Residential Fire sprinkler plumbing

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Benz

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Hello, I have this plumbing on the incoming water line coming into the home (See Pic). The pipe I have circled in black has sprung a very tiny leak .
Does someone know what this type of pipe is called and why does the diameter get so constricted? I assume it may have to do with the fire sprinkler setup? I am in northern CA (Livermore) and wondering if this is code to have such a drastic change in pipe size or if it can be converted to just a normal size pipe.
T at the bottom of the thin pipe is going to fire sprinkler and the T just below the PRV is going to lawn sprinklers.

Thanks

pipe.jpg
 

wwhitney

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I am wondering if the short small section of pipe connecting the domestic system with the combined supply is an attempt to impose a flow limit on the domestic system. Thereby ensuring a higher minimum available flow for the fire sprinkler system in the event of an activation.

Not 100% sure the physics would work out, but I think so.

Cheers, Wayne
 

Jeff H Young

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Its called 1/2 inch copper. The only logical explanation is what Wayne said I thought of that as well however having plumbed hundreds and never seeing them plumbed that way is baffling that I see one in my state .
I don't see any CPVC anywhere
 

Benz

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I am wondering if the short small section of pipe connecting the domestic system with the combined supply is an attempt to impose a flow limit on the domestic system. Thereby ensuring a higher minimum available flow for the fire sprinkler system in the event of an activation.

Not 100% sure the physics would work out, but I think so.

Cheers, Wayne
Yes this seems the logical reason. Thank You! Do you know if this is code or can this be changed to a standard size pipe. Im in northern CA and I need this replaced due to a pinhole leak.
 

wwhitney

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Do you know when the fire sprinklers were installed, and do you perhaps have the engineered drawings? I would be leery of making changes without a clear OK from a code section or an engineer.

On the other hand, if it's just a short section of 1/2" copper, under 1 foot, I don't see how it can work as a flow limiter. Even 10' of 1/2" copper (I could imagine an abrupt transition could add to the effective length) would only drop 20 psi at 20 gpm.

Cheers, Wayne
 

Jeff H Young

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Yes this seems the logical reason. Thank You! Do you know if this is code or can this be changed to a standard size pipe. Im in northern CA and I need this replaced due to a pinhole leak.
Don't go by what's Logical because I've installed at least 100 tees for fire sprinkler and not seen this So let us know if you find out I'd like to know from a reliable source. Original Drawings from fire Archives or at least a C-16 Lic holder. I'd like to remove that 1/2 inch with their blessing while repairing the leak
 

hj

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There was once a 1/2" hose bibb connected to the tee. Then someone, NOT a plumber or at least not a good one, "added to the system" and just connected to that tee.
 

Jeff H Young

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there was once a 1/2" hose bibb connected to the tee. Then someone, NOT a plumber or at least not a good one, "added to the system" and just connected to that tee.
Looks a bit different to me. 1 1/2 copper main coming out of ground, 1 inch copper going to fire protection, 1 inch PVC to irrigation and obviously the regulator for the inside water. I could be wrong, but the entire irrigation and house plumbing go through the 1/2 inch. Cant see what would have been added but looks wrong to me
 

Benz

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Looks a bit different to me. 1 1/2 copper main coming out of ground, 1 inch copper going to fire protection, 1 inch pvc to irrigation and obviously the regulator for the inside water. I could be wrong, but the entire irrigation and house plumbing go through the 1/2 inch. Cant see what would have been added but looks wrong to me
Checking with a local Fire suppression company on this. It appears that the entire neighbor hood is plumbed like this. I will find out why.
 

Jeff H Young

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Checking with a local Fire suppression company on this. It appears that the entire neighbor hood is plumbed like this. I will find out why.
Well I'd sure appreciate you sharing the info including the year your house built and if this is a single family structure or multi?
 

Benz

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Well I'd sure appreciate you sharing the info including the year your house built and if this is a single family structure or multi?
2002, single family 2400Sq ft, one story. From what I have gathered talking to different professionals is due to having the demand of incoming water go to the fire system in the case of a break that occurs in the home and there is a fire. The pressure will be routed more toward the fire rather the break in the home.
 

wwhitney

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2002, single family 2400Sq ft, one story. From what I have gathered talking to different professionals is due to having the demand of incoming water go to the fire system in the case of a break that occurs in the home and there is a fire. The pressure will be routed more toward the fire rather the break in the home.
OK, except the physics doesn't really work, as I detailed in my second post.

Cheers, Wayne
 

Benz

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OK, except the physics doesn't really work, as I detailed in my second post.

Cheers, Wayne
I kinda feel like I am the first person in CA that is asking this question :)
I'm just going to have it replaced with the same setup but a bit more neat.

Thanks everyone for the responses.
 

Jeff H Young

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what if a fire sprinkler line breaks in one part of the house and a fire on the other same thing will happen loss of pressure to sprinklers.
I get it I may have heard something like this but never seen it .
No mention of the qualifications of the pro you talked to . Fire marshal c16 contractor?
 
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