City of Harrisburg, PA
Dauphin County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the City Council of the City of Harrisburg.[1] Amendments noted where applicable.]
[1]
Editor's Note: This chapter was renumbered from Ch. 3-961 by Ord. No. 25-2003. Chapter 3-961 did not include any information regarding the original adoption date or ordinance number.

§ 3-905.1 Requirements.

A. 
This chapter applies only to new multifamily residential occupancies with a maximum of three stories in height. A story is defined as that portion of a building included between the upper surface of a floor and the upper surface of the floor or roof next above.
B. 
In structures described in § 3-905.2 below, a combination fire sprinkler system shall be a minimum requirement to satisfy the intent of this code. A combination fire protection system, for the purposes of this code, means that the sprinkler system and the domestic water system utilize the same (common) service water supply pipe to the premises.

§ 3-905.2 Multifamily occupancy.

Multifamily occupancy (three or more units) includes residential structures, regardless of the form of ownership (i.e., rental, condominium, townhouses, garden apartments, etc.) and the existence of a fire wall separation, that are not required to have a commercial- or industrial-type sprinkler system in accordance with the most recent edition of NFPA 13 and 13D, or existing structures undergoing such alteration or expansion that increases the number of individual residential units to five or more, if the total costs for such alterations or expansion to the building(s) or structure(s) are 50% or larger of the most recent property and structure evaluation.

§ 3-905.3 System design and installation.

A. 
All sprinklers shall be listed by Underwriters' Laboratories, Inc., fast response for residential use.
B. 
Only listed and approved Factory Mutual or Underwriters' Laboratories, Inc., materials shall be used in sprinkler systems.
C. 
Approved listing may be waived for tanks, pumps, hangars, water flow detection devices, water flow valves, check valves, and gauges.
D. 
All systems shall be tested for leakage as follows:
(1) 
Tested hydrostatically prior to sprinkler head and dry wall installation in accordance with NFPA 13, Standard for the Installation of Sprinkler Systems, if Fire Bureau connection is required.
(2) 
Tested for leakage at normal operating pressure prior to dry wall installation, if not required to be hydrostatically tested.
(3) 
Tested for leakage at normal operating water pressure after sprinkler head installation.

§ 3-905.4 Water supply.

A. 
Every automatic sprinkler system shall have at least one automatic water supply. When stored water is used as the sole source of supply for residential applications only, the minimum quantity shall equal the water demand rate times 10 minutes. All other applications (light and ordinary hazard) shall require at least 30 minutes of water quantity.
B. 
For multipurpose piping systems, a piping system serving both sprinkler and domestic needs shall be acceptable when, in common water supply connections serving more than one dwelling unit, five gallons per minute is added to the sprinkler system demand in addition to any domestic demand so as to determine the size of common piping and the size of the total water supply requirements.

§ 3-905.5 Valves and drains.

Each system shall have the components defined in this chapter contained in a single control valve arranged to shut off both the domestic and sprinkler systems and a separate shutoff valve for the domestic system only. This requirement will not apply in the following circumstances:
A. 
Exception 1. The sprinkler system piping may have a separate control valve where supervised by one of the following methods:
(1) 
Central station, proprietary, or remote station alarm service.
(2) 
Local alarm service which will cause the sounding of an audible alarm signal at a constantly attended point.
(3) 
Locking the valves open.
B. 
Exception 2. A separate shutoff valve is not required for the domestic water supply in multipurpose piping systems.

§ 3-905.6 Piping.

Pipe or tube and fittings used in sprinkler systems shall be of materials listed for such applications by Factory Mutual and/or Underwriters' Laboratories, Inc. The chemical properties and dimensions of the materials shall be so designed to withstand a working pressure of not less than 175 psi. Joints for the connection of copper tubing shall be brazed, except that soldered joints (95-5 only) may be used for wet pipe copper tube systems only.

§ 3-905.7 Piping support.

Piping shall be supported from structural members. This code contemplates support methods comparable to those used in accordance with the most recent edition of the BOCA Basic Plumbing Code. Piping laid on open joists or rafters shall be secured to minimize lateral movement.

§ 3-905.8 Sprinklers.

A. 
Listed residential fast-response sprinkler(s) shall be used. The sprinklers shall have fusing temperatures not less than 35° F. above maximum expected ambient temperature.
B. 
Any sprinklers that have been painted, except for factory-applied coatings, shall be replaced with new listed sprinklers. Ornamental finishes shall not be applied to sprinklers by any person other than the sprinkler manufacturer, and only sprinklers listed with such finishes shall be used.

