Attic Fire Sprinklers

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DTalos
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Attic Fire Sprinklers

Post by DTalos »

I have heard anecdotally that a worker in an attic can engage a fire sprinkler to operate by stepping on it or the pipe that attaches to it. Is this true?

Attics have a lot of insulation in them, so I am concerned if a worker accidentally engages it.

If a worker is going to enter your attic, would it be prudent to turn the water supply off in case the worker accidentally engages the sprinkler (i.e. is this a preventative solution?). Once the worker leaves the attic and the water is turned back on, would the fire sprinkler that was stepped on spray?
aerofreaky11
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Re: Attic Fire Sprinklers

Post by aerofreaky11 »

Engaging it by breaking the pipe or cracking the glass heat tube manually. I'd rather have someone see it happen and start screaming than have it happen with the supply off, turn on the water and discover some have been broken.
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DTalos
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Re: Attic Fire Sprinklers

Post by DTalos »

aerofreaky11 wrote: Wed Oct 13, 2021 2:00 pm Engaging it by breaking the pipe or cracking the glass heat tube manually. I'd rather have someone see it happen and start screaming than have it happen with the supply off, turn on the water and discover some have been broken.
Why is that?
TLC1957
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Re: Attic Fire Sprinklers

Post by TLC1957 »

What is the occupancy you are referring to your home, office? Most attics do not have fire sprinkler system. Homes, 1-4 story apartments or condos are not required to have sprinkler system in the attic, or between the floors. These occupancies are installed to NFPA 13R and are designed to operate long enough for occupants to leave the building. 100% sprinkler systems are installed as per NFPA 13 which require the attic and space between the floors to be sprinkler.

Tuning off the sprinkler system requires by fire code only qualified personnel to do it with notification to the fire department and alarm company monitoring the sprinkler system. Shut sprinkler control valve is the number 1 cause for sprinkler system failure.
Soon2BXProgrammer
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Re: Attic Fire Sprinklers

Post by Soon2BXProgrammer »

TLC1957 wrote: Wed Oct 13, 2021 4:49 pm What is the occupancy you are referring to your home, office? Most attics do not have fire sprinkler system. Homes, 1-4 story apartments or condos are not required to have sprinkler system in the attic, or between the floors. These occupancies are installed to NFPA 13R and are designed to operate long enough for occupants to leave the building. 100% sprinkler systems are installed as per NFPA 13 which require the attic and space between the floors to be sprinkler.

Tuning off the sprinkler system requires by fire code only qualified personnel to do it with notification to the fire department and alarm company monitoring the sprinkler system. Shut sprinkler control valve is the number 1 cause for sprinkler system failure.
Example: In a bunch of new construction single family homes in certain areas in the Seattle region, they all have sprinklers on the ceiling of all rooms.
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DTalos
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Re: Attic Fire Sprinklers

Post by DTalos »

TLC1957 wrote: Wed Oct 13, 2021 4:49 pm What is the occupancy you are referring to your home, office? Most attics do not have fire sprinkler system. Homes, 1-4 story apartments or condos are not required to have sprinkler system in the attic, or between the floors. These occupancies are installed to NFPA 13R and are designed to operate long enough for occupants to leave the building. 100% sprinkler systems are installed as per NFPA 13 which require the attic and space between the floors to be sprinkler.

Tuning off the sprinkler system requires by fire code only qualified personnel to do it with notification to the fire department and alarm company monitoring the sprinkler system. Shut sprinkler control valve is the number 1 cause for sprinkler system failure.
I'm referring to a single family tract house, where by code, fire sprinklers were installed upon construction. I was thinking about turning off the main water valve to entire house before the worker enters the attic in order to prevent water from emitting on the sprinkler head should the worker accidentally step on the fire sprinkler.
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DTalos
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Re: Attic Fire Sprinklers

Post by DTalos »

Soon2BXProgrammer wrote: Wed Oct 13, 2021 4:52 pm
TLC1957 wrote: Wed Oct 13, 2021 4:49 pm What is the occupancy you are referring to your home, office? Most attics do not have fire sprinkler system. Homes, 1-4 story apartments or condos are not required to have sprinkler system in the attic, or between the floors. These occupancies are installed to NFPA 13R and are designed to operate long enough for occupants to leave the building. 100% sprinkler systems are installed as per NFPA 13 which require the attic and space between the floors to be sprinkler.

Tuning off the sprinkler system requires by fire code only qualified personnel to do it with notification to the fire department and alarm company monitoring the sprinkler system. Shut sprinkler control valve is the number 1 cause for sprinkler system failure.
Example: In a bunch of new construction single family homes in certain areas in the Seattle region, they all have sprinklers on the ceiling of all rooms.

Yes, that's what I have.
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Re: Attic Fire Sprinklers

Post by adamthesmythe »

DTalos wrote: Wed Oct 13, 2021 4:53 pm prevent water from emitting on the sprinkler head should the worker accidentally step on the fire sprinkler.
I don't see how that could happen. The worker would have to break the glass(?) tube, which is inside the heated space, not in the attic.

