Frequently Asked Questions

Salamander solutions and deployments are unique and customized to each customer and facility. If there are questions beyond those which are covered below, please connect with us using the form at the bottom of the page.

Salamander with lightbulb
Is a Salamander Solution is right for me?

A Salamander Solution may be right for you if one or more of the following is applicable:

  • You own or manage a facility with a wet or dry fire sprinkler system in a location subject to freezing conditions;
  • You want to protect your occupants, assets and downside protection against the risks and costs associated with pipe freeze, including discharge, repair, interruption, downtime, remediation and restoration;
  • Real-time data would help you make informed decisions;
  • You want to lower energy, labor and travel costs without sacrificing safety or management obligations;
  • Checking in on a property does not necessarily mean being ‘on-site’;
  • You are looking for solutions that can scale and move throughout your portfolio;
  • You recognize the value of small investments in preventative / precautionary measures against the larger risks of downside alternatives.
Can my maintenance person install a Salamander on our system?

IT IS IMPORTANT THAT ANY INSTALLATION BE DONE BY A QUALIFIED PROFESSIONAL, AND THAT ALL MODIFICATIONS TO THE SYSTEM BE DONE WITH THE APPROVAL FROM A DESIGN ENGINEER.

Can one Salamander Control System support multiple Salamander Reservoirs?

Yes! One Salamander Control System can support over 75 ‘devices’. The devices can be mixed-and-matched between wet Salamander Reservoirs, heat relays, air temperature sensors and dry Salamander Reservoirs. And, because our system is scalable and wireless, Salamander Reservoirs and devices can be ‘phased-in’ or moved as the owner chooses.

How do the Salamander Reservoirs communicate to the Control System? Is it secure?

Salamander Reservoirs communicate wirelessly to the Salamander Control System over an encrypted, secure Radio Frequency (RF) connection. A great benefit to that architecture is that communication doesn’t require clear line-of-sight, and can therefore cover long distances, even through walls. In fact, Salamander Reservoirs can be over 1,000 feet away from the Salamander Control System.

The secure RF features a 256-bit exchange to establish a global unique key, and an AES-128 CTR for all data messages. This encryption ensures that security is maintained bi-directionally at all communication points from each Salamander Reservoir to the cloud-based notification back-end.

Does our location need WiFi or an internet connection for this to work?

No; Salamander Reservoirs communicate wirelessly to the Salamander Control System over an encrypted, secure Radio Frequency (RF) connection. A great benefit to that architecture is that communication doesn’t require clear line-of-sight, and can therefore cover long distances, even through walls. In fact, Salamander Reservoirs can be over 1,000 feet away from the Salamander Control System.

The secure RF features a 256-bit exchange to establish a global unique key, and an AES-128 CTR for all data messages. This encryption ensures that security is maintained bi-directionally at all communication points from each Salamander Reservoir to the cloud-based notification back-end.

Does the Salamander integrate with our existing alarm panel / dialer?

No; Salamander Reservoirs and Salamander Control Systems communicate directly – and securely – over a cellular service to our back-end system to notify designated parties. The Salamander solution’s early warnings of potential compromise are important to deliver to building ownership and management for their resolution – not necessarily to an emergency responder. Should customer demand warrant integration with a panel or dialer, we may incorporate this feature in the future.

Does the Salamander integrate with a Building Management System (BMS)?

Yes, there are ways to integrate our data into Building Management System (BMS)… This can be done either through an API call (made from programming language of your choice), and responses are served as either XML(Extensible Markup Language) or JSON (JavaScript Object Notation). Additionally, users can integrate a Webhook API to send data to their own application when Salamander data is received at the server. Contact us for more specifics.

What type of notifications does the Salamander Control System send out, and are they customizable?

Each notification from a Salamander Reservoir and Control System is customizable, and includes specific information to get the right people to the right place. With input from each customer, SMS and E-mail notifications can be tailored to include information like property address, building number, floor, reservoir location, reservoir reading, etc…

By default, the Salamander Control System sends the following notifications:

Water Detect Alert (dry systems only): the primary alert for a dry sprinkler system. This alert indicates water accumulation detected in a Salamander Reservoir in a dry fire sprinkler system. This is a ‘persistent’ notification, meaning that notifications will continue until the problem has been resolved.

Low Temperature Detected (wet systems only): indicating that a low internal water temperature of a wet system has been detected (≤48°F / 9°C)  *. This is a ‘persistent’ notification, meaning that notifications will continue until the problem has been resolved.

Heat Relay On/Off (optional for wet systems): This alert is only applicable for those solutions integrating with a local heat relay. The Heat Relay is automatically turned on when the Salamander Reservoir detects a low internal water temperature (≤48°F / 9°C) *. The Heat Relay will turn off when the Salamander Reservoir achieves a satisfactory internal water temperature (≥50°F / 10°C)*.

High Temperature Detected (wet systems only): indicating that the internal water temperature of a wet system has been detected (≥125°F / 51°C)*. This is a ‘persistent’ notification, meaning that it will continue to alert until resolution.

