Compare Water Mist Systems vs Fire Sprinklers | iMist Ltd (2023)

Have you ever wondered about the benefits of water mist systems? Or maybe the difference between those and traditional fire sprinkler systems?

In this article, we will talk through the popular firefighting agents, their suitability, advantages, disadvantages and system designs.

How do water mist fire suppression systems work?
Accreditations and Certifications of fire fighting agents
What is the suitability for fire suppression systems?
Advantages and disadvantages to firefighting agents (including price)
System designs of water mist systems and fire sprinklers
Why choose iMist for your fire suppression needs

What is a water mist fire suppression system?

A water mist system is a fire protection system that produces a fine spray to suppress fires – a common alternative to traditional large droplet, fire sprinklers. Water is the oldest, most widely used, and universally available firefighting agent known to man. It is non-toxic, environmentally friendly and, in addition, has superior fire protection capabilities when compared to every other agent.

Compare Water Mist Systems vs Fire Sprinklers | iMist Ltd (1)

Compare Water Mist Systems vs Fire Sprinklers | iMist Ltd (2)

Compare Water Mist Systems vs Fire Sprinklers | iMist Ltd (3)

How do water mist fire suppression systems work?

The iMist suppression system and traditional fire sprinkler systems work in the same way when it comes to activation when there is a fire. Both systems wet the surface of the fuel, and the surrounding area, to cool and suppress the fire like a blanket of water. However, only the water mist system works in all three ways simultaneously, with minimal water to extinguish a fire;

  1. Upon activation of a water mist nozzle, the system will begin to discharge high pressure water mist. The mist will fill the 16m2 area (per nozzle) with a fine mist – which will travel around the room, dampen all surfaces it can get to and thus, restrict fire spreading.
  2. When the water is discharged at a high pressure, the room temperature is reduced dramatically due to a reaction between the fast-moving colder air molecules and water molecules against the heat from the fire, much like cold air displacing hot air.
  3. As the water mist has direct contact with the flame, it turns into steam. The steam particles then displace the oxygen particles around the fire and thus, suffocates the fire.

Unlike many Hollywood films, only the nozzles situated in the area of the fire will release the mist.

(Video) Water Mist vs Sprinklers

Compare Water Mist Systems vs Fire Sprinklers | iMist Ltd (5)

What is the suitability for fire suppression systems?

Fit for purpose: When protecting you and your family, especially the vulnerable, it is extremely important for systems to activate as soon as possible to minimise the build-up of smoke, and to buy people time to evacuate the building safety.

Water supply: iMist only requires 6 litres per minute, per nozzle (lpm) (that’s a flow rate less than a power shower), this negates the need for tanks in the home.

System designs of water mist systems and fire sprinklers

Nozzles:

Both water mist and sprinkler systems have fixed nozzle heads, that have been accurately and efficiently positioned within the property to ensure full protection.

At iMist our water mist nozzles arediscreetly designedto blend in with your ceiling fittings, and can be produced in any RAL colour to suit your needs.

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(Video) Sprinklers vs Mist Comparison

Pumps:

Water mist systems use less water than sprinkler systems which means there is less post-fire damage to the property. In properties with low water flow, a mist system may be more appropriate, because traditional sprinkler systems need big water tanks installed inside the property for the system to work – which will be additionally required to ensure adequate water low.

At iMist fire suppression systems, we negate the need for a large tank, and instead use our own small tanks that can fit conveniently in small spaces such as under the stairs.

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Pipework:

Both water mist and sprinkler systems have fixed pipe work.

iMist use their own custom hydraulic hoses which offers the possibility to retrofit fire suppression systems into properties, due to the flexibility of the hose.

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Check out iMist's System Design Here

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(Video) Water Mist v Sprinkler Comparison Test

Accreditations and Certification of fire-fighting agents

Both water mist fire suppression systems and fire sprinkler systems have many accreditations and certifications that they can gain to ensure the reliability and effectiveness of their system, components and materials. The publication of a British standard for example, has produced specific criteria which water mist suppression systems and components can be measured against.

