Inspection cameras are a proven method to inspect fire protection system piping for micro biologically influenced corrosion (MIC). MIC is corrosion influenced by the activities of bacteria. MIC results in the formation of deposits (nodules) and subsequent severe under-deposit pitting. This can lead to blockage of pipes and rapid failure of the fire protection system (FPS) piping. It has recently been recognized that MIC in fire protection systems is a problem throughout North America. Many different types of materials (e.g., steel and copper) and systems (e.g., wet and dry) are affected.
National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) Code 25 requires fire sprinkler systems to have an Obstruction Investigation every five years and requires that the interior of the system piping be inspected for the presence of organic and inorganic material. NFPA 25 also requires that if tubercles or slime are found during an investigation that they be tested for MIC.
An inspection camera can be inserted into pipes and snaked long distances while the operator views the interior condition of the pipe on an LCD screen. Pipe inspection cameras typically have the ability to record the inspection for later review. A pipe inspection camera is perhaps the most reliable method to thoroughly inspect the entire length of fire protection system pipes. Without a pipe inspection camera inspection will be limited and incomplete. Today, pipe cameras can be either purchased or pipe camera rentals are available from certain suppliers.