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FIRE FIGHTING

IN COMMERCIAL BUILDINGS
APPLICATION GUIDE
2
PREFACE
Fire has always been surrounded by mystery.
In human history, re has been essential for
providing heat and light and for cooking, and it
has been essential for humans to survive and
develop to the stage were at today.
The earliest evidence of mans mastery of re is
between 1 and 1.4 million years old and comes
from cave dwellings in South Africa. Fire was
created using either friction - wood against
wood, or spark ignition - stone against stone.
With the acquisition of re, the next problem
was to preserve it. First, re was buried; pre-
served in the ashes of the re itself. Next, a type
of slow match or re-stick was developed.
Maintaining re in later history was done using
coal, preserving the re in the stoves until
morning, and it was common knowledge, that
due to the stove heating up the kitchen, this
was the best place to gather.
Todays technology rarely provides re for light,
heating and cooking in residential homes since
power distribution in developed countries is
done via electricity, which is ef cient and easy
to distribute once the installation is established.
Fire is simultaneously exciting and scary, and
uncontrolled res have often caused disasters
with loss of properties and lives. The purpose of
this application guide is to describe the funda-
mental application of todays active re ghting
systems in commercial and industrial buildings.
Fire extinguishing systems requirements are
highly specied in the numerous standards,
and this guide does not take all diferences in to
account, and therefore some of the explana-
tions in this guide may seem a bit simplistic.
However, I hope this guide will be benecial for
Your Fire application education.
Niels-Henrik Ravn
Business Dev. Manager
Grundfos Commercial
Building Services
3
Introduction ....................................................................................................................... 4
Historic res in buildings ......................................................................................... 4
Fire departments and re insurance ...................................................................... 8
Early re sprinkler systems ...................................................................................... 9
What creates a re? .....................................................................................................10
The re triangle ................................................................................................................................10
The re tetrahedon ........................................................................................................................11
Fire standards .................................................................................................................12
Fire protection standards ...........................................................................................................12
Fire component standards ....................................................................................14
Listing of components and systems ....................................................................16
Enforcement of the re standards .......................................................................18
Classication of occupancies and re hazards ..............................................18
Automatic water sprinkler systems .....................................................................24
Main components in an automatic re sprinkler system ..........................................24
Purpose of each component .....................................................................................................26
Auxiliary components ..................................................................................................................28
Functionality of a sprinkler system ........................................................................................44
Maintenance of re sprinkler systems .................................................................................47
Fire sprinkler system statistics ...............................................................................48
Other re extinguishing systems .........................................................................50
Water mist systems .......................................................................................................................50
Foam systems ...................................................................................................................................52
Gas extinguishing systems ........................................................................................................53
Hose reel systems ...........................................................................................................................54

CONTENT
4
INTRODUCTION
Historic res in buildings
From ancient times, buildings have been
built of wood, bricks and concrete with a
construction to support residential or
commercial purposes. Architectural success was
the product of a process of trial and error,
and proven designs were replicated. Early
residential homes were mostly rural, but due to
a surplus in production the economy began
to expand resulting in urbanisation, thus
creating urban areas which grew and evolved
into the megacities of today. Fire prevention
was not an integral part of city buildings, which
resulted in dramatic res that spread rapidly.
1666: Great Fire of London
The Great Fire of London was a major
uncontrolled burning that threatened human
and animal lives and property and swept
through the central parts of London from
Sunday 2 September to Wednesday 5
September 1666. The re gutted the medieval
city of London inside the old Roman city wall.
It consumed 13,200 houses, 87 parish churches,
St. Pauls Cathedral and most of the buildings
of the City authorities. It is estimated to have
destroyed the homes of 70,000 of the citys
80,000 inhabitants. The death toll is unknown
since the deaths of poor and middle-class
people were not recorded, and the heat of
the re may have cremated many victims,
leaving no recognisable remains.
The Great London Fire
5
The Great Fire started at the bakery on Pudding
Lane shortly after midnight on Sunday
September and spread rapidly westwards
across the city of London. The major re
ghting technique of the time was to create
rebreaks by means of demolition. Due to
strong winds, the re spread across most of the
city until the following Tuesday, destroying St.
Pauls Cathedral and leaping the River Fleet to
threaten the court of Charles II.
The battle to quench the re is considered to
have been won by two factors: the strong east
winds died down, and the Tower of London
garrison used gunpowder to create efective
rebreaks to halt further spread eastward. The
social and economic problems created by the
disaster were overwhelming.
INTRODUCTION
6
1795: Copenhagen Fire
The Copenhagen Fire of 1795 started on Friday
5 June at the Navys old base at Gammelholm,
in the eets warehouse for coal and barrels.
The re spread and burned the remaining part
of the Middle Ages quarter left behind by the
Copenhagen Fire of 1728, leaving very few
houses from before the 18th century. The re
died out on Sunday 7 June around 4 pm. It had
destroyed 941 houses and made around 6,000
residents homeless.
The re had a severe efect on the economy
which led to the foundation of Denmarks rst
mortgage institution (the Copenhagen Credit
Organisation for House Owners, founded in
1797).
1871: Great Chicago Fire
The Great Chicago Fire started on Sunday 8
October and lasted until early in the morning
on Tuesday 10 October, 1871, killing hundreds
of people and destroying about 3.3 square miles
(9 km2) of Chicago, Illinois, one of the largest
and economically most important American
cities. The re was rst reported at a pharmacy
when it was still small but as no one realised
how risky conditions in the drought-stricken
and largely wooden city were, and since there
had been another re the day before, no one
reacted at rst. When the blaze got bigger the
guard realised that there actually was a new
re and sent re ghters, but in the wrong
direction.
Soon the re had spread to neighbouring frame
houses and sheds. Superheated winds drove
aming brands north-eastwards. When the
re engulfed a tall church west of the Chicago
River, the ames crossed the south branch of
the river. Helping the re spread was rewood
The Great Chicago Fire
7
in the closely packed wooden buildings, ships
lining the river, the citys elevated wood-plank
sidewalks and roads, and the commercial
lumber and coal yards along the river. The size
of the blaze generated extremely strong winds
and heat, which ignited rooftops far ahead of
the actual ames.
The attempts to stop the re were unsuccessful.
The mayor had even called surrounding cities
for help, but by that point the re was simply
too large to contain. When the re destroyed
the waterworks, just north of the Chicago River,
the citys water supply was cut of, and the re
ghters were forced to give up. There was mass
panic as the blaze jumped the rivers main stem
and continued burning through homes and
mansions on the citys north side. Residents
ed into Lincoln Park and to the shores of Lake
Michigan, where thousands sought refuge
from the ames. The re nally burned itself
out, aided by diminishing winds and a light
drizzle that began falling late on Monday night.
From its origin, it had burned a path of nearly
complete destruction of some 34 blocks to
Fullerton Avenue on the north side.
1872: Great Boston Fire
The Great Boston Fire of 1872 was Bostons
largest urban re and still ranks as one of the
most costly re-related property losses in
American history. The re began at 7:20 pm
on 9 November 1872 in the basement of a
commercial warehouse at 83-87 Summer Street
in Boston, Massachusetts. The re was nally
contained 12 hours later after it had consumed
about 65 acres (26 ha) of Bostons downtown,
776 buildings and much of the nancial district,
and caused $73.5 million of damage. At least 30
people are known to have died in the re.
INTRODUCTION
8
The rst modern re engine, 1905
Fire departments and re
insurance
The very rst re department was formed
in ancient Rome where slaves were used to
provide a free re service. These men fought
res using bucket chains and also patrolled
the streets with the authority to impose
corporal punishment upon those who violated
re-prevention codes. The Emperor Augustus
established a public re department in 24 BC,
composed of 600 slaves distributed amongst
seven re stations in Rome.
Fire departments were again formed by
property insurance companies beginning in
the 17th century after the Great Fire of London
in 1666. The rst insurance brigades were
established the following year. Others began
to realise that a lot of money could be made
from this scheme, and many more insurance
companies set up in London before 1832. Each
insurance company had its own re mark, a
durable plaque that would be af xed to the
building exterior. A companys re brigade would
not extinguish a burning building if it did not
have the correct re mark.
The city of Boston, Massachusetts, established
Americas rst publicly funded re department
in 1679.
In the 19th century, the practice of re
brigades refusing to put out res in buildings
that were uninsured led to the demand for a
central command for re companies. Cities
started to form their own re departments as
a civil service to the public, forcing private re
companies to shut down and merging their re
stations into the citys re department. In 1833,
Londons ten independent brigades all merged
9
to form the London Fire Engine Establishment
(LFEE). The LFEE was incorporated into the citys
Metropolitan Fire Brigade in 1865.
In 1906, the rst motorised re department
was organised in Springeld, Massachusetts,
after Knox Automobile of Springeld produced
the rst modern re engine one year earlier.

