Douglas Krantz - Technical Writer - Describing How It Works
Get the book Make It Work - Conventional Fire Alarms
Why did the Dry Sprinkler System Freeze? -- All sprinkler systems are custom built; there is no one correct design, just a general idea of a correct design. Because each building is custom, each sprinkler system is custom. There is the clappper, air chamber, water, intermediate chamber, flow switch, low-air swicth, alarm defeat switch, fire alarm system. All of these parts interact with each other, and investigating failures have to take all of these into account to understand the cause.... Read More

Why Does Closing Some Gatevalves Show Trouble? -- Early on, the concept of a silent alarm that did not call the firefighters (that's what a supervisory alarm basically is) was considered to be on the same level as a broken wire in the fire alarm system. It was a condition that needed to be fixed without evacuating the building... Read More

Will a check valve placed before a flow switch help with false flow alarms? -- Well, the waterflow switch is supposed to detect water flowing, and most of the time the "false waterflow alarms" are really caused by water flowing in the pipes. It's not the water flowing into the sprinkler system that is a problem, though; once the water... Read More

What is a Dry Sprinkler Valve? -- When a fire starts burning in a building, action needs to be taken early... before the fire has grown out of control. Taking this action, sometimes before anyone even... Read More

Why Does It Seem that Dry Sprinkler Systems Only Show Low Air Pressure At Night? -- Doesn't it always seem to happen? In the middle of the night, someone's fire alarm fire alarm system sends... Read More

What Turns On a Fire Pump? -- Fire pump controller boxes are large, and the only people who should even open the controllers are authorized sprinkler... Read More

Why Are There False Waterflow Alarms? -- The question was asked "Intermittently, we are having a false waterflow alarm problem. For a while, it was OK, but we did the annual waterflow test and since then we get at least once a week a false water flow alarm ... Read More

Why Are There Waterflow Alarms When No Water is Flowing? -- Between building trades, there's a natural line of demarcation. Sprinkler pipe fitters don't like working on a fire alarm system; they...Read More

What is a Waterflow Switch? -- The fire alarm waterflow switch, a delayed action mechanical/electrical assembly, is a conventionally wired fire alarm device. The fire department reacts... Read More

Should the Main Fire Panel Release the Fire Suppression? -- The greater number of systems controlled by one computer, the greater number of systems messed up when that one computer messes up.... Read More

Which is Worse -- Fire or Water? -- At some point a decision needs to be made, which is worse - the fire or excess water... Read More

How Can a Jockey Pump Make False Waterflow Alarms? -- It was 8:00 o'clock at night, and there I was standing in front of the fire alarm panel. The fire department had already been there and left, but because of waterflow... Read More

Douglas Krantz -- Fire Alarm Engineering Technician, Electronic Designer, Electronic Technician, Writer

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