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

Hydraulic Calculations

Hydraulic Calculations

Note on Remote Area Determination

In non-looped and non-gridded systems, the path that the water takes to get to an operating sprinkler head is a single line, representative of the easiest path through which the water can flow.  However, in a looped system, there are two (2) paths the water flows through to get to the point where the branch line is connected to the grid.  In gridded systems, the branch lines are part of the grid through which water can flow, so there may be many paths that the water takes to reach the open sprinkler.

The basic premise for hydraulic systems is to make the most effective use of the flow and pressure.  By having multiple paths, the flow to an operating sprinkler is "split" through a number of pipes.  Each time the flow is lessened through a pipe, the friction loss through that pipe is less because the flow is less.  This means that the overall pressure loss in the loop or grid will be less than if all of the flow to an operating sprinkler is required to travel through a single path.

The problem in calculating this is trying to figure out how much water is going through each pipe at each "split".  One can calculate this by applying the principles learned in Calculus class, but will soon realize that this is a tedious and very time-consuming process.  This is the reason that in the early days of installing "hydraulically designed" sprinkler systems, there weren't too many looped or gridded systems installed.  Obviously, the advent of computer programs made this calculation much easier and more precise.

In some corners, it is thought that the sprinkler standard, NFPA 13, should remove all reference to new pipe schedule systems. This has not been done, but there are specific limitations in the installation of pipe schedule systems.
NOTE: This is an unformatted excerpt from our online fire protection training library.

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