Early re sprinkler systems
The worlds rst recognisable sprinkler system
was installed at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane
in London, England, in 1812 by its architect Sir
William Congreve. The apparatus consisted of a
cylindrical airtight reservoir of 95,000 litres fed
by a 250 mm water main which branched out
to all parts of the theatre. A series of smaller
pipes fed from the distribution pipe were
pierced with a series of 13 mm holes which
poured water in the event of a re.
From 1852 to 1885, perforated pipe systems
were used in textile mills throughout New
England as a means of re protection. However,
they were not automatic systems; they did
not turn on by themselves. Inventors began
experimenting with automatic sprinklers
around 1860, and the rst automatic sprinkler
system was patented by Philip W. Pratt of
Abington, Massachusetts, in 1872.
INTRODUCTION
10
WHAT CREATES A
FIRE?
The re triangle
The re triangle or combustion triangle is a
simple model for understanding the ingredients
necessary for most res. The triangle illustrates
that a re requires three elements: heat, fuel,
and an oxidizing agent - usually oxygen. The re
is prevented or extinguished by removing any
one of them. A re naturally occurs when the
elements are combined in the right mixture.

Without suf cient heat, a re cannot begin, and
it cannot continue. Applying a substance like
water, which requires heat for the phase change
from water to steam, will reduce the amount of
heat available to the re reaction. Another alter-
native is adding suf cient quantities and types
of powder or gas to the ame. This reduces the
amount of heat available for the re reaction in
the same manner. Turning of the electricity in
an electrical re removes the ignition source.
Without fuel, a re will stop. Fuel can be
removed naturally, such as when the re has
consumed all burnable fuel, or manually by
mechanically or chemically removing the fuel
from the re. Fuel separation was an important
factor in historic city res; it still is in todays
wildland re suppression and is the basis for
most major tactics such as controlled burns.
The re stops because a lower concentration
of fuel vapour in the ame leads to a decrease
The re triangle
FUEL
O
X
Y
G
E
N
H
E
A
T
11
in energy release and a lower temperature.
Removing the fuel thus decreases the heat.
Without suf cient oxygen, a re cannot begin,
and it cannot continue. The combustion process
will slow down with a decreased oxygen con-
centration. In most cases, there is plenty of air
left when the re goes out, so this is usually not
a major factor.
The re tetrahedron
The re tetrahedron is a development of the
re triangle. It adds the requirement for the
presence of the chemical reaction which is the
process of re. For example, the suppression
efect of the inert gas halon is possible due to
its interference with the re chemical reaction.

