Douglas Krantz - Technical Writer - Describing How It Works

Can We Use Waterflow Switches for Liquid Suppression Systems?

To use a waterflow switch for a liquid suppression system like an NOVEC 1230 liquid system, the switch has to listed for use in a NOVEC 1230 liquid system. If a normal waterflow switch is used, it might not work, unless it has been thoroughly tested and listed.

Can We Use Waterflow Switches for Liquid Suppression Systems?

Dear Sir,

Good morning.

I am studying about the fire protection and detection system.

I got a question. It's as below.

QUESTION - Can we use the Flow Switches and Pressure Switches that are used with water lines, for fire suppression system, if fire suppression system uses NOVEC 1230 liquid?

Kindly please help me.

Thanking You & Best regards,

Thank you.


To understand what can and can't be used for fire alarm and fire suppression systems, we need to step back a little bit. Basically, you have to see if the flow or pressure switch has been Rated for Use.

The term "Rated for Use" shows that the device in question has been tested by a third party testing company (UL, ULC, CE, Etc.) to make sure that the device will perform as advertised:
  • Does the flow switch work properly for water?
  • Does the flow switch work properly for NOVEC 1200 liquid?
  • Does the smoke detector work properly in this kind of environment?
  • Does the fire alarm manual pull station work in the explosive environment?
  • Does the fire alarm panel perform properly for the release of chemicals?
  • Etc.

What "Rated for Use" really means is that a third party testing facility has tried the device out to see if it is safe. The third party has made sure the device will do what it is rated for.

A third Party Testing Facility doesn't have "skin-in-the-game"; the facility doesn't have anything to gain or lose when they say something can be used, so their opinion is considered better than the manufacturer's opinion.

Bottom line, to find out whether a particular flow switch or pressure switch can be use with NOVEC 1230 liquid, check to see if it has been "Rated for Use" with NOVEC 1230.

Douglas Krantz
Life Safety
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