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Only New Sprinklers Shall Be Installed

That is a base requirement that has been in the NFPA 13 standard for some time in Section 6.2.1. New material in the 2013 edition says that when a sprinkler has been removed for any reason, it shall not be reinstalled per Section The handbook commentary for this new material says that because of concerns that sprinklers could be damaged during the removal process, this requirement was added to the 2013 edition to clarify that when a sprinkler is removed from the piping it is to be replaced with a new sprinkler. When a sprinkler is removed, damage could occur to the water seal and operating element, specifically a glass bulb type element, which could impact sprinkler performance without any visual indication.

There is a contradiction in the handbook commentary regarding the re-use of sprinklers under Section This section addresses that reconditioned sprinklers shall not be permitted to be utilized on any new or existing system. In the commentary is a frequently asked question (FAQ) – “Where can existing installed sprinklers be utilized?” The commentary response is where sprinklers have been installed in a building on a temporary basis – for example, prior to finishing ceiling work – such sprinklers can be moved to the new location after finishing the ceiling. Another example of where an existing installed sprinkler can be moved is during the installation of a new ceiling underneath an existing ceiling, provided the sprinklers are of the proper orientation and the associated hazard has not changed. This commentary has been in the previous editions of the handbook. When the committee took action regarding Section 6.2.1 that only new sprinklers shall be installed, the commentary material may have been overlooked during the editing process and was not removed. The proposal stage for the 2013 edition of NFPA 13 attempted to provide guidance when sprinklers can be re-used. The re-use of sprinklers was opposed by several comments during the comment stage resulting in the new Section

The bottom line is, “only new sprinklers shall be installed”.