Combustion is the chemical reaction that feeds
a re more heat and allows it to continue.
When the re involves burning metals like
lithium, magnesium, titanium,[etc. (known as
a class D re), it becomes even more important
to consider the energy release. The metals
react faster with water than with oxygen, and
thereby more energy is released. Putting water
on such a re results in the re getting hotter or
even exploding. Carbon dioxide extinguishers
are inefective against certain metals such as
titanium. Therefore, inert agents (e.g. dry sand)
must be used to break the chain reaction of
metallic combustion. In the same way, as soon
as we remove one out of the 3 elements of the
triangle, combustion stops.
The re tetrahedron
O
X
Y
G
E
N
HEAT
CHAIN REACTION
F
U
E
L
WHAT CREATES A FIRE?
12
FIRE STANDARDS
Fire protection standards
A re protection standard is a document with
mandatory provisions indicating requirements
for the planning, installation and maintenance
of re extinguishing systems (such as sprinkler
systems, water mist, gas, and foam systems).
Overall requirements of the components, such
as performance, specications and listings, are
to some degree included.
Fire protection standards may be written by
independent organizations (NFPA, VDS, BS etc.),
insurance associations (CEA) or state authori-
ties (CNBOP, OKF etc.) to minimise the risk and
efects of res.
Each standard is primarily used in its country of
origin, but other countries can adopt a standard
in lieu of their own.
European countries intend to harmonise the
EN standards all over Europe instead of having
individual re standards in each country, but
national building codes and protection of
national listing institutions make this process
quite dif cult.
13
Standard writers Country of origin
NFPA, National Fire Protection Association USA
VdS, Vertrauen durch Sicherheit Germany
BS, British Standard England
AS, Australian Standard Australia
UNI, Ente Nazionale Italiano di Unicazione Italy
CEN, European Committee For Standardisation EU countries
CEPREVEN, Centro Nacianal de Prevencin de Dans Y Prdidas Spain
APSAD, Assemblee Pleniere des Societes dAssurances Dommages France
SAC, Standardization Administration of China China
NPB, Norms of Fire Safety Russia
SABS, South African Bureau of Standards South Africa
SBF, Svenska Brandskyds Frening Sweden
DBI, Dansk Brand- og sikringsteknisk Institut Denmark
A re protection standard typically describes
the following:
pannng hudngs hazard Lypes desgn
criteria, water supplies, components)
nsLaaLcn Lype desgn characLersLcs
pipe-work, commissioning)
nanLenance user nspecLcn and LesL
service and maintenance schedule)
The building owner will decide the standard
to be used in collaboration with his insur-
ance company and the local authority having
jurisdiction (AHJ). The insurance company will
have a major inuence as to which standard
will be used to ensure proper functionality and
quality, since the insurance company will try to
minimise damages and the loss of human lives
FIRE STANDARDS
Fire component standards
Fire component standards may be written by
independent product safety certication organi-
sations, insurance companies or state related
authorities.
Examples of component standards related to
automatic sprinkler systems:
Examples of Component Standards Standard writers Country of
origin
FM 1319 Centrifugal re pumps
(horizontal, endsuction type)
UL 448 Centrifugal re pumps
FM, Factory Mutual Global USA
UL, Underwriters Laboratory
VdS 2100-07 Sprinkler pumps VdS, Vertrauen durch Sicherheit Germany
EN 12259-12 Pumps for sprinkler and
spray systems
CEN, European Committee For
Standardization
EU countries
LPS 1131 LPC, Loss Prevention Certication
Board - LPCB
UK
14
The component standards are intended to
describe the requirements of the components
to ensure the following:
- conditions of performance
- safety
- quality
They also describe the quality control in manu-
facturing to ensure a consistently uniform and
reliable component.
The standards specify the criteria for listing
the components (components that have been
evaluated by an approved testing laboratory) as
guidance for the approval body, manufacturers
and the AHJ. Consultants may want to check
the certication documents of the components
before or at delivery, and the AHJ should always
check the approval number on the product
nameplate.
15
FIRE STANDARDS
16
LISTING OF
COMPONENTS AND
SYSTEMS
The usage of the terms listing and approval
varies from continent to continent. But in
general, listed and approved components are
equipment that has been tested and been
found to meet its evaluation criteria (specied
in the component standard) by accredited
laboratories and authorised listing institutions
such as VdS, UL, FM, BRE Global etc.
The re protection standards sometimes specify
the required listing laboratories; typically, the
listing laboratories will be located in the same
country as the author of the standards.
Examples of relations between sprinkler instal-
lation standard, listing laboratory and country,
see scheme
The listed components have a listing label on
their individual nameplate.
The typical content of a nameplate for a re
pump is the following:
ype Lype descrpLcn
prcducL nunher
ear c ccnsLrucLcn
erLhcaLcn nunher
zu naxnun pernsshe fcw
n revcuLcns speed
pressure aL zu

n
, required motor power

imp
, impeller diameter
17
Sprinkler Installation Standard Listing Laboratory Country of origin
NFPA 20, National Fire
Protection Association
FM, Factory Mutual Research USA
UL, Underwriters Laboratory USA
CSA, Canadian Standard Association Canada
VdS CEA 4001 VdS, Vertrauen durch Sicherheit Germany
VdS CEA 4001 CNBOP, Centrum Naukowo-Badawcze
Ochrony Przeciwpezarowej
Poland
BS EN 12845 BRE Global UK + Northern
Ireland
AS 2941 PSB Singapore, Australia
UNI, Ente Nationale
Italiano di Unicazione
(Standard is guidelines - no approval body) Italy
EN 12845 A general EU - Fire Sprinkler installation
Guideline - no listing laboratory specied
EU countries
GB 6425-2006 & GB 6245-1998 CCCF China Certication Centre for Fire
Products
China
NPB, Norms of Fire Safety VNIIPO, The All Russian Research Institute
for Fire Protection
Russia
SABS 0287 (South African
Bureau of Stand-
ards)
ASIB (Automatic Sprinkler Inspection Bu-
reau)
South Africa
SBF 120:6 (SS EN 12845) Svensk Brand och Skerhetscerticering AB Sweden
gudene DBI, Dansk Brand- og sikringsteknisk Institut Denmark
MSZ EN 12845 OKF (National Directorate genereal for
Disaster Management)
Hungary
The listing laboratorys homepage will
contain the components listed including the
manufacturers name; see for example the
homepages of VdS (www.vds.com; search
for certications) and Factory Mutual (FM,
www.fmglobal.com; search for product
certication).
(DENMARK) SPRINKLERPUMP
Type
H m kW Made in
Material of
pump housing
Type n. min
-1
D
imp
P
M
P