Or do you think that the water lines are plastic, and that they could be broken?? Seems pretty unlikely, although if anyone knows this happens, please post.
Californiastate
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Re: Attic Fire Sprinklers

Post by Californiastate »

This is a great case for hiring only licensed and insured contractors.
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Re: Attic Fire Sprinklers

Post by Sandtrap »

In commercial buildings, fire systems are stout. The heads are below the drop clings or living space as previously stated. Short of somehow damaging a head, how is a worker going to cause a leak?
The pipe runs are fairly easy to figure out even with insulation. Just tell the worker to be extremely careful and that they and:or their company will be liable for damages if they break anything.
Do not turn the water off.
Why is a worker going into the attic?

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TLC1957
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Re: Attic Fire Sprinklers

Post by TLC1957 »

The actual fire sprinklers in your home are located at the ceiling level of the room NOT in the attic. The orange sprinkler piping will be in the attic above and along the wood joist. The sprinkler pipe in the attic space by code is required to be supported by the building joists. Give your insurance carrier a call and see what they say. Let me know what they have to say. Just to give you a heads up I worked for Chubb Insurance for 36 years in loss prevention, they will say do not turn off the sprinkler system. :D
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DTalos
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Re: Attic Fire Sprinklers

Post by DTalos »

adamthesmythe wrote: Wed Oct 13, 2021 6:02 pm
DTalos wrote: Wed Oct 13, 2021 4:53 pm prevent water from emitting on the sprinkler head should the worker accidentally step on the fire sprinkler.
I don't see how that could happen. The worker would have to break the glass(?) tube, which is inside the heated space, not in the attic.

Or do you think that the water lines are plastic, and that they could be broken?? Seems pretty unlikely, although if anyone knows this happens, please post.

I have no idea, but I assume there are PVC pipes that connect to the fire sprinklers, which are located in each room on the ceiling. So yes, the actual fire sprinkler emitters are in the attic.
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Re: Attic Fire Sprinklers

Post by receo-vs »

DTalos wrote: Wed Oct 13, 2021 6:22 pm
adamthesmythe wrote: Wed Oct 13, 2021 6:02 pm
DTalos wrote: Wed Oct 13, 2021 4:53 pm prevent water from emitting on the sprinkler head should the worker accidentally step on the fire sprinkler.
I don't see how that could happen. The worker would have to break the glass(?) tube, which is inside the heated space, not in the attic.

Or do you think that the water lines are plastic, and that they could be broken?? Seems pretty unlikely, although if anyone knows this happens, please post.

I have no idea, but I assume there are PVC pipes that connect to the fire sprinklers, which are located in each room on the ceiling. So yes, the actual fire sprinkler emitters are in the attic.
Are you concerned about the CPVC piping on the attic floor being damaged, or the sprinkler heads in the attic being damaged? In other words, when you look up in your attic do you see (probably orange) CPVC pipe and sprinkler heads above your head, or do you just know there’s CPVC pipe below the insulation of the attic floor?
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Re: Attic Fire Sprinklers

Post by adamthesmythe »

DTalos wrote: Wed Oct 13, 2021 6:22 pm
adamthesmythe wrote: Wed Oct 13, 2021 6:02 pm
DTalos wrote: Wed Oct 13, 2021 4:53 pm prevent water from emitting on the sprinkler head should the worker accidentally step on the fire sprinkler.
I don't see how that could happen. The worker would have to break the glass(?) tube, which is inside the heated space, not in the attic.

Or do you think that the water lines are plastic, and that they could be broken?? Seems pretty unlikely, although if anyone knows this happens, please post.

I have no idea, but I assume there are PVC pipes that connect to the fire sprinklers, which are located in each room on the ceiling. So yes, the actual fire sprinkler emitters are in the attic.
I don't think so, unless this is a very unusual (or very wrong) installation.

You should see a star-shaped diffuser in the occupied space, and immediately ABOVE this, still in the occupied space, (and invisible unless you are on a ladder) there will be a small glass tube (mine is filled with a red liquid).

Heat causes the tube to break, and this allows a valve to open, emitting water.
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DTalos
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Re: Attic Fire Sprinklers

Post by DTalos »

receo-vs wrote: Wed Oct 13, 2021 6:31 pm
DTalos wrote: Wed Oct 13, 2021 6:22 pm
adamthesmythe wrote: Wed Oct 13, 2021 6:02 pm
DTalos wrote: Wed Oct 13, 2021 4:53 pm prevent water from emitting on the sprinkler head should the worker accidentally step on the fire sprinkler.
I don't see how that could happen. The worker would have to break the glass(?) tube, which is inside the heated space, not in the attic.

Or do you think that the water lines are plastic, and that they could be broken?? Seems pretty unlikely, although if anyone knows this happens, please post.

