Your protection - quickly done:

Laboratory testing of old sprinkler heads

What's the point of all this?


"Highly effective in case of emergency" (which occurs every 5 minutes - German Insurance Association GDV) is rightly written about sprinkler systems by the industry magazine GIT with the highest circulation.

The tried and tested extinguishing systems quickly and safely control over 98 % of frequent fires (bvfa) - which "is also reflected in the high success statistics of the insurers. One of the reasons for this is the comprehensive set of guidelines of VdS Schadenverhütung, based on years of experience and a large number of fire tests". (Institute for Claims Research of Public Insurers)

The most sensitive part of the systems: the sprinkler heads

The ravages of time + atmospheric as well as operational influences particularly affect the sprinkler heads - the narrow point of the entire system, much thinner than the pipes.
(and only subjected to visual inspections from the outside during building law and insurance inspections).

Typical defects:

Lime, rust, micro-organisms, bacterial adhesions - all deposits and foreign matter accumulate at the outlet point. In case of emergency, these minimize or stop the fire water. Or corroded small parts burst under the release pressure surge. Or the release fluid has diffused through a hairline crack that appeared years ago. Then those responsible rely on expensive protection technology that can no longer save human lives or the site in an emergency.

For this reason, the guidelines VdS CEA 4001 (18.4.6) and VdS 2109 (18.4.6) stipulate a precise inspection for wet systems after 25 years and dry systems after 12.5 years (why shorter? Because of the higher risk of rust). An important part of this expert inspection: the examination of randomly selected sprinkler heads.

You want to know more? Precise support for ensuring the operational readiness of extinguishing systems is provided by the VdS leaflet 2091 on 28 pages.

You can easily ensure optimum fire protection: with the expertise of VdS, Europe's largest institute for fire protection.

We have been testing these techniques since they were first used in Europe - you can rely on well over 110 years of loss prevention experience.  

What exactly do the laboratories do for you?

For all sprinkler heads sent in by you:

  • Visual and haptic assessment by our laboratory engineers (e.g. for contamination, damage and to detect the dreaded hairline cracks).


For 80 % of the samples:

  • Precise determination of the response value (of course under realistic water pressure) by means of an automated hot air blower.
  • Nominal value adjustment of the K-factor (exact water flow) and spray pattern analysis in steps from 350 mbar to 3.5 bar.


For 20 % of the samples:

  • Determination of the nominal release temperature by liquid bath.


All on test benches accredited by the DAkkS. By the way, VdS in-house developments - which we are constantly optimising for your protection and our speed of service.


Examination agreement + number

On one page:  "Agreement on the testing of sprinklers from old systems in accordance with VdS 2092 or VdS CEA 4001 and VdS 2109". (By the way, prescribed for dry systems after 12.5 years, wet systems after 25 years - differences due to the higher risk of rust)

Directly important to know:

  • For the tests we need at least 5 HTS sprinklers, 20 sprinklers per type used or 10 nozzles/fire detection.
  • And of course information on the type + year of construction of the system as well as the total number of sprinklers.

How many sprinklers do I have to remove?

Here you will find the precise assistance provided by the guidelines VdS CEA 4001, "Sprinkler systems", VdS 2109,  "Spray water extinguishing systems" (in both also the following table) as well as the abridged version of the VdS 2091, "Maintenance of operational readiness".

The characteristic data of the installed sprinklers of each installer must be randomly checked by the VdS laboratories. The scope of the random samples is listed in Table 4.02.

Total number of existing sprinklers


Number of sprinklers to be submitted

to 5.000    20
to 10.000    40
to 20.000    60
to 30.000    80
to 40.000    100
to 40.000    Risk based determination by VdS

Table 4.02: Sample size for sprinkler inspection

Would you like further information?

We would be more than pleased to support you:
cs-fire(at)     +49 (0)221 77 66 - 6449