mm

bar

P/N
Vds certication
no.
Year of
construction
3
5
5
7
1
5
4
5
LISTING OF COMPONENTS & SYSTEMS
18
ENFORCEMENT OF
FIRE STANDARDS
Some countries enforce their re standards
strictly, with very skilled and powerful local
authorities. These Fire Inspectors or Fire
Marshalls inspect buildings to detect re
hazards and enforce local ordinances and
state laws, or investigate and gather facts to
determine the causes of res and explosions.
We call these persons for Authority having
jurisdiction (AHJ).
CLASSIFICATION OF
OCCUPANCIES AND
FIRE HAZARDS
The buildings and areas to be protected by
automatic re protection systems are classied
as either light hazard, ordinary hazard or high
hazard. The classication depends on the re
load and the occupancy. Examples of light
hazard occupancies include of ces and prisons.
Examples of ordinary hazard occupancies
include sheet metal factories, hospitals,
hotels, schools, restaurants and wood working
factories. Examples of high hazard occupancies
include paint manufacturers, oor cloth and
linoleum manufacturers, bus garages, train
sheds and manufacturers of reworks.
19
High hazard occupancies are divided into
process and storage, where storage is
considered the highest risk due to a heavy re
load caused by the stored materials.
Using automatic sprinkler installations as an
example, the classication of hazards can be as
follows:
Classication Occupancies Where used
LH Light Hazard Non-Industrial with poor re risk. Specic area
with 30 min. re resistance and max. 126 m
2
OH1 Ordinary Hazard Group 1
Commercial and industrial buildings where
medium ammable materials are stores and
manufactured
OH2 Ordinary Hazard Group 2
OH3 Ordinary Hazard Group 3
OH4 Ordinary Hazard Group 4
HHP1 High Hazard Protection Risk 1
Commercial and industrial buildings with
production* of high ammable materials and
highly re exposure
HHP2 High Hazard Protection Risk 2
HHP3 High Hazard Protection Risk 3
HHP4 High Hazard Protection Risk 4
HHS1 High Hazard Storage Risk 1
Commercial and industrial buildings with stor-
age** of high ammable materials and highly
re exposure
HHS2 High Hazard Storage Risk 2
HHS3 High Hazard Storage Risk 3
HHS4 High Hazard Storage Risk 4
* Production and storage in a small scale
** Storage in a larger scale
CLASSIFICATION OF OCCUPANCIES & FIRE HAZARDS
20
Example of a single electric re pump
The diferent re hazards determine if the
water supplies for sprinkler installations should
be single or duplicate and also determine the
redundancy of power supplies for the single or
duplex re pumps to be installed.
Single re pump set
= 1 electric re pump [ E ]
or
1 diesel re pump [ D ]
Duplex re pump set
= 1 electric re pump + 1 electric re pump [E + E]
Or
1 electric re pump + 1 diesel re pump [E + D]
Or
1 diesel re pump + 1 diesel re pump [D + D]
Example of an E+D duplex system including a CR
pump for pressure maintenance, priming tanks
for priming the pumps and suction and discharge
pipes. Note that each re pump has independent
control panels and independent suction pipes.
Example of a single diesel re pump set
21
Example of a duplex re pump set
CLASSIFICATION OF OCCUPANCIES & FIRE HAZARDS
22
Examples of water and power supplies and
number of re pumps for diferent re hazards:
Light hazard
A = Municipal power supply.
B = On-site generator
F = Control panel
E = Electrical motor
P =Pump
C = Diesel engine
Ordinary hazard
Option 1
A = Municipal power supply.
B = On-site generator
D = Diesel generator
F = Control panel
E = Electrical motor
P = Pump
Ordinary hazard
Option 2
A = Municipal power supply.
B = On-site generator
C = Diesel engine
D = Diesel generator
F = Control panel
E = Electrical motor
P = Pump
C
P
F
E
P
Water
Water
Water
Water
Water
A, B
A
1
, B
1
A
2
, B
2
,D
A
2
, B
2
,D
2
Water
F
E
F
E
P P
F
E C
P P
23
Ordinary hazard
Option 3
C = Diesel engine
P = Pump
High hazard
Option 1
A = Municipal power supply.
B = On-site generator
D = Diesel generator
F = Control panel
E = Electrical motor
P = Pump
High hazard
Option 2
A = Municipal power supply.
B = On-site generator
C = Diesel engine
D = Diesel generator
F = Control panel
E = Electrical motor
P = Pump
High hazard
Option 3
C = Diesel engine
P = Pump
A
1
, B
1
A, B, D
A
2
, B
2
,D
Water
Water
Water
Water Water
C C
P P
F F
E
P
F
E C
P P
C C
P P
CLASSIFICATION OF OCCUPANCIES & FIRE HAZARDS
24
AUTOMATIC
WATER
SPRINKLER
SYSTEM
Main components in an
automatic re sprinkler
system
Typically, re sprinkler systems are designed
using a series of components, each of which has
a unique function in the system.
The illustration to the right shows a combined
dry-pipe and wet-pipe installation, but sprinkler
systems can be diferent due to the various
installation standards.
Alarm bell
Installation side
Supply side
PS PS
Com-
pressor
3a
1
7
3
6
7
25
1. Stop valve
2. Valve monitor
3. Alarm valve
3a. Riser pipes / pipe systems
4. Sprinkler head
5. Alarm test valve
6. Alarm bell
7. Pressure switch
8. Flow switch
9. Jockey pump
10. Fire pumps
11. Control panels
Dry pipe
Wet pipe
15 mm
test valve
de
FS
VM
FS
FS
Diesel re pump
Watertank
Electric re pump
1
3
2
4
5
8
9
11
10
10
11
AUTOMATIC WATER SPRINKLER SYSTEM
26
Purpose of each main
component
1. Stop valve/indication valve
The stop valve is used to isolate the water
supply and is often painted red with a large
black circular handle and is locked in the OPEN
position, allowing the free ow of water. Often
the stop valve is also tted with a monitor
that is used to visualise the state (open or
closed) of the stop valve. The water is fed into
an automatic re sprinkler system by the re
pumps, which are supplied with water from
reliable sources such as the town mains, a
water tank, a lake or a river.
2. Valve Monitor
Used to monitor the state (open or closed) of
the Stop valve
3. Alarm valve
The alarm valve is used to control the ow
of water into the re sprinkler system. This is
accomplished by providing a one way valve that
is normally closed when the water pressure
(wet pipe) or air pressure (dry pipe) on the re
sprinkler side of the valve exceeds the water
supply pressure. When the pressure equalises or
falls below the water supply pressure, the valve
opens to enable water ow.
Release of a heat sensing element in a sprinkler.
The spray consists of ne droplets
27
3a. Pipe system
The pipe system starts with the riser pipes from
the pump room and continues through trunk
mains that are divided into the branch pipes
where the sprinklers are attached. The ambient
temperature around such pipes should be taken
into account to avoid the risk of frost damage.
Pipes can be divided into dry pipes and wet
pipes. Dry sprinkler systems are installed in
areas subject to frost. Wet sprinkler systems
are installed in frost free areas and heated
buildings. Systems that have both dry pipes and
wet pipes are only used for zones where frost
can occur. A compressor will keep the dry pipes
pressurised in case of small leakages but does
not have suf cient capacity if a sprinkler opens
- in order to ensure the essentiel pressuredrop
that will activate the duty repump
4. Automatic re sprinkler
When exposed for a suf cient time to a
temperature at or above the temperature rating
of the heat sensitive element (a glass bulb
or fusible link), the re sprinkler will release,
allowing water to ow from only the afected
sprinkler. The operation and subsequent water
ow of an automatic re sprinkler will lead to a
drop in pressure within the re sprinkler system
after the alarm valve.
AUTOMATIC WATER SPRINKLER SYSTEM
28
5. Alarm test valve
The alarm test valve is a small valve normally
secured in the closed position. The alarm test
valve is tted between the sprinkler system side
of the alarm valve and the drain. The purpose of
the alarm valve when opened is to simulate to
simulate a Fire, in order to test the Fire pumps.
6. Alarm bell
The alarm bell is a mechanical device operated
by the ow of water. The water oscillates a
