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What is a Siamese Connection?
Inspired by the Y-shaped Siamese twins, a Siamese connection is a Y shaped fire department connection with two female inlets through which firefighters can attach two hoses and refill standpipes or sprinkler systems with water. The siamese connection is alternatively called FDC (Fire Department Connection). We can use it to supplement your water supply.
A siamese connection is not designed to solely supply your automatic sprinkler systems and standpipes with water but to supplement. Conditions that call for this connection is when the fire has grown beyond the capacity of the current water supply to extinguish it. The fire department will then bring the trucks filled with water to supplement through the FDC.
We specialize with Siamese connection design, installation, inspection, testing, and maintenance. We endeavor to make your firefighting efforts an absolute breeze. Our engineers are aware of the standards that govern the installation, location, design, and inspection of fire protection systems. Because the connection needs to be synchronized with the existing standpipe or sprinkler systems, we can accomplish that on your behalf. If need be, we can overhaul your entire system to install a new one that syncs with each other.
What are the components of Siamese Connection?
The design of the fire department connection may seem to be so simple but is in actual sense a complex one. What is noticeable with this connection is the Y-shaped design that has two inlets through which you can connect two hoses. These inlets come in different sizes depending on the type of system or hoses they attach to.
The common size of Siamese connections is 2.5 inches. However, 3-inch connections are also found in other states with the 4 and 5-inch connections known as Storz – another connection with parallel functionality to Siamese connection. But Siamese connection is popular in firefighting missions.
The inlets are threaded for ease of connections of the hoses. In order to prevent the accumulation of dirt when the equipment is not in use, it has to be closed at the times. Dirt can clog the inlets and thus render it useless when it’s time to supplement the system with water. New York Engineers will ensure that these inlets are shut at all times.
Our Siamese connections can have either a single or double clapper to direct the flow of water into the standpipe or automatic sprinkler system. The double clapper is common but relatively costly. It is steady and provides greater control of water through both inlets whereas a single clapper lets the other inlet shut by water pressure while water is channeled through the other. When we connect two hoses, there is equal pressure through each side of the connection.
Other notable components include the threaded brass ring that connects the hoses. Breakable caps and plugs are also some of the components collectively called swivel. As highlighted already, the inlets of these connections need to be closed to protect against unwanted entry of dirt that can clog the waterways. The plugs make it possible to close these inlets. They are easy to install and they come with chain for ease of removal when an emergency strikes.
Location of a Siamese Connection
The location of a Siamese connection has to be code compliant. Our engineers are knowledgeable about the relevant NFPA code that recommend the positioning of this design. If your apartment has the fire hydrant nearby, it should be 30 inches from the FDC but not more than 50 inches away. This is done to avoid any obstruction to the Siamese connection so that firefighters can spot it at a glance. Our installations are always compliant with the code.
Also noteworthy to this connection is that there should be signs that give many details about its connectivity and extent of coverage. It should indicate whether it is a supplement to the sprinkler system or to the standpipe system. NFPA gives guidelines on how to put such imprints on the system. The attempt makes it possible for firefighters to know what to do at first glance without wasting so much time while the fire continues to consume your property. Such considerations our engineers will take them into account.
Why have a Siamese Connection?
In large buildings, standpipes are installed to provide sufficient water during a fire emergency. Unfortunately, the pressure of water drops the higher you go in a tall building. The water turns out to be insufficient to extinguish raging fires. A fire department connection can enable high-pressure supplemental water to overcome the fires.
Municipal water supply at times may run short and thus jeopardize your system’s potential to extinguish fires. It could be catastrophic to have a fire protection system that has run out of water. To prevent this, you need a Siamese connection installed so that supplemental water can be fed into the system to combat raging fires.
This connection is important for large buildings, particularly where water supply is not a guarantee throughout the year. You never know when to need more water. Firefighters may use the Siamese connection instead of directing hoses to higher levels of your buildings which is a cumbersome and burdensome task for them. This FDC connection enables them to recharge your system easily so.
