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NOTE: This is an unformatted excerpt from our online fire protection training library.

Hydraulic Calculations

Hydraulic Calculations

How Hydraulics Work...

If the water supply and piping network are going to be used to control or suppress a fire, obviously the water can't stay inside the piping system - it has to exit and be spread in the area of the fire.  So, along with the information regarding the piping characteristics and the calculated flow needed to absorb the heat of combustion, there also has to be a way to have the water exit the pipe.  Fire sprinkler systems use some form of sprinkler head or nozzle to allow the water to exit the piping. 

It is also quite obvious that the amount of water that can exitOne of the common misconceptions in any water supply system is that if there's a large water supply, then all is well. That may or may not be true, because a large supply of water may not be any good if there is a disconnection in the delivery system somewhere. In other words, if the pipe can't carry the water because its too small or too rough inside, or the orifice is too small, the water can't make it to the fire and the fire grows. from an orifice is proportional to the size and construction of the orifice. Fire protection sprinklers use what is known as the K- factorK-factors are not unitless - they are measured as the amount of flow (gpm) divided by the square root of the pressure (psi) applied to the orifice. to identify the relative ease that water exits the sprinkler's orifice.  The K- factors assigned to different sprinklers are identified and listed by the manufacturer, and the allowable rangesThe ranges are part of the identification of the sprinkler head and its intended use. For example, an early suppression fast response (ESFR) sprinkler is a large orifice sprinkler designed for high challenge storage fires. It has a "K" factor range of about 11.0 to 25. are contained in NFPA 13.

The K-factor is an important part of the discharge and pressure that is critical in hydraulic calculations applied to sprinkler systems.
NOTE: This is an unformatted excerpt from our online fire protection training library.

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