United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

Information Notice 2001-10: Failure of Central Sprinkler Company Model GB Series Fire Sprinkler Heads

UNITED STATES
NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION
OFFICE OF NUCLEAR REACTOR REGULATION
WASHINGTON, D.C. 20555-0001

June 28, 2001

NRC INFORMATION NOTICE 2001-10: FAILURE OF CENTRAL SPRINKLER COMPANY MODEL GB SERIES FIRE SPRINKLER HEADS

Addressees

All holders of licenses for nuclear power, research, and test reactors and fuel cycle facilities.

Purpose

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is issuing this information notice to warn addressees that certain Model GB series sprinkler heads manufactured by Central Sprinkler Co. of Lansdale, Pennsylvania, have a potential for failure. It is expected that recipients will review the information for applicability and consider actions, as appropriate, to ensure safety at their facilities. However, suggestions contained in this information notice are not NRC requirements; therefore, no specific action or written response is required.

Description of Circumstances

On April 24, 2001, Underwriters Laboratories Inc. (UL) issued a news release on the failures of field samples of certain Model GB series sprinkler heads during operational testing. UL tested over 1800 GB series heads from over 100 different locations and found that 26 percent of the sprinkler heads needed higher water pressure than the 5 psi required for UL listing. Seven percent needed over 40 psi to operate and some did not operate at 60 psi. This is of great concern because the sprinkler systems are relied upon to protect structures, systems, or components important to safety against fire.

The sprinkler heads have O-ring water seals and were introduced in 1988. The following models are of concern: GB, GB-ALPHA, GB-J, GB-QR, GB-EC, GB-RS, GB-20, GB-20QR, GBR, GB-R1, GB-R2, GBR-LF, GB4, GB4-EC, GB4-FR, GB4-QREC, BB1, BB2, BB3, SD1, SD2, SD3, HIP, ROC, LF, and WS. Because of design changes, some of these models may have "O-ring" water seals and some may have disc spring water seals. Only the sprinkler head models with the "O" ring seal are of concern, not the models with the disc spring water seals. UL's Web site at: www.ul.com/about/newsrel/nr042401.html exit icon has pictures and descriptions of the water seals of different models.

Licensees who have GB series sprinkler heads installed in their facility may consider having some of the heads tested. UL will test heads submitted at no additional cost beyond the expense of removal, packaging, handling, and postage. Instructions for selecting, removing, and packaging the heads can be obtained from Central Sprinkling Co. at 1-800-523-6512.

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Related Generic Communications

  • IN 99-28, "Recall of Star Brand Fire Protection Sprinkler Heads," September 30, 1999
  • IN 97-72, "Potential for Failure of the Omega Series Sprinkler Heads," September 22, 1997

This information notice requires no specific action or written response. If you have any questions about the information in this notice, please contact one of the technical contacts listed below or the appropriate Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation (NRR) or Office of Nuclear Material and Safeguards (NMSS) project manager.

/RA/J. Tappert for /RA/L. Roche for
Ledyard B. Marsh, Chief
Events Assessment, Generic Communications
  and Non-Power Reactors Branch
Division of Regulatory Improvement Programs
Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation
Melvyn N. Leach, Acting Chief
Fuel Cycle Licensing Branch
Division of Fuel Cycle Safety and Safeguards
Office of Nuclear Material Safety and Safeguards
Technical Contacts: Paul Lain
NRR/DSSA/SPLB
(301) 415-2346
E-Mail: pwl@nrc.gov
Peter Lee
NMSS/FCSS/FCLB
(301) 415-8111
E-mail: psl1@nrc.gov

Attachments:

  1. List of Recently Issued NRC Information Notices
  2. List of Recently Issued NMSS Information Notices

(ADAMS Accession Number ML011790352)

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