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Dry and Wet Sprinkler System Differences

Dry and Wet Sprinkler System Differences By Brazas Fire 505-889-8999

While designing a building, the architecture takes care of every minute detail about the building. One of the most important things to ensure the safety of the building is the installation of a fire extinguisher system throughout the building. Different fire extinguishing systems and instruments are available in the market. What kind of fire extinguishing systems and instruments will be required for a building depends upon for what purpose this building will going to be used. An important component of the fire extinguishing system about which we going to talk about in this article is Fire Sprinkler System.

Fire Sprinkler System

A fire sprinkler system is an efficient yet the most underrated component of a fire extinguishing and suppression system. Sprinkler system is in used since the late 19th when it was first time built by Hiram Stevens Maxim. This system is usually installed either in the ceiling or sidewalls of a building. This system consists of:

  • An extensive piping system for water distribution
  • A sprinkler head that has multiple pores to sprinkle water
  • A water supply that connects water pipes with a sprinkler head.

The sprinkler head is the key component of this whole system which contains a triggering mechanism inside. Sprinkler heads made of different materials and in different designs are available in the market. When a fire is set in the building, the sprinkler head gets triggered, and instantly starts to sprinkle the water.

There are four types of sprinkler systems available based on their functionality. Their names are Wet, Dry, Deluge and Pre-action Sprinkler system respectively. Wet and Dry Sprinkler systems are the most common ones used in commercial and residential buildings. While Deluge and Pre-action sprinkler systems are advanced ones, and mostly used in big warehouses, seaports, big shopping malls where fire can spread quickly.

Now, we are going to compare the mechanism, pros and cons of both Wet and Dry sprinkle systems to educate our readers, so they can choose which system is suitable for their building.

Wet Fire Sprinkler System

The Wet Sprinkler system is the most used one as compared to other types as they are more efficient, cost-effective and reliable.

How does it work?

In Wet sprinkle system, the water pipe which connects the main pipeline with the sprinkler head remains flooded with water all the time. The Sprinkler heads of these systems contain a trigger which is either a glass bulb or a fusible link. Where fire sets in the building, the ceiling and walls temperature starts to rise.

This increasing temperature exceeds the temperature limit and breaks the glass bulb or fusible link. As soon as the trigger is set off, the sprinkle head gets active and water starts to come out. Only that sprinkler head will start to sprinkle water whose trigger gets activated.


  • Most efficient as water is always present in the supply pipe.
  • More reliable as the system detects fire and gets activated as soon as a fire is set.
  • This system is cost-effective as repairing parts are easily available.
  • Suitable for industries, restaurants, hotels and household purposes.


Although Wet Sprinkler systems are always the first choice, they are not useful in buildings where temperature sets to remain at or below 40 F0 due to the following reasons.

  • First, the trigger system can’t able to activate at this temperature.
  • Second, water may freeze in the supply line as the temperature in these facilities is near the freezing point of water.
  • In case of any leakage in the pipeline, the building might face irreparable damage.

Dry Sprinkler System

Due to its name, many people misunderstood that this system might use some kind of Dry chemicals for fire extinguishing. But that’s not true as this system is also used water for this purpose.

How does it work?

Compared to the Wet system, the supply pipe of the Dry system doesn’t contain water. Instead, water is kept at the end of the supply pipe via a valve. The supply line contains either compressed air or compressed Nitrogen. When fire sets in the building, the trigger system of the sprinkler head gets triggered and compressed air gets leaked. Due to sudden leakage of air, a vacuum is created inside the supply pipe. Due to higher pressure of water in the distribution pipes, water breaks the valve, rushed towards the sprinkler head and water starts to sprinkle.


  • Suitable for warehouses, garages, walk-in refrigerators and controlled laboratories that have a lower temperature.
  • The Dry system used air or gas is supply pipes, there are no chances of freezing of water in the sprinkle head.


  • As constant air supply is required for working of this system, this system is costlier to maintain as compared to Wet system.
  • There is a delay of 60 seconds between sprinkler head activation and the time when water becomes available for showering through the sprinkle head.
  • Installation is complex, repairing parts are costly and not always available.

Which System Will be Suitable for My Building?

After reading the detailed explanation about the working of both systems, their pros and cons, it may be clear now which system is suitable for your building. If you still have any queries regarding the working of these systems you can contact our experts here at Brazas Fire.

Brazas Fire tests and inspect both Wet and Dry fire sprinkler systems in Albuquerque and the surrounding New Mexico communities.

Call us today at 505-889-8999 to schedule your business’ fire sprinkler system inspection.

Fire Sprinkler Systems are required by law to be flow tested annually by a trained technician that can perform by physical and visual tests to ensure the system is functioning properly. These tests include flow tests, pump tests, antifreeze testing, alarm system testing, valves, gauges and more.

Quarterly, Semi Annual and Annual tests can be scheduled per request. Testing time frames may vary based on requirements of your insurance company or authorities in your local jurisdiction including local fire departments.

Our headquarter is located in Albuquerque, but we service the entire State of New Mexico. You can reach us at 505-889-8999 or can contact us online by filling our CONTACT us form.

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