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#58 - Which Fire Sprinkler Head Cover Plate Do I Need?

Posted by Jason Hugo and Courtney Montanye on 11/4/2016 to Fire Sprinkler Systems
If you have a fire sprinkler cover plate to replace and you’re wondering which one you need, you’ve landed on the right page. Whether your existing sprinkler cover is missing, damaged, or painted over, in this blog you’ll learn the simple steps required to find the correct cover plate (hint: manufacturer is key, little to do with dimensions) and replace it with ease.

If you already know which cover you need and simply want to browse our selection of replacements from Tyco, Victaulic, Viking, Reliable and Senju Sprinkler: click here.

This is what your cover plates should look like...

Let’s go into a little background, quickly. A cover plate is a decorative piece of metal connected to a copper frame by temperature-responsive solder that covers a concealed sprinkler in a ceiling. A cover plate simply screws into the concealed fire sprinkler to provide aesthetic benefits, protect the sprinkler from dirt, dust, and debris, similar to escutcheons (learn the difference between an escutcheon and a cover plate). The temperature-responsive solder reacts to a specified temperature, usually 20 degrees lower than the sprinkler’s activation temperature . After the solder melts, the decorative plate falls to the floor exposing the sprinkler.

Occasionally, however, sprinkler covers fall off. Cleaning, painting, and moving are all reasons we’ve heard. So now you have this…

...but this is what you're up against, look familiar? (Image Source)

Before you replace, remember the fire sprinkler cover plate replacement golden rule: each concealed fire sprinkler has ONLY ONE replacement cover plate that fits. It’s like Cinderella.

Quick Warning 1: installing the wrong cover plate can be damaging and costly. It can void the sprinkler’s warranty, so future repairs will be significantly more expensive. In rare cases, the wrong cover can damage the sprinkler itself, unleashing a torrent of water into the building. By all means, let's avoid that!

Do not caulk, paint, or glue cover plates back in place (Image Source; modified)

Quick Warnings 2 and 3:. If a cover plate has fallen off, don’t glue or caulk it back onto the sprinkler. Caulk or glue does not react to temperature the same as the cover plate’s solder, resulting in a blocked fire sprinkler increasing fire risk. If your reason for replacement is the cover’s color no longer matches the ceiling, don’t paint them.

Cover plates are manufacturer specific - each one is a little different

How to remove a fire sprinkler cover

Alright, now that we've got what not to do - how do you know which cover you need? To find your cinderella sprinkler cover, you need either: a) an old sprinkler cover or b) a ladder, so you can look at the sprinkler itself. Each manufacturer’s cover plate has a slightly different circumference and depth, but almost all are threaded and screw into the concealed sprinkler’s base. If you’re replacing cover plates that are attached now or if you need to replace just one of many, try unscrewing the sprinkler cover (lefty-loosie). If they spin freely but are not backing out, then they are ‘push on’ so try a gentle but firm pull to remove. If neither method removes the cover, sell the building (just kidding: call us).

How to find a Sprinkler Identification Number

With the cover removed, you can now search for the Sprinkler Identification Number (SIN), or model number. A SIN is usually 5-6 digits long and preceded by one or two letters. For example, a popular concealed Tyco model is TY3551. Here’s a handy list to help you translate letters to manufacturer name:
  • Victaulic: V
  • Tyco: TY
  • Senju Sprinklers: SS
  • Reliable: R
  • Globe: GL
  • Viking: VK
  • AG Sprinkler: AG
The applicable SINs are usually marked on the cover. Newer sprinkler covers often have a sticker affixed to the inside of the cover. The sticker specifies manufacturer, temperature, and a list of SINs the cover matches. Newer model Victaulic, Tyco, and Viking cover plates all feature a sticker. If there is no a sticker, look for a stamp which is preferred by Reliable and Senju today and many manufacturers in the past. See the image below for examples of both.

Either sticker or stamp will list applicable SINs (Victaulic, left; Reliable, right)

If all your cover plates are gone, don’t panic! The SIN and other information are commonly stamped on the sprinkler’s deflector. See the image below. The SS8461 shown is the number you need. It is important to note, cover plates are often compatible with a variety of sprinklers offered by the same manufacturer. Once you have the SIN, the next step is ordering the right replacement.

This is an SS8461 fire sprinkler from Senju Sprinkler


Now that you have your SIN, start by looking through the easy-to-read table below to see if your model is available online from QRFS.com. Tip: Try Ctrl +F or CMND + F to search. 

Note: Not all Senju and Viking models we carry are listed below. Please call with any specific requirements.

ManufacturerSINCover Plate
(Click Image or Link to Access Product Page)
V3801, V3802, V3804, V3806, V3807, V3808, V2734, V2736, V3904, V2742

Victaulic Flat Sprinkler Cover Plate for V38 Fire Sprinklers

V2734, V2736, V3904, V2742

Victaulic Domed Cover Plate for V27 Fire Sprinklers
TY3551, TY3531, TY3532, C2596, TY3555, TY3535, TY3539, TY2524, TY2596, TY3596

Tyco Fire Sprinkler Cover Plate for RFII Fire Sprinkler

TY2524, TY2596, TY3596

Tyco Fire Sprinkler Cover Plate for LFII Residential Sprinkler
SS8451, SS8461

Senju Sprinkler Cover Plate for RC Model Fire Sprinklers
AG5654, AG5604, RA0914, RA0612, R2111, R7146, R2112, R2113, R2115, R2118, R2211, R2212, R2213, R2215, R2218, R2511, R2512, R2513, R2518, R4441, R5411, R5412, RA0616, RA2312, RA3216, R5413, R5415, R5418, R6115, R6118, R6215, R6218, RA5114, RA3411, RA3413, RA3415, RA0611, RA3211, Vds RA3415

Reliable G4 White Cover Plate Assembly 135 Degree
Cover Plates Coming Soon

Admittedly, we do not have access to every cover plate made. Additionally, the manufacturers, for their part, do not support every concealed sprinkler they’ve ever produced. That latter point is the most common reason people are unable to replace their sprinkler covers. If your sprinkler is a model that is no longer manufactured, locating a cover plate will not be easy. Your best bet is to call the manufacturer to ask if their other distributors might have some old stock on the shelf (we've provided a list below). Unfortunately, if you cannot find the right replacement cover then replacing the sprinklers is the only alternative.

Top Fire Sprinkler Manufacturer's Direct Phone Lines:
  • Victaulic: (800) PICK-VIC
  • Tyco: (518) 988-7200
  • Senju Sprinkler: (949) 333-1281
  • Reliable: (864) 843-5227
  • Globe: (989) 846-4583
  • Viking: (296) 945-9501
Installing a new cover plate is as simple as twisting or pushing it on. Only install once you are certain you have the cover plate that is meant for sprinkler – but you knew that already, right?

Once the cover plate is installed, there should be a gap of about an ⅛ of an inch between the ceiling and the lip of the cover plate. This is to allow heat to flow from a fire to the three solder spots, ensuring the cover releases on time during an emergency.

You now know how to properly remove a cover plate, locate the correct replacement, and install a new one! QRFS offers the largest selection of replacement cover plates available and it’s still growing! Almost every cover plate ships out the same day. If you are still struggling to find the cover plate you need, our exceptional customer service is standing by to help you out - just click.

Finally, if tables aren't your thing...



This blog originally posted by Jason Hugo and Courtney Montanye at QRFS.com/blog on November 4, 2016. If you like what you’ve read, check us out at Facebook.com/QuickResponseFireSupply or on Twitter @QuickResponseFS

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