I want to share good news about Brothers Fire & Security sprinkler system servicing. But before I do that, I need to give you information about the principles of water flow. Let’s call this blog “Sprinkler System Plumbing 1.0.” Don’t worry, there won’t be a test afterward.

When a sprinkler system is activated, once the water leaves the public water flow system, it can’t go back into the system. Which is a good thing. You don’t want an unwanted flow of water going in the reverse direction as it can be a serious health risk for the contamination of drinking water supplies with foul water. To prevent this, sprinkler systems need backflow valves.

There are different types of backflow values. Some cities in Minnesota and nationally require double check (DC) valves, an assembly suitable for prevention of non-health hazard substances from being pumped or siphoned into the potable water supply. But the DC valve is not suitable for high hazard applications. More and more cities are now requiring the reduced pressure zone device (RPZ) for additional safety to keep contamination or pollution out of your water and the city’s water supply.

The Latest on RPZ Compliance

Recently, RPZ compliance requirements were updated in the Minnesota Plumbing Code by the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry (MDLI). Prior to the updates, codes called for yearly inspections of valves by certified plumbers. If an RPZ failed an inspection, it needed to be rebuilt. It also needed to be replaced every five years, regardless of test results.

The new regulations remove the five-year replacement requirement. Now valves only need to be replaced if they fail an inspection and if rebuilding doesn’t correct the problem. In addition, RPZ devices that previously didn’t require yearly inspection will need to be tested annually.

Our Techs Have What It Takes

Bottom line, this change in standards means that regular and thorough yearly inspections are much more important to ensure the safety of your building’s water supply. As with anything mechanical, the older an RPZ gets, the more likely it is to have problems. Because many buildings house older systems, it’s important to keep a close eye on older equipment.

Not just anyone can install, maintain, repair, rebuild, and inspect RPZs. Technicians must be certified by the MDLI, have plumbing licenses, and have successfully completed training and exams administered by the American Society of Inspectors of Plumbing and Sanitary Engineers International.

Brothers Fire & Security technicians are certified for this work—and always have been. Since many of our customers are now required to have RPZ valves for their commercial sprinkler systems and are requesting our help, we needed to have more technicians. Good news! We now have three qualified technicians who are certified and licensed to install, repair, and inspect the valves. This is just another example of how Brothers Fire & Security is committed to meet our customers’ needs.

If you have questions about your sprinkler system’s RPZ valves, please contact us. We’ll determine what needs to be done to make sure your sprinkler and water systems are working properly and up to code. You can trust us to help you keep your business, and your people and the water supply safe.

About Brothers Fire & Security

As one of the premier providers of fire and security solutions in the Upper Midwest, Brothers Fire & Security strives to build long-term, value-added relationships. We work with business owners and property management companies, as well as all types of public institutions to solve fire and security needs. By taking advantage of our integrated bundled services, many of our clients find that they can save 25-30% on their safety services, annual inspections and more. From a single location to franchises throughout the region and the country, our integrated approach saves our clients valuable time, money, and stress. We provide fire protection systems, security systems, fire sprinkler systems, fire alarm systems, 24-7 monitoring, fire extinguishers, card access and kitchen hoods. And coming soon, our new Online Academy: Life Safety — Made Simple with eLearning courses designed to help you get and keep your staff trained and your business fire and security code compliant.