Dry Riser Regulation

Difference Between Dry Riser And Wet Riser System?

What Is The Difference Between Dry Riser And Wet Riser System?

A riser system is part of safety devices installed in modern tall buildings to prevent fire outbreak and helps with flow rates charged with water for fire fighting. It can be a wet riser system or dry riser system installed in the building design. This riser system helps firefighters to easily supply water through a building in case of fire outbreak. This article will equip you with the knowledge of the difference between the two systems. 

Wet risers are an integrated part of modern building design systems. They have been used for many years. So what is it about wet risers that make them a better choice over dry riser systems?      What is Wet Riser?  Wet riser system is one of the two types of fire sprinkler systems: indirect and direct systems. It has 2 outlets which can easily be connected with water pipes inside or outside the building. This system includes a 5-foot vertical pipe which is connected to a horizontal pipe from which all riser nozzles are attached.

Dry Riser System

dry riser system

The Building Regulations requires that any building above 18m tall must have a dry riser system. Structures such as hospital basements, limited access environments, and multi-level basement buildings must also possess a dry riser system.  It is a system that makes use of interconnected pipes that allows the passage of water to the upper floor of a building.

It is also a connection of water inlets and outlets.  The water inlet pumps water into the building, while an outlet allows the flow of water to each floor of the building. The firefighters attach their hose to the outlet and direct the water into the building on fire.

The dry riser system is made up of three elements, and these elements are instrumental to the effectiveness of the riser system. They are the pipework, the external inlet, and the internal outlet. They must be designed in line with BS 5041, BS 5306, BS 9990, and Building Approval regulations. 

The following are features and criteria for the dry riser system;

  • The external inlet is enclosed in an enclosure with the inscription ‘Dry Riser Outlet’ written on it. 
  • The enclosure contains a cave which drains down the water in the dry riser after the fire occurrence.
  • The enclosure must be able to provide immediate access for the fire brigades. As such, it must be vandal proof.
  • The pipework in a dry riser system is placed in a fire-resistant enclosure. It has an air valve at the top which expels the air in it as soon as the water enters.  
  • In a dry riser system,  the pipework must be galvanised steel and free of water. As demanded by the building regulation, buildings over 18m tall should use a pipe with an internal diameter of 100mm and 150mm for taller buildings.  
  • The internal outlet consists of BS instantaneous female outlet, which can be either single or double. The gate valve controls the BS instantaneous female outlet.  
  • The outlets are also enclosed with a breakable door. It is usually placed in the building’s fire escape staircase or a lobby. 
  • For every 900 meters square floor, there should be one outlet except for the ground floor. No part of the floor should be more than 60m away from an outlet. 

Wet Riser System

dry riser

Buildings with a height above 50m usually make use of the wet riser system. The design is similar to that of the dry riser system. However, unlike the dry riser, the wet riser is continuously charged with water. The water supply into the wet riser is from a storage tank which makes use of pressurised supply into the wet riser. 

Wet riser system is needed in buildings above 50m tall because fire brigade appliances cannot supply the required pressure that can charge the riser to provide water to such height. However, the fire brigade water supply can be used as a supplement in case the water in the riser storage tank is exhausted. 

The design of a wet riser system and dry riser system has certain similarities. Features of a wet riser system are as follows;

  • The minimum running pressure needed in a wet riser system is 22.7I/S flow rate at the rooftop outlet of 4 bar.
  • For an outlet, the maximum running pressure permitted in operation is 5 bar.
  • Wet riser system installation must be within the fire fighting shaft and the escape stairs. It can also be located in an enclosure, within protected lobbies and stairs. 


We have great experience in the servicing and maintenance of non-automatic firefighting systems, including wet risers and hose towers. Throughout our long history, we have worked on many different types of systems and offer both preventative maintenance and remedial works. BS9990:2015 Code of Practice for Non-Automatic Firefighting Systems in Buildings.

Servicing and preventative maintenance of your wet riser system is vital to its performance in the event of a fire. We understand that there are many companies that offer this service and that you may have an existing contract in place with another company. However, we are the experts in this field so you can trust us to undertake your wet riser system servicing in line with British Standards and ensure peace of mind for you.


It is advisable that routine testing and maintenance should be carried out annually for both riser systems. This maintenance is solely the responsibility of the building owner or the managing agent. British standard regulations also require that the system should be visually inspected every six months. It helps to build assurance that the riser system is available for use in case of emergency. A full wet test must also be carried out, and the wet pressure must be a maximum of 150 PSI or 10 bar. 

A wet riser should be inspected regularly to ensure it is in good condition. A check for vandalism, theft, failure in pipework connections, blockage, or open outlets should be done to avoid system failure. 

As an essential and integral part of modern tall buildings, dry and wet riser systems should be maintained appropriately. It will complement the effort of firefighters in reaching the higher parts of the buildings in emergencies.

Interested In Getting A Wet Riser Or Dry Riser?

We can offer you a free quote to get a wet riser installation within your building!

Fill out the form below and one of our friendly team will contact you back.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *