Preview Mode Links will not work in preview mode

Apr 5, 2021

On this solocast, we’re introducing our standpipe systems series! The series dissects codes that require these systems and the standards that dictate the installation features. In the first episode of our standpipe solocast series, we cover the classes and types of standpipe systems, codes and how to determine when standpipes are required.

Don’t forget, if you’re interested in hearing a series bonus episode, head over to



Hello. Welcome to the solo cast of fire code tech in these episodes. It's just gonna be me, your host, Gus Gagliardi. There's gonna be a range of topics, but I'm gonna talk about specific technologies, installation, standards, codes, and how they work as well as some other interesting topics that don't neatly fit inside of the context of a normal I.

Hello. All welcome to episode four of the solo cast of fire code tech on this solo cast. We. Standpipes. So this is a really big topic and I'm sure I'll talk about it on multiple videos, but it's one that's near and dear to my heart. And so I had trouble understanding the requirements around standpipes.

Uh, when I first started to branch over into the. FPE part of my career. And so I want to kind of highlight the codes and standards as well as, um, some of the things that I've learned about BIM coordination and installation for stand pipes. So yeah, I'm try to start off very basic. And then, uh, she. How much I can get out of this topic since there's a lot, there's a, there's a huge amount to what standpipes are and, uh, when you need 'em and you know, the different varietals, so excited about this one.

So for preface, uh, I want to get started with the codes surrounding the stand pipe systems. So I'm going to start off with. The international building code and address the code section that talks about standpipes. So how do you know if you need a standpipe system? So if you live in the us. And you're working in a jurisdiction that adopts the international building code.

What you would do is take a look at section 9 0 5, which is stand pipe systems and take a look at the requirements for when these systems are required. And so essentially if you're building meets, uh, one of these criteria, then you are required to have a stand pipe. And so let's go over a couple of those criteria that might require your building to have a stand pipe system.

9 0 5 0.1 says stand pipe system shall be provided in new buildings and structures in accordance with sections 9 0 5 2 through 9 0 5 10 in buildings used for high piled combustible storage, fire protection shall be in accordance with the international fire code 9 0 5 2 dictates the installation standard, which is an FPA 14.

The other document that drives the install and the other applicable equipment requirements for stand pipe systems. So here's where we get into some of the criteria in the international building code, which dictate when these systems are required, 9 0 5 0.3 required installations starts to go over some of the factors, um, in which you might need, which some of the building factors, which might put you into a category of building that requires a stand pipe systems.

So the first. Factor is height. The 9 0 5 0.3 0.1 says class three stand pipe system shall be installed throughout the buildings where the floor level at the highest story is located more than 30 feet above the lowest level of fire department vehicle access. I'll be sure to put a picture of this up in the show notes.

Essentially, this means that wherever you have, uh, wherever your fire department access is, if your building has an applicable floor, 30 feet above this area, then your building is required to have a stamp pipe. This is important because this is probably the most frequent. Um, determining factor for, uh, throwing your building into a class of building, which re requires a stamp pipe system.

So that's the first and the foremost interesting that it's listed first, an interesting note about this requirement and just how it fits into the building code. Is there are significant requirements for your building if you have exits that are, I mean, if you have. Stories which are 30 feet above or below the level of exit discharge or the fire department access.

So there's, uh, big life safety implications. When you start adding significant height on your building and, you know, you don't have a way to immediately exit to, uh, an egress path on ground level. Or the level of fire department access in this case, furthermore, in this 9 0 5 0.3 0.1 section describing the height and how that requirement is there for buildings of a appreciable height to be required to have stand pipes.

There are some exceptions for what type of stand pipe is required. And so, uh, you could take a look at those, but I'm just gonna keep going on to the factors, uh, Building features that would require a standpipe. The next, uh, factor you could say in 9 0 5 0.3 0.2 is group a occupancies and it says class one, automatic wet standpipe shall be provided in nons sprinkler group, a buildings that have an occupant load exceeding a thousand persons.

Uh, that seems like a strange one, cuz I feel like if you have a, an, a occupancy with a thousand. Um, maybe there are some existing construction examples, but generally you would be required to have sprinklers at that point anyways. So in most, in a lot of instances. So that's an interesting caveat there. 9 0, 5 0.3 0.3 covered mall and open mall buildings.

So, you know, another requirement tying back to large amounts of people, um, covered mall and open mall buildings shall be equipped throughout with a stamp pipe system where required by 9 0 5 3 1. Mall buildings not required to be equipped with the stamp pipe system shall be equipped with a class one host connection throughout the automatic sprinkler system size to deliver 250 gallons per minute.

So here's a set of, so open malls are malls in general, have some. Extra occupancy requirements, just, um, due to the nature of the facility. So the next factor just below here is nine to 5.3 0.4 stages. So this can be a tricky one. It's a good one. To remember that stages over a certain amount, have life safety implications.

I was working on like a community center, um, and it ended up. A fairly large stage. So in this case, if it's greater than a thousand square feet, you have to have a class three wet stand pipe with the inch and a half inch, two, two and a half inch hose connections on each side of the stage. So, so, but it looks like there's an exception for automatic sprinkler systems, but if you have a small building with a big stage, which could happen, uh, this might, this might trigger you.