I have no idea, but I assume there are PVC pipes that connect to the fire sprinklers, which are located in each room on the ceiling. So yes, the actual fire sprinkler emitters are in the attic.
Are you concerned about the CPVC piping on the attic floor being damaged, or the sprinkler heads in the attic being damaged? In other words, when you look up in your attic do you see (probably orange) CPVC pipe and sprinkler heads above your head, or do you just know there’s CPVC pipe below the insulation of the attic floor?
I am concerned about the sprinkler head accidentally being engaged by a worker in the attic in any manner. I do not know for sure, but there is a good chance the sprinkler heads are connected to CPVC piping.
Waywayafar
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Re: Attic Fire Sprinklers

Post by Waywayafar »

Regardless of reason, anytime you have the fire sprinkler water supply shutoff, please notify your home insurance company you have a fire sprinkler impairment. They will ask for dates/times of the impairment.

This will keep your coverage active during the impairment.
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Re: Attic Fire Sprinklers

Post by receo-vs »

DTalos wrote: Wed Oct 13, 2021 7:32 pm
receo-vs wrote: Wed Oct 13, 2021 6:31 pm
DTalos wrote: Wed Oct 13, 2021 6:22 pm
adamthesmythe wrote: Wed Oct 13, 2021 6:02 pm
DTalos wrote: Wed Oct 13, 2021 4:53 pm prevent water from emitting on the sprinkler head should the worker accidentally step on the fire sprinkler.
I don't see how that could happen. The worker would have to break the glass(?) tube, which is inside the heated space, not in the attic.

Or do you think that the water lines are plastic, and that they could be broken?? Seems pretty unlikely, although if anyone knows this happens, please post.

I have no idea, but I assume there are PVC pipes that connect to the fire sprinklers, which are located in each room on the ceiling. So yes, the actual fire sprinkler emitters are in the attic.
Are you concerned about the CPVC piping on the attic floor being damaged, or the sprinkler heads in the attic being damaged? In other words, when you look up in your attic do you see (probably orange) CPVC pipe and sprinkler heads above your head, or do you just know there’s CPVC pipe below the insulation of the attic floor?
I am concerned about the sprinkler head accidentally being engaged by a worker in the attic in any manner. I do not know for sure, but there is a good chance the sprinkler heads are connected to CPVC piping.
The sprinkler heads will not flow water unless they are activated by heat or the sprinkler heads themself are damaged. The pipes could be damaged, just like any other pipe in your attic, and could possibly leak water as any other water pipe would. The worker would probably have to be below the sprinkler head to somehow damage the sprinkler head to start the flow of water. A more likely scenario is a pipe is damaged in the attic, which would likely result from gross negligence as the pipes and their unions are fairly difficult to damage.
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Re: Attic Fire Sprinklers

Post by TLC1957 »

[/quote]

I am concerned about the sprinkler head accidentally being engaged by a worker in the attic in any manner. I do not know for sure, but there is a good chance the sprinkler heads are connected to CPVC piping.
[/quote]

100% the sprinklers are connected to the CPVC (orange) piping.

What work are you having done and where is it located in regards to the sprinkler?

A few questions for the contractor…

1. have you worked in homes with sprinklers?
2. what precautions are you planning to take should you hit a pipe or sprinkler?
3. what are your insurance limits and verify the amount is adequate for your home.Also call the insurance company and or agent to very the info on coverage and limits on the certificate.
4. if I show you where the sprinkler shut off valve is located will your staff shut off the valve should an incident occur?

A typical sprinkler will discharge 10-15 gallons per minute. In a fire typically only ONE sprinkler will activate NOT all of them. They will activate quickly with a pattern very close to the ceiling. A fire starting in your bed will set off the sprinkler and control or extinguish before you die of smoke inhalation, yea they are that good of a life safety device.
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Re: Attic Fire Sprinklers

Post by FrugalInvestor »

DTalos wrote: Wed Oct 13, 2021 6:22 pm
adamthesmythe wrote: Wed Oct 13, 2021 6:02 pm
DTalos wrote: Wed Oct 13, 2021 4:53 pm prevent water from emitting on the sprinkler head should the worker accidentally step on the fire sprinkler.
I don't see how that could happen. The worker would have to break the glass(?) tube, which is inside the heated space, not in the attic.

Or do you think that the water lines are plastic, and that they could be broken?? Seems pretty unlikely, although if anyone knows this happens, please post.

I have no idea, but I assume there are PVC pipes that connect to the fire sprinklers, which are located in each room on the ceiling. So yes, the actual fire sprinkler emitters are in the attic.
My PVC fire system pipes are in the attic attached to the bottom chords of the trusses. My 'emitters' are the heads that protrude downward through the ceiling drywall....so in the room below, not in the attic. The emitters are activated by heat when the solder melts and allows water to flow. Only the heads that get hot enough to melt the solder will flow. It you had a leak it would likely be in a cracked pipe or pipe fitting (connector), not a head (emitter).