§ 3-905.9 Alarms.

Local water flow alarms shall be provided on all sprinkler systems. An accepted water flow switch, bell and/or horn strobe combination shall be installed in accordance with § 3-905.18D.

§ 3-905.10 System design.

A. 
The system shall provide a discharge of not less than 18 gallons per minute to any single operating sprinkler and not less than 13 gallons per minute to the number of design sprinklers. If the design discharge area is to be increased, the gallonage per sprinkler shall meet the criteria as outlined in each manufacturer's specification sheet.
B. 
The number of design sprinklers shall include all sprinklers within a compartment to a maximum of four sprinklers. Calculations must be provided to show the sprinkler flow at the highest elevation and the most hydraulically remote sprinkler water supply within the building as follows:
(1) 
For rooms or areas with no more than one or two sprinklers, calculate to flow one or two sprinklers.
(2) 
For rooms or areas with three sprinklers, calculate to flow three sprinklers.
(3) 
For rooms or areas with four or more sprinklers, calculate to flow four sprinklers.
C. 
In determining the number of design sprinklers, a compartment is a space which is completely enclosed by walls and a ceiling. The compartment enclosure may have openings to an adjoining space, if the openings have a minimum lintel depth of eight inches from the ceiling.

§ 3-905.11 Sprinkler coverage.

A. 
The water demand for the system shall be determined by multiplying the design discharge by the number of design sprinklers.
B. 
Residential sprinklers shall be spaced so that the maximum area protected by a single sprinkler does not exceed 144 square feet or is used in accordance with the manufacturer's design criteria.
C. 
The maximum distance between sprinklers shall not exceed 12 feet on or between pipelines, and the maximum distance to a wall or partition shall not exceed six feet. Greater coverage may be achieved if Underwriters' Laboratories, Inc., has listed coverage as such.
D. 
The minimum operating pressure of any sprinkler shall provide the minimum flow rates in accordance with the listing information of the sprinkler.
E. 
Application rates, design areas, areas of coverage, and minimum design pressures other than those specified may be used with special sprinklers which have been listed for such specific residential installation conditions.

§ 3-905.12 Position of sprinklers.

A. 
Pendant sprinklers shall be positioned so that the deflectors are within one to four inches from the ceiling, except that special residential and fast-response sprinklers shall be installed in accordance with the listing limitations.
B. 
Sidewall sprinklers shall be positioned in accordance with the listing limitations, except that maximum distance from the ceiling to the heat collector is not to exceed 4 1/2 inches.
C. 
Sprinklers shall be positioned so that the response time and discharge are not unduly affected by obstructions such as ceiling slope, beams or light fixtures.

§ 3-905.13 System types.

A. 
Dropped escutcheons shall be used if sprinklers are obstructed by light fixtures or beams. The installer may use additional sprinklers for areas where obstructions block spray pattern.
B. 
When ceiling fans are used, sprinklers shall be located so that the fan blade does not interfere with the spray pattern. Relocation of sprinklers shall still conform to spacing requirements. Rooms exceeding nine feet by nine feet with ceiling fans shall have a minimum of two sprinklers.
C. 
Wet pipe systems shall be used when all piping is installed in all areas not subject to freezing. No antifreeze solution or any other type of additive shall be allowed in any combination sprinkler system.
D. 
A dry pipe system shall be used where system piping is located in unheated areas subject to freezing. Only copper tubing with brazed fittings and steel tubing shall be used in dry pipe systems.

§ 3-905.14 Pipe sizing.

