In structural terms and by definition, an expansion joint is not a seismic 
joint.  HOWEVER, they come in different flavors and may be subject to 
differential movement.   Because we're in the heart of seismic country, we have 
to deal with seismic joints and bracing and flexibility and clearance 
requirements so those all generally supersede and we tend to ignore "expansion 
joints" in our designs.  But I'd love to hear from some code-savvy people in 
other (not-so-seismically-active) parts of the country.   Is John Drucker on 
the line?


From: Sprinklerforum [] On 
Behalf Of Kyle.Montgomery
Sent: Wednesday, August 09, 2017 1:44 PM
To: ''
Subject: Building Expansion Joints in NON-seismic Areas

The only reference to expansion joints I can find in NFPA 13 is within section 
9.3 "Protection of piping WHERE SUBJECT TO EARTHQUAKES". So, if I'm not in an 
area that is subject to earthquakes, can I ignore the building expansion joints?

Usually I still add a flexible coupling just to be safe, since it isn't a huge 
impact. However, I've been questioned before about whether the flexible 
coupling can allow sufficient movement to accommodate the expansion joint. Is 
this something I should be losing sleep over?

Keep in mind, I'm talking about areas where seismic bracing is NOT required.


-Kyle M
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