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#73 -- Fasteners in a Fire Sprinkler System: Benefits, Considerations, and Types

Posted by Jason Hugo and Anna Hartenbach on 9/7/2017 to Contractor Tools
There’s a reason phrases like, “Work smarter, not harder,” remain valuable over time – they are true! When it comes to fire sprinkler systems, many advancements are being made for the sake of efficiency. One in particular is the threaded rod hanger or fastener. These small gems save you time, energy, and money.

In the sprinkler fitting business, it’s customary practice to create a pipe hanger assembly, which is connected to a ceiling flange, site beam attachment or clamp. A fastener is a great alternative because it helps to remove some of those components.

Globe SilverHawk Top Beam Clamp used in a Pipe Hanger Assembly

In this article, we’ll dive further into the world of fasteners. We’ll get a better understanding of what they are and how to use them, look at the guidelines provided by the NFPA, and explore available options. If you already know what you need, feel free to jump on over and check out our selection of pipe hanger parts.

If you’re ready to see how this tool can help you make your practices leaner, then let’s dive in!

What is a fastener? What is a threaded rod hanger?

A fastener and a threaded rod hanger are essentially the same – an anchor with a rod coupler in a one-piece design. They come in different shapes, sizes, and for use in different mediums.

As you can see, they’re a bit ambiguous, as they go by many names. Fasteners, threaded rod anchor, threaded rod fastener, rod hanger, rod hanging anchor, threaded anchor bolt, foundation bolt, or even a brand name like Hangermate® or Sammys® Screws – these are only some of the names we’ve seen and heard! For simplicity, in this article, we’ll mostly refer to them as fasteners.

The installation of fasteners is relatively minimal since it doesn’t generally require the use of a secondary setting like a traditional ceiling flange, site beam attachment, or clamp. They do, however, require the use of a screw driver or drill with an attached nut driver. Because the ends are threaded, they can be used with a nut and washer to add support for the external load.

What are the types of fasteners? What should you consider when making a selection?

There are three types of fasteners – concrete fasteners, steel fasteners, and wood fasteners. Each type of fastener is made specifically for use with its corresponding medium to provide the most durable application. 

As with anything we discuss, it’s our belief that best practice is to “go by the book."

Because these types of fasteners are a mixture of bolt, screw, anchor, flange, etc. there isn’t a set of NFPA-specific code directly pertaining to their usage. That doesn’t mean they don’t need to be compliant; it just means they must adhere to the broader set of guidelines presented within NFPA 13 and the manufacturer’s manual.

NFPA 13 refers to fasteners in the traditional sense and what’s listed revolves around the use of powder-driven studs, bolt or rod size, and drive screws based on the medium. For the most part, it designates their individual listing as the guide to follow. 

Many manufacturers include installation guidelines and procedures, which can help you make the right selection. Although they are mere guidelines, when followed accurately, you will achieve the best results possible with the fasteners since the manufacturer spends the time to test them in various scenarios to ensure their abilities meet the needs of which they are listed. 

When selecting your fastener, you must first consider the base material since the strength can vary and impact the performance of the fastener. For instance, fasteners installed into a dense medium such as concrete have the ability to withstand greater load pressures than those installed in lighter mediums, such as wood. 

Once you understand the material you’re working with, consider the load that the fastener itself will bear and the material of the fastener. The main point is to make sure that the fastener is listed and suitable for the load capacity. In use for a fire sprinkler system, this also means thinking about the melting point and corrosive environments. If the fastener has a melting point less than 1000°F, it’s not suitable for use overhead unless the specific fastener you’re purchasing has undergone fire rating tests and is listed accordingly. 

By checking these guidelines up front, you can select the right tool for your job.

Why choose Hangermate®?

Hangermate fasteners are small, but mighty – supporting threaded rod and components of piping systems with ease. They are approved for overhead use with fire sprinkler pipes and can support ultimate tensile loads up to 5,810 lbs*. Moreover, they come in multiple configurations to facilitate your process and help you achieve lasting results.

There are options for concrete, steel, and wood. All three specifications come in vertical, horizontal, and dual-directional configurations. Each option can be used with a specified DeWalt screwdriver kit, drill/driver kit, or Hammerdrill kit.

Perhaps Hangermate’s best innovation, though, is the dual-directional fastener because it is suitable for vertical or horizontal use. They are approved for use with fire sprinkler pipes and can support an ultimate tensile load up to 4,690 lbs**, making them a functional equivalent to their single-use peers. The added benefit is that you no longer need to spend time estimating the number of vertical and horizontal fasteners. Imagine the ease of using these on-site or keeping them as spares! 
At QRFS we have a wide selection of threaded rod fasteners, including all the options mentioned above. By purchasing from us, you not only receive quality products (within 2-3 business days generally), but you also benefit from our quality customer service and extensive product knowledge. 

It’s our goal to keep you in the thread (pun intended!), so you know about the latest and greatest products on the market that can help improve your efficiency, saving you time and money. Not to mention we value playing by the rules, which is why we place great emphasis on NFPA Code and industry best practices. 

Have a question? Add a comment below for us, and we’ll reply as soon as we can to get you on the right track!

This blog was originally posted by Jason Hugo and Anna Hartenbach at QRFS.com/blog on September 7, 2017. If you found this helped you work smarter instead of harder, check us out at Facebook.com/QuickResponseFireSupply or on Twitter @QuickResponseFS.

*Based on Hangermate type, hanging orientation, and base material.
** Based on hanging orientation and base material.

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