I suppose it's possible (but not likely) that a pipe could be damaged by a careless worker. I would alert the worker to the presence of orange sprinkler pipes in the attic and ask them to be very careful not to step on or damage any piping. You may also want to be around and ready to shut the system down in case a leak did appear.

In my house I'm much more concerned about a leak cropping up when I'm gone for an extended period of time. If I'm around it's likely that I'll notice any leak long before any significant damage is done.
Have a plan, stay the course and simplify. Then ignore the noise!
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Re: Attic Fire Sprinklers

Post by DTalos »

FrugalInvestor wrote: Wed Oct 13, 2021 9:21 pm
DTalos wrote: Wed Oct 13, 2021 6:22 pm
adamthesmythe wrote: Wed Oct 13, 2021 6:02 pm
DTalos wrote: Wed Oct 13, 2021 4:53 pm prevent water from emitting on the sprinkler head should the worker accidentally step on the fire sprinkler.
I don't see how that could happen. The worker would have to break the glass(?) tube, which is inside the heated space, not in the attic.

Or do you think that the water lines are plastic, and that they could be broken?? Seems pretty unlikely, although if anyone knows this happens, please post.

I have no idea, but I assume there are PVC pipes that connect to the fire sprinklers, which are located in each room on the ceiling. So yes, the actual fire sprinkler emitters are in the attic.
My PVC fire system pipes are in the attic attached to the bottom chords of the trusses. My 'emitters' are the heads that protrude downward through the ceiling drywall....so in the room below, not in the attic. The emitters are activated by heat when the solder melts and allows water to flow. Only the heads that get hot enough to melt the solder will flow. It you had a leak it would likely be in a cracked pipe or pipe fitting (connector), not a head (emitter).

I suppose it's possible (but not likely) that a pipe could be damaged by a careless worker. I would alert the worker to the presence of orange sprinkler pipes in the attic and ask them to be very careful not to step on or damage any piping. You may also want to be around and ready to shut the system down in case a leak did appear.

In my house I'm much more concerned about a leak cropping up when I'm gone for an extended period of time. If I'm around it's likely that I'll notice any leak long before any significant damage is done.

I believe my system is what you described.

I also don't know if the blow-in insulation in covering the orange piping or not.

I am asking these questions because a roofer wants to go into the attic to find the source of a roof leak. Is it possible the roofer can find the source without going into the attic?
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Re: Attic Fire Sprinklers

Post by FrugalInvestor »

DTalos wrote: Thu Oct 14, 2021 7:49 pm I am asking these questions because a roofer wants to go into the attic to find the source of a roof leak. Is it possible the roofer can find the source without going into the attic?
Unlikely. I suppose the roofer could just do a complete re-roof, but you probably wouldn't want to pay for that and there is still an outside chance that the leak isn't in the roofing itself. Leaking water can travel along roof structure materials for long distances before entering your home. Often the only way to trace it is to get up in the attic and look.
Have a plan, stay the course and simplify. Then ignore the noise!
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Re: Attic Fire Sprinklers

Post by DTalos »

FrugalInvestor wrote: Thu Oct 14, 2021 7:58 pm
DTalos wrote: Thu Oct 14, 2021 7:49 pm I am asking these questions because a roofer wants to go into the attic to find the source of a roof leak. Is it possible the roofer can find the source without going into the attic?
Unlikely. I suppose the roofer could just do a complete re-roof, but you probably wouldn't want to pay for that and there is still an outside chance that the leak isn't in the roofing itself. Leaking water can travel along roof structure materials for long distances before entering your home. Often the only way to trace it is to get up in the attic and look.

Why spend $20,000 on a re-roof vs a whole lot less to fix a very minor leak that happened when it rained? Doesn't seem very frugal to me to do that.
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Re: Attic Fire Sprinklers

Post by FrugalInvestor »

DTalos wrote: Fri Oct 15, 2021 12:45 am
FrugalInvestor wrote: Thu Oct 14, 2021 7:58 pm
DTalos wrote: Thu Oct 14, 2021 7:49 pm I am asking these questions because a roofer wants to go into the attic to find the source of a roof leak. Is it possible the roofer can find the source without going into the attic?
Unlikely. I suppose the roofer could just do a complete re-roof, but you probably wouldn't want to pay for that and there is still an outside chance that the leak isn't in the roofing itself. Leaking water can travel along roof structure materials for long distances before entering your home. Often the only way to trace it is to get up in the attic and look.