Device Offline (all systems): This alert will notify if a Salamander Reservoir, Heat Relay or Salamander Control System has been offline for ≥3* hours. This is a ‘persistent’ notification, meaning that notifications will continue until the problem has been resolved.

Low Battery Alert (all systems): This alert will notify if a Salamander Reservoir or Salamander Control System’s battery is ≤15%*. This is a ‘persistent’ notification, meaning that notifications will continue until the problem has been resolved.

* indicates default setting which can be customized for user

What should an AHJ know about Salamander?

An Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ) plays an important role in the approvals and inspections of fire sprinkler systems. AHJs should be aware of the following, with regard to Salamander Reservoirs on a fire life safety system:

  1. Salamander Reservoirs are not substitutes for ordinary system maintenance as outlined by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). Salamander customers are obligated to regularly inspect and maintain their life safety fire sprinkler systems, including their Salamander components.
  2. Salamander Reservoirs are auxiliary devices designed to monitor the internal conditions within fire life safety systems.
  3. Salamander Reservoirs must be installed by licensed professionals in accordance with the documentation provided by JTJ Tech, LLC and in accordance with applicable governmental approvals.
  4. Owners and managers requesting approval to install Salamander Reservoirs are taking voluntary, proactive steps beyond existing code requirements to ensure that the life safety measures in place are working as designed, keeping their occupants protected and safe.
  5. Owners and managers requesting approval to install Salamander Reservoirs are also protecting their properties against pipe freeze, discharge and associated repair, downtime, remediation and restoration costs.
  6. By reducing the risks of pipe freeze, Salamander customers are also reducing the risk of false alarms, freeze-based discharges (as opposed to fire-based discharges) and subsequent dispatches to emergency personnel and first responders who may be needed at a real emergency.

“In my professional opinion, as both the Fire Marshal and Building Code Official, the Salamander solution was in an intriguing, innovative way to address an issue for the fire sprinkler industry: freeze-related system failures. …I found the system performance to be impressive. The data collected by your system, along with the technology used to transmit the data, clearly provides a fire protection system owner with a powerful tool to be used to protect systems from freeze-related compromise or damage. The addition of the design professional’s seal on the Salamander Reservoir’s engineered drawings provides an added level of validity to your system’s design. … I look forward to seeing this system prevent future fire sprinkler system failures”

–John G. Frantz, CFEI, BCO, Fire Marshal, Building Code Official,  South Whitehall Township, Pennsylvania


Are Salamander Reservoirs tested and/or approved by Factory Mutual (FM)?

Salamander Reservoirs are designed, fabricated and tested to the standards set by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). Additionally, Salamander Reservoir has an ‘exemption’ status from Factory Mutual (FM). Should a design professional, installer or AHJ desire signed and sealed engineering drawings for Salamander Reservoirs, they are available upon request – simply contact us using the form below.

How many Salamander Reservoirs do you recommend putting on a wet system? Where should they be installed?

Salamander Reservoirs are recommended to be installed at ‘strategic’ locations vulnerable to pipe freeze, such as unoccupied areas, attics, sprinkler rooms, vestibules, stairwells, garages, remote sprinkler heads, vacant spaces and in pipes along cold, uninsulated walls.

Due to our design, Salamander Reservoirs can be easily relocated when, for example, a vacant space becomes occupied and another vulnerable area emerges.

How does the Salamander Reservoir get installed in a wet fire sprinkler system?

IT IS IMPORTANT THAT ANY INSTALLATION BE DONE BY A QUALIFIED PROFESSIONAL, AND THAT ALL MODIFICATIONS TO THE SYSTEM BE DONE WITH THE APPROVAL FROM A DESIGN ENGINEER.

While there are many ways to install an integrated Salamander Box Reservoir on a wet fire sprinkler system, the following illustrates a typical installation on a wet sprinkler system.

Step 1: Preparation for Installation

To install in existing drained system, begin by drilling 1.5” hole in the pipe to accommodate a 1.5” threaded mechanical tee. This tee will then receive a pipe nipple, ball valve and the Salamander Reservoir.

Wet Salamander Integrated Box Reservoir Installation: Step #1

Step 2: Install the Salamander Reservoir

After the mechanical tee has been installed, thread a pipe nipple, ball valve and the Salamander Reservoir. Leave the large ball valve in the closed position until all seals are good and watertight.

Wet Salamander Integrated Box Reservoir Installation: Step #2

Step 3: Bleed the Air from the Salamander Reservoir

Slowly open the large ball valve between the system and the Salamander Reservoir just enough to begin filling the Salamander Reservoir with water. Then, slowly open the ball valve at the top of the Salamander Reservoir to bleed the air out as the reservoir begins to fill with water from the system.

The reservoir is full of water when water begins to come out from the top bleed valve. At this point, the Salamander Reservoir will also be at equal pressure with the rest of the system. Close and plug the ball valve on the Salamander Reservoir.

