What You Need to Know About Factory Premixed Antifreeze
Fire sprinkler contractors who have an inspection, testing and maintenance (ITM) business are looking at new protocols for water-based fire protection systems.
Since 2013, NFPA fire sprinkler standards require new antifreeze systems to use an agency-listed antifreeze. For existing systems, NFPA requires that older glycerin and propylene glycol antifreeze be replaced with a listed antifreeze by September 30, 2022. These antifreeze products must demonstrate they can deliver fire protection safely and effectively after every conceivable chemical interaction is evaluated.
After several well-publicized tragedies where incorrect concentrations of flammable ingredients in antifreeze ignited, NFPA acted to limit the use of antifreeze solutions to agency-listed products only for new applications and limited existing antifreeze percentages for maintenance. Antifreeze products could no longer be diluted or mixed in the field, but instead must be factory premixed solutions. The objective was to eliminate the potential for human error in mixing and ensure that a precise formulation was always used.
Stringent NFPA Requirements Address Flammability Concerns Head On
UL requires listed products to pass tests for Exposure to Fire and Fire Fighting Effectiveness, which were developed using data from the NFPA Research Foundation and learnings from the process of developing the test protocols. But it’s a balancing act: a listed antifreeze solution must have a freeze point that remains consistent over time. It must flow free through the pipes and never freeze when the temperature is at, or warmer than, its minimum use temperature. However, regardless of the components introduced into the antifreeze to prevent freezing, the sprinkler system must be able to suppress the fire that caused its activation.
freezemaster™ antifreeze meets the stringent requirements for a listed solution. This breakthrough freeze protection technology has a minimum use temperature of -12°F (-24.4°C). While the other UL-listed alternative is clear, freezemasterTM antifreeze is colored blue so contractors are able to see the material as it exits the vents and drains when flushing and filling systems during the fill process. Additionally, freezemasterTM antifreeze has corrosion resistant properties that outperform its competitors and, unlike the other UL-listed alternative, is permitted for use in galvanized piping systems.
freezemasterTM antifreeze is developed, engineered and manufactured in America by Lubrizol Advanced Materials, a specialty chemical company with more than 30 years of fire safety expertise. For packaging details, directions for use, maintenance information and the typical properties of freezemasterTM antifreeze, download the Technical Data Sheet.