The main difference between the 2 fire fighting agents is that conventional fire sprinkler systems have been in use for over 100 years, whereas mist systems have only been developed in the last few decades – but have extensive data, knowledge and testing to back up what they are doing currently.

Another difference between water mist systems and fire sprinklers is the ‘categories’ that define themselves.

See below an example of the British Standard that states Automatic Water Fire Suppression Systems (AWFSS) must be installed in the following circumstances

(Video) Misting vs sprinklers: comparison of fire suppression systems

Advantages and Disadvantages to firefighting agents

Water Mist Fire Suppression

Fire Sprinklers

Water mist fire systems require less water than fire sprinklers, on an average of 80%. Therefore, water mist is more environmentally friendly as the iMist nozzle requires an average of 6 litres per minute (lpm). Less water means that our iMist pump(s) can fit in the most convenient places such as under the stairs or under the kitchen sink.Fire sprinklers require more water, a minimum of 51 lpm per sprinkler. Sprinklers usually require a tank to be installed in your property, meaning that you could be loosing out on expensive square meterage.
Due to the water mist particles being able to evaporate quickly and less water needed to dispense, it means water mist systems cause less damage if the system activates on an average of 0.375 mm per minute.Fire Sprinklers dispense 2.04 mm water per minute, which causes more water damage compared with water mist.
Water mist systems combat all 3 sides of the fire triangle, by suppressing the oxygen, heat and fuel. The most common cause of death for fire-related fatalities in 2017/18 where the cause of death was known was ‘overcome by gas or smoke (30%)’, which water mist minimises.Sprinkler systems suppress fires by wetting the fuel surface.
When it comes to cost for water mist systems, the cost includes labour, pipework, nozzles and pump(s). At iMist, there are no hidden costs or sudden surprises. Once you approve our quotation, this is the price you will pay.With fire sprinklers, there’s many instances where you may need to purchase/install additional systems to comply with the sprinklers, such as water connections to run under your property.

Please note: It is compulsory by law that both water mist and sprinkler systems are serviced annually to ensure the system is in working order and would be effective in the event of a fire.

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Why choose iMist for my fire suppression system?

We have been designing, manufacturing and installing iMist water mist fire suppression systems for our clients across the UK for 5 years. We have worked hard on obtaining and passing many third-party accreditations, and are now one of the most comprehensively tested and well-known water mist fire suppression systems.

Some reasons we think you should choose us for your water mist fire suppression system are;

    • 109 years of combined industry experience
    • Well-known for the service we provide
    • Free 24 hour turnaround designs and free site visit to your property
    • Third-party accredited (see our list of certifications and reports on our website)
    • Cost certainty with no hidden costs or sudden surprises

FAQs

Yes, depending on the nozzle layouts and ventilation condition. Water mist systems get successfully tested for tunnel and outdoor fires, and in test cells with windows/doors open. Once you’ve decided on a company, they will be able to show you where is accurate to place your nozzles and system.

Some companies, including iMist, can be connected to third party systems such as fire panels, fire alarm systems, AOVs (Automatic Opening Vent), SMS units, fire curtains and more.

FAQs

What is the difference between sprinkler system and water mist system? ›

JJ – The differentiator between water mist and sprinkler systems is that a water mist system disperses an ultra-fine spray of water that NFPA technically defines as water droplets smaller than 1,000 microns. Anything above 1,000 microns is considered a water sprinkler droplet.

What are the two main types of mist systems? ›

What Are the Different Types of Outdoor Mist Cooling Systems?
  • Low-pressure misting systems derive water pressure solely from a home's main water supply, which is between 40 pounds per square inch (psi) and 60 psi. ...
  • Mid-pressure misting systems use a pump to boost the home's water pressure to between 160 psi and 250 psi.
23 Feb 2021

What is a water mist sprinkler system? ›

Water mist systems are fire suppression systems that use very small water droplets to extinguish or control fires.

What are the different types of fire sprinkler systems? ›

Types of sprinkler systems permissible by NFPA 13, Standard for the Installation of Sprinkler Systems, are wet, dry, preaction, and deluge.

