Market conditions and best practices are constantly evolving in the fire protection industry, and that’s certainly been true so far in 2021. To help you stay current, we looked into recent developments that can help contractors and installers secure new projects and ensure quality installations. Here are our top six trends:
Steel prices spike, driving demand for CPVC
Despite the pandemic, the construction market is very busy across sectors – both commercial and residential. As a result, CPVC has been in high demand – especially given the 215 percent increase in the price of steel over the past year. If you are looking at upcoming projects, be sure to check out the BlazeMaster CPVC price advantage. Our manufacturing partners are running production 24/7 to keep pace with demand.
CPVC enhances aesthetics of exposed-wood building projects
Wood-frame building remains one of the hottest trends in architecture, and CPVC can play an important role in highlighting the beauty of this construction method. Exposed-wood buildings must be sprinklered, including combustible concealed spaces. But with steel pipe, the fire sprinkler system must be exposed outside the wood. Because BlazeMaster CPVC can be embedded in concrete, it can be installed in the finishing slab of the floor above, so there is no exposed pipe. The hidden-but-essential CPVC sprinkler system lets the beauty of the wood stand out.
Gasketed sprinkler head adapters simplify CPVC installation
Ease of installation is a key advantage for CPVC, and it’s faster and easier than ever with gasketed sprinkler heads from Tyco (RapidSeal) and Viking (InstaSeal). That means installers don’t need thread tape, sealant, or torque wrenches, which reduces costs, increases speed – and makes it easier to install heads properly.
CPVC is more widely used in fire sprinkler drains
Given the high price of steel, contractors are using CPVC for the drain side of sprinkler systems. NFPA 13 does not require listed materials for drains, and just about any occupancy can use BlazeMaster CPVC for this application. All the CPVC advantages apply – there is no rust – ever – and it’s easier, faster, and cleaner to install.
Updated listings offer more flexibility in unfinished basements
With a recent listing update, NFPA 13D allows BlazeMaster CPVC to be installed perpendicular and/or parallel to joists. That gives contractors more flexibility for installing CPVC. Before the listing change, system mains had to run perpendicular to joists while branch lines had to run parallel to joists. It’s a good example of how we are always working to streamline installation requirements to make it easier to use BlazeMaster CPVC.
New materials added to chemical compatibility lists
We are always updating our FBC™ System Compatible Program’s listings of approved and incompatible products to ensure contractors have the most current information on chemical compatibility. For instance, we have added some brands of cutting oil, firestop sealants, firestop wrap, freeze protection, and others to the list of compatible products. We have also removed some products and added some incompatible products.
A recent trend points to the importance of ensuring chemical compatibility. Our failure analysis lab has detected an uptick in issues caused by using improper sealants. Be sure to use silicon or spray foam sealants listed in the product finder.
Keep in mind, you can stay on top of chemical compatibility issues with our convenient FBC Compatible Product Finder app. Download it today from the Mac App Store or Google Play.
Trends are important, but so is your next installation project. If you have questions or need advice, our team of technical experts is ready to assist.