Why spend $20,000 on a re-roof vs a whole lot less to fix a very minor leak that happened when it rained? Doesn't seem very frugal to me to do that.
I wasn't advocating a re-roof. Just pointing out that if you don't allow the roofer in your attic to look for the leak it is unlikely that they would be able to locate the source. In other words, I think it's unrealistic to expect the source of the problem to be located without someone going into the attic and looking. They've apparently visually inspected the top surface of the roof and the interior damage and need to look further.
Have a plan, stay the course and simplify. Then ignore the noise!
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Re: Attic Fire Sprinklers

Post by DTalos »

FrugalInvestor wrote: Fri Oct 15, 2021 8:16 am
DTalos wrote: Fri Oct 15, 2021 12:45 am
FrugalInvestor wrote: Thu Oct 14, 2021 7:58 pm
DTalos wrote: Thu Oct 14, 2021 7:49 pm I am asking these questions because a roofer wants to go into the attic to find the source of a roof leak. Is it possible the roofer can find the source without going into the attic?
Unlikely. I suppose the roofer could just do a complete re-roof, but you probably wouldn't want to pay for that and there is still an outside chance that the leak isn't in the roofing itself. Leaking water can travel along roof structure materials for long distances before entering your home. Often the only way to trace it is to get up in the attic and look.

Why spend $20,000 on a re-roof vs a whole lot less to fix a very minor leak that happened when it rained? Doesn't seem very frugal to me to do that.
I wasn't advocating a re-roof. Just pointing out that if you don't allow the roofer in your attic to look for the leak it is unlikely that they would be able to locate the source. In other words, I think it's unrealistic to expect the source of the problem to be located without someone going into the attic and looking. They've apparently visually inspected the top surface of the roof and the interior damage and need to look further.

No one has been here yet to do an inspection. Since the leak is in a bedroom, why can I stand under the leak and communicate with the roofer through the window and tell him how many feet from where he is standing the leak is?
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Re: Attic Fire Sprinklers

Post by FrugalInvestor »

DTalos wrote: Fri Oct 15, 2021 1:23 pm
FrugalInvestor wrote: Fri Oct 15, 2021 8:16 am
DTalos wrote: Fri Oct 15, 2021 12:45 am
FrugalInvestor wrote: Thu Oct 14, 2021 7:58 pm
DTalos wrote: Thu Oct 14, 2021 7:49 pm I am asking these questions because a roofer wants to go into the attic to find the source of a roof leak. Is it possible the roofer can find the source without going into the attic?
Unlikely. I suppose the roofer could just do a complete re-roof, but you probably wouldn't want to pay for that and there is still an outside chance that the leak isn't in the roofing itself. Leaking water can travel along roof structure materials for long distances before entering your home. Often the only way to trace it is to get up in the attic and look.

Why spend $20,000 on a re-roof vs a whole lot less to fix a very minor leak that happened when it rained? Doesn't seem very frugal to me to do that.
I wasn't advocating a re-roof. Just pointing out that if you don't allow the roofer in your attic to look for the leak it is unlikely that they would be able to locate the source. In other words, I think it's unrealistic to expect the source of the problem to be located without someone going into the attic and looking. They've apparently visually inspected the top surface of the roof and the interior damage and need to look further.

No one has been here yet to do an inspection. Since the leak is in a bedroom, why can I stand under the leak and communicate with the roofer through the window and tell him how many feet from where he is standing the leak is?
You can try that, but leaks often don't just drip straight down. The water often runs down the sheathing, the trusses and other framing members and materials before ending up at the location you see in on your ceiling. The only way you know for certain where it's coming from is to start from the area on the ceiling that you see it and trace it backward to the source of the leak. Try it your way and maybe you'll get lucky but otherwise somebody is going to have to go into the attic.
Have a plan, stay the course and simplify. Then ignore the noise!
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Re: Attic Fire Sprinklers

Post by TomatoTomahto »

DTalos wrote: Fri Oct 15, 2021 1:23 pm Since the leak is in a bedroom, why can I stand under the leak and communicate with the roofer through the window and tell him how many feet from where he is standing the leak is?
Heck, he can measure too, but it probably won’t help much. At one time, we had 17 separate leaks in our house. They have all been addressed. I’m not religious, but water is the devil. Where the water entered and where it displayed itself was often an enigma.
I get the FI part but not the RE part of FIRE.
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DTalos
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Re: Attic Fire Sprinklers

Post by DTalos »

TomatoTomahto wrote: Fri Oct 15, 2021 2:55 pm
DTalos wrote: Fri Oct 15, 2021 1:23 pm Since the leak is in a bedroom, why can I stand under the leak and communicate with the roofer through the window and tell him how many feet from where he is standing the leak is?
Heck, he can measure too, but it probably won’t help much. At one time, we had 17 separate leaks in our house. They have all been addressed. I’m not religious, but water is the devil. Where the water entered and where it displayed itself was often an enigma.
If it hasn't rained in three weeks, how is a roofer going to determine the source of a leak in the attic? Things dry up fast where I live.
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Re: Attic Fire Sprinklers

Post by TomatoTomahto »

DTalos wrote: Fri Oct 15, 2021 3:24 pm If it hasn't rained in three weeks, how is a roofer going to determine the source of a leak in the attic? Things dry up fast where I live.
My roofers use a hose.
I get the FI part but not the RE part of FIRE.
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Re: Attic Fire Sprinklers

