Custom Fire Sprinkler Cover Plates

How to order custom colors and finishes for fire sprinkler cover plates

Unmatched fire sprinkler covers can stand out like a sore thumb on a ceiling. But know this: painting them yourself to blend in with the aesthetics of your room can have devastating consequences. Not only will it void your fire sprinkler manufacturer’s warranty and violate fire codes—it can endanger lives.

Fortunately, there’s a safer alternative to unflattering fire sprinkler covers in your home or office: custom cover plates. In this blog, we lay out the custom options from major fire sprinkler manufacturers—and show how easy it is to order them.

Read on to understand:

If you already know what you need, you can go directly to the custom cover plate instructions for your concealed sprinkler manufacturer:

If cover plates with standard finishes work for you, browse the internet’s largest selection of replacement fire sprinkler covers here. To order custom cover plates, contact our customer service team by calling +1 (888) 361-6662 or emailing [email protected].

Picture of concealed sidewall fire sprinkler cover plate

Some sprinkler covers match the paint on the wall or ceiling—others stand out. Source: Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition

Why painting fire sprinkler cover plates is dangerous—and against the rules

A fire sprinkler cover plate is a thin piece of decorative metal connected to a frame by a temperature-responsive solder that conceals a fire sprinkler. When a fire raises ambient temperatures enough to meet or exceed the cover plate’s specifications, the solder melts. That simple action releases the plate and exposes the sprinkler head.

Generally, most fire sprinkler cover plates are designed to release at about 135°F (57°C). That frees the sprinkler’s thermal element to activate at 155°F (68°C). Other temperature combinations are also available for different applications, however.

Here’s the problem with painting them: paint dries like glue, creating a dangerous impediment to a concealed fire sprinkler’s regular operation. Even if the sprinkler does manage to activate, the thickness of paint can also create a heat barrier that delays the reaction time of the cover plate—and, thus, the fire sprinkler. Delays put people and property in danger as fire spreads.

Painting fire sprinkler cover plates voids the manufacturer’s warranty, which can make future repairs significantly more expensive. Victaulic’s warranty, for example, states: “This warranty shall not apply to any product which has been altered in any manner outside of Victaulic’s factory.”

Painting sprinkler components—at all—also violates fire codes and standards. The 2020 edition of NFPA 25: Standard for the Inspection, Testing, and Maintenance of Water-Based Fire Protection Systems prohibits property owners from painting sprinklers:

From the 2020 edition of NFPA 25

5.4.1.6* Sprinklers shall not be altered in any respect or have any type of ornamentation, paint or coatings applied after shipment from the place of manufacture.

Section 5.2.1.1.1 mandates that painted sprinklers must be replaced. While many factors must be considered when determining the severity of the problem, guidance from Table A.3.3.8 suggests that inspectors:

  • Classify two or more painted cover plates as system impairments for standard response sprinklers in non-residential occupancies.
  • Classify one painted cover plate as a critical deficiency in non-residential occupancies.
  • Classify one painted cover plate as an impairment in residential occupancies or when quick-response, electrically operated, fast-response, or residential sprinklers are used.

Fortunately, there is a solution: you can order custom cover plates in the right finishes that are applied by the manufacturer.

Picture of painting a ceiling

Even lightly brushing a roller against a fire sprinkler or cover plate violates fire codes, voids manufacturer warranties, and can put people and property at risk.

Before special-ordering custom fire sprinkler covers, be sure to identify the right brand

Standard cover plates come various finishes, including white, beige, ivory, chrome, black, brushed copper or brass, and a few other options. Senju Sprinkler specifically includes an array of different color choices as part of their standard concealed residential sprinkler offerings, including finishes like brown, nickel mirror, and golden oak.

But if you don’t find what you need in standard offerings, QRFS can help you special-order customized finishes.

Custom cover plates can be ordered in the exact shade of paint on your ceiling or wall—ensuring a perfect match that doesn’t mar your room’s aesthetics. Since these plates are powder coated by the manufacturer, the thin metal plate’s ability to detect heat and release on time isn’t impacted.

Now read this carefully: Cover plates are NOT interchangeable between brands. Like Cinderella and her slipper, each concealed fire sprinkler has one replacement cover plate that fits. Attempting to install the wrong one can lead to costly damage—including accidental sprinkler activations. You MUST purchase custom covers that are the same brand, size, and temperature as the original.

Picture of different fire sprinkler cover plates

Every manufacturer creates cover plates slightly differently—and each one is individually tested and listed by a safety organization. It’s essential to identify your sprinkler’s brand and model before ordering a custom cover plate.

So, the first and most important step to ordering custom plates is identifying your fire sprinkler’s manufacturer and model number.

The simplest way to do this is to check the sticker or stamp located on the inside of the cover plate. You can usually find it on the backside of the cover plate itself, or the base of the cover plate's frame.

For detailed instructions about safely removing cover plates and finding the Sprinkler Identification Number (SIN), on the stamp or sticker, read our previous blog: “Which Fire Sprinkler Head Cover Plate Do I Need?” A SIN is usually 5-6 digits long and preceded by one or two letters.

Picture of Fire Sprinkler Cover Plate SINs

Look for a sticker (left) or stamp on your cover plate to find its Sprinkler Identification Number (SIN).

And be careful: removing a cover plate can potentially damage a concealed sprinkler. Most cover plates screw out, but some have tabs that hold them in place, requiring a gentle-but-firm tug to remove them. Always err on the side of caution. A professional sprinkler contractor can help you remove your cover plate safely.

