What in the HDPE is going on? - REVISITED

After the original post, What in the HDPE is going on?, I received several comments and some other useful information.

A practice that I have started is to make any contractor that submits plans utilizing HDPE for fire service undergrounds, to also submit cut sheets for the exact brand/type of HDPE beign utilized.  A recent submittal by Sim-Oak Mechanical produced a wealth of information. 

  • HDPE approved for fire mains is black with a red stripe.
  • HDPE approved for fire mains needs to be DR-9, as DR-9 is rated for the NFPA 24 required 200psi pressure test.
  • HDPE approved for fire mains should comply with AWWA C906 or ASTM D3035 or NSF/ANSI 61
Here are some reader comments, via Linked In:

Dominick Kasmauskas • If it meets the NFPA Standards for Fire Protection and is allowed by your local or state codes and standards, plus the underground contractors are trained and/or certified (if there exists a certification) for using the process, the item in question will generally be supported by the fire sprinkler industry.

ALBERT MIGNONE • HDPE [high density poly ethylene] can do many things but cross-linked LDPE [low density poly ethylene] might be better. It does almost everything the HDPE can do but with a better coeficient of friction. [You can bet more water through the same diameter tubing.]

Pex and/or Fire Pex are good alternatives and are making headways into sprinkler systems in the central and western parts of the country. The Pex materials carry warranties that other pipes and tubing do not have. They also are less likely to fail in some freeze situations because of how they are installed.I would like to see some data on success or failures and real cost numbers for installations.