Post by DTalos »

TomatoTomahto wrote: Fri Oct 15, 2021 3:30 pm
DTalos wrote: Fri Oct 15, 2021 3:24 pm If it hasn't rained in three weeks, how is a roofer going to determine the source of a leak in the attic? Things dry up fast where I live.
My roofers use a hose.
Must be a very long hose! I assume the roofer then enters the attic after spraying the roof with the hose, or can the roofer see where water is entering from the roof?
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Re: Attic Fire Sprinklers

Post by TomatoTomahto »

DTalos wrote: Fri Oct 15, 2021 3:38 pm
TomatoTomahto wrote: Fri Oct 15, 2021 3:30 pm
DTalos wrote: Fri Oct 15, 2021 3:24 pm If it hasn't rained in three weeks, how is a roofer going to determine the source of a leak in the attic? Things dry up fast where I live.
My roofers use a hose.
Must be a very long hose! I assume the roofer then enters the attic after spraying the roof with the hose, or can the roofer see where water is entering from the roof?
We do have all sorts of hoses here, but depending where we are looking for a leak, the hoses can reach if they position themselves well. The only time it was a problem was one leak that seemed to be fine unless it was intense rain driven by strong winds from a particular direction. That leak too us, no exaggeration, over a year to solve.

The roofers work in pairs and communicate, when necessary, by cell phone (ie, not in shouting distance).

We don’t have an attic so things might be different with attic leaks, but I don’t know why it would be. We had multiple leaks on our cathedral ceiling that were because of the rubber roof meeting the slate roof with flawed flashing. Other leaks were from water intrusion from neglected repointing. We also had to replace a custom gutter. Our house has metal roofing (standing seam and soldered), rubber roofing, and slate roofing. It has been quite a project, but I hope we are set for a decade or two. Like I said, water is the devil.
I get the FI part but not the RE part of FIRE.
Topic Author
DTalos
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Re: Attic Fire Sprinklers

Post by DTalos »

Would turning off the main water supply to the house be of any benefit if the roofer accidentally steps on and damages a fire sprinkler pipe in the attic? I am thinking not, because I assume that once water is turned back on then, water would leak out of the pipes correct?
FI4LIFE
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Re: Attic Fire Sprinklers

Post by FI4LIFE »

You are drastically overthinking this. I fail to see how the roofer is going to damage your sprinkler piping as he is not actually doing any work in the attic. Just inspecting. While it's likely your leak is right above where you're seeing it in the bedroom, it's possible that water is travelling down rafters etc. Just tell him or her to be careful and allow them to do their job.
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Tubes
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Re: Attic Fire Sprinklers

Post by Tubes »

FI4LIFE wrote: Sun Oct 17, 2021 11:02 am You are drastically overthinking this. I fail to see how the roofer is going to damage your sprinkler piping as he is not actually doing any work in the attic. Just inspecting. While it's likely your leak is right above where you're seeing it in the bedroom, it's possible that water is travelling down rafters etc. Just tell him or her to be careful and allow them to do their job.
+1

Attics are dangerous places to work. Stepping on a sprinkler pipe is just one of many possible scenarios to keep you up. The others may require you to have an ambulance on standby. For example, stepping on a romex wire strung between joists, pulling it out, and having it contact a metal HVAC vent causing an electrocution hazard. Or maybe the old standby: missing a joist and stepping on the drywall, causing the worker to blow out the ceiling and fall between the joists. On the way down, his or her leg contacts an exposed 16d nail and rips a 1 foot long, 1/4" deep gash in their leg.

I could come up with all kinds of problems working in an attic can cause.

Don't overthink it. Give them space, be prepared for problems, check on them to make sure they are OK if up there too long. Etc. Most workers are very aware of the hazards and take care.

P.S. I was a cocky young man once working in my own attic. I got overheated, got a cramp, and stepped on the drywall causing a blowout. It was a "fascinating experience."
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DTalos
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Re: Attic Fire Sprinklers

Post by DTalos »

Tubes wrote: Sun Oct 17, 2021 11:10 am
FI4LIFE wrote: Sun Oct 17, 2021 11:02 am You are drastically overthinking this. I fail to see how the roofer is going to damage your sprinkler piping as he is not actually doing any work in the attic. Just inspecting. While it's likely your leak is right above where you're seeing it in the bedroom, it's possible that water is travelling down rafters etc. Just tell him or her to be careful and allow them to do their job.
+1

Attics are dangerous places to work. Stepping on a sprinkler pipe is just one of many possible scenarios to keep you up. The others may require you to have an ambulance on standby. For example, stepping on a romex wire strung between joists, pulling it out, and having it contact a metal HVAC vent causing an electrocution hazard. Or maybe the old standby: missing a joist and stepping on the drywall, causing the worker to blow out the ceiling and fall between the joists. On the way down, his or her leg contacts an exposed 16d nail and rips a 1 foot long, 1/4" deep gash in their leg.