What is the difference between water spray and water mist fire extinguishers? ›

The key difference is the size of the water droplets. Water mist systems have droplets with a diameter less than 1,000 microns each, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). That is basically a fifth of the size of the droplets made by standard fire sprinkler system.

Why is water mist used? ›

The unique water mist has the cooling effect of water and creates a "mist curtain" cutting off the oxygen supply. The droplets are so small that they have no adverse reaction on flammable liquids, allowing the extinguishers to be used on class B fires.

What pressure is needed for misting system? ›

What is the amount of water pressure needed to create mist? You must have a minimum pressure of 35 Pounds per Square Inch (PSI). This is the standard rate of supply pressure for city water.

How does misting system work? ›

Q: How do misting systems work? A: Using a pressurized pump, misting lines installed with specialty nozzles and water, a misting system pump pushes the water through the lines and nozzles to atomize the water to create micro-droplets that fill the surrounding area.

What is a mist system? ›

PUBLISHED. 13 July 2021. A closed head (bulb) water mist system is a fixed fire protection system that uses fine water droplets to control, suppress or extinguish a fire. The system consists of automatic nozzles attached to a hydraulically calculated piping system containing water and connected to a water supply.

How does a fire misting system work? ›

Wetting the fuel and the area around the fire is an effective way to suppress fires involving solid fuel, and it also prevents the fire from spreading to other areas. The oxygen displacement happens at the heart of the fire when the water mist droplets turn into vapor and take oxygen from the fire.

How is water mist system activated? ›

SEM-SAFE® water mist system with open nozzles

This system will activate manually or when sensors have detected heat, smoke or a flame, depending on type and application. The nozzles are grouped in sections and all the nozzles in the activated section will be released.

What is high pressure water mist system? ›

The SEM-SAFE® high-pressure water mist system is a unique fire fighting system. By forcing water at a high-pressure through nozzles, an extremely fine mist is created. Water is supplied via a pump unit. The SEM-SAFE® high-pressure pump unit can supply all water mist applications.

What is the most common type of sprinkler system? ›

Wet pipe systems are the most common type of fire sprinkler systems. These systems are filled with water from an automatic source, and when a sprinkler head is exposed to enough heat, the heat-sensitive element will release and water will be allowed to flow from that sprinkler.

What are the 4 types of sprinkler head? ›

There are 4 common varieties of fire sprinkler heads: pendent, upright, sidewall & concealed - each with their own particular use.

What is a Class 4 sprinkler system? ›

Class IV — This class includes Class I, II, or III products and packaging containing a significant amount of Group A plastics (5-15 percent by weight or 5-25 percent by volume) stored in ordinary corrugated cartons with or without Group A plastic packing, which may be stored with or without the use of pallets.

Are water mist fire extinguishers any good? ›

Water mist fire extinguishers are becoming a good choice of multi-purpose fire extinguisher, as they're much safer and more environmentally-friendly than a powder and have impressive fire ratings.

How much does a water mist system cost? ›

Homeowners nationwide pay an average of $2,707 for an outdoor misting system. Project prices typically range from $2,026 and $3,454.

How many types of water spray system explain? ›

There are two types of systems namely High Velocity and Medium Velocity systems.

Which type of fire can water mist be used to quench? ›

Water mist extinguishers are primarily for Class A fires, although they are safe for use on Class C fires as well.

What is ABC type fire extinguisher? ›

An extinguisher with an ABC rating is suitable for use with fires involving ordinary combustibles, flammable liquids and energized electrical equipment. An extinguisher that is rated for use with multiple hazards should include a symbol for each hazard type.

What to look for when buying a misting system? ›

The most important factors are the atomization rate and the nozzle's ability to produce a large quantity of very small droplets (less than 15 microns or 15 millionths of a meter).

Do I need a pump for a misting system? ›

While low pressure mister systems operate off your home's natural water pressure, most people will need a pump to make their misting system truly effective, as the small, fine water droplets required for quick evaporation cannot be achieved by low water pressure.