hammer that strikes a gong, causing an audible
alarm signal.
7. Pressure switch
The pressure switch is an electro-mechanical
device that monitors a re sprinkler system to
detect drops in water pressure after the alarm
valve. The purpose of monitoring a pressure
drop is to activate the re-pump. If more re
pumps are installed, the pump with the highest
pressure setting (the duty pump) will start. If it
fails, the backup re pump will start since it has
a lower pressure setting. The pressure switch
is typically also monitored by a re alarm panel
or alarm signalling equipment, as a method for
signalling an alarm to the re brigade.
29
8. Jockey pump
Jockey pumps boost water from the water
supply to the re sprinkler system. The purpose
of this is to increase water pressure in the
re sprinkler system, thus forcing the alarm
valve into the closed position. Jockey pumps
have another function: maintaining the water
pressure within a re sprinkler system to avoid
false alarms caused by low pressure due to
small water leaks.
Pressure gauge - A pressure gauge is a
mechanical device that is usually tted to
an automatic re sprinkler system. There are
usually two gauges tted to a system, one
showing the water supply pressure and the
second showing the installation pressure.
9. Fire pumps
Fire pumps provide pressurised water to the
sprinklers attached to the pipe installation. The
pumps are typically one of following types: end-
suction, split-case, inline and vertical turbine
pumps, but vertical multistage pumps and
multistage multi outlet end suction pumps are
also used occasionally.
See examples to the left.
Endsuction
In-line
pump
Multistage multioutlet
endsuction
Vertical
multistage
Vertical
turbine
Horizontal splitcase
AUTOMATIC WATER SPRINKLER SYSTEM
30
Fire pumps are typically painted red since they
are re ghting equipment, but the red colour is
not necessarily required by the code.
The component standard for re pumps
describes the requirements. In general, internal
pump parts must be made of non-corrosive
materials, and the maximum pump pressure
must not exceed the pressure for which the
components are rated.
The re pump must have a stable pressure
curve e n whch Lhe naxnun head
and shutof head are coincidental, and the total
head declines with the increasing ow rate.
The American NFPA code requires a positive
inlet pressure whereas other codes including
the European code EN 12845 allow a negative
inlet pressure.
Example of an NFPA 20 pump curve
The NFPA 20 code species the pump to supply
not less than 150% of the rated ow and still be
able to provide at least 65 % of the total rated
pressure.
Driver sizing NFPA 20
To ensure that the driver is capable of operating
the pump at any time, the driver must be
selected at the pumps maximum power
requirement + 10%.
AUTOMATIC WATER SPRINKLER SYSTEM
31
HSF 6-12
n
nom
= 1450 min
-1
ISO 9906 Annex A
0 200 400 600 800 1000 200 1400 1600 Q[US GPM]
60
50
40
30
20
10
0
P
[PSI]
44
34
100 %
100 %
65 %
150 %
Stable pressure (H,Q) curve i.e. in which the
maximum head and shutof head are
coincidental
Rated
dutypoint
Maximum ow not less than 150 %
of rated ow and at least 65 % of
total rated pressure
0 200 400 600 800 1000 1200 1400 1600 Q[US GPM]
30
20
10
0
P2
[kW]
25 /311
Maximum power occurs, when there is no
increase in power with an increase in the ow
65
60
55
50
45
40
35
30
25
20
15
10
5
0
H
[m]
219
207
194
170
22 kW
18,5 kW
15 kW
11 kW
24
20
16
12
8
4
0
P2
[kW]
0 200 400 600 800
0 200 400 600 800
0 20 40
St
i.e
h
co
32
The reason for the stable pressure and ow
curve s Lhe ahLy c Lwc punps cne
primary pump (duty pump) and one for redun-
dancy hackup punp Lc cperaLe n parae
at all possible ow rates, but also to have a
stable pressure whether one or many sprinklers
are activated to have similar spray designs for
each sprinkler. Each of the two pumps installed
must be capable of independently providing the
specied ows and pressures
AUTOMATIC WATER SPRINKLER SYSTEM
Example I:
Max. ow determined
at NPSH = 5 m.
Example II:
Rising power curves at
all pump impeller
diameters.
Example III:
NPSH = 5 for minimum
and maximum
impeller size.
19
207
194
170
170 (NPSH) 119 (NPSH)
W
kW
W
W
20
10
0
NPSH
[m]
800 1000 1200 1400 1600 1800 2000 Q[l/min]
800 1000 1200 1400 1600 1800 2000 Q[l/min]
40 60 80 100 120 Q[l/min]
NKF 50-200
2950 rpm
ISO 9906 Annex A
Stable pressure (H,Q) curve
i.e. in which the maximum
head and shutof head are
coincidental
33
34
Driver sizing - EN 12845
Pumps with a rising power curve (the most
common type): The power requirement for any
conditions of pump load corresponds to the
power at NPSH 16 metres or for Pumps with a
non-overloading power curve (very rare): The
maximum power required is at the peak of the
power curve.
Electric and engine driven pump sets
Fire pumps are either driven by diesel engines or
electric motors. The building hazard class (risk)
species the number of pump sets and driver
alternatives - see page 18. Where a combination
of two electric motors (E + E) or a combination
of an electric motor and a diesel engine (E + D)
or diesel engines only (D + D) is possible, the
decision to choose either of the solutions is
typically based on cost.
The availability of independent, suf cient
(measured in ampere) and reliable electric
power supplies can sometimes favour electric
motors as drivers for the re pumps; conversely,
diesel driven pumps are favoured if there is a
lack of adequate electric power.
Electric fre pump sets
The re installation standards (see page 12) and
subsequently the re component standards
(see page 14) specify the requirements for the
electric motors that are used as drivers for re
pumps.
In general, every re standard accepts locally
built standard electric motors rated for
continuous duty and sized with a surplus power
resource for extra safety (see page 24)
.
24
20
16
12
8
4
0
P2
[kW]
0 200 400 6
Example of a pump set with a NEMA motor
35
Peak of a
non-overloading
power-curve
19
207
194
170
170 (NPSH) 119 (NPSH)
20
10
0
NPSH
[m]
00 600 800 1000 1200 1400 1600 1800 2000 Q[l/min]
Motors compliant with the IEC standard are
used all over Europe and in many other places
in the world except for America.
The NFPA re standard requires motors
that comply with the National Electrical
Manufacturers Association (NEMA) MG-1
standard and are listed (UL and FM) for re
pump service. This means that all re pumps in
North America and anywhere else where a UL
listing is required use NEMA motors
The motors and re pumps are connected via
the coupling between the motor and pump
shaft and mounted on a base frame to ensure
a rigid design for proper operation. Sometimes
the control panel is attached to the base frame;
alternatively, it may be mounted on the wall
nearby.
Example of a pump set with an IEC motor
AUTOMATIC WATER SPRINKLER SYSTEM
36
Diesel fre pump sets
Engines used as drivers for re pumps must
be of the compression ignition type, i.e. diesel
engines. The requirements of the diesel engines
are described in the installation (see page 12)
and component standards (see page 14). Most
engines used have mechanical fuel injection
pumps due to price considerations but also due
to emission requirements which are typically
not very strict in re sprinkler system applica-
tions. However, the U.S. and especially the state
of California requires low emission engines in
this application, which means that engines
typically then have to be of the electronically
controlled fuel pump type to full EPA emission
requirements.
Fire listing/certication
In general, there are only 2 standards that
require listed (certied) diesel engines: the
NFPA standard (UL listing & FM approval) and
BS EN 12845 (LPCB approval). All other stand-
ards accept engines if they comply with the
specication described in the standard.
1.02
1.00
0.98
0.96
0.94
0.92
0.90
0.88
0.86
0.84
0.82
0.80
0.78
0.76
0.74
0.72
0.70
0.68
0 2000 4000 60
(0) (610) (1219) (
3
0
0


