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One of three valves in a dry automatic sprinkler system tripped accidentally, thus activating the sprinklers. Maintenance records showed that the three valves had been in service less than two years. The valve consisted of a cast copper alloy clapper plate that was held closed by a pivoted malleable iron latch. The latch and top surface of the clapper plate were usually in a sanitary-water environment (stabilized, chlorinated well water with a pH of 7.3) under stagnant conditions. Process make-up water that had been clarified, filtered, softened, and chlorinated and had a pH of 9.8 was occasionally used in...

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