fire service located below ground for many years will eventually be affected by the elements of the earth. Corrosion and vehicular damage are a fire services worst enemy and due to the abundant amounts of water these types of plumbing pipes hold when they do break open there is no guessing just where the issue is, the ground will open like a crater in the earth and a deluge of water will come streaming out (as seen in image on this page).

pipe rupture

The other issue beside fixing the hole in the ground is shutting off the control valves to these systems will require a special type of equipment that only a certified company will have and in some cases depending on the property there can be multiple (ring main).

Locked & Controlled

The reason fire services are controlled via either a chain and a 003 padlock or a sluice valve is so that the public cannot easily tamper with the water supply which is feeding these pipes. The last thing you need to find is that when a fire starts, and the fighting equipment is turned on there is no water in the system, a disaster contributing to another disaster. It is therefore crucial that the
appropriately qualified and certified company is engaged to repair a broken water pipe used to fight fires with, that’s why companies use Mayfair Plumbing and Gasfitting a preferred go to name in fire infrastructure.

The older the pipe the greater the likely hood is that the system will give way over time in numerous locations, it is when problems like this occur a business may opt to have sections of the mains upgraded. Materials used in the installation of older fire systems such as steel or galvanised pipes and fittings are more susceptible to corrosion due to their properties. The steel pipes when installed 50 plus years ago were placed into the ground and buried without any form of protective materials placed over them. 

Copper and brass was also used and still is today but better protected, like any metallic material it will start to break down after many years of being exposed to the earths elements leading to a ruptured water main.

Denso Wrap

Today we use methods such as denso wrap (this product comes in small manageable sized rolls and is manually applied to any exposed metallic fittings including nuts and bolts) and green sleeve (not necessarily green just and industry known term, this is a heavy-duty plastic sleeve used to protect metallic materials from the environment it is easily slipped over the pipes and fittings and taped on) to protect metallic materials which are placed in the ground.

There is more access on the market for products called blue brute, apollo blue, ductile iron and red stripe products. These materials come in various wall thicknesses depending on the fire mains purpose, boosted systems (typically PN20) or mains pressure from the street connection (typically PN16). The life span of these products is far longer as their corrosion resistant properties are far greater then that of any bare metallic property placed into the ground. 

Other bonuses are that the installation times are quicker, and the material costs are lower. These materials can be mass produced above ground and then carefully placed into the ground allowing for a quicker installation and less error when installing these fittings and pipes in the ground allowing contamination.

Repairs

Unfortunately, we find that these polyethylene products are damaged easier during other construct work performed in the local area where a pipe line is buried. They are harder to identify with above ground locating equipment and harder to feel in the ground when digging with excavators, bobcats, back hoes and tractors. When it comes to repairing these types of fire services having access to correct fittings and pipes will be the demise of many plumbing companies. 

The experience and knowledge our company has in commercial and industrial plumbing applications has made us a leader in all aspects of repairs and installations of any underground fire systems.

Having a fire protection system that cannot protect a property and its people is not an option for
anyone as your insurance policy will be void. If you experience a burst main or broken hydrant and need an emergency plumber let the experts in fire protection help you repair and protect your assets. 

cracked water pipe under road