Faulty valve to blame for false alarms
Replacing worn out part at city hall to cost $10,000
Wednesday, Jul 30, 2014 06:00 am
A $10,000 valve that has reached the end of its service life is responsible for activating multiple fire alarms at St. Albert Place over the past two weeks.
The underground valve has been signaling high water pressure within the building’s fire suppression system, thus setting off the fire alarm.
“We have pressure-reducing valves that take high pressure on one side and lower it on the other,” explained Greg Grueber, city utilities manager.
“One of the valves in the system has proven faulty, resulting in high pressure going all the way through it and causing the alarms down at city hall.”
The alarms have been activated several times because of the malfunctioning valve as well as the efforts to fix it. Repair efforts have caused a temporary spike in water pressure and the sensor that activates the alarm is very sensitive, Grueber said.
The city’s utilities department has isolated the valve to minimize any more false alarms. Five or six additional valves are currently compensating for the malfunctioning one.
Utilities is expecting a new valve to be delivered in three weeks.
“We know it’s a great nuisance to the patrons and to council so it’s one of our top priorities,” said Grueber.
The valve is made to order and comes at a price tag of $10,000, which includes excavation and additional mechanical work, he added.
Each valve has a service life of 15 to 20 years. They are serviced twice a year.