How many water supplies are required for automatic sprinkler systems?

April 11, 2024

by Nils Deacon, Manager, Inspections and Rating Services

The NFPA (National Fire Protection Association) requires that every sprinkler system have at least one water supply. There are exacting requirements on size connections, hardware, and monitoring of this supply.

Other codes may require additional water supplies. The IBC (International Building Code) in conjunction with the IFC (International Fire Code) will require a secondary supply with fire pump for high rise buildings in earthquake prone areas. These installations may require secondary power supplies, including diesel backups.

These areas are designated SDC – Seismic Design Categories C, D, E, and F for engineering and architectural design purposes. Various areas of the United States will fall under these categories, especially on the west coast. For comparison, areas with less severe seismic activity, which would include the east coast, fall under categories A and B, the lowest designations.

DISCLAIMER: This information reflects the interpretation of MSO, Inc. with regard to NFPA Standards and Codes and other code sources. It does not represent these code’s official position on the items discussed.

Fire pump with diesel backup as a secondary power supply.