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DIYer: I need NFPA-13D insight/design(er), please.

Question asked by houseguy on Nov 2, 2020
Latest reply on Nov 2, 2020 by milt.werner

Hello, NFPA community! Here are the facts of my situation: I'm a homeowner in central Ohio finishing out my own 1600 sq ft basement (legally permitted, of course) in a single-story, single-family dwelling (built '95). I'm installing two bedrooms which happen to be located under a concrete porch, thus I'm unable to (affordably) install egress windows in each bedroom, as required. I have the existing basement stairwell and will be installing an exterior basement egress door as well. A local inspector indicated that I can install an NFPA 13D-compliant sprinkler system to acceptably/legally bypass the egress requirement for each bedroom. I started looking into the NFPA 13D code and saw the potential for a rather simple setup if my infrastructure/situation supports it. Then I began pricing out plans by certified engineers/designers. That's where I hit a snag; the quotes for such designs started around $800 and ran (way) up from there. Disclaimer: your expertise is definitely worth compensation and I'm not trying to cheat anyone out of their hard-earned money. However, my brief examination of the code revealed a potentially straightforward approach that could very possibly cost LESS than the design itself, which seemed a little...silly to me. That's what brings me here; hopefully, someone can point me in the right direction. Here's what I need/want: my ignorant look at the code interpreted a scenario in which I could tee off of my main water line after the inlet/valve and run straight to the network of sprinkler heads; no valves, backflow preventers, pumps, controls, etc. required. This of course depends on several factors, a few of which I understand to be: my inlet water pressure, the use of lead-free fittings/heads, etc. So: (1) can anyone provide insight into my basic understanding of what is possible/allowed, as related to my situation, (2) is there a certified engineer/designer willing to help me design this system, or--if all else fails--(3) can anyone refer me to an Ohio-based certified designer/engineer? Some additional information regarding my setup: all of the water lines in my house are PEX-B crimp-style. I plan to source my sprinkler heads from Senju Sprinklers as they're both affordable and are all made lead-free; specifically "RC-RES 4.9K (SS8464)" and/or "RC-RES 5.8K (SS8561)" as needed/indicated. Finally, I've loosely tested my water pressure; I use an 80-gal expansion tank, but with or without it I've been able to fill a five-gallon bucket at the farthest spigot in about 50-60 seconds. Oh, one more thing: my main water line is 3/4" (made of that black plastic that I believe is destined to crack/break). I think that's all the immediately relevant information. Thank you in advance for any assistance/insight. This is my first post in the community, so I apologize if I didn't approach this correctly, was too wordy, etc. A final question, to cap off this dissertation: my local inspector used the phrase, "If you add a fire suppression system (I really think you need a licensed contractor for that, but your call)..." which just now makes me realize, do I not need a certified designer?? Not that I don't want one, but since I've gone the permitting route (which is the right/safer way to go), I want to make sure the sprinkler system is done properly (aside from the obvious reasons: "eliminating death, injury, property and economic loss due to fire, electrical and related hazards."). Thoughts? Thank you!