f
t
(
9
1
,
4

m
)
D
e
r
a
t
e

f
a
c
t
o
r

(
C
A
)
1,00
0,99
0.98
0,97
0.96
0.95
0.94
0.93
0.92
0.91
0.90
0.89
0.88
65 75 85 95 105 115 125 135
7
7
o

F
(
2
5
o

C
)
D
e
r
a
t
e

f
a
c
t
o
r

(
C
T
)
(18,3) (23,9) (29,4) (35) (40,6) (46,1) (51,7) (57,2)
37
00 6000 8000 10000
19) (1829) (2438) (3048)
125 135 145 155 165 175 185 195 205
51,7) (57,2) (62,8) (68,3) (73,9) (79,4) (85,0) (90,6) (96,1)
Elevation above sea level
Engine rating
Engines must either be rated according to SAE
conditions or ISO 3046, be capable of operating
continuously at full load and be able to achieve
the rated pump speed within 15 seconds from
any starting sequence.
Engines must be derated with a 3% reduction of
engine horsepower for each 300 metres of alti-
tude above 91 metres above sea level, and a 1%
reduction of horsepower ratings for every 5.6C
above an ambient temperature of 25C.
The correction equation:
Derated horsepower =
(CA + CT 1) x listed horsepower
where
CA = derating factor for elevation
CT = derating factor for temperature
AUTOMATIC WATER SPRINKLER SYSTEM
38
Engine cooling
Engine cooling systems can be any one the
following three systems: a heat exchanger,
an air cooled radiator or direct air cooling. The
most common type is the heat exchanger.
Using a heat exchanger, the cooling water is
taken from the re pump discharge side and
ows through the cooling loop and the heat
exchanger. The cooling loop is normally closed
and is activated either electrically from the
control panel or hydraulically by the engine oil
pressure or re pump pressure when the re
pump starts to operate.


Cooling circuit Water is taken from the pump discharge, ows through
39
ws through the cooling loop to the heat exchanger and is nally discarded
Cooling loop
Heat
exchanger
Fuel and fuel tank
Fuel specications state that fuel must be clean,
petroleum-derived petro-diesel. It must not be
blended with biodiesel since biodiesels (BTL)
add risks to the system due to viscosity and
sedimentation issues.
Sizing of fuel tanks varies, but in general they
must be sized for a minimum of 4 hours of
operation for light and ordinary hazard and 6
hours for high hazard. Local authorities may
have extra requirements for environmental
protection, which typically requires double wall
tanks.
Starting batteries, electric system and starting
mechanism
Engines can be started electrically, hydraulically
or by air. The most common type is electrical
starting. Such engine sets always have 2
battery sets for redundancy and are charged
independently, continuously and fully
automatically. The control panel for the diesel
engine set will automatically activate each
battery set and switch over in a special starting
sequence to start the engine. Some standards
require 12 V and others require 24 V systems.
AUTOMATIC WATER SPRINKLER SYSTEM
40
11. Control panels
Fire standards state that all re pumps must
have their own independent control panel to
ensure reliable and independent operation.
If a re occurs, the control panel starts
the re pump via a signal from a pressure
switch. Fire pump controllers are designed
and manufactured in accordance with re
protection, electrical and insurance codes. Most
ccnLrc panes are sLedcerLhed hy a Lhrd
party like UL, FM VdS or LPCB.
Electric fre pump control panels
In contrast to normal electrical control
panels, re pump panels are designed from
a re protection point of view that does not
exclusively focus on electrical safety. As an
example, there are no overload relays for motor
protection installed. Electricity supply shall be
taken directly from the input side of the mains
supply to the premises.
The pump controller shall be able to do the
following:
- Start the motor automatically on receiving
a signal from the pressure switches
- Start the motor on manual actuation
- Stop the motor by manual actuation only
Example of an electrical re
pump controller
Power
meter
Main Distribution Board (MDB)
to include main switch and
branch brakers
Fire pump
Controller
Power Utility
transformer station
41
Diesel fre pump control panels
Fire pump controllers for engine driven re
pumps are designed to automatically start
the engine upon a system pressure drop via
the pressure switches, or from a number of
other demand signals. The controller has a
highly reliable printed circuit board (PCB) and
PCB mounted relays. The controller uses a
microprocessor to control automatic engine
operation and alternation between batteries
during cranking. It also monitors and records
system alarms and pressure, battery voltage
and engine functions.
Battery
set 1
90 - 240 VAC
Power supply
Connections to engine
Battery
set 2
Example of an diesel re pump controller
and related connections
AUTOMATIC WATER SPRINKLER SYSTEM
42
Other types of automatic water sprinkler
systems
Deluge systems
Deluge systems are systems where all sprinklers
connected are open and have no heat sens-
ing element. Deluge systems are used in areas
where there is a concern for a rapid re spread.
The piping is lled with atmospheric pressure. A
mechanically activated deluge valve will open in
case of a re, enabling water to ll the sprinkler
pipe. The deluge valve is activated by a signal
from a re alarm system and remains open
once it has been activated.
Pre-action systems (commanded systems)
Pre-action sprinkler systems are specialised for
use at locations where accidental activation is
undesirable such as museums, special techno-
logy companies etc. Pre-action systems are
combinations of wet, dry, and deluge systems,
depending on the specic system goal. In case
of a re, the re alarm system will activate the
pre-action valve, and water will be distributed
to the pipes where the re is located.
Dry system for
freezing hazard
Compressor
Flow meter Check valve
Water resevoir
JP
Che
Wet system for w
Alarm valve,
dry
F
i
r
e