I could come up with all kinds of problems working in an attic can cause.

Don't overthink it. Give them space, be prepared for problems, check on them to make sure they are OK if up there too long. Etc. Most workers are very aware of the hazards and take care.

P.S. I was a cocky young man once working in my own attic. I got overheated, got a cramp, and stepped on the drywall causing a blowout. It was a "fascinating experience."

You gave me a lot to be concerned about LOL.

Can most roofers jump 3 feet into an attic from a 6 ft ladder?
RetiredAL
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Re: Attic Fire Sprinklers

Post by RetiredAL »

Tubes wrote: Sun Oct 17, 2021 11:10 am
P.S. I was a cocky young man once working in my own attic. I got overheated, got a cramp, and stepped on the drywall causing a blowout. It was a "fascinating experience."
Similar experience, but my Dad (below) then grabbed my foot and would not let me pull it up, for several seconds.
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Tubes
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Re: Attic Fire Sprinklers

Post by Tubes »

RetiredAL wrote: Sun Oct 17, 2021 3:05 pm
Tubes wrote: Sun Oct 17, 2021 11:10 am
P.S. I was a cocky young man once working in my own attic. I got overheated, got a cramp, and stepped on the drywall causing a blowout. It was a "fascinating experience."
Similar experience, but my Dad (below) then grabbed my foot and would not let me pull it up, for several seconds.
:D

Luckily, I didn't fall all the way through. I know people who have, or guys who have gotten "straddled." None of it is fun.

In my case, it resulted in a 5 year project of me scraping the popcorn off of every square inch of ceiling in the house. I was never happy with my popcorn patch -- which was actually pretty good -- so I ended up scraping the ceiling. I liked the result so much, I spent the next few years of spare time scraping every other room.
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Re: Attic Fire Sprinklers

Post by adamthesmythe »

DTalos wrote: Sun Oct 17, 2021 2:48 pm Can most roofers jump 3 feet into an attic from a 6 ft ladder?
1. Most roofers I have seen are well past their jumping days.

2. Maybe a rock-climbing move, but most of the roofers I have seen are also past their rock-climbing days.

3. Why limit to a 6 foot ladder? They come in larger sizes.
DoubleComma
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Re: Attic Fire Sprinklers

Post by DoubleComma »

OP - you are way overthinking this, and honestly challenging a lot of anonymous strangers here about how a roofer can do his job. If you have a leak you need a roofer. If the roofer needs access to the attic, that is what it is. If you hire a professional roofer, with a bond and insurance, you can assume they know how to navigate the inside of your attic. If he make a mistake and breaks a pressurized PVC pipe that is why both you and he have insurance. The insurance companies get to figure it out. Also, you idea of shutting off the supply to the sprinklers (or house main) wouldn't be my choice. If something breaks I would want to know immediately, not several hours (or days) after someone leaves.
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DTalos
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Re: Attic Fire Sprinklers

Post by DTalos »

DoubleComma wrote: Sun Oct 17, 2021 5:51 pm OP - you are way overthinking this, and honestly challenging a lot of anonymous strangers here about how a roofer can do his job. If you have a leak you need a roofer. If the roofer needs access to the attic, that is what it is. If you hire a professional roofer, with a bond and insurance, you can assume they know how to navigate the inside of your attic. If he make a mistake and breaks a pressurized PVC pipe that is why both you and he have insurance. The insurance companies get to figure it out. Also, you idea of shutting off the supply to the sprinklers (or house main) wouldn't be my choice. If something breaks I would want to know immediately, not several hours (or days) after someone leaves.
I disagree and think I have valid concerns. I know people who have had attic sprinkler pipes broken by workers. Who wants a flooded house? I think it is acceptable to ask how roofers find leaks in houses with no attics or in houses with attics if it has not rained in weeks.

I am also willing to accept having a roofer enter the attic if that is the only way to find the source of a leak.
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DTalos
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Re: Attic Fire Sprinklers

Post by DTalos »

adamthesmythe wrote: Sun Oct 17, 2021 3:59 pm
DTalos wrote: Sun Oct 17, 2021 2:48 pm Can most roofers jump 3 feet into an attic from a 6 ft ladder?
1. Most roofers I have seen are well past their jumping days.

2. Maybe a rock-climbing move, but most of the roofers I have seen are also past their rock-climbing days.

3. Why limit to a 6 foot ladder? They come in larger sizes.
A larger non retractable ladder will not fit into the space where the attic opening is located.
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Tubes
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Re: Attic Fire Sprinklers

Post by Tubes »

I use a telescoping ladder to reach my attic. Best purchase I've recently made.

