Today is Sunday, October 27
Though there is no reason for me to be up before the sunrise, my body is used to an early schedule.
As I stood from my bed this morning, Brody the Dog looked at me. His ears perked and his head tilted.
He looked curious, as if to wonder, “Where is he going?”
But even Brody the Dog likes to sleep in on Sundays. Instead of joining me downstairs, Brody repositioned his head, curled back into a ball, and then closed his eyes.
The rest of my house sleeps as well, which leaves me in the company of quiet.
I like that…
I like the bright blue light on my coffee machine. I speak about it often because coffee is part of my ritual.
And as I stood, looking through my living room window, scanning across the rooftops of my suburban town, I watched the blinking red lights from the top of a nearby water tower.
I checked on my friend, The Old Tree that stands across the street from my house, which I’ve written about so often.
All is right with the world—at least for now.
Part of my responsibilities at work is to oversee the fire suppression system in my building. And with more than 1.5 million square feet; there is a lot of area to protect.
There is a standpipe that runs from top to bottom throughout each of three stairwells. The standpipe is filled with water and comes equipped with valves and fire hoses, which is located inside the stairs and beside the staircase doors.
The sprinkler distribution comes from the south staircase, or fire stair. This is where the sprinkler control valves are, as well as the pressure gauges, and drain valves for the system on each individual floor.
With all of the recent construction in my building, there has been an extensive amount of sprinkler work. The process begins from a main supply, or water source. In this case, the main line is a 3” pipe that runs throughout the common corridors and branches off into the bathrooms and tenant spaces
The branch lines reduce in size, and the sprinkler heads themselves, reduce again for better water distribution. However, due to the standing pressure and because sprinklers are a vital source of fire protection, there is mandatory testing to ensure the system is properly fit.
(There’s a point to this, I swear)
Consider yourself a business owner. Let’s say, for argument’s sake, you are a new tenant in my building, and after months of arguing with architects, contractors, and engineers, you finally move into your new office space.
You set up your desk. You place photographs on the wall. Say, some of these photographs are irreplaceable and priceless; the last thing you want is a sprinkler head to open and destroy your personal items, let alone, the new office space. And though insurance pays for damages; insurance can never repay time or effort.
Insurance can never replace something as precious as a ruined photograph…
Aside from the obvious reasons of better fire protection, this is why sprinkler systems are tested. But this too has a process. Building anything is a process of steps, and though it may seem tedious, each step is necessary.
First, the sprinkler pipe must be secured to the ceiling through a series of hangers. Next, each pipe fitting is tightened into place. Then the sprinkler heads are installed according to specification, and then they are sometimes capped for aesthetic purposes.
After the sprinkler system is complete, the distribution of pipework is then charged with 100lbs of nitrogen. Since nitrogen is a gas, the consistency is different from water. 100lbs of nitrogen is equivalent to 300lbs of water in a 3 to 1 ration.
This step is important because it is better to leak nitrogen than water. Water leads to damage. Water leaks to the floors below, which leads to angry tenants, and results in angry phone calls to management.
Problems like these trickle down to positions like mine, and being at the bottom of the corporate food chain is not a good place to be.
In any case –
After the system is charged and holds pressure for 60 minutes, then comes the hydro-test. The system is filled with water and then pressurized to four times its standard operating pressure, which in my case, standard pressure is 50lbs.
The system is then filled with water and pumped up to 200lbs for two hours. There is often paperwork and a third party inspector for insurance purposes. Along with the installer’s signature, and mine, the third party signs as a witness to this test. Again, the process is lengthy and time consuming. If there is a leak; the process starts from the beginning until the system withstands pressure.
And here I am… (Or should I say….here’s my point)
I am starting from the beginning. I am trying to build myself and create my own new system. Much like the tenant of a new space wants their construction to move quickly, I want my project to grow without issue. However, this is not always possible.
Change is seldom an easy process. But we learn as we go. I have recently undergone a facelift. What I mean is I have changed the way I distribute myself. I have made changes at work, at home, and even here …with you.
In order for me to withstand the pressure, I have to secure the way I distribute myself. I have to pay attention to each step of my new process. Otherwise, I can blow apart like a fitting in a sprinkler system.
As I see it, I have two choices
I can remain complacent and comfortable. I can be consistent with yesterday and not change anything
I can rebuild. I can secure the way I distribute myself, withstand the pressure, and move forward.
Enjoy your Sunday, folks