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Posted By: kiwi IP ratings. - 02/05/07 09:30 AM
A client of ours recently had the consulting engineer on a project complain because the client installed a non-IP rated switchboard in a room with a fire sprinkler. It was a computer server room with a UPS.

I thought the consulting engineer was just being pedantic, but the question must be raised; Should all electrical equipment adjacent to fire sprinklers be IP rated ?

Office buildings in NZ all have fire sprinklers in every room. Should we install IP56 outlets throughout ?
Posted By: OldAppy Re: IP ratings. - 02/07/07 08:34 AM
I don't think so
Posted By: Wolfgang Re: IP ratings. - 02/07/07 09:21 PM
It shouldn't rain there but under fire conditions, and these are not IP-rated. So me neither.
Posted By: Trumpy Re: IP ratings. - 02/08/07 12:28 AM
I'll go with the concensus here.
I think that the consulting engineer wants to re-think that little idea.
Lets look at it this way Kiwi, most switch-board enclosures are to a degree IP rated, most are at the very least IP 23.
What does this guy want?, all switchboards in installations to be IP 55, 65 or even the submersible rating of IP 68.
Fact is, a sprinkler head will only be activated if there is a need for it to be.
One other thing that springs to mind Kiwi, has this guy actually thought about how you get rid of the heat out of such an enclosure, all switchboards emit heat to some degree.
Also, should the IP rating apply to the whole switch-board enclosure?.
Why not just the top and sides of it?, and a sealing gland in the door, which I am sure most Vynco branded boards already have.
Considering that Fire Service response times these days are pretty good, the chances of actually soaking a switch-board unit, before the sprinklers are shut down and the fire attack happens, are pretty remote.
Just my $0.02 worth. [Linked Image]
Posted By: kiwi Re: IP ratings. - 02/12/07 09:28 AM
Good news guys ! The consultant has decided to allow our client to leave the non IP rated switchboard on the wall. He originally requested IP44.

Thanks for the posts. I agree with you guys. The presence of a fire sprinkler head doesn't necessitate an IP44 rating for adjacent electrical stuff.
Posted By: geoff in UK Re: IP ratings. - 02/12/07 07:31 PM
I agree it would seem unreasonable to have electrical gear protected from sprinklers which are hopefully only going operate if needed to save it from imminent destruction by fire.
I do wonder though if any special precautions are appropriate to protect fire fighters where UPS are installed.
I expect (?) one of their first moves on entering a fire zone would normally be to isolate power. Just a thought.
Posted By: Trumpy Re: IP ratings. - 02/23/07 08:08 AM
SOP's (Standard Operating Procedures) upon turning out to any Industrial or Commercial building dictate that there is a standard plan.
2 Fire Appliances and a tanker here is the norm.
In some City Brigades that would be 3 Appliances, a Hose Layer and a Command Unit.
Ray (RODALCO) may have different ideas on this because he is in Auckland and he is a Station-Officer.
Better to have more Fire-fighters than not enough, try and save a building with no-one protecting the exposures.
Posted By: Trumpy Re: IP ratings. - 02/23/07 08:22 AM
Same side of the coin Geoff,
Thre are situations where you cannot isolate the supply to a building, we have a place over the road here that has 145 elderly people in it.
Sure the Fire Station is close, but if a fire broke out in there, it would be a toss up as to who would be worst injured, the Fire Service or the Nurses helping those to get out.
I took the boys through there a year ago and showed them what was in there, on a familiarisation tour.
Myself and SO Cairns tripped the Fire alarm system.
I tripped the Main CB suppling the place.
They both failed, the fire pump never even started. [Linked Image]
Posted By: geoff in UK Re: IP ratings. - 02/24/07 02:13 PM
Sorry, didn't make myself clear. What I was thinking may be a hazard is entering a building believing the power has been switched off but when actually some part of it is still alive due to UPS operating from its batteries.
Posted By: kiwi Re: IP ratings. - 02/26/07 08:38 AM
Geoff, we have built some main switchboards at my work where the UPS output is switched through a contactor which drops out when the switchboard main isolator is switched off.

This is all very well when it is a new installation.

The problem lies with people retro-fitting UPS systems to existing buildings with no obvious emergency isolation.
Posted By: Trumpy Re: IP ratings. - 02/28/07 11:01 AM
The days of the Fire Brigade going into a building and dowsing it all with water are thankfully long gone.
More to the point it could be a CAFS (Compressed Air Foam) or just good firemanship.
Emergency lighting is a lot better than when I first started, even with smoke in the building.
Most of the time Geoff, you have a BA crew that uses the minimum of water, short bursts to cool the fire down, it's all about salvage these days.
Oddly enough, I haven't worked out how you get covered in less crap with this new FF'ing method. [Linked Image]
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