Interesting question. You haven't provided enough information for a thorough 

How big of an attic area?

So you intend to mark the location of every upright sprinkler in the concealed 
space on the ceiling below? No one will ever paint that gypsum?

Then cut access for NFPA 25 5-year internal pipe inspection?

And cut access for NFPA 25 20-year sprinkler inspection?

Life expectancy of a design/build NFPA 13 dry sprinkler system, riser mounted 
air compressor, schedule 10, black steel pipe = 7-15 years.  Is that the system 
you are specifying?

Or, are you specifying with nitrogen and schedule 40 pipe?  Other?

Why not fill with insulation? As long as you avoid mold issues (see webinar) 
that could be a better long-term option for your current client and whoever 
buys it next.

NFPA 25 requires limited access for internal inspection, but if anything goes 
wrong (e.g. corrosion) how do you work on it without taking significant pieces 
of the ceiling down.

Can you imagine how hard it is to locate pipe and problems in that space (i.e. 
Confined space) without accurate as-built drawings (I'm lucky if the owner has 
any drawings, but as-built for those spaces aren't the norm). We've taken off 
the roof of structures less than two years old to locate pipe and abandoned dry 
systems in attics because it is too expensive to take the ceilings down just to 
start locating the leaks and facilitate repairs.

Too many questions for a simple answer.

It'll be great to hear other responses.


Office: (763) 425-1001 x 2
Cell: (612) 759-5556

From: Sprinklerforum <sprinklerforum-boun...@lists.firesprinkler.org> On Behalf 
Of David Williams via Sprinklerforum
Sent: Thursday, August 15, 2019 1:43 PM
To: sprinklerforum@lists.firesprinkler.org
Cc: David Williams <david.willi...@lhbcorp.com>
Subject: Attic/Concealed space access to sprinkler heads

I have a project intended to be fully sprinkled with a combustible attic that 
tapers from 2' to 4 ' without being filled to within 2 inches of the deck with 
insulation. So I am planning on a dry pipe system with standard heads as the 
design of the attic does not allow the effective use of special application 
attic sprinklers.

The questions are: whether inspection access is required to be provided, is it 
prudent to do so at the heads, or can the locations just be noted on the gypsum 
mounted to the bottom chord of the open web trusses.


David T Williams, PE - Lead MEP/FP Engineer
21 West Superior Street, Suite 500, Duluth, MN 55802
Direct 218.279.2436 | Cell 218.310.2446


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