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Internal Condition of Pipe Return to Blog

From the NFSA ITM Report:

A question that often comes up deals with the frequency of internal pipe inspections, now called an “assessment of internal condition of piping”. In the 2014 edition, NFPA 25 says in section that an assessment of the internal condition of piping has to be conducted at least every 5 years. There are some options for how to perform these assessments and even to the 5 year frequency, with an approved risk analysis.

But the main issue usually involves buildings with multiple systems. Section 14.2.2 says that buildings which have multiple wet pipe systems, every other system shall have the internal assessment performed every 5 years. In other words, if a 6 story building is protected with wet pipe sprinkler system, and each floor meets the definition of a system, the process would work like this:

Floors 1-3-5 on the first 5-year cycle
Floors 2-4-6 on the next 5-year cycle

Keep in mind, if foreign material is discovered in any of the systems, all of the systems will need to have the internal assessment conducted. Nonmetallic pipe is not required to have an internal assessment.

The internal assessment is not to be confused with an obstruction investigation, which is a separate process. Obstruction investigations are “triggered” by certain events and do not occur on an assigned frequency.

Question: Does the assessment of the internal condition of piping require the system to be taken apart?
Answer: No. NFPA 25 permits the use of alternate methods such as video or ultrasound technology to assess the internal condition and check for corrosion. Annex A.14.2.1 (2014 edition) provides guidance on performing the assessment.