Wet Salamander Integrated Box Reservoir Installation: Step #3

Step 4: Final Positioning

Fully open the ball valve between the system and the Salamander Reservoir and ensure connectivity between the Salamander Reservoir and the Salamander Control System and secure the sensor battery pack.

Wet Salamander Integrated Box Reservoir Installation: Step #4
Is a heat relay required for a wet sprinkler system?

No; heat relays are not required for wet systems. Integrating with a heat relay simply initializes heat to remedy low temperature situations and is a great way to strategically utilize heat energies and ensure that the area isn’t prone to compromise. However, the designated parties may elect to be notified of low water temperatures and act independently.

If you would like to incorporate a heat relay into their solution, we can always accommodate your request.

How would Salamander Reservoir work in a dry, interlocked or pre-action fire system?

Building owners and managers need to know when – and where – water may be present in their dry fire protection system(s). In traditional dry systems, Salamander Reservoirs should be installed at points designed to collect moisture such as low points: drum drips / auxiliary drains. In mission-critical locations like data centers and colocation facilities that may use pre-action or interlocking fire protection systems, it is also important to know where water may be present. Residual water in systems like these can present a significant hazard to the equipment it was designed to protect. Therefore, it is recommended to install Salamander Reservoirs in strategic areas to alert to the presence of accumulated water. This way, it can be safely drained in a timely manner without posing a threat to the equipment the systems have been designed to protect.

How many Salamander Reservoirs should be installed on dry fire protection system?

On Dry Fire Sprinkler Systems, Salamander Reservoirs should be installed at each low point (auxiliary drain or drum drip) to detect – and alert to – an accumulation of condensation. Additionally, Salamander Reservoirs can be installed between the Dry Pipe Valve and the first dry sprinkler head to serve as early detection of a potential compromise within or after the Dry Pipe Valve assembly.

How and where should a Salamander Reservoir be installed on a dry fire protection system?

IT IS IMPORTANT THAT ANY INSTALLATION BE DONE BY A QUALIFIED PROFESSIONAL, AND THAT ALL MODIFICATIONS TO THE SYSTEM BE DONE WITH THE APPROVAL FROM A DESIGN ENGINEER.

While there are many ways to install a versatile Salamander Reservoir on a dry fire sprinkler system, the following illustrates a typical installation at a drum drip / auxiliary drain.

We recommend installing Salamander Reservoirs at each low-point drain (drum drip or auxiliary drain) to detect accumulation of water from condensation within the dry fire system. As shown in the photo, Salamander Reservoirs should be installed above the bottom condensate relief valve to detect the first amounts of condensation accumulation in the drum drip.

Additionally, Salamander Reservoirs can be installed between the Dry Pipe Valve and the first dry sprinkler head to serve as early detection of a potential compromise within or after the Dry Pipe Valve assembly.

Salamander Reservoir on a Drum Drip in a Dry Fire Sprinkler System
How did you come up with the idea for the Salamander Reservoir?

In 2014, James Seip and Jonathan Epstein were full-time professional commercial real estate property managers working for  Berger-Epstein Associates, Inc. in Allentown, Pennsylvania. Like most property managers, we ensure that our fire sprinkler systems won’t freeze in the winter. Unfortunately, due to a problem, we received a bill for more than $2,000 to heat a small (100 square-foot) sprinkler room. We wondered why we were heating our vulnerable sprinklered areas based upon air temperatures, when owners should be heating when the water temperatures get low. We searched the market and found that no solutions were available.

This started us on the path to invent, patent and market The Salamander Reservoir….

This story was covered by Lehigh Valley Business (  https://www.lvb.com/new-sprinkler-management-device-aims-save-money-lives)

Why the name “Salamander”?

Salamanders are ectothermic, which means that they can’t control their own body temperatures: when their environment gets cold, they get cold (just like a wet fire sprinkler system!).

The word salamander is Greek for fire lizard, and there is long lore about a Salamander’s ability to resist and extinguish fires. Some had attributed these powers to the salamander’s cold-bloodedness, others to fire-proof skin, while still others say the myth began when salamanders were seen emerging from the charred remnants of fire logs, likely since their habitat is the moist decaying material which covers the forest floor (source: https://enviroliteracy.org/special-features/creature-feature/salamanders/).

Salamander Logo
What is a Penn State Lehigh Valley LaunchBox Portfolio Company?

In 2020, JTJ Tech LLC, after a lengthy application process, was selected to compete in the second annual StartUp Lehigh Valley Pitch Competition. The Salamander Reservoir won second place at the virtual event which was also simulcast on Facebook Live and YouTube. Winners were also welcomed into Penn State University’s Lehigh Valley LaunchBox (LVLB) business accelerator program for entrepreneurs, created as part of the Invent Penn State initiative.

For additional information, please visit: 

Lehigh Valley LaunchBox: lehighvalley.psu.edu/lehigh-valley-launchbox

linkedin.com/in/lvlaunchbox

facebook.com/lvlaunchbox

Invent Penn State Initiative: invent.psu.edu