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Steam Pipe Coils and Sprinkler Heads

ttekushanttekushan Member Posts: 901
I was wondering what the thoughts are on the proximity of these sprinkler heads and this (lovely) steam pipe coil.

The mid-1950's Yorkair / Barber-Colman a/c climate control system with the (now freeze damaged) steam reheat coil in it failed in every possible way over a decade ago (let alone that the water towers rotted out). Regardless, the drop ceiling has come out as has most of the ductwork associated with the forced air system. The unit takes a lot of floor space and will be removed as well (as most of the others have been). The original factory timber ceilings will be exposed again.

This is one of three spaces in the building that is a little short on perimeter steam fin tube and/or cast iron radiation due to the existence of these ceiling pipe coils, and wes disconnected as the space was served by the few of these HVAC units that did a little more than merely temper the make-up air with the steam coil.

No one has any idea if the pipe coil co-operated with the sprinkler system as it stands today. Everything up there shows the same pre-drop ceiling / pre HVAC paint job, yet the pipe plugs on both ends of the pipe coil, supply and return connections are unpainted and don't look very old.

Should the temp range on the heads immediately surrounding the coil be upped? 175? 200? I'm thinking going up to 250° is overkill.

I thank you for any input anyone might have on this one.


  • unclejohnunclejohn Member Posts: 902
    I think

    You should pose that question of what temp to go up too to the Fire Marshal. Also I think thats the first time I used the word to or too more then two times in a sentence. 
  • Dan HolohanDan Holohan Moderator Posts: 11,877
    Air temp?

    I can't imagine the air getting so hot as to set those off.
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  • Paul48Paul48 Member Posts: 4,240
    edited February 2013

    I read is, it should be intermediate-temperature, yellow or green 175 or 200*. I think that monster could pass for a main, and Federal says 1 ft to the side or 30" above.Now, every state also has their own guidelines also.The Fire Marshall may be the best source. God forbid, something happened, and they needed a goat.Are you even legal to work on it? Just askin....I have no clue.
  • ttekushanttekushan Member Posts: 901
    good idea.

    I think the Fire Marshal is a good idea. And I wouldn't get too too upset about using two to's in one sentence. Caesar used only one (et tu?) and it got him assassinated!
  • ttekushanttekushan Member Posts: 901
    edited February 2013
    Dan, I was thinking about the air temperature myself when I first considered it,

    but the photo is misleading. I think the sprinkler head is only about 14" away from the coil.

    This is the kind of thing that keeps me awake at night. As a matter of fact, this potential problem woke me up the night after I told the building owner that we could hook the coil back up again on a motorized zone valve.

    So I put the coil on hold until we have a definitive answer.

    I hate it when I have to say, "Sure, blame the guy who. . ." when something happens as a consequence of what I have done, you know, like buttering the kitchen floor or melting the snow on the porch steps with boiling water (when it's 20° outside).

  • Paul48Paul48 Member Posts: 4,240

    I think in some states, you have to be certified to work on sprinkler systems. From my standpoint, I'd rather let someone else shoulder that resposibility anyway.
  • ttekushanttekushan Member Posts: 901
    I have no intention of touching a sprinkler system

    with a 10 foot pole!

    I just want to educate myself a little on this one before the experts come in who want the owner to replace the whole sprinkler system or something. Where I live, it is best to a least be somewhat familiar with the probable answers to a question before calling someone in.

    I'm a steam guy, and have dedicated myself to "best practices" in steam work but not "most expense practices." I go to bat for my clients to protect them from charlatans and gougers. I always look things up first, and this is why you don't see me pestering the "Wall" with a zillion questions, if ever. But this one threw me a little, since it is not a common question.

    So thanks for your input, but gosh I feel strange having to defend myself and my professionalism.

    So off to the fire marshal I go. Unless this guy comes in to answer the question:
  • Paul48Paul48 Member Posts: 4,240
    Sorry Terry

    I wasn't assaulting you or your professionalism.My motives were merely to give you a heads-up. I don't know, what you don't know...ya know?
  • ttekushanttekushan Member Posts: 901
    Boy, that 2nd extra cup of coffee

    made more jumpy than usual today. Sorry for being quite so defensive!

    And it's a good heads-up. I would have advised the same. There's so much liability today even when things don't go badly wrong. A little unplanned flooding? EEK.

    Seems the only guys who get away with it are the ones who patch in their water heater gas lines with a garden hose!

    Thanks again for your input, Paul!
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