AN AUTOMATIC SPRINKLER SYSTEM.
THE accompanying cuts show the diaphragm sprinkler head, used by the New York and New Haven Automatic Sprinkler Company of 317 Broadway, New York, and the automatic governor valve, used in the drypipe systems for excluding water from the system of pipes throughout the building until fire occurs.
The diaphragm head is the result of study to embody the suggestions of many experienced insurance men, and produce a sprinkler adapted to the largest range of risks. For it is claimed sensitiveness and quickness in action, strength and simplicity of construction ; that being positive in action, it cannot open partly and stick, and that part of the strain being taken by the German silver diaphragm, it is elastic under blows of water hammer. A screw nut permits of adjustment to the varying pressures ; the valve cannot move from the seat until the lever arms of the nut are clear of the spindle, and these are so hinged as to clear it when released. After a fire the head is put in working order by simply putting a new fusible link on the lever arms, and adjusting the nut. The illustration shows the head open. The fusible link is shown between the lever arms.
The automatic governor valve is placed where the water service pipe enters the building, and, when closed, holds the water at that point. In the cut, Dshows the connection with the main and Athat with the supply to sprinkler system. A and A’ are differential valves on one stem L. Valve A works free in a cylinder, and is of greater area than valve A’, which comes to a knife-edge seat ; therefore the greater the pressure, the more tightly closed is the valve A’. When the lever/is released and falls, water passes through the pipe G to the chamber below the valve A, which is at once placed in equilibrium, and all pressure from the main is exerted on valve Awhich is raised from its seat, and water passes into the sprinkler system.
The electrical dry-pipe system of the New York and New Haven Company is intended to combine the advantages of the open and closed currents and fulfill the requirements of a perfect automatic releasing device. The thermostats being placed in close proximity to the sprinkler heads and connected with specially arranged magnets, the action of heat on fusible solder releases a rmall flat button on the bottom of the thermostat, and the dropping of a free-playing spindle causes a current of electricity to flow through the magnets. This operates the releasing device (letting on the water), rings the fire alarm gongs, and indicates the locality of the fire on the annunciator. Incase of cutting of the wires, loss of insulation, or weakening of the battery power, these accidents are announced immediately by special alarm bells, but do not affect either the releasing device or fire alarm.
The vacuum dry-pipe system of this company consists of an independent lead pipe running parallel with the sprinkler pipe, and terminating on a vacuum diaphragm.
Opposite each sprinkler head a hole has been cut in the lead pipe and plugged with sensitive solder. By means of a small vacuum pump a vacuum is created in the lead pipe and the vacuum holds the diaphragm to which is connected by a yoke and chain the lever F of the automatic governor valve. When a fire occurs, the heat melts the sensitive solder of the plugs, the vacuum is destroyed, and the diaphragm being thereby released, the yoke and chain are detached and allow the lever of the automatic valve (which holds the water) to fall, and the water enters the sprinkler pipes.
An alarm is also connected and worked by the vacuum.