Posted on March 31, 2020
Driven by feedback from contractors on the front lines, the fire protection industry has responded to challenges in both installing hard pipe and ensuring effectiveness for the life of the system. In this series, we will investigate three main benefits of flex drops and how they solve challenges presented with hard pipe installations. First, we’ll look at flex drops and how they accommodate ceiling settlement that can arise months or years after installation.
Challenge in Hard Pipe Installations: Ceiling Settlement
Suspended ceilings cannot escape the law of gravity. Due to the pliable nature of ceiling tiles, they are prone to settlement. These ceilings are also apt to shift after building modifications have been made such as adding lighting fixtures.
What happens when a sprinkler cannot activate because it is positioning within a ceiling that has changed over time? In a suspended ceiling application, when the tiles are exposed to settlement or structural renovations, they start to sag or move independently of where the structural deck is located. Meanwhile, hard pipe sprinklers will stay in their original placement, resulting in sprinkler misalignment. Improper sprinkler head alignment limits the exposure to the heat and airflow emanated by a fire, leaving the ceiling to act as a heat deflector that may delay or prevent the sprinkler from activating.
Benefits of Flex Drop Installations: Confidence in Sprinkler Alignment
Flex drops are the ideal solution to combat misalignment. Attached directly to the ceiling, the brackets move with the structure, maintaining the same position relative to a suspended ceiling even after settlement occurs. When the bracket attached to the suspended ceiling plane and the braided hose connected to the distribution piping can move independently of each other, correct sprinkler alignment is not an issue. One of the main benefits of flex drops, as demonstrated in the image below, is that through utilizing flex drops you allow for unobstructed airflow access and exposure to potential heat from a fire, resulting in system activation confidence.
Discover More Benefits of Flex Drops
What are some other benefits of using flex drops?