You can be kind and just have a quick discussion with the roofer before going up there. You don't have to tell them how to do their job while still alerting them to possible dangers, clutter of utilities, etc. Not every roofer has seen residential fire suppression systems. A simple discussion like: "Hey, just wanted to let you know my attic has a lot of extra plastic piping in it due to a fire suppression system. Be careful up there!"
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Re: Attic Fire Sprinklers

Post by Shallowpockets »

DoubleComma wrote: Sun Oct 17, 2021 5:51 pm OP - you are way overthinking this, and honestly challenging a lot of anonymous strangers here about how a roofer can do his job. If you have a leak you need a roofer. If the roofer needs access to the attic, that is what it is. If you hire a professional roofer, with a bond and insurance, you can assume they know how to navigate the inside of your attic. If he make a mistake and breaks a pressurized PVC pipe that is why both you and he have insurance. The insurance companies get to figure it out. Also, you idea of shutting off the supply to the sprinklers (or house main) wouldn't be my choice. If something breaks I would want to know immediately, not several hours (or days) after someone leaves.
+1 here.An earlier post noted this also.

Seems to be a theme on BHs, overthinking. Every nuance of every thing. Every percent of a percent on everything. Every what if on every thing. Parsing down to the point of paralysis.
DoubleComma
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Re: Attic Fire Sprinklers

Post by DoubleComma »

DTalos wrote: Mon Oct 18, 2021 2:25 am
DoubleComma wrote: Sun Oct 17, 2021 5:51 pm OP - you are way overthinking this, and honestly challenging a lot of anonymous strangers here about how a roofer can do his job. If you have a leak you need a roofer. If the roofer needs access to the attic, that is what it is. If you hire a professional roofer, with a bond and insurance, you can assume they know how to navigate the inside of your attic. If he make a mistake and breaks a pressurized PVC pipe that is why both you and he have insurance. The insurance companies get to figure it out. Also, you idea of shutting off the supply to the sprinklers (or house main) wouldn't be my choice. If something breaks I would want to know immediately, not several hours (or days) after someone leaves.
I disagree and think I have valid concerns. I know people who have had attic sprinkler pipes broken by workers. Who wants a flooded house? I think it is acceptable to ask how roofers find leaks in houses with no attics or in houses with attics if it has not rained in weeks.

I am also willing to accept having a roofer enter the attic if that is the only way to find the source of a leak.
I’m confused, you know people who have had fire sprinkler pipes broken or you have heard anecdotally as say in your original post….

“I have heard anecdotally that a worker in an attic can engage a fire sprinkler to operate by stepping on it or the pipe that attaches to it. Is this true?”

I still think you need to hire a professional and trust them to do their job. I too wouldn’t want a handyman type running around the attic, but I would trust a professional who has specialized in this trade for years.
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DTalos
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Re: Attic Fire Sprinklers

Post by DTalos »

DoubleComma wrote: Mon Oct 18, 2021 9:26 am
DTalos wrote: Mon Oct 18, 2021 2:25 am
DoubleComma wrote: Sun Oct 17, 2021 5:51 pm OP - you are way overthinking this, and honestly challenging a lot of anonymous strangers here about how a roofer can do his job. If you have a leak you need a roofer. If the roofer needs access to the attic, that is what it is. If you hire a professional roofer, with a bond and insurance, you can assume they know how to navigate the inside of your attic. If he make a mistake and breaks a pressurized PVC pipe that is why both you and he have insurance. The insurance companies get to figure it out. Also, you idea of shutting off the supply to the sprinklers (or house main) wouldn't be my choice. If something breaks I would want to know immediately, not several hours (or days) after someone leaves.
I disagree and think I have valid concerns. I know people who have had attic sprinkler pipes broken by workers. Who wants a flooded house? I think it is acceptable to ask how roofers find leaks in houses with no attics or in houses with attics if it has not rained in weeks.

I am also willing to accept having a roofer enter the attic if that is the only way to find the source of a leak.
I’m confused, you know people who have had fire sprinkler pipes broken or you have heard anecdotally as say in your original post….

“I have heard anecdotally that a worker in an attic can engage a fire sprinkler to operate by stepping on it or the pipe that attaches to it. Is this true?”

I still think you need to hire a professional and trust them to do their job. I too wouldn’t want a handyman type running around the attic, but I would trust a professional who has specialized in this trade for years.

One neighbor personally told me it happened to them (worker accidentally stepping on fire sprinkler) and then with the other person I overheard them from my house with the window open talking to someone saying it happened to them. They suggested turning the water off before worker enters attic.
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Re: Attic Fire Sprinklers

Post by suemarkp »

I think that is a bad idea. If they crack or break a pipe, you want to know while they are there so they cover your repairs. If you turn the water back on after they go, it may be too late if you discover a leak.

Just warn the guy you have sprinkler pipes in the attic. Some may not know better. Are you in a warm climate? I would think attic water pipes would freeze in much of the country.

I know of only one person in the seattle area with house sprinklers. It is because they live at the top of a steep cul-de-sac and the fire trucks cant get up it if the roads are icy. We can get below 20F here so i would think they are mounted low and under a lot of insulation.
Mark | Somewhere in WA State
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