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Questions from Customers – “Do I need an Air Maintenance Device?”

Fire Protection Air Compressor Strap Mounted onto a riserOn September 27, 2011 we received an email from Fred Davidson of Metro Swift Sprinkler Corp. in Massachusetts. Fred was looking for clarification on the requirement of an air maintenance device,  he asks:

“It has come up a number of times, on the installation of air compressors on fire protection systems. NFPA 13 requires an AMD on all systems. Some of my peers think that compressors under 1/2 HP and below should not have and air maintenance device installed. Can you clear this up for us?”

Ray DeCecco, our customer service manager and resident dry pipe system air compressor expert responded:

“NFPA 13 section states “Where the air compressor supplying the dry pipe system has a capacity less than 5.5 CFM at 10 PSIG, no air receiver or air maintenance device shall be required.” Section states that if you do not meet this requirement you must use an air maintenance device and the compressor must have an air receiver. This has been code since 2007.


General Air recommends using a listed compressor when not using an air maintenance device, our model numbers OL11016AC through OL42575AC meet the code requirement. “

All this being said, it is still the AHJ that makes the call and a majority of them still want an air maintenance device installed. If you have a question on this please feel free to contact us by calling, emailing or by leaving a comment below!