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Extra security for deluge valve

Extra security for deluge valve

Extra security for deluge valve

We are thinlking on using a deluge system indoors where preventing water damage is very important issue for the client, and we are thinking on using a deluge system.

I have worked with common deluge valves (Viking, Tyco), for many industrial or common applications where following the normal listed designs is not a problem.

To prevent unwanted water discharges one can think of double or extra securities on the electronic or hydraulic actuation system, but if there is a leak on the priming-pilot lines, or somebody tampers the manual actuation valve, the rubber of the diaphragm is damaged or clogged, or the solenoid valve fails for unkown reasons or a failure on the alarm system or a test, etc. Also a sprinkler pilot line can fail thinking of a hydraulic actuation system, so there is always some risk of unwanted water flood.

So I´m courious if semoboody knows if there are options to add extra security on a deluge valve thinking on the mechanical side that retains the clapper from fail, or safer valves on this issue.

Some people has even commented "crazy" ideas like using two deluge valves on series or double solenoid valve, etc. And of course we want to stay on the listed manufacturers specs.

Does somebody knows if there are options on deluge valves that include double mechanical securities, or options like an hybrid of deluge&preaction system ?.

Any ideas are welcome. Thanks in advance.

RE: Extra security for deluge valve

No, no, no.

The use of a Double interlock is all you need. Detectors fail FAR more frequently than sprinklers.

If the pilot line fails, the pipe will flood with water. Since there is no fire, the water will not flow. You will receive an alarm on the supervisory circuit indicating a problem.

We cannot design to "if". What if someone hits them both with a hammer?


RE: Extra security for deluge valve

MJW has it right.

If a deluge system is called for, it is by definition a safety critical system and needs very careful attention to design. Valves produced for this specific application are subject very strict reliability and operative requirements- it is best not to reinvent the wheel here.

You can get yourself buried in a pit of expectations if you get caught up in the 'what if' game.

A deluge system is always going to have an arrangement of valves both electronic and manual, and no matter what you do there is the potential for someone will ill intentions or a lack of understanding to cause problems- if your customer is does not understand this, you are in an unfortunate position for sure; but it is up to you to make them understand the requirements the system is subject to.

RE: Extra security for deluge valve

Cross zone the detectors for the deluge? Set it up to require heat + smoke + flash?

It really sounds like you want a double interlock preaction.

RE: Extra security for deluge valve

The problem is that the water damage issue is a very particular case.
Are there double interlock preaction systems with open nozzles?. Can somebody provide an example?

RE: Extra security for deluge valve

I understand and share your point Matt. Thanks.
My intention here is to get ideas like yours in order to find points that I may have missed and consider all options around the deluge system before changing to other type of system.

RE: Extra security for deluge valve

If you provide open nozzles, you WILL get water damage.

I would suggest if water is a concern, go to gas. If money isn't to big a deal, check out Hypoxic Air fire suppression.

D/I pre-actions are as reliable and and safe as we can provide.

Be sure your AHJ approves the variance in advance.

One of the issues you will run into.., The manf will not allow any deviation from their APPROVED design. This way they control liability. I assume this to include water damage from failure.


RE: Extra security for deluge valve

Deluge systems are designed to FLOOD an area. This would be my last option if I was that concerned about water damage.

Depending on size of space and what you are protecting, you could look at:
Double Interlock Preaction system.
Gaseous system
Water Mist system

Travis Mack
MFP Design, LLC
"Follow" us at https://www.facebook.com/pages/MFP-Design-LLC/9221...

RE: Extra security for deluge valve

No details needed

What are you protecting??

Aircraft hanger

Deep freeze

Computer room


RE: Extra security for deluge valve

The case is a theater (proscenium wall opening).
The code address a water curtain following NFPA 13 in lieu of a fire curtain.

The deluge system will open to prevent a stage fire to affect the audience, but the water curtain will open only some sprinklers if the heat affects the proscenium opening curtain sprinklers.

Would you go only with the code water curtain?

RE: Extra security for deluge valve


RE: Extra security for deluge valve

Truthfully in about 30 years I have never seen a water curtain used.

Will look at the theater section in 101.

So are you looking at an existing theater????

RE: Extra security for deluge valve

I am thinking you can not do what you want, because you are required a true deluge system.

RE: Extra security for deluge valve

Yes. Existing Theater. We are on discussions on defining the protection.
The 101 says a water curtain under the "13", the "13" says on the common practice on this case is a deluge curtain. I´ve seen references for new theaters with deluge. The way to apply the 101 on existeing theaters is another side of the issue, in which I also appreciate any comment on this also.

Going deep on discarding the option of the deluge valve, I even checked very old deluge valves design in order to see if there is a valve that hold the water in a different, "safer" way, but it seems that nowadays they all hold the water with similar water priming pressure principle. I want to check if there is another type of listed deluge valve, or if there is type of preaction system that work with open sprinklers that I don´t know. Of course it shouldn´t be a crazy non approved solution.

RE: Extra security for deluge valve

Travis. What type of deluge valves and activation system have you used?. In your cases does the theaters have provisions to handle flood water?

RE: Extra security for deluge valve

I too have done a few of these. Yes, it must be a deluge with open nozzles. The point is to have a wall of water prevent fire from moving out into the auditorium.

RE: Extra security for deluge valve


I think you are dealing with concerns that cannot be addressed. Can you not just eliminate the Deluge system and put in a rated curtain?

If not, you are stuck with a Deluge. The very fact that the IBC addresses this and not just the installation criteria, should be a big flag for you.

I understand the owner is concerned with water. We all are. But I advise against pursuing any type system that would further delay water in this environment.


RE: Extra security for deluge valve

I'm surprised this is this type of application- by earlier posts I was expecting some type of very exotic materials processing site, or something.

Is this theater very old and historic, or something? What is the genesis for this concern over water damage from the deluge? They do understand that soaking things with water is generally better than allowing them to be destroyed by fire?

For reference, as an engineer who deals with paint systems and frequently works with systems that are very old and have been through any number of retrofits, I have yet to hear of a deluge system discharging for any reason other than a fire of some kind.

RE: Extra security for deluge valve

Human life vs water damage are you thinking water damage is more important? As a person that did insurance loss prevention for way too many years I will take water damage over human life. Call your insurance carrier loss prevention department and see what they want. You may end up paying more premium or nothing at all. Most play houses in New York City have deluge systems protecting the stages as it has been part of the NYC code for many years.

RE: Extra security for deluge valve

""""Most play houses in New York City have deluge systems protecting the stages as it has been part of the NYC code for many years."""


RE: Extra security for deluge valve

For all the comments and points of view, thanks a lot.
Yes, old historic, delicate wood, plaster, fabrics, paintings, gold, no flood provisions. (Maybe some freedom following NFPA 914).
I have some experience with Viking E and F, Tyco DV5, inspections on Bermad, Watts all diagphragm type. Also changed some non-diagphragm old style valves.
Has anybody a design descripcion on a deluge systema on an actual theater. Or the use of a non-deluge water curtain?.

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