A. 
Piping shall be designed in accordance with NFPA 13R and NFPA 13D. If more than one design discharge is required, the pipe sizing procedure shall be prepared for each design discharge, except that when piping is sized hydraulically, calculations shall be made in accordance with the methods described in NFPA 13, Standards for the Installation of Sprinkler Systems.
B. 
Minimum size pipe shall be 3/4 of an inch for copper, blazemaster and polybutelene and one inch for steel.
C. 
To size piping for systems connected to a City water supply, the following approximate method is acceptable:
(1) 
Establish system flow rate in accordance with § 3-905.10.
(2) 
Determine water pressure in the street.
(3) 
Select pipe sizes.
(4) 
Deduct meter pressure losses, if any.
(5) 
Deduct pressure loss for elevation building height above street in feet times 0.434 equals psi.
(6) 
Deduct pressure losses from City main to control valve (manifold assembly including any backflow prevention if required) by the total lengths of pipe in feet.
(7) 
Deduct pressure losses for piping within building by the total length in feet of each size pipe between the control valve (manifold assembly) and the farthest sprinkler.
(8) 
Deduct valve and fitting pressure losses. Count valves and fittings from the control valve to the highest, hydraulically most remote point, determine the equivalent length for each size by the factors for the pipe use and total these values.
(9) 
In multilevel buildings, Steps 1 through 7 shall be repeated to size piping for each floor.
(10) 
If the remaining pressure is less than the operating pressure established by the testing laboratory for the sprinkler being used, a redesign is necessary. If this pressure is higher than required, smaller piping may be used when justified in calculations.
(11) 
The remaining piping shall be sized the same as the piping to the farthest sprinkler unless smaller sizes are justified by calculations.
D. 
To size piping for systems with an elevated tank, pump or pump-tank combination, determine the pressure at the water supply outlet and proceed through Steps 3, 7, 8, 9, 10 and 11 of Subsection C.
E. 
Pipe configurations may be looped, gridded, straight run or a combination thereof.

§ 3-905.15 Locations of sprinklers.

A. 
When a dead-end system is used, the sprinkler system shall be isolated from the domestic water supply system by not less than a dual-action spring-loaded check valve or its equivalent conforming to ASSE Standard 1024 and providing the flow requirement of the system without exceeding the allowable pressure drop of the standard of the system, need or whichever is less. The system components as indicated previously shall be acceptable to the Bureau of Codes Enforcement. The mandatory pressure-reducing valve (as part of the system components) shall be regulated at 125 psi. A Watts WTS 530c50 or equivalent reseating pressure-relief valve shall be used on all domestic sprinkler systems.
B. 
The requirements of this section shall not apply in the following situations:
(1) 
One check valve may be omitted when a backflow (dual check valve assembly) is required by the local water authority.
(2) 
A backflow (dual check valve assembly) shall be required in all instances where a Fire Bureau connection is installed. (Note: Where the structure would normally not require a backflow preventer but a Fire Bureau connection is required, the dual check valves may be omitted where the backflow preventer is installed in place thereof.)
(3) 
In low-pressure areas only, where residual pressure or flow gpms do not meet minimum requirements, one head must flow with a minimum of 18 gpm with at least 40 psi residual pressure, and two heads must flow with a minimum of 30 gpm with a 30 psi residual, unless otherwise Underwriters' Laboratories, Inc., listed. A circulated system may be used. The terminal end of the sprinkler supply shall be tied directly into the supply to a regularly used water closet or other approved fixture. Branch lines shall not exceed 25 feet on any circulating system. The dual check valves requirement is waived on such systems.
C. 
If the sprinkler system is designed for more than one dwelling unit, all shutoffs in the system shall be secured, with lock and key, in the open position. A sign on the valves should read "Fire Bureau." The Fire Bureau is to be notified when valves are turned off and back on. All shutoffs shall be readily accessible at all times.
D. 
If the sprinkler system is designed for more than one unit and separate electric service is used for each unit, the alarm switch with bell (horn-strobe) shall be on the electric house meter. Where townhouse-type condominiums are constructed, a fire-resistant construction of at least one hour shall be utilized between each dwelling unit with a separate riser, flow switch system components and outside bell (horn-strobe) installed, except that a single sprinkler system riser may be utilized where access is provided to all control valves for fire service and all system piping, sprinkler heads, valves and components are controlled under the authority of the condominium association and are included as such within the declaration or declaration of covenants.
E. 
A supply line to the sprinkler system shall be tapped off the water service line at a point that would be downstream (customer side of meter) of any backflow preventer that the water purveyor might subsequently require in the service line to contain the domestic system from the public mains.
F. 
All mechanical rooms (furnaces, water heater, etc.) shall have 165° to 212° F. standard sprinklers.
G. 
All spacing of sprinklers in relation to obstructions such as fireplaces and heaters shall be to the sprinkler manufacturer's requirements.
H. 
All sprinkler piping in unheated areas shall be protected from freezing. Where attached garages are unheated, a dry, pendant-type commercial sprinkler head shall be used where the sprinkler piping is to remain wet at all times.
I. 
Sprinklers shall be installed in all areas, except that sprinklers may be omitted from:
(1) 
Small closets where the least dimension does not exceed three feet, the area does not exceed 24 square feet and the walls and ceiling are surfaced with noncombustible materials.
(2) 
Open attached porches, carports, and similar structures.
(3) 
Attics and crawl spaces which are not used or intended for living purposes or storage.
(4) 
The bathroom area if the total area does not exceed 55 square feet.