a
l
a
r
m
To sprinkler
alarm panel
Die
spr
Electric driven
sprinkler pump
Example of another combined sprinkler installation
43
Check valve
Ventilators
Hose connection
or reel
To sprinkler
alarm panel
ystem for warehouse Commanded system
Alarm valve
wet, Section 1
Alarm valve
wet, section 2
To sprinkler
alarm panel
F
i
r
e

a
l
a
r
m
F
i
r
e

a
l
a
r
m
Diesel driven
sprinkler pump
AUTOMATIC WATER SPRINKLER SYSTEM
44
Functionality of a water
sprinkler system
The illustration shows a basic model of an
automatic sprinkler installation with an E+D
duplex re pump system including a jockey
pump to maintain line pressure.
The pumps have the following start pressure
settings:
- Jockey pump (pressure maintenance) 135 PSI
- Electric re pump (duty pump) 125 PSI
- Diesel re pump (backup pump) 115 PSI
A re occurs, the heat activates a sprinkler, and
the pipe pressure starts to drop. The pressure
drops to 130 PSI, and the jockey pump is acti-
vated to maintain the pressure.

Stand
pipe
Pump
with
electric
motor
Pump
with
diesel
engine
Test valve and ow meter
Sprinklers
125
115
135
Stand
pipe
Pump
with
electric
motor
Pump
with
diesel
engine
Test valve and ow meter
Sprinklers
125
115
135
45
PSI
Time
Pressure
gauge/switch
e
Jockey pump
125
115
135
On = 125 PSI
On = 115 PSI
On = 135 Of = 145 PSI
Sprinkler open
>>
System pressure drop
145
130
PSI
Time
Pressure
gauge/switch
e
Jockey pump
125
115
135
On = 125 PSI
On = 115 PSI
On = 135 Of = 145 PSI
Jockey pump ON
>>
Maintain setpoint
145
130
AUTOMATIC WATER SPRINKLER SYSTEM
46
cwever Lhe |cckey punp s sezedseecLed
so it cannot provide a suf cient water ow for
a single sprinkler. As the re evolves and more
sprinklers open, the system pressure drops
further to 125 PSI.
The duty re pump will start up at 125 PSI and
start building up pressure in the system. Once
the re pumps have been started, they do not
stop unless someone turns them of manually.
If the duty pump could not start due to an elec-
tric power supply failure, the pressure switch
for the backup pump at 115 PSI would activate
the backup pump.
In the meantime, the re alarm panel would
have signalled the re to the re department
who will ght the re as well upon arrival.
When the re is under control, the Fire Chief in
control will decide when to stop the re pumps.

