Pipe Testing

Your fire suppression system, whether sprinkler or water mist, would be ineffective without fully functioning pipework. The LPC Rules for Automatic Sprinkler Installations 2015 states that sprinkler system pipework should be inspected every 25 years.

The Fire Protection Association provides a sophisticated pipework testing service which meets these requirements.

By choosing the Fire Protection Association, you will benefit from:

  • Experienced laboratory staff
  • Independent and trusted advice
  • A detailed report

Your report will include:

  • Detailed photography of all samples including any points of interest
  • Details of the interior and exterior examination
  • Summary of the overall quality of the pipes and any further recommendations

Download our pipework information form.

How do we test the pipes?

  • Conduct an external visual inspection
  • Measure pipe lengths
  • Photograph samples including points of interest
  • Use a bandsaw to cut the pipe near one end
  • Measure the outer diameter at the cross-section
  • Measure the wall thickness at the cross-section
  • Cut the pipe length ways using a plasma cutter
  • Visually inspect the exposed interior of each sample for corrosion or any other abnormalities
  • Photograph internal walls of samples including points of interest
  • Remove rust and deposits using a shot blast cabinet
  • Remeasure the wall thicknesses without the deposits

How much pipe work should be tested?

This will depend on the size of the installation. The LPC Rules for Automatic Sprinkler Installations, in Annex K, states: ‘At least one-metre length of range pipe should be inspected per 100 sprinklers.’ If you have 1,000 sprinklers in your building, it is therefore recommended to have at least 10 range pipes tested.

Each pipe sent should be as close to 1 metre in length as possible, regardless of diameter.

Examples of pipework issues that may prevent your system from working as it should:

  • Build-up of corrosion deposits 
  • Corrosion from gauze or lagging which has been in contact with the pipe exterior and has been lifted away. If any kind of material holds moisture against the outside of the pipe this can accelerate corrosion.
  • Increased corrosion from worked areas of the pipe, like the groove here, corrosion can be greater.

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