Here's that height thing coming back, um, into play that we spoke of earlier 9 0 5 0.3 0.5 underground building shall be equipped throughout with a class one automatic wet or manual stand pipe. Um, underground buildings probably has a very specific meaning in the definitions. And so I'm just gonna rip off the, the last couple of these, um, requirement occupancies, if you will, they're all kind of the same.

He stops and heliports 9 0 5, 3 0.90 5.3 0.6 marina. And boatyards 9 0 5 0.3 0.7 and then roof rooftop gardens and landscaped roofs. So let's go through, you know, we didn't talk about, probably should have talked about this first. What is a stand pipe? That's a great question. Let's take a look at the definition in N FPA 14.

I'm looking at the 2019 edition and this is 3.3 point 20. Stand pipe system, an arrangement of piping valves, valves, hose, connections, and associated equipment installed in a building or structure with the hose connections located in such a manner that water can be discharged in streams or spray patterns through the attached hose and nozzles for the purpose of extinguishing a fire, thereby protecting a building structure or, and its contents.

In addition to protecting the occupants. So the next thing I wanna talk about is what are the different classes and types of stand pipe systems. So I want to focus on. A little bit of some of these definitions in an FPA 14. And I think it's important because you know, the building code references, the different classes of stand pipe and when they're required.

And so I think it's a really good baseline to have as an understanding, to know what are the different types of systems and. What's most common. So I'll, I'll go over in my experience. Um, what systems are most common and the different types of systems, so let's get into it. So we have. First of all there's system classes.

So this is stand pipe system classes. So we have class one through three. So I just will read the definitions. It's just as exposition on different stand pipe classes. So we have class one, a system that provides a two and a half inch host connection to supply water use for fire departments. So the big difference between all these system classes.

Um, the valving is, is similar for all these systems, but the thing that changes is what sized hose connections are provided. So class one is two and a half inch. Uh, this is, uh, a fairly common class I'd say in my experienced, uh, one of the most common. So class two is a system that provides one and a half inch hose stations to supply water for use primarily by train personnel or by fire department during initial response.

Class three is a system that provides one and a half inch host stations to supply water for use by train personnel and two and a half inch host connections to supply larger volume water for use by fire departments. So I'd say I've seen class three, the least in, uh, class one the most, and then class two.

Um, probably second, most common. So generally, if you have class one stand pipes in your stairwells, uh, they're gonna be two and a half inch. And so class two stand pipes is instance in which you would have. Those are for high pod storage or, um, oftentimes in the ancillary portion of the facility for hangers.

This is where you would have class two stamp pipe systems. So these inch and a half hose lines provided throughout the facility to, um, basically help the firefighting personnel. So now that we've talked about the different classes, let's talk about. So just like fire suppression systems, so sprinkler systems, there are, um, wet and dry.

Uh, standpipes. And so there's a couple different varietals of wet and dry stand pipes, but the, the one, uh, thing that standpipe has that sprinklers don't have is the automatic and manual. So a manual standpipe system is where you, the pumper for the. Fire service has to hook up to a hydrant and then charge the system with water.

So, uh, or basically they don't have to charge it with water, but they have to provide the pressure and flow in order to make this system work. So that's a manual system, so there's manual wet and manual dry, and it'll get into more specifics on the definitions for these, but, um, in broad terms, um, Manual wet means that the system is charged with water, but the system is not intended to be able to provide the hydraulic characteristics that is required and then manual dry means there's no water in the system.

And the only time that you get water in this system is when you, uh, the pump hooks up to the fire ex or, uh, Fire Hy the pumper hooks up to the fire hydrant and then they hook up to the FDC connection where they will put water into the system in order to provide a charged line, um, where the fire service needs to attack the fire.

So automatic, what does automatic mean? Automatic means. That this system is, uh, attached to a means to provide the system hydraulic characteristics. Um, I'm sure I'll get into the hydraulic characteristics. I don't know if I'll do it in this episode, how they're, how it's coed. Yeah. So it's hooked up to a, a water source or a water supply that has the ability to.

Provide the capacity for the hydraulics required for a stand pipe system. So, um, generally this is a fire pump. Uh, imagine there could be other water supply scenarios in which, uh, I, I guess it would have to be a fire pump at some point, if not in the building then, um, it, uh, dis distribution level, uh, I guess you could.

Have a city with a stout enough water supply curve to, um, basically consider it automatic. But so that's it for the episode, four of the solo cast of fire code tech in our first episode about standpipes. Uh, as you can tell, I barely just scratched the surface of things that we could talk about, um, pertaining to stand pipes.

Uh, we still didn't touch hydraulic calculations. We didn't really touch, uh, location or coordination items. And so I'm gonna keep going into stand pipes and future installments. Don't know when I get back to it because I want. These varied to keep people interested, but yeah. Oh, and don't forget if you liked this episode, you can go get another bonus episode about stand pipe, where I do an additional 15 minutes, which are topics about stand pipes.

I get into NFP 14, a little bit more in the bonus episode talking about some of the different system types. And so. Get into that a little bit more, but yeah, if you wanna check that out, that's code tech. Hope you enjoyed it, and we'll see you next time on fire code tech. Thanks for listening everybody.

Be sure to share the episode with a friend, if you enjoyed it, don't forget that fire protection and life safety is serious. Business the views and opinions expressed on this podcast are by no means a professional consultation or a codes and standards interpretation. Be sure to contact a licensed professional.

If you are getting involved with fire protection and or life safety. Thanks again. And we'll see you next time.