§ 3-905.16 Condominiums.

All condominiums shall have the following wording in the recorded declaration and/or declaration of covenants, and a copy shall be provided to the City of Harrisburg, Bureau of Fire:
Sprinkler System. In the event that any unit should be equipped with a sprinkler system, nothing shall be hung from the sprinklers comprising part of the system, nor shall any such sprinklers, wiring, or components be painted, covered or otherwise changed, tampered with or altered.
Owner, prior to any alteration, amendment, modification or change thereof, will submit such alteration, amendment, modification or change to the City of Harrisburg, Bureau of Fire, for approval and agree to comply with all domestic sprinkler requirements of said Bureau of Fire.

§ 3-905.17 Installation.

A. 
The installer of domestic sprinkler systems shall be certified by the City of Harrisburg, Bureau of Codes Enforcement.
B. 
Prior to the installation of any sprinkler system within the City, a set of detailed plans shall be forwarded to the Bureau of Fire prior to the issuance of a permit.
C. 
The sprinkler installer shall certify the flow and psi requirement at the highest elevation and farthest condition from the sprinkler water supply in the building or structure. Certification of flow and leakage tests shall be acceptable to the Bureau of Fire.
D. 
Prior to the occupancy of any building or structure utilizing a domestic residential sprinkler system, a certificate of occupancy must be issued by the Bureau of Codes Enforcement. Occupancy of any building and structure prior to the completion of said sprinkler system and the issuance of said certificate of occupancy permit is prohibited.

§ 3-905.18 Levels of protection.