Stand
pipe
Pump
with
electric
motor
Pump
with
diesel
engine
Test valve and ow meter
Sprinklers
125
115
135
Stand
pipe
Pump
with
electric
motor
Pump
with
diesel
engine
Test valve and ow meter
Sprinklers
125
115
135
47
Maintenance of re
sprinkler systems
A re sprinkler system that has been success-
fully installed and approved at the eld accept-
ance test by the local AHJ is ready for use.
To ensure correct functionality and reliability,
however, it is essential to inspect and maintain
the sprinkler system periodically.
The responsibility for proper maintenance typi-
cally lies with the owner of the property, but
he is allowed to delegate the responsibility for
inspection and maintenance to an occupant or
a management rm if this has been docu-
mented by a contract.
Fire installation standards (see page 12)describe
in detail what is to be inspected and tested on
the sprinkler installations. In general, re pumps
have to be tested weekly, and the remaining
system must undergo periodical inspection and
maintenance quarterly and annually. Inspection
and testing has to be done by personnel who
have gained competence through training and
experience.
Pressure
gauge/switch
e
Jockey pump
125
115
135
On = 125 PSI
On = 115 PSI
On = 135 Of = 145 PSI
Pressure switch activate
duty pump
>>
No stable pressure
PSI
145
130
125
Time
Pressure
gauge/switch
e
Jockey pump
125
115
135
On = 125 PSI
On = 115 PSI
On = 135 Of = 145 PSI
Main pump start
>>
Maintain setpoint
PSI
Max.
Min.
Time
AUTOMATIC WATER SPRINKLER SYSTEM
48
FIRE SPRINKLER
SYSTEM STATISTICS
A well maintained, certied sprinkler system
that is engineered for use in a building has a
very low risk of failure.
Recent statistics from the NFPA (source: U.S.
Experience with sprinklers, John R. Hall, Jr. NFPA
re nayss and research uncy hased
on data from res in the U.S. give the following
information:
prnkers have an ehecL n c a hres
large enough to activate a sprinkler
eL ppe sprnkers cperaLed n c
these res vs. 81% for dry pipe sprinklers
here sprnkers were acLvaLed and hegan
to operate, they were efective in 88% of all
res in sprinklered properties.
eL ppe sprnkers cperaLed and were
efective in 89% of all res vs. 76% for dry-
pipe sprinklers
In 2006-2010 res large enough to activate
them, sprinklers operated in 91% of res in
sprinklered properties. The gures below are
based on the other 9% in which sprinklers
should have operated but did not.
Reasons why sprinklers fail to operate, 2006-2010
ysLen shuL ch hecre hre
anua nLervenLcn deeaLed sysLen
anaged ccnpcnenL
ack c nanLenance
napprcpraLe sysLen cr hre
49
FIRE SPRINKLER SYSTEM STATISTICS
In 2006-2010 res where sprinklers operated,
they were efective in 96% of the cases. The
gures below are based on the other 4% in
which the sprinkler was inefective.
Reasons why sprinklers are inefective, 2006-2010
aLer dd ncL reach Lhe hre
cL encugh waLer reeased
anua nLervenLcn deeaLed sysLen
anaged ccnpcnenL
ack c nanLenance
napprcpraLe sysLen cr hre
Usually, only 1 or 2 sprinklers are required to
control the re:
hen weL ppe sprnkers cperaLed c
reported res involved only 1 or 2 sprinklers
cr dry ppe sprnkers nvcved cny
or 2 sprinklers
50
OTHER FIRE
EXTINGUISHING
SYSTEMS
Water mist systems
Water mist systems use water to extinguish
res in buildings. The re sprinkler pump
distributes the water via the pipe system where
the sprinklers are attached, and the special
nczzes spread Lhe waLer n a hne spraynsL
Mist systems use a small amount of water,
Lypcay wLh fcws up Lc nn aL a
minimum pressure of [H] 6 bar.
High pressure water mist systems use positive
displacement pumps to provide standing
pressures up to 150 bar. Such systems require
high value components, and the pipework is
typically stainless steel.
High pressure makes the spray consist of a ne
mist instead of droplets.
Ele
pu
51
OTHER FIRE EXTINGUISHING SYSTEMS
Low to medium pressure water mist systems
are becoming more common, as they can
potentially ofer re ghting properties
comparable to those of sprinkler systems, but
use less water to do so.*
*This depends largely on the installation and
the risk involved. Further guidance should be
sought as to whether this will be applicable for
each type of risk.
Water mist systems are operated in a similar
way to deluge systems where the pipes are
lled with pressurised air, and the re pumps
are activated by an external re alarm system.
The nozzles have diferent designs to make
specic spray patterns in order to achieve
unique protection of the area.
Municipal
water supply
Water tank
Electrical
pumps
52
Foam systems
Foam systems use a mixture of water and a
low expansion foam concentrate (1-6%) to
extinguish res in buildings. The re pump
distributes the water and foam mixture via the
pipe system and discharges the foam spray via
the foam sprinkler heads (foam generators).
The foam systems are connected to a water
supply through a valve that is opened by the
operation of a smoke or heat detection system.
The foam is injected into the pipe after the
re pump from a foam bladder tank by a foam
pump in order to be mixed with the water.
The foam system can operate like any of the
other re sprinkler systems (wet, dry, pre-action
and deluge systems). This means that the
system is activated either by activating the heat
sensing element on the sprinkler heads or by
the re detection system.
Foam deluge systems are used in places that
are considered high hazard occupancies, such as
power plants, ofshore oil rigs, aircraft hangars
and chemical storage or processing facilities.
Example of foam protection
Fire station
Emcy
re
pump
Floor Engine room
Foam generator
Side
educ
Control
panel
EFP
D deck
A deck
Upper
deck
2.nd
deck
3.nd
deck
PS P
Foam systems
Schematic view of halon 1301 systems
and carbon dioxide systems
53
OTHER FIRE EXTINGUISHING SYSTEMS
Gas extinguishing systems
Gas extinguishing systems are not as common
as re sprinkler systems. They are used in areas
where water damage must be avoided, for
example in rooms with lots of electric panels,
servers and computers, laboratories and
archives.
The system is also called clean agent re
suppression. Such a system typically consists of
the agent (gas), agent storage containers, agent
release valves, re detectors, a re detection
system (wiring control panel, actuation
signalling), agent delivery piping, and agent
dispersion nozzles.
The gases used are usually environmentally safe
and sufocate the re in either of three ways:
1. Reduction of heat. Typically HFC family
gases (heptauoropropane)
2. Reduction of oxygen. Typically argon,
argonite, carbon dioxide
3. Inhibition of heat and oxygen. Typically
halon, pentauoroethane (global warming
potential)
here are Lwc ways c appyng Lhe gas
ooding the concealed space totally or applying
gas locally and directly onto a re.
There is a high risk of sufocation when using
gas in enclosed spaces. Consequently, life safety
systems need to be installed to warn people,
enabling them to escape the room.
Foam liquid
tank
ation
tor
Side pro
eductor
Pump room
Foam tank room
Diaphragm cont.valve
ntrol
nel
Foam liq.
pump
FLP
Foam
liquid
pump
starter
PS
PS
P
P
54
Hose Reel systems
Fire hose reel systems are very common, consist
of pumps, pipes, a water supply and hose reels
located strategically in a building, ensuring
proper coverage of water to combat a re.
The system is manually operated and activated
by opening a valve enabling the water to ow
into the hose that is typically 30 meters away.
The system pressure loss will activate the pump,
ensuring an adequate water ow and pressure
to provide a water jet of typically a minimum of
10 meter from the nozzle.
Schematic view of a hose reel system
55
OTHER FIRE EXTINGUISHING SYSTEMS
This was the basic Fire application Guide from
Grundfos. Hopefully, You enjoyed reading it.
If You still have appetite for more, please
visit our Thinking Buildings Universe at
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Here you can nd more interesting articles
about Fire sprinkler products.
Grundfos wish You a safe future.
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reserved.
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this material. No part of this material may be
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A/S.
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Tel: +45 87 50 14 00
www.grundfos.com
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VISIT US ONLINE
For more information on Grundfos
Commercial Building Services and
our services, please visit
www.thinkingbuildings.com
Here, you can read all about our
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including the timesaving Quick
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