actively conducting a comprehensive investigation of the cause(s) of these occurrences - a number of factors are under scrutiny. Central Sprinkler's own investigations have indicated that some of the sprinkler's operating pressures may be site-specific and related to field exposure in steel piping systems. The presence of excessive hydrocarbons from petroleum-based cutting fluids and pipe-sealing compounds, as well as "stop leak" products, sometimes introduced into sprinkler systems to eliminate minor leaks before hydrostatic testing of new installations, has been found in some of the samples returned to Central Sprinkler. ("Stop leak" products are in violation of NFPA 13-1996, 8-2.2.2.)

Not all of these models have required high water pressures to operate. However, UL recommends that code authorities encourage property owners to send in field samples from all existing systems for testing. Instructions on the proper removal and packaging procedures for taking samples from existing sprinkler systems must be obtained from Andy Post at Central Sprinkler Company at (215) 362-0700. Once the samples have been properly removed and packaged according to the instructions, they can be sent to either Andy Post at Central Sprinkler Co., 451 N. Cannon Ave., Lansdale, PA 19446; or Kerry Bell at Underwriters Laboratories Inc., 333 Pfingsten Road, Northbrook, IL 60062, for operational testing. For more information, call Kerry Bell at +1-847-272-8800, ext. 42629; fax +1-847-272-2020.