One of the common questions which we commonly receive from several engineers is that if they actually require a post-indicator valve. So, here we are to help you with all your queries about Indicator Posts.
Purpose of Indicator Posts
Indicator Posts are being used for a long time period for stopping the flow of water into a building during the developed stages of a fire. A bigger threat to break water supply mains along with the creation of several openings of the water supply is possessed by the exterior wall collapse of a burning building. Without a valve for stopping supply to these areas, firefighters and their efforts can be compromised with the loss of pressure and outflow of water to areas of a site that does not require water. The effectiveness of the sprinkler system and cost pressure being recognized, the requirement of post-indicating valves has become much more relaxed presently.
Components of Indicator Posts
Post indicator valves have several important features. Their ability to quickly shut the valve with the use of the post indicator valve handle. Secondly, is its quick ability to see whether the system is in the 'open' or 'shut' condition in a protected enclosure. Sometimes it can be difficult for seeing after years of dirt on the glass but not completely impossible. The valve itself along with the water main below frost depth such that only the stem is subjected to freezing conditions. It is a simple concept that is crafted carefully for protecting the stem and valve in a reliable fashion.
The history behind the requirement of fixed indicator posts
So do you need a post indicator valve?
Though it is not referenced from the International Building Code, the International Fire Code requires that all private fire service mains be installed in accordance with NFPA 24 (IFC 2000-06 Section 508.2.1, 2009-18 507.2.1). The standard for the installation of private service mains and their appurtenances, NFPA 24, governs system requirements between a water supply main and a building's service entry. NFPA 24 until 2010, required a listed post indicator valve on every connection from a private fire service main to a building unless special criteria were met. The use of a non indicating underground gate valve with a roadway box and T-wrench or locating an inciting valve in a pit.
Presently NFPA 24 offers a series of options for isolating the system of a building that does not mandate that a post-indicator valve must be used.
So, what is the best course of action for your project? First, you need to check for state or local code amendments which may affect post-indicating valves. Plan for providing a PIV, if you have a standpipe system within the building. Finally check with your Authorities Having Jurisdiction for any nuanced requirements which you may be missing or to coordinate a location with them.
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