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Customer Training Part Two: The Fundamentals of Drum Drip Maintenance

Just between us, are you up on your drip drum maintenance schedule? If not, it’s not too late to get on a set schedule for preventive maintenance, so you can avoid catastrophic system failure in the event of freezing. Just follow our tips and you’ll be drip drum maintenance expert in no time! Or if you’d prefer a quick training session from one of our certified sprinkler experts, give us a shout and we’ll set up a training time for your team!

 

First things first- what the heck is a drip drum?

Before learning how to properly maintain your building’s drip drum, it’s probably a good idea to know what they are, where they are located, and what they do. Your dry sprinkler system contains auxiliary drains and low points for water that has entered the system due either to natural gravity and draining, condensation, or sprinkler system usage. These drains, known as drip drums or drip legs, collect the moisture in order to keep your dry system, well, dry. In climates like ours here in Denver, it is especially crucial to periodically drain the water that has collected in the drum drips, so that your entire sprinkler system won’t freeze in extreme cold temperatures.

 

How do I drain drip drums?

When it’s time to perform maintenance on your sprinkler system’s drip drums, there is a set procedure that should be followed for optimal results. First, each drip drum on your system should be isolated, then drained and returned to normal service. Each drip drum is basically a chamber, with isolation valves on the top and bottom to allow the water to collect – one of these valves must be closed so the system maintains the air pressure and doesn’t trip the dry valve (causing water to fill all the dry pipes). In general, when approaching a drip drum, the bottom valve should be closed and the top should be open (to allow the water to be collected). To drain it, you would close the top isolation valve (to allow the system to maintain air pressure) and open the bottom isolation valve (to allow the stored water to drain onto the floor or into a bucket), then return the valves to their original position. By making sure to stick to this simple routine, you can prevent catastrophic system failure and keep your sprinkler system safe even in freezing temperatures. We do not recommend doing this on your end unless you have been trained or are exceptionally comfortable doing it. Improper operation of the drip drum can cause the system to trip – at the very least, you’ll need a service call for a sprinkler tech to drain and reset the dry system. Worst case scenario is that you apply water to a system in freezing temperatures, then that water freezes and those whole system’s pipes and fittings are subject to major freeze damage resulting in costly repairs and/or the system being down.

 

When do I drain drip drums?

It is important to drain your system’s drip drum each week to make sure that all water sitting in each drain is removed, especially when there is any chance of cold weather that could cause the system to freeze. But regardless of the season, a weekly drip drum maintenance schedule can go a long way towards saving your fire sprinkler system from failure, as well as keep your budget intact by keeping the system free of excess moisture.

 

Help with drip drum maintenance

If you are the owner or manager of a commercial building in or around Denver, let Integrity Fire Safety take weekly drip drum maintenance off your plate. Our technicians can quickly and efficiently drain excess moisture from your sprinkler system’s drip drums, saving you time that you can put towards other aspects of running your building. We proudly serve all cities and towns within a 70-mile radius of Denver, so give us a call today at 303-557-1820 and see how we can help you.