Wet Pipe Vs Dry Pipe Fire Sprinklers

April 14, 2021
wet pipe and dry pipe fire sprinklers comparison

When it comes to ensuring the safety of your employees, having the right fire alarm panel and fire sprinkler system installed is vital. Most businesses retain a commercial property, and the responsibility of managing a building comes with protecting the people within should there be a fire emergency.

There are two main types of fire sprinkler systems to choose from, wet pipe and dry pipe fire sprinklers, and understanding the difference between them will help you make the best choice for you and your employees, depending on your requirements.

Pros of wet pipe sprinklers

Wet pipe sprinkler systems are highly effective, as their sprinkler heads are connected to pressurised water pipes which releases the liquid when smoke is detected. This fast reaction time is a major positive of installing a wet pipe sprinkler. This traditional form of sprinkler is straightforward to install and maintain, making it a popular choice, and the highly effective results make it a truly reliable fire sprinkler system when it comes to protecting lives.

Cons of wet pipe sprinklers

While the immediate fire fighting results of wet pipe sprinklers are impressive, the reality is these fire sprinkler systems are not suitable for every commercial property. Because they operate through storing water in their pipes until needed, they will not work in any environment where the temperature falls below 4⁰C. Another possible negative is its potential for causing damage; retaining all this water means there is a risk of a leaky pipe, which can cause significant damage to a building in the right (or wrong) circumstances.

Pros of dry pipe sprinklers 

Choosing a dry pipe sprinkler is a great choice for any space where temperatures might drop beflow 4⁰C, as with no water being stored in the pipes there is no risk of it freezing up and breaking down. Dry pipe sprinklers work by having sprinkler heads connected to pipes full of nitrogen or pressurised air, and should a blaze be detected the pressure drops allowing water to flow through and out onto the fire. This controlled nature makes these a perfect addition to a fire alarm panel for any business that has sensitive equipment or temperature controlled environments, as it greatly reduces the risk of damage to your property.

Cons of dry pipe sprinklers

While there are many types of commercial properties that would benefit greatly from a dry pipe sprinkler, such as warehouses and parking garages, this fire sprinkler system does have it’s negatives. The most important one is that there is a short delay in water release due to the pressurised air in the pipes that connect to the sprinkler heads, meaning the fire or potential blaze can get a head start. Because of the increased complexity in design of these sprinklers, there is also higher installation and maintenance costs associated with dry pipe fire sprinkler systems that are not suitable for every type of business.

Keep your business safe with Fire Safe ANZ

Keep your company and commercial properties safe with information from Fire Safe ANZ. We offer detailed fire safety directions, as well as information on the best fire alarm panels and fire sprinkler systems for your requirements. For more information or to learn about our fire safety technicians in your area, contact us today.


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