How to Install VESDA into Wet or Condensing Environments

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A wet or condensing environment is simply any location in which there is a presence of water or moisture. These areas may include:

  • Water treatment plants
  • Waste recycling facilities
  • Battery filling and charging rooms
  • Fertilizer production facilities
  • Tanneries
  • Commercial cooking facilities
  • Swimming pools and water parks
  • Abattoirs and seafood processing facilities
  • Boiler rooms

As in most commercial facilities, a reliable fire detection solution is essential to protect life, equipment and revenue. However, in areas where there is water or moisture present, providing reliable fire detection can be challenging.

What are the Challenges?

Water and moisture can create a number of issues. Water and electricity don’t mix. Therefore, in areas that are wet or damp, traditional types of detection that rely on electricity can break down and be ineffective. Site washdowns in facilities such as meat or poultry processing plants can cause issues if water is forced into sampling holes. Steam can also cause unwanted moisture if not managed correctly.

What is the Solution?

Aspirating smoke detection is the preferred choice of smoke detection for this sort of application - aspirating smoke detectors can be installed in dry areas to collect air from sampling points installed within the damp environment. Ancillary devices, proper design and other measures can help to eliminate any issues caused by excess water:

  • Water Traps
    Detectors should be inverted and Water Traps can be installed for each pipe to assist in removing residual moisture that can be forced into the pipe or moisture that forms in the pipe due to condensation and restrict airflow.
  • Backflush/Purging Valves
    Backflush or Purging Valves are recommended to purge water from the detection pipe network.
  • Avoiding Low Spots
    Ensuring that there are no low spots where water in the sampling pipe network can collect will help to maintain suitable airflow.
  • IP Rated Enclosure
    In situations where detectors cannot be installed in a dry area, an IP rated enclosure can protect the detector from water ingress, particularly in areas where wash down or steam cleaning is undertaken.
  • Sampling Pipe Positioning and Location
    The type of pipe used in wet or condensing environments is also another important consideration. To prevent water from entering sampling points, the pipe can be rotated by thirty degrees. In areas such as seafood and meat processing facilities, steel pipe can be used to conform to hygiene regulations.

VESDA VLI Aspirating Smoke Detectors

VESDA VLI detectors can provide the perfect solution for protecting wet or condensing environments from fire. VLI detectors are housed in a stylish IP66 rated enclosure, making them suitable for use in wet conditions and are available with a range of ancillary devices such as water traps and backflush valves.

VESDA VLI detectors provide fast and reliable detection for even the harshest applications including wet and condensing environments.

A correctly designed Aspirating Smoke Detection system using VESDA VLI detectors will not only survive the environment but will provide fast and reliable detection that is second to none.


For more information about VESDA VLI Aspirating Smoke Detectors, or to discuss any of the other products that Eurofyre have to offer, please feel free to get in touch either by phone on +44 (0) 1329 835 024, by email to sales@eurofyre.co.uk or via the online enquiry form situated on our contact page.

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Mark Redfearn

Posted by Mark Redfearn

Mark is the technical services manager at Eurofyre.

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