Douglas Krantz - Technical Writer - Describing How It Works
Why does the Waterflow Switch Trigger False Alarms? -- When water moves, it pushes on the paddle, the paddle pulls the lever assembly, and after :45 seconds, the air damper allows the lever assembly to release the switch. When water is moving into the sprinkler system for more than :45 seconds, there is an alarm. If water doesn't move, there is no alarm...Read More

Can the Firefighter Override the Fire Pump? -- Usually, inside the building, there are two pumps involved: the main firefighting pump and the jockey pump. Both pumps use pressure switches, but only the jockey pump has the simple turn on and turn off pressure switch. The in-building fire pump has the same turn on and turn off switches, but also has a timer. The pump turns on when the pressure in the sprinkler system gets too low, but the pump...Read More

Will the Waterflow Switch Activate the Turned-Off Fire Pump? -- Unless the flow switch, the fire pump, and the fire alarm panel are wired really weird, the water flowing past the flow switch will not override the -turn-off- switches on either the fire pump or the fire alarm system. When there's a fire, because everything is turned off, they'll stay off; right now, there is no -Automatic- Fire Suppression System, and no Fire Detection and Alarm System...Read More

Why Do We Get False Waterflow Alarm in Spring and Fall? -- Often, the false alarms are caused by a combination of two or more problems. Each problem by itself wouldn't cause the false alarms, but when combined, they gang up and sound the alarm...Read More

Can the Building's Fire Alarm Panel Activate the Release Panel? -- The people to ask are the people that have paid for this -Listing- the manufacturer's technical support team for the building's fire alarm system. Call the technical support team for the building's fire alarm system and explain what you want to do...Read More

Should We Use Automatic Switching for the Generator and Fire Pump? -- If no one is there to turn on the generator and fire pump, the generator and fire pump doesn't turn on until someone goes into the room in the basement to turn them on...Read More

Why does the Jockey Pump Keep Turning On and Off? -- The jockey pump pumps water. If the jockey pump is turning on regularly every night, it's replacing water that has leaked out of the sprinkler system. Because the water isn't spilling out onto the floor of the building, the water has to be leaking out somewhere else...Read More

Why did the Waterflow Switch Shorten Its Delay? -- When water flows, a paddle is pushed by the water, and that releases the adjustable air-damper. Because of changing water-pressure from the city, water will often push this paddle for a few seconds... 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

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

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

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

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 Causing The False Waterflow Alarms? -- Alarms for a sprinkler system usually are sent to the fire alarm system when water actually pushed past a paddle across the inside of the sprinkler pipe. This paddle pushes on a switch -waterflow switch- which sends in the alarm. To reduce false alarms, there is an air damper between the paddle and the switch requiring the paddle to sense water-is-flowing for... Read More

Why does the Jockey Pump Run So Often? -- The jockey pump is controlled by a separate controller from the main fire pump. Many times, the jockey control box is a separate control box, and is not monitored by the fire alarm system because the jockey pump isn't needed for fire suppression. The only purpose of the jockey pump is to keep the pressure in the sprinkler system high enough that the main fire pump will not turn on... Read More

Can a Waterflow Switch and a Tamper Switch be on the Same Zone? -- In the olden days there was no such thing as a supervisory signal. In order to detect a closed valve, the tamper switch would -break- the wire going to the waterflow switch's end of line resistor. This tamper switch action causes a -trouble- for the fire alarm system. Of course, there was a requirement that closing any valve tamper switch could not prevent a flow switch from...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 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 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

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

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