Choosing a replacement fire department connection (FDC): frequently asked questions
Is FDC replacement a big headache for most purchasers due to fire protection jargons and misconceptions?
The fire department connection, aka FDC or “Siamese connection,” is a device designed to delivers water to fire sprinklers and standpipe systems. Interestingly, many buyers, including some of our customers, find the replacement of FDC more confusing than the purchase of it.
We’ll be discussing FDCs, in the way how our customers look at it, and responding to some frequently asked questions regarding such important fire protection equipment; for example, what type of FDC do you need to buy? How do you know you get the right FDC?These questions, among others, will be answered briefly but thoroughly here in this article.
It doesn’t take a fire expert to understand the FDC.
Technical terms used in the fire protection industry can confusing, or even frustrating, customers who intend to replace a fire department connection on their own. For one thing,you might be wondering whether an “open snoot” is the same thing as a “swivel adapter”and whether my FDC is flush, exposed, or freestanding.
You can easily answer the questions above by bearing one thing in mind: all three parts of the fire department connection of any kind serve the same purpose to achieve the following three goals:
1. Convey water from a hose through the pipe into the interior water-based fire protection system of a building.
2. Prevent the building’s pipes and FDC’s parts from being damaged, clogged, and blocked.
3. Inform firefighters of where the water flows — towards a fire sprinkler system, standpipes,or both.
Many FDCs haveat least one clapper, hinged discs in the body,and thus can connect to multiple hoses.It is the clapper that keeps water from flowing freely from one inlet to another.Mind you, two identical FDCs may come in single-, double-, or even triple-clapper forms.
Difference between exposed and freestanding fire department connections
Exposed FDCs are known to have all the replacement parts on the building’s exterior, such as the large metal body, swivels, plugs (caps), and the identification plate. This makes your purchase of parts much easier.
Not only that, this type of FDC is composed of only two operating components:swivels and a body. The former can be seen as the rotating, gasketed parts connecting to the fire hose with the latter connects to them and pipes installed inside the building.
An obvious advantage for buyers of exposed FDCs is that most of the parts or components are tangible andcan beclearly seen. You can examine the number of inlets, theposition of the outlet, the shape of the body and the engravings before making your decision what to buy.
Ultimately, the body openings, aka inlets, have a smooth indentation for a small set of screw and ball bearings.This designenables the swivels, connecting directly to the body,to spin freely and securely.