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#47 - How to Install FDC Caps

Posted by Jason Hugo & Cameron Sharp on 5/27/2016
FDC caps cover a building’s fire department connection (FDC) and prevent foreign material from entering. A building’s FDC is the access point where fire engines and tankers provide supplemental water to its sprinkler system in the event of an emergency. These access points can either be inside or outside of a building, and FDC caps ensure optimal flow through these systems by keeping the connecting lines unclogged and free of contamination.

Throughout this blog I will inform you of the different FDC caps available on the market, I will share the most common reasons caps need to be replaced, and help you master the steps of replacing them.

FDC caps can either be plastic or aluminum, and they attach to the lugs of a swivel using eye bolts and nuts; the swivel connects to the inlet of the FDC. Breakable caps are designed to help firefighters achieve greater efficiency by breaking off of the swivel with just the blow of an ax or other object. In stark contrast to FDC caps, brass plugs are threaded and fasten into the swivel. Plugs come standard with the purchase of a fire department connection for their durability, and require a wrench to remove. To find out more information on the differences between plugs and caps, visit our blog- #28 FDC caps or plugs | What are my options?.

Theft is the most common reason our customers replace plugs with FDC caps. Both the brass plug and FDC are made of brass and, unfortunately, often become stolen for their scrap value. Fire department connections, specifically, cost businesses roughly $500-$1500 to replace, while their value at a scrapyard only amounts to a measly $20-$25.

Most buildings require 2.5” caps for their FDCs. It is important to note that 2.5” relates to the inner-diameter of the inlet, and not the diameter of the outer-ring of the swivel, which is close to an inch larger. Customers often purchase 3” caps because they use the outer-diameter of their FDC as the reference for size. *Hint* Only New York and San Francisco utilize 3” FDCs!

Now you’re ready to install an FDC cap! Below are 4 effective steps for replacing a brass plug with an FDC cap:

1.) If your FDC contains a plug, unfasten it from swivel; loosening the threads until completely removed. If you are installing a breakable cap onto an exposed FDC inlet, skip to step 2  

2.) Next, connect both the breakable cap and eye bolts by positioning bolts through the corresponding holes on the cap.

3.) Lastly, position the eyes of the bolts onto the lugs of the swivel and fasten nuts onto the bolts to keep the FDC cap snug to the swivel.

Buying FDC Caps

FDC caps are a useful and cost-efficient way to ensure your safety and guarantee the performance of your buildings fire department connection. While browsing for your next set, keep in mind that both plastic and aluminum are available. Although both options work equally efficient, aluminum tends to be utilized for its added durability.
QRFS proudly carries plastic and aluminum breakable caps for both 2.5" FDCs as well as 3" FDCs for San Francisco and New York markets. Visit the link below to browse all available break caps.

This blog originally posted by Jason Hugo and Cameron Sharp at QRFS.com/blog on May 27, 2016. If you like what you've read, check us out at Facebook.com/QuickResponseFireSupply or at Twitter @QuickRsponseFS.

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