Are you aware of the new addition to the 2002 Edition of NFPA 25 Inspection, Testing & Maintenance of Water-Based Fire Protection System?

For your information, a five-year inspection for a water-based sprinkler system consists of two main parts: piping obstruction investigation and internal valve inspection.

Obstruction Investigation

Although the NFPA requirement has been around since 2002, these two new requirements were just added for the protection of property and the safety of the people nearby.

An obstruction investigation inspects your sprinkler system piping for any possible material that could cause pipe or sprinkler blockage. Sometimes, debris can make its way into the pipe and collect alongside the pipe wall, which will narrow the flow of water and can eventually turn into a complete clog.

An obstruction investigation can also reveal early indications of MIC (Microbiologically influenced corrosion), which can cause pinhole leaks. Pinhole leaks can ultimately require you to completely replace your system piping.

California has recently adopted this inspection and now more fire departments are enforcing this inspection to keep your neighborhoods safe and your property protected. One of the recommendations is the flushing of your FDC (Fire Department Connection) on your property. Fire departments are adamant about this because in case of an emergency, the fire department can hook into the FDC and it’d be free of obstructive material that may not allow water to pass. This NFPA requirement can truly be the difference between a life and death situation.

As Californians, we are unaware that a possible cause for buildup can be the many small Earthquakes we get because of the San Andreas fault. This creates the soil in California to shift, causing stress on all underground objects, such as your pipes.

Internal Valve Inspection

An internal valve inspection is needed every five years to identify any hidden potential causes of failure or blockage. The inspection requires the valves to be opened and thoroughly inspected inside and out.

To be more specific – they’re looking for a presence of foreign organic and inorganic material. Again, microbiologically influenced corrosion may be the biggest culprit. MIC can occur anywhere in a fire sprinkler system, which can lead to bacteria colonization that feeds on an environment that a fire sprinkler system has. Be wary of some of the warning signs like discolored or foul-smelling water, evidence of tubercles, and/or deposits on the interior of a pipe wall.

If you’d like to find out more information regarding the 5-year Obstruction Inspection Service or any other type of inspection, please call 415.333.2588 or email

Skip to content