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are water shut off valves NRTL listed and should you be using them
May 4, 2021
are water shut off valves NRTL listed and should you be using them
     Do you know if these smart water valve shut-offs are listed for use in fire sprinkler systems? My guess is unlikely, but in any case, if one decides to use one on an NFPA 13, 13R, or 13D compliant system, they would want to wire it failsafe so it doesn't inadvertently kill the system's water supply in a fire event. Ie; Sprinkler head opens in response to a fire, moisture sensor detects water, valve closes, building burns down, litigation starts....
     Please let me know your thoughts,
     I do not believe an automatic shut off valve is listed by any NRTL for use with a sprinkler system. I can see some value to having the ability to remoted shut off a fire sprinkler water flow, though you would certainly need to be right that the sprinkler system activation was unnecessary. We know that most [or at least a lot] fire loss damage is caused by water rather than the fire, so there may be some value in being able to shut off the water flow. Residential fire alarm alarms are usually not required by code, other than smoke and CO detectors in new construction and maybe upon a transfer of title, and residential sprinkler systems are required in only a few jurisdictions. If the sprinkler system is not required by code and unregulated by a governmental AHJ, then you could install the water shut off valve whether "listed" or not by a NRTL. Commercial fire alarms and sprinkler systems are usually required by code and regulated and what you can, and can't, attach or include with the system are dictated by the AHJ. If you want to try an include the shut off valve in an installation you better have it in the filed plans and call it to the attention of the AHJ. Review by the NRTL, if approved and listed, may change the use of the water shut off valves.
     Incidentally, all of the Standard Form Agreements have been updated to deal with the installation of the water shut off valve. The contracts don't describe the valves - you will describe them in the Schedule of Equipment and Services [or your proposal, if that's what you use for the Schedule of Equipment and Services]. The Standard Form Agreements mention the water shut off valves in order to make it clear that these valves often have to be installed by other licensed professionals, notably a plumber, perhaps electrician, and it's not the alarm company's responsibility to perform the services of those other licensed trades.
    I asked Jeff Zwirn to comment; here is his response:
     The liability concept presented in this question is one of the fundamental reasons that smart water valve systems do not belong on any sprinkler suppression system. I do not know of any smart water valve switches which are listed for use with sprinkler suppression systems. Given that, the introduction and installation of a smart water valve shutoff would be prohibited from being used as part of any sprinkler suppression system for obvious code, standards and technical reasons, in that it would defeat the salient purpose of having these systems installed in protected premises.
     With regards to creating a “Fail Safe” on a smart water valve shutoff it is not germane to any sprinkler suppression system since the product is not listed for this use. Against the foregoing backdrop, the fact pattern which you posit is not likely to happen based upon the proper system design, installation, inspection, testing and maintenance of sprinkler suppression system. On the other end of the technical spectrum, a fire condition, which can instantly shut a water valve closed during a fire emergency is not what the professional and technical community of the alarm and sprinkler suppression system industries provides, accepts and the same rationale holds true for authorities having jurisdiction (AHJ)’S.
   Jeffrey D. Zwirn, CPP, CFPS, CFE, SET, FASI&T, CHPA-IV, MBAT, NFPA 3000(PS), President

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Ken Kirschenbaum,Esq
Kirschenbaum & Kirschenbaum PC
Attorneys at Law
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