We recommend having this fire department connection to ensure that firefighters work is made easy when they come to your rescue. There are codes that recommend having this connection in place.
What to look for when having a Siamese Connection?
As we mentioned, a Siamese connection is a Y-shaped design with two inlets. That may seem too easy to when browsing for this design. However, you need to ensure that the components that you select are actually compatible with the hoses to be attached. Take into account the number of clappers and female inlets as, in some cases, it can be more than two inlets through which hoses are attached.
Ascertain whether the thread is compatible with firefighters’ hoses. With our engineers at your rescue, rest assured that your connections will be sorted out without the need to worry about compatibility. There is no need to be roaming around stores looking for the right Siamese connection because we can design a compatible one. We can design, install, inspect and maintain.
Designing and Installing a Siamese Connection
A Siamese connection needs a professional designer with meticulous attention to detail to ensure that it does not inconvenience firefighters when connecting hoses to it. The thread must be compatible with the hoses. The common size of the female inlets is 2 ½ inches with 3 inches also used in some states. Our engineers will enquire from your local fire department that which size they are using for their hoses so that we can design the inlet accordingly.
Because the design is exposed, it has to be weather resistant. We check that in our designs to ensure that our design materials last long. Also, it is highly likely for grime to clog the waterways when the equipment is not fully covered. We have plugs to cover the inlets and are easily removable by the fire department when it is time to refill your system.
When it’s time to install the connection, we take into account code recommendations with regard to locations. Installing Siamese connection is a demanding task that needs professional engineers who understand the network of the sprinkler system or standpipes in your building. The connection must be efficiently connected to the current system to supply enough supplemental water. There is no doubt that our engineers will excel in that. We have installed plenty of fire department connections throughout Chicago and New York.
In addition to the design and installation of this connection, you have to consider the inspection, testing, and maintenance of this connection. NFPA 25: Standard for the Inspection, Testing, and Maintenance of Water-Based Fire Protection Systems gives guidelines about a periodic inspection, testing, and maintenance of fire sprinklers, standpipes and other systems including fire department connections. We will take note of this standard when inspecting, testing and maintaining this connection.
Benefits of a Siamese Connection
Based on the importance of a Siamese connection we highlighted above, you should by now relate to the benefits of having one. Below are some of the benefits of having this connection:
Note that this connection is not designed to be a sole supplier of your sprinkler or standpipe systems, but a supplement to it should you run out of the current supply of water. Firefighters will connect the hoses from their trucks to pump water into your system when the need arises. Usually, firefighters would direct high-pressure hoses to higher levels of buildings in an attempt to extinguish the fire when the automatic sprinkler and standpipe systems have run out of water. Thanks to the innovation of fire department connections through which the fire protection systems can be recharged.
Why Choose New York Engineers?
We are the pioneers of fire protection services in Chicago and other places. Specializing in standpipes and sprinkler systems, we can ensure that your Siamese connection connects seamlessly to the current fire protection systems. If you don’t have one, we can install any system of your interest.
New York Engineers is home to professional MEP engineers. We have an indelible mark in the industry of fire protection engineering services and we are revered by our competitors. Our Siamese connection is one of the best and it is in compliant with NFPA codes. We design, install, test, inspect, and maintain these systems to ensure that your property is always armed in the case of a fire emergency.
Furthermore, our designs are done at a faster turnaround and affordable cost. We are well-rounded with all the components of a typical Siamese connection. We can also maintain your system periodically to ensure that there is no unnecessary friction caused by dirt build up to compromise waterways. We will inspect other components such as plugs to ensure that they are still in good condition.
Give us a call today to design and install your fire department connection. Every property: public or private has to have a Siamese connection regardless of having the fire hydrant nearby. Municipal ground water supply could run out and the only option would be the fire department manually recharging the system through this connection. NFPA codes recommend having this equipment installed especially in large buildings.