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#134 – Which Fire Sprinkler Wrench Do I Need?

Posted by Jason Hugo on 11/15/2018 to Contractor Tools
Victaulic V38-4 Socket Wrench

Certain wrenches only fit certain fire sprinklers. Make sure you have the right tool on hand at all times

Every building with a commercial fire sprinkler system is required by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and the local authority having jurisdiction (AHJ) to keep enough spare sprinkler heads on the premises – as well as any wrenches that are required to replace deployed or damaged ones. But not all wrenches fit all sprinklers, and it’s important to ensure that yours are compatible. This blog will look at some of the variables that determine which wrench you need, as well as how to stock a spare sprinkler kit.

Spare Fire Sprinkler Cabinet
Do you have a fully-stocked spare fire sprinkler cabinet?

Know the fire sprinkler wrench rules from NFPA

You must have an adequate stock of spare sprinklers and a wrench to match them in an easily-accessible place:

From the 2017 Edition of NFPA 25 The stock of spare sprinklers shall include all types and ratings installed and shall be as follows:

 (1) For protected facilities having under 300 sprinklers – no fewer than 6 sprinklers
 (2) For protected facilities having 300 to 1000 sprinklers – no fewer than 12 sprinklers
 (3) For protected facilities having over 1000 sprinklers – no fewer than 24 sprinklers* One sprinkler wrench as specified by the sprinkler manufacturer shall be provided in the cabinet for each type of sprinkler installed to be used for the removal and installation of sprinklers in the system.

That said, while it’s possible that you will only need one wrench if all of your sprinklers are the same or the wrench works with multiple models, you may require more than one if there are unique sprinkler heads in certain portions of the building.

For more information, check out our guide:Fire Sprinkler Head Replacement Cabinet: How to Make a Sprinkler Kit.”

Wrenches must be compatible with the fire sprinkler manufacturer and specific model

Wrenches are designed to fit certain sprinklers, and using the wrong one not only makes it hard to get the job done, it can also damage the sprinkler and void its warranty. The right tool also provides “the proper leverage when tightening sprinklers or nozzles and … [minimizes] slippage during installation.”

For example, most “Victaulic sprinklers have a unique hex-head design to allow wrench engagement from a greater variety of angles and positions,” and the 100-page Tyco catalog lists many individual wrenches – such as the “W-Type 6” – that are specifically designed for use with the company’s range of pendent, dry, concealed, special purpose, and other varieties of sprinkler.

Some wrenches are open-ended, while others are socket wrenches that are deployed to work on recessed sprinklers. Some are complete tools; others are simply heads that require a separate ratchet, and still others are specifically designed for “threading institutional escutcheon plates onto institutional sprinklers.” Manufacturers also sometimes sell multiple wrenches that can do the job, as well as optional accessories, such as Viking’s Head Cabinet Wrench Part No. 14031, which can be used to remove a protective cap on a sprinkler.

Victaulic V27 and V34 Wrench
This open-ended wrench from Victaulic is available in ½” and ¾” sizes which are compatible with V27 and V34 sprinklers, respectively.

Reliable G4 Fire Sprinkler Wrench
This G4 socket wrench from Reliable is used on concealed sprinklers.

Nevertheless, there is typically one main wrench that will work for a given sprinkler head and often different variations of that sprinkler, such as sidewalls and pendents. Recessed sprinklers require a different type of socket wrench that makes it easier to access the head without damaging it.

Figure out what kind of sprinkler you have to determine the wrench

The first step to buying a replacement wrench is finding out the exact make and model of the sprinklers in your building. All models manufactured after December 31st, 2000 have a five-to-six digit sprinkler identification number, or SIN, printed on the deflector plate, marked in the image below as the “model:”

SIN on Fire Sprinklers

Another way to determine your exact sprinklers is to look at any system design documentation, or the list of the models that ideally should be found in a spare sprinkler cabinet. If this information isn’t handy and your sprinklers are old, the process can become a lot more complex, as older models have a variety of distinguishing marks and characteristics – some of which can only be seen if you remove the head and look at it. Obviously, this is a problem if you don’t have the wrench to do it.

For a complete guide on how to ID mysterious fire sprinklers, read our previous piece:Which Fire Sprinkler Do I Have? And How Do I Replace It?

Once you have the sprinkler’s SIN or otherwise determine the exact make and model, you can do an online search to find manufacturer data sheets for the sprinkler, which will list the compatible wrench or wrenches.

Tyco Fire Sprinkler Catalog
This entry in Tyco’s catalog shows all kinds of detail on TY-B upright, pendent, and recessed pendent sprinklers with eight different SINs, including the two appropriate wrenches.

To speed up the process, QRFS has compiled a table of fire sprinkler wrenches that are compatible with most of our sprinklers at the bottom of this post. Simply figure out the manufacturer and SIN, and buy the appropriate one. QRFS has additional wrenches in stock and we can provide any wrench from Viking, Tyco, Victaulic, Senju, and Reliable – quickly. Simply shoot us an email at [email protected], fill out our contact form, or give us a call at 888-361-6662 and tell us what you need!

Wrenches for Fire Sprinklers

Model NameManufacturerFits Sprinkler Models
SenjuSS9521, SS2521, SS2531
TycoTY3531, TY3551
TycoTY313, TY323, TY3331, TY325, TY315, TY3351
TycoTY323, TY3331, TY325, TY3351
VictaulicV2704, V2708, V2710, V2703, V2707, V2709
VictaulicV2708, V2710, V2707, V2709
VictaulicV3402, V3406, V3410, , V3401, V3405, V3409
VictaulicV3406, V3410, V3405, V3409

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