Do misting systems work in high humidity? ›

If properly designed and installed, a high pressure (1000 PSI) mist cooling system can be very effective for residential, commercial and industrial applications even in high humidity. Various geographical regions have specific summer weather inherent to their climate.

How long do misting systems last? ›

Our top of the line high pressure (1000 PSI) misting systems have an expected life span of 25 or more years. That kind of cooling power pays off in a big way as you maximize the hours of enjoyment you and your family have in your outdoor spaces that you equip today with a misting system.

Does misting reduce temperature? ›

Evaporative cooling or adiabatic cooling, is the most well-known use of high-pressure water spray (misting). The process of evaporation of the water absorbs energy (heat) from the surrounding environment thus reducing the temperature.

Where do you put a misting system? ›

The mist lines need to be placed at a precise height to be effective. Where possible, installation at or above 8' is ideal, as the area will be cool without making patio furniture or people wet. However, systems installed too high create a pleasing, misty effect, but are ineffective in cooling the space.

How is mist made? ›

Mist is tiny droplets of water hanging in the air. These droplets form when warmer water in the air is rapidly cooled, causing it to change from invisible gas to tiny visible water droplets.

What is mist suppression? ›

A water mist system is a fire protection system which uses very fine water sprays (i.e. water mist). The small water droplets allow the water mist to control, suppress or extinguish fires by cooling both the flame and surrounding gases by evaporation while also displacing oxygen by evaporation.

Why water mist systems can be used for Class B fires? ›

The resulting water particles provide a cooling effect and displace oxygen sufficiently to extinguish a fire but not below a level where it is dangerous to occupants.

How does a foam sprinkler system work? ›

Foam sprinkler systems use foam to extinguish fires in buildings. The fire sprinkler pump distributes the water and foam mixture via the pipe system and discharges the foam spray via the sprinklers. Foam systems use a mixture of water and a low expansion foam concentrate to extinguish fires in buildings.

What is the primary goal of foam water spray systems? ›

Foam suppression systems extinguish fire by separating the fuel from the oxygen. In more technical terms, these systems are used to “cool the fire and coat the fuel that the fire is consuming to prevent contact with oxygen and reduce combustion ability.”

What type of pump is used in Hypermist system? ›

This system mainly consists of a centrifugal pump, automatic control valves, mist nozzles and control panels. The water pump draws fresh water from the hull tank and discharges through selected distribution valves to the spray nozzles, which spray mist particles for at least 20 minutes.

What is fire fogging? ›

The thermal fogging process is a favored technique to remove smoke odors from tobacco, fireplaces, and fires.

What chemical is in a fire suppression system? ›

There are two main chemicals employed by dry chemical fire suppression systems: sodium bicarbonate and mono-ammonium phosphate.

What two mechanisms are used in a high fog system to combat fire? ›

HI-FOG® uses three mechanisms to fight fire: cooling, radiant heat blocking and local oxygen inerting.

What part of the water mist firefighting system that monitors and detects the fire condition of the protected area? ›

System Description

The water mist fire fighting system basically consists of fire detection part and fire fighting part. The fire detection part monitors and detects the fire condition of the protected area. If any fire is detected, it transits the information on fire location to the main control panel.

Who makes the fire prevention program? ›

Fire Prevention | Directorate General Fire Services, Civil Defence & Home Guards Ministry Of Home Affairs Government of India.

What kind of sprinkler is best? ›

  • BEST OVERALL: Dramm Duty Metal Base 9-Pattern Turret Sprinkler.
  • BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Gilmour Spot Sprinkler.
  • BEST OSCILLATING: Melnor 65074-AMZ XT Turbo Oscillating Sprinkler.
  • BEST FOR SMALL LAWNS: GARDENA ZoomMaxx Oscillating Sprinkler.
  • BEST FOR GARDEN BEDS: Melnor 65083-AMZ Multi-Adjustable Sprinkler.
8 Jul 2022

At what temperature do sprinklers activate? ›

What DOES Set Off Fire Sprinklers? Fire sprinkler systems are actually quite sophisticated, and are designed to be heat sensitive so that sprinklers only activate when the temperatures rise to fire-induced temps, usually somewhere between 155 to 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

What are the 2 types of sprinkler heads? ›

The two primary types of sprinklers are pop-up sprinklers, which are typically used in lawns, and fixed sprinklers, sometimes known as shrub head sprinklers. Pop-up heads are the most common types of sprinklers in an underground sprinkler system.

