FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

Commonly asked questions and answers on ember protection and the Platypus Sprinkler system.

Q: How is the Platypus sprinkler different to standard butterfly sprinklers?

The unique design features of the Platypus Sprinkler make it more effective in high wind conditions than standard butterfly sprinklers. Its high winds that cause ember attack.

We have eliminated the need for an outer support frame typically found on standard butterfly sprinklers. This frame is responsible for breaking down the stream of water through the sprinkler head into very small droplets. Smaller water droplets are more likely they are to be effected by wind.

Another unique design feature of the Platypus Sprinkler is that it sprays larger water droplets. They are sprayed “out and down” somewhat like rain rather than up in the air.

Q: Can I install a system myself?

Yes. Sprinklers and a range of accessories are available for purchase online (purchase now) or through an approved stockist.

Platypus Fire P/L also provides a sprinkler system design service. We calculate the correct number and position of sprinklers along fascia line or ridgeline of your building, quantity of water required to operate the system effectively, pipe size and required flow rates and pressure.

Cost of this design service depends on the level of information provided.

Q: What pipes and fittings are used to install a Platypus Sprinkler system?

An approved installer would typically use copper tube and crimped copper fittings.

DIY systems can also be installed using copper tube, crimp fittings or with welded fittings.

PVC or Poly pipe & fittings may be used but care should be taken as these products have low heat ratings.

Q: Can I re-fit my existing sprinkler system with the Platypus bushfire sprinkler system?

Yes provided you follow the recommended Platypus sprinkler spacing guide.

Q: When should I operate my Platypus bushfire sprinkler system?

Always monitor local conditions and act as advised. Keep areas covered by the sprinkler system damp and cool in advance of the fire front as this will greatly reduce the risk of spot fires when embers are present.

Q: Petrol or diesel driven pump, which is best for me?

Buy a pump that best suits your budget but will do the job. Stick with a reputable brand. Petrol driven pumps are cheaper to purchase but diesel pumps are slightly cheaper to run and may prove to be more reliable in the long run.

Q: How long will the sprinkler head and bearing last?

We recommend replacing these components at your 5 year service. A replacement head and bearing kit would be approximately $20.15 per sprinkler.

Q: What maintenance is involved?

Weekly visual checks of the sprinkler system and water supply. Start your pump each week during the bushfire season. Your installer will provide further advice and or ongoing maintenance.

System Maintenance

Platypus Fire PL recommends you carry out regular maintenance to ensure reliable operation of your sprinkler system and associated equipment.

YEARLY - PRIOR TO BUSHFIRE SEASON

• Remove, clean and inspect sprinkler shaft, bearing & heads
• Service engine according to manufacturer’s guidelines
• Test operation of back up generator and or power supply
• Change fuel in petrol engines
• Check & clean inline strainers
• Check water level in tank & level indicator
• Visual check of pipework
• Check controller using test function
• Check & clean gutters, downpipes & strainer basket
• Check operation of mains water top up
• Start pump & check operation of system (flush system with clean water if using pool water and or bore water etc)
• Prepare, discuss and organize your bushfire survival plan

MONTHLY DURING BUSHFIRE SEASON

• Start pump and check operation of system
• Check controller using test function
• Start pump & check operation of system (flush system with clean water if using pool water and or bore water etc)
• Check water level in tank & level indicator
• Visual check of pipework & sprinkler heads
• Check strainer basket in tank is clear

QUARTERLY

• Start pump & check operation of system
• Check controller using test function
• Visual check of pipework & sprinkler heads

The above guide is suggested as minimum requirements, a maintenance schedule specific to your system should be established at or before installation.

Due to the unpredictable nature & timing of bushfires it is important that you and your system are prepared at all times.

Q: What water can I use to run my Platypus bushfire sprinkler system?

Your water source should be clean & free of debris and or sediments, water stored in a tank is ideal, water from a Bore - Dam or Pool may be ok to use but be mindful that these water sources may cause staining and or contamination. Consider fitting diversions to your down pipes and ensure your pump & pipework are flushed afterwards.

Q: Does the Platypus bushfire sprinkler system comply with Australian Standards?

The Platypus Sprinkler system has been designed to be affordable and make the most effective use of available water. To fully comply with the current Australian Standard would result in a very expensive sprinkler design putting it out of reach for most people and one requiring significantly larger volumes of water to be used. Compliance with the standard is simply impractical and unnecessary.

The Platypus bushfire sprinkler system includes a purposely designed sprinkler head which guarantees an effective level of protection at a much more affordable price than systems designed and manufactured according to the Australian Standards.

Q: Does the Platypus Sprinkler System need to be installed during the initial build or can it be retro fitted?

The system is very flexible and as such can be installed during the initial construction phase or it can be easily retro-fitted to existing buildings.

Installing the system during construction means pipe work is concealed in the roof space.

Retro fitting to an existing building would normally result in exposed pipe work although in some cases pipe work can be concealed.

Q: How does the Platypus bushfire sprinkler work?

The twin outlet head of the Platypus bushfire sprinkler spins in a full circle spraying water out and downwards. Its unique design has eliminated the need for an outer support frame around the spinner which has the effect of breaking the water spray into smaller droplets which is not ideal.

Q: How is it different from the current bushfire sprinklers on the market?

The outer support frame on other sprinkler types breaks water passing through the sprinkler head into smaller droplets. Smaller droplets of water are less effective in restricting or stopping ember attack than larger water droplets.

Q: How is the Platypus Sprinkler System activated? Can it be automated?

he Platypus Sprinkler System can be operated manually by use of isolation valves or automatically activated using our Controller device which starts and stops the system based on a preset ambient temperature. Controllers can also be activated by SMS from a mobile phone.

Q: There can be quite intense winds during a fire, how does the Platypus bushfire sprinkler system combat this and still spray downwards?

A flatter sprinkler head design, lower operating pressure and the quantity of larger sized droplets due to elimination of an outer support frame all combine to encourage downward water spray.

Q: How much water does each sprinkler head use?

Please refer to our Platypus sprinkler pressure, flow and spacing guide for water flow rates on all available nozzle sizes.

Up to 60 percent of water used is recycled by systems with downpipes connected to a water supply tank.

Incorporating out Flow Control Inserts into your system will ensure optimum operation of each sprinkler.

Q: Can I use my town water supply to operate the sprinkler system?

Town water systems may operate say 5-10 of the Platypus Sprinklers using the 2.5mm nozzle, typically you would use mains water to top up a tank that your fire pump draws from. Town water pressure can become quite low when there is a fire truck drawing directly from the mains.

MORE QUESTIONS?

Contact us if you have any further questions regarding the Platypus Sprinkler or Ember Protection Systems.