Everything you need to know to order a custom fire sprinkler cover plate

Once you’ve located your sprinkler’s brand, you’re ready to order a custom fire sprinkler cover plate. Consider the information below to determine what your specific manufacturer requires. Once you have everything you need, contact QRFS to special-order a custom cover plate by calling +1 (888) 361-6662 or emailing [email protected].

Keep in mind that each custom color usually requires a paint set-up fee, no matter how many covers you are ordering, plus the actual cost of paint and production.

Everything you need to know to order a custom fire sprinkler cover plate

Viking custom fire sprinkler covers

Accepted brands of paint

  • Benjamin Moore and Sherwin-Williams, with a $375 set-up fee per color.
  • Custom color mixes may be used, including from other paint brands, with a $415 set-up fee per color.
  • Flat cover plates can also be customized with virtually any artwork, logo, or design.
Picture of Viking Fire Sprinkler Custom Cover Plates

Viking can customize flat fire sprinkler cover plates with logos, artwork, or other images.

What information do I need to provide about the paint color or art I choose?

  • For standard colors by Benjamin Moore and Sherwin-Williams, samples are not necessary. Simply include the paint brand, color name, and code number.
  • For custom-mixed colors, samples must be included on standard cardstock. The cardstock should show the sample color and instructions on how to make it, including color codes, ratios, etc.
  • For custom designs, provide an artwork file depicting the image you wish to have screen-printed on the cover plates. Accepted file types include: .ai, .eps, .pdf, .png, .jpeg, .jpg, and .dxf.

Available finishes

  • Semi-gloss (standard, unless otherwise specified)
  • Satin
  • Flat
  • Eggshell
  • Matte

Pricing

  • Prices vary. Covers are priced and sold per cover. Contact us at +1 (888) 361-6662 or emailing [email protected], and we'll work up a quote.
Picture of Reliable Fire Sprinkler Cover Plate

Reliable sidewall fire sprinkler covers can be customized to blend with the color of your wall discreetly.

Reliable custom fire sprinkler covers

Accepted brands of paint

  • Benjamin Moore and Sherwin-Williams, with a $225 set-up fee per color for orders less than 100. The set-up fee will be waived if more than 100 cover plates are ordered in a single color.
  • Note: You cannot combine orders for two different colors to reach the 100-plate minimum required to waive the set-up fee.
  • Custom color mixes may be used.

What information do I need to provide about the paint color I choose?

  • For standard colors by Benjamin Moore and Sherwin-Williams, samples are not necessary. Simply include the paint brand, color name, and code number.
  • For custom colors, you must provide a paint sample. Reliable will match it as closely as possible.

Available finishes

  • Any paint finish EXCEPT Full Gloss.

Pricing

  • Cost for G5/G4 plates: $9.50 each. (Prices may be adjusted for large quantities.)
Picture of Tyco Fire Sprinkler Custom Cover Plates

Tyco does not restrict the kind of paint that can be used for custom fire sprinkler covers.

Tyco custom fire sprinkler covers

Accepted brands of paint

  • There are no paint brand restrictions. Orders include a $388 per color set-up fee.
  • Custom color mixes may be used.

What information do I need to provide about the paint color I choose?

  • For standard Benjamin Moore or Sherwin-Williams colors, or those using the European RAL color system, samples are not necessary. Simply include the paint brand, color name, and code number.
  • For custom-mixed colors or other paint manufacturers, the customer must provide paint samples or swatches on a non-porous, non-permeable surface for Tyco to match it as closely as possible.

Available finishes

  • Eggshell
  • Satin
  • Matte
  • Semi-gloss
  • Flat

Pricing

  • Prices vary. Contact us at +1 (888) 361-6662 or emailing [email protected], and we'll work up a quote.

Picture of Senju Fire Sprinkler Custom Cover Plates

Senju Sprinkler custom fire sprinkler covers

Accepted brands of paint

  • There are no paint-manufacturer restrictions, as long as Senju can purchase the paint locally. If the paint brand can't be bought locally, customers must provide Senju with at least 1 quart of the paint they choose. There is a $300 per color set-up fee.
  • Custom color mixes may be used. The customer must provide at least 1 quart of the paint.
  • Custom patterns (such as matching wood grain) may also be ordered, with a $400 fee per pattern. NOTE: This includes a $150 non-refundable fee per pattern to create a final draft sample for your approval. The remaining $250 production fee for each pattern will only be charged if the customer approves the sample.

What information do I need to provide about the paint color I choose?

  • For Senju to buy the paint: paint brand, color name, code number, and gloss level.
  • For custom colors, customers must provide at least a quart of the paint.

How do I order a custom pattern?

  • For Senju custom patterns, you need sample of the pattern (a wood sample, for instance) that you would like to match that is at least 4”x 4”.
  • Photographs will not be accepted.
  • Once the pattern sample and completed form are received, Senju will create and send you one final draft sample cover plate with the replicated pattern for your approval. The final draft sample is the closest copy of the pattern that’s possible. No adjustments will be made; unhappy customers can choose not to order the patterned plates. NOTE: The final draft sample process cannot be skipped.
  • Confirm approval of the final draft sample cover plate within 90 days to start the production of the full order.
  • There is no minimum order.

Available finishes

  • Flat/matte
  • Eggshell
  • Pearl
  • Satin
  • Semi-gloss