NSF is now testing and certifying fire sprinkler pipe and fittings for use in residential applications. Fire sprinkler pipe and fittings are evaluated to UL 1821 Standard for Safety Thermoplastic Sprinkler Pipe and Fittings for Fire Protection Service. NSF performs UL 1821 testing in its laboratories in Ann Arbor, Michigan. NSF has been designated as a Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory by OSHA for testing residential fire sprinkler piping to UL 1821. NSF certified fire sprinkler pipe and fittings will bear the NSF Mark and UL 1821.
Certification Requirements for Residential Fire Sprinkler Piping FAQ
With the International Residential Code now mandating fire sprinklers for one and two family dwellings, it is anticipated that more states will begin to adopt these new requirements. Here are the answers to some frequently asked questions.
Q: What standards apply to residential fire sprinkler pipe and fittings?
A: Residential fire sprinkler systems may be stand alone systems (separated and isolated from domestic potable water using a backflow preventer) or multi-purpose systems (a system where the same piping serves as both fire sprinkler piping and domestic cold water distribution).
Stand alone residential fire sprinkler pipe and fittings are certified by NSF to meet UL 1821 and rated for residential use. Multipurpose pipe and fittings are certified by NSF to meet UL 1821, NSF/ANSI Standard 61 Drinking Water System Components-Health Effects and NSF/ANSI Standard 14: Plastic Piping System Components as well as other industry standards and for residential use.
Q: How do commercial and residential fire sprinkler pipe and fittings differ?
A: Since the International Residential Code (IRC) requires fire sprinkler piping to be protected by a material with a 15 minute fire rating such as 3/8” thick gypsum wall board or ½” thick plywood, this opens up the residential fire sprinkler market to materials that may not meet the commercial fire sprinkler requirements. For example, many PEX piping products do not meet the UL 1821 requirements for use in commercial applications, but are perfectly acceptable in residential applications since they are protected using a 15 minute fire rating.
Q: How does UL 1821 handle residential fire sprinkler pipe and fittings?
A: UL 1821 does not require residential fire sprinkler piping to meet the fire exposure test. Again, this is because residential fire sprinkler piping is protected by a material with a 15 minute fire rating.
Q: What is NSF’s process for certifying Fire Sprinkler Piping?
Q: I thought only UL could list and label fire sprinkler piping?
A: No, while all products must be listed and labeled to UL Standards, NSF is recognized and accredited to perform testing, listing and labeling to UL 1821.