5-Year Sprinkler Obstruction Investigation Service - New York City
5-Year Sprinkler Obstruction Investigation Service

What is the 5-Year Internal Piping Condition and Obstruction Inspection?

The 5-year fire sprinkler inspection is an NFPA mandated inspection examining the insides of your fire sprinklers’ piping. The examination must be carried out a minimum of every 5 years.

  • Its Purpose: the purpose of the inspection is to ensure there are no blockages in the piping that would hinder the effective and free flow of water through the piping when needed in the event of a fire.
  • What it Identifies: the inspection will search for and be able to identify a variety of internal obstructions or problems developing within the piping, including:
    • MIC (microbiologically influenced corrosion)
    • Rust
    • Slime
    • Other foreign organic or inorganic materials
  • What it Entails: the inspection will first include an initial assessment. The initial assessment will include opening the flushing connection at one of the main ends and removing a sprinkler tower from one end of a branch line.

If sufficient foreign organic or inorganic material is discovered to be obstructing the pipe or sprinklers, then there will be a more comprehensive obstruction investigation.

The obstruction investigation will take place at a minimum of four points in the fire sprinkler system:

    • System valve
    • Riser
    • Cross main
    • Branch line

If obstructions are found, a complete flushing program will be conducted to remove all foreign materials from the piping.

Why Is It Important?

Even over a relatively short period of time and even in new fire sprinkler pipes installed in a newer structure, sludge and build up can occur surprisingly quickly.

When these obstructions develop, they diminish or even prevent the flow of the life- and property-saving water through your fire sprinklers in the event of a fire. Keeping your fire sprinkler piping up to code by adhering to the 5-year internal inspection will mean ensuring that both your property, your employees and your customers are safe.



Inspection vs. Investigation

Chapter 14 of NFPA 25 describes two distinctly different activities relating to obstructions in sprinkler systems.

An obstruction inspection is required at 5 year intervals and is intended to be very minimal to avoid lengthy system outages. It should be conducted at the same time as the required 5 year interior inspection of control valves, alarms valves, dry valves, etc. Inspection are intended to reveal potential problems that would require a more thorough investigation procedure.

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