What liquid is used in sprinkler? ›

The bulbs typically contain a glycerin-based liquid. As the air around the sprinkler head reaches the target temperature – usually 155F or 200F – the glycerin-based liquid expands. Once the target temp is reached, the liquid expands enough to burst the glass bulb.

What is a sprinkler head called? ›

Fire Sprinkler Head Types: Pendents, Uprights, Sidewalls, and Concealed.

What is the distance between two fire sprinklers? ›

(32) In no case shall the distance between sprinklers exceed 12 ft (3.7 m).

What is called sprinkler system? ›

Definition of sprinkler system

: a system for protecting a building against fire by means of overhead pipes which convey an extinguishing fluid (such as water) to heat-activated outlets.

What are fire sprinklers called? ›

A fire sprinkler or sprinkler head is the component of a fire sprinkler system that discharges water when the effects of a fire have been detected, such as when a predetermined temperature has been exceeded. Fire sprinklers are extensively used worldwide, with over 40 million sprinkler heads fitted each year.

How much does a water mist system cost? ›

Homeowners nationwide pay an average of $2,707 for an outdoor misting system. Project prices typically range from $2,026 and $3,454.

How many types of water spray system explain? ›

There are two types of systems namely High Velocity and Medium Velocity systems.

What is hyper mist system? ›

The hyper mist or high pressure fog fire fighting system is installed for all important ship's machinery systems in the engine room (ME. AE, Purifier, Boiler etc.). The high-pressure water mist/fog system provides water mist protection during emergencies to engine room areas and machinery spaces.

Do you need a pump for a misting system? ›

Without a high pressure misting pump, the water droplets would be too large to evaporate as they pass through the air which leaves the area, and its inhabitants, feeling both wet and sticky. That's why selecting a misting pump to fuel your system is a critical decision.

How do you install a misting system? ›

How To Install the Basic Mist Kit - YouTube

Which type of fire suppression system is typically the least expensive? ›

CO2, as its usually referred to, has been used in systems since the early 1900s. It's inexpensive compared to other clean agents and can be used in total flooding or local application.

What is high pressure water spray and sprinkler system? ›

The SEM-SAFE® high-pressure water mist system is a unique fire fighting system. By forcing water at a high-pressure through nozzles, an extremely fine mist is created. Water is supplied via a pump unit. The SEM-SAFE® high-pressure pump unit can supply all water mist applications.

What are the parts of water spray system? ›

WATER SPRAY SYSTEM

The system consist of water reservoir, a pump of suitable capacity and pressure, delivery main, and distributing pipe array, main control valve(known as deluge valve), water spray nozzle and heat sensing element.

Which fire prevention technique is used in high velocity water spray system? ›

HVWS SYSTEM

The system is based on the principle of "emulsification" for extinguishing Fire, along with the cooling and smothering effect created by the jet of water.

Where are water mist systems used? ›

Typical applications, we see them going into some data centers out there, museums and theaters. Some historic homes have chosen water mist systems to have less water damage, and then large office buildings, so buildings companies are building that are high technology users.

How is water mist system activated? ›

SEM-SAFE® water mist system with open nozzles

This system will activate manually or when sensors have detected heat, smoke or a flame, depending on type and application. The nozzles are grouped in sections and all the nozzles in the activated section will be released.

What is CO2 flooding system? ›

CO2 flooding system or central bank CO2 system is one of the common fixed fire fighting system installed on most of the ships. It releases carbon dioxide (CO2) in bulk quantity to a protected space (such as engine room, cargo hold, purifier room, pump room, etc.) under fire.

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