Is CPVC Fire Sprinkler piping the same as standard CPVC piping used for plumbing?

Written by: Jeffrey Bradshaw, P.E. , CFE

No. The chemical composition of CPVC piping used in fire sprinkler systems is different than standard CPVC. About 50 years ago, scientists first developed an advanced CPVC polymer for use in fire sprinkler systems. The compound they developed was stronger at elevated temperatures and had a lower combustibility rating than standard CPVC.

CPVC fire sprinkler piping and fittings must meet certain standards in order to be approved for use in fires sprinkler systems. The standards for fire sprinkler system components are prescribed by regulatory and testing agencies including the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), Factory Mutual (FM), Underwriters Laboratories (UL), the National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) and ASTM International (formerly the American Society for Testing and Materials). Standard CPVC piping and fittings for use in potable water plumbing systems and similar applications does not meet these standards and cannot be used in fire sprinkler systems.

About the Author

Jeffrey D. Bradshaw, P.E., CFEI

MEP DIVISION MANAGER, EASTERN REGION
Mr. Bradshaw received his Bachelors of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from Penn State. His fields of expertise include Building Sciences with an emphasis on design and evaluation of Heating, ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) systems, product evaluations, origin and cause investigation of mechanical equipment and consumer product failures and property damage claim investigation.
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About Rimkus Consulting Group, Inc.

Rimkus Consulting Group, Inc.
Rimkus Consulting Group, Inc. is one of the world’s foremost forensic engineering and consulting firms. Headquartered in Houston, with 48 offices across the U.S. and Europe, we work with insurance companies, law firms, corporations, government agencies and individuals to help them understand issues and resolve claims and disputes.
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