A. 
The responsibility for properly maintaining a sprinkler system is the obligation of the owner or manager, who shall understand the sprinkler system operation. A monthly maintenance program shall follow these steps:
(1) 
Inspect all sprinklers visually to ensure against obstruction of spray.
(2) 
Inspect all valves to assure that they are opened.
(3) 
Test water flow devices.
(4) 
Test the alarm system. Note: When it appears likely that the test will result in a response from the Fire Bureau, notification shall be made to the Fire Bureau prior to any testing of the system.
(5) 
Test pumps, where employed.
(6) 
Check the pressure of air used with dry systems.
(7) 
Check water level in tanks.
(8) 
Take care to see that sprinklers are not painted either at the time of installation or subsequent redecoration. When painting sprinkler piping, or painting in areas next to sprinklers, the sprinklers may be covered with a bag which shall be immediately removed after painting has been completed for that area.
(9) 
Protect any sprinkler heads located in areas subject to damage with a cage or similar device.
(10) 
Maintain a record or log of such inspections and make available the same upon the request of the Fire Chief.
B. 
When a tank is used for domestic and fire protection purposes, a low-water alarm actuated when the water level falls below 110% of the minimum quantity as required per the discharge design and domestic usage requirements shall be installed.
C. 
Decorative painting of a residential sprinkler must be distinguished from the temperature identification colors as referenced in Section 3.16.6 of NFPA 13-1987, Standard for the Installation of Sprinkler Systems.
D. 
Alarms connected to the water flow devices shall be of sufficient intensity to be clearly audible in all bedrooms over background noise levels with all intervening doors closed. The tests of the audibility level shall be conducted with household equipment which may be in operation at night and in full operation, i.e., window air conditioners, television, stereo, room humidifiers and/or room dehumidifiers, etc.
E. 
The following shall provide guidance for location of sprinklers near ceiling obstructions. Where beams, light fixtures, sloped ceilings and other obstructions occur, additional sprinklers may be necessary to achieve proper response and distribution. Guidance may also be obtained from the manufacturer.
F. 
Maximum distance from sprinkler deflector to bottom of ceiling obstruction.
Distance from Sprinkler to Side of Ceiling Obstruction
Maximum Distance from Sprinkler Deflector to Bottom of Ceiling Obstruction
6 inches or less
Not permitted
6 inches to less than 1 foot
0 inch
1 foot to less than 2 feet
1 inch
2 feet to less than 2 feet 6 inches
2 inches
2 feet 6 inches to less than 3 feet
3 inches
3 feet to less than 3 feet 6 inches
4 inches
3 feet 6 inches to less than 4 feet
6 inches
4 feet to less than 4 feet 6 inches
7 inches
4 feet 6 inches to less than 5 feet
9 inches
5 feet to less than 5 feet 6 inches
11 inches
5 feet 6 inches to less than 6 feet
14 inches
G. 
As indicated throughout this chapter, light and ordinary hazard structures shall follow the criteria as defined in NFPA 13-1987, Standard for the Installation of Sprinkler Systems.
H. 
When approved plastic piping is used in domestic sprinkler systems, all threaded fittings used for testing purposes shall be of CPVC, PVC, or copper. No black iron nipples shall be used on plastic female fittings for testing purposes.
I. 
All sprinkler head threads are to receive either a coating of teflon liquid dope acceptable to the plastic being utilized or a second wrapping of teflon tape prior to installation.
J. 
All domestic sprinkler systems must be installed by certified personnel, i.e., licensed plumber or licensed sprinkler installer. However, the final connection to the water supply shall be completed by a licensed master plumber who has been certified by the Bureau of Codes Enforcement.
K. 
At least three spare sprinkler heads of each type utilized, temperature rating and orifice size used in the system shall be kept on the premises. When fused sprinklers are replaced by the owner or others, care shall be taken to assure that the replacement sprinkler has the same operating characteristics.
L. 
The following items are required on drawings for domestic sprinklers:
(1) 
Establish sprinkler system under the City of Harrisburg requirements.
(2) 
Indicate layout of head location, pipe layout, location of cutoff, tie-in, switch bell, location of commode if used for circulating, location of bleeder valve and line, and Fire Department connection.
(3) 
Description notes: Fill out blanks and attach (a) through (t) to all drawings.
(a) 
Type of head _____ () pendant () sidewall () both.
(b) 
Type of pipe _______________.
(c) 
Type of fastening of pipe _______________.
(d) 
Type of backflow if used _________________.
(e) 
Size of main from street _______________.
(f) 
Size of main sprinkler line _______________.
(g) 
Size(s) of branch line(s) _______________.
(h) 
Type and degree of heads in mechanical room _______________.
(i) 
Note: No branch lines are to exceed 25 feet on circulating system.
(j) 
Flow test of sprinkler system to be certified before drywall.
(k) 
Copy of hydraulic calculations to be provided.
(l) 
Calculations to be based on gpm flow test at highest elevation and worst condition.
(m) 
If separate calculations for each group of buildings, note on drawings and calculations.
(n) 
Pipe in attic shall be laid as close as possible to the ceiling.
(o) 
Escutcheons shall be used when heads are near light fixtures or beams so that spray pattern is not obstructed or two heads are to be used.
(p) 
Any changes in these drawings or in the event any unfinished rooms are contemplated, all changes shall be submitted for approval.
(q) 
Mechanical rooms to have 165° to 212° F. commercial-type sprinkler heads.
(r) 
No exposed piping to sprinklered areas.
(s) 
Piping is to be protected from freezing.
(t) 
All sprinkler drops are to be screwed into place with no nails to be utilized.
M. 
The following items are required for valves and manifold assembly:
(1) 
Incoming water supply from street line or other supply.
(2) 
Gate valve, meter assembly (and possible backflow preventer) as required by local water authority.
(3) 
Iron pipe "T."
(4) 
Domestic supply.
(5) 
Union with iron pipe standard.
(6) 
One-quarter-turn full port gate valve (iron pipe standard).
(7) 
Watts 601 (iron pipe standard) check valve or equivalent. [Note: Double valve assembly (backflow preventer) required where a Fire Department connection is utilized.]
(8) 
McDonnell & Miller FS4-3F series flow switch or equivalent.
(9) 
Drains piped outside of structure.
(10) 
Pressure-relief valve Watts 530c50 with one-half-inch fittings or equivalent.
(11) 
Cross-connection.
(12) 
Pressure gauge rated at least 25 psi over static pressure.
(13) 
Manifold assembly.
(14) 
Century two-and-one-half-inch swivel Fire Bureau connection or equivalent.
(15) 
Connection to sprinkler system piping and sprinkler heads.
(16) 
Nipple length extends five pipe diameters.

§ 3-905.100 NFPA references.

NFPA references: 13, 13A, 13D, 13E and 721.