Free Sprinkler Hydraulics Program FIRSTHCP by Alan Ashfield


Introduction to FIRSTHCP :-

FIRSTHCP is a completely free Sprinkler Hydraulics Program for the NFPA 13/15 Rules in metric units for use by beginners, students and first-time users worldwide except in America and Burma (who still use imperial units). Full technical support is offered by Email (my address is on the top line) - just put FIRSTHCP in the "Subject" line - please scroll down this page for more detailed help and information on all its features and options.

Using this zero-cost and easy-to-use, modern program, you can learn all about sprinkler hydraulic calculations at your own pace and in your own time anywhere you want. You can quickly draw out little schemes and have all the tedious "sums" done completely automatically. Want to know the smallest pipe sizes along a branch line for a specific ESFR system? Just put it into FIRSTHCP and play with the data in a few minutes - this could save hundreds on the job if you can put in 40mm pipes when everybody else uses 50mm ones!

You can download FIRSTHCP.EXE [08.05.17 = 661 kB] now by clicking here and "Saving" it to a suitable folder on your hard disk, such as C:\AA3PROGS or C:\firsthcp.

It is a very simple "point and click" drawing program to enable end- and centre-fed fire protection pipework systems to be quickly entered, analysed and evaluated so that you may learn about full hydraulic calculations of sprinkler systems for yourself. It runs on all 32 / 64 bit versions of "Windows" XP, Vista, 7, 8, 8.1 and 10 and there is a minimum of typing in nor any complicated procedures to understand but still permits most common types of layouts, sizes, head data, design parameters etc. to be easily compared. Remember, one only has to consider the most remote design area of perhaps 10 to 30 operating heads / nozzles out of the possible 300 to 1000 actually installed in the building being protected so it really doesn't take long to sketch out an isometric or similar view of the pipes taking the water from the source out through the feed mains to the branch lines / ranges supporting the heads.

Each pipe is defined by its position, size, type, length, slope, fittings and if a head at the end or not. The sprinkler heads information is given under "Job Data" questions 1 to 12 including the hazard classification. Note there is no need for node numbers on such a point / click program and I have considerably reduced the amount of information that actually needs to be typed in by the user and you can enter the pipes in any order you wish. Start at the most remotest branch line and work towards the source while the program instantly calculates the flows, pressures, velocities etc as you go. If you start at the source and work out towards the branch lines, then you will only get the results once you put in some operating heads. There just isn't a "Calculate" button any more, nor do you have to "Save" the data as this is also done automatically.

The "Area/Density" or "Room Design" methods can be used to establish the spacings and positions of the operating heads based on the density of coverage and "Light", "Ordinary", "Extra" or "Special Occupancy" hazards and the hydraulic calculations can be done to the "Demand" or "Source" options, based on the various tables, formulae and procedures defined in the latest NFPA 13 / 15 "Installation of Sprinkler Systems" Rules.

The screen-shot below shows FIRSTHCP in operation with the "Demo 1" option selected using Windows 10 on a 200GBP 13" screen laptop :-

FIRSTHCP - after DEMO1 selected

You will note that I have used different screen colours this time - please let me know how you like this all-black scheme of if you prefer the white-grey-black of all my other 17 programs!

There is extensive HELP offered by the program each time you select an option for the first time so I will just summarise the main features of FIRSTHCP so that you can quickly see how effective it will be in helping you learn about sprinkler hydraulic calculations.

The JOB DATA consists of just 12 questions :-

FIRSTHCP - Job data

The ADD A PIPE option allows you to draw out extra pipes at the end or the beginning of the system - they do not have to be entered in any set sequence :-

FIRSTHCP - Add a pipe

The BREAK A PIPE option just puts a join in the middle of an existing pipe so that one or more new pipes can be added there :-


The DELETE A PIPE option will just remove any unwanted pipes you may have drawn :-


The EDIT A PIPE option is most useful for changing the

in any pipe. Again a full HELP screen is given to describe these features in more detail :-


The MOVE JUNCTIONS option allows you to rearrange the pipe positions just by sliding your mouse :-

FIRSTHCP - Move junctions

The VIEW CALCULATIONS option shows the data and full working out of the sprinkler heads, fittings and pipe friction loss using the Hazen-Williams formula for the pipes so entered :-

FIRSTHCP - View calculations

Each time you make such a change, the full hydraulic calculations are quickly and automatically worked out and shown on the screen with a useful summary of the key design parameters but there is no results presentation as FIRSTHCP is specifically designed for first time users, as well as experienced sprinkler design engineers to evaluate branch-line and/or main pipe sizes prior to using one of my 17 other full hydraulics programs.

I also provide DEMO 2, a little deluge scheme :-


as well as DEMO 3 which I hope you will recognize as the MANUAL EXAMPLE given on my HOME page (190.271753 L/min at 0.767772 bars) :-