Residential Fire Sprinkler: Bad Leak

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SailorMan

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I've got an emergency leak problem with the residential fire sprinkler system in my house (Dupont,WA). The leak is coming from the fitting that the sprinkler head screws into (I removed the sprinkler head, replaced it with a capped nipple and I can see where the water is coming from). I've attached a photo of what the fitting in the ceiling looks like. The system uses this big (1-1/4"?) Orange PVC pipe. But whenever there' a sprinkler head there's a brass fitting in the Orange PVC. The sprinkler head (male) screws into the female of this brass fitting. What I'm trying to figure out is whether this brass socket is one-piece with the PVC ...or if it's just a screwed-in thread-size reducer. (see attached photo)

I've tried unscrewing it but it doesn't want to unscrew easily and I don't want to force it.

Is anyone familiar with this?

[EDIT]: I have attched another image showing the kind of "Adapter" in my ceiling. What I'm trying to figure out is if the Brass Reducer is removable/replaceable (without cutting and replacing the whole pvc fitting). And does anyone know if there's anyone in the Tacoma area who sells these CPVC parts/fittings? The CPVC piping is 1".

Thanks for any help. (This is an emergency situation)

Patrick

SprinklerFitting.jpg
HeadAdapter.png
 
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Breplum

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I am not a sprinkler contractor but have been around those jobs.
Yes, it probably is BlazeMaster. Those adapters are factory assemblies.
It is BlazeMaster CPVC so assume you'd have to have new fitting installed. Or buy a lot of stuff you don't need, like cutting tool, beveling tool, pipe and a coupling or more...
 

SailorMan

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I've completed this fix.

HERE'S WHAT THE PROBLEM WAS:
A hairline crack had developed in the Brass Insert in the Sprinkler Head Adapter. If you look carefully at the original photo I posted, you can see this crack on the left hand side (at the "9-o'clock" position). There are two characteristics to note about this hairline crack. FIRST: as we all know Brass is a very malleable metal; it's not a brittle metal in which hairline cracks might be expected. SECOND: As you might notice from the photo, the crack is not jagged; it is a very straight line - indicating that the part was probably cast in two halves and that there was a manufacturing defect in the joint between the two halves that failed.

This house was built about 25 years ago. This fail happened completely randomly; I didn't do anything that could have disturbed that pipe or sprinkler in any way. It seems likely that when the sprinkler head was originally installed, it was just screwed-in a bit too tightly. However the wall of the brass insert is quite thick - it's nearly 1/8" thick - so the split is not the result of the insert having a thin wall; it is obviously the result of a sub-standard manufacturing process.

FINDING THE PARTS:
I was not able to find the parts for this sprinkler system anywhere in the Puget Sound area (specifically, the "Sprinkler Head Adapter"). I ultimately found a vendor in Louisville Kentucky and had them overnighted to me.

If anyone reading this forum has seen a brass part (like this insert) fail in this way before, I'd like to hear about it.
 

Tuttles Revenge

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I rarely see brass fittings fail, but when I do, they almost always are a result of over tightening. In my very limited involvement in installing fire sprinkler systems in commercial buildings it was very prevalent for installers to have the mentality that all the heads MUST line up. Which meant in some cases, tightening past where the fitting was already tight enough.

And as an aside but related to fire sprinklers.. we're starting a project where the fire sprinkler system wasn't designed properly (according to the homeowner) to work with his well and the water ran out and his house burned up.. Will be interesting to see what they come up with as a fix or if it was designed to just slow the spread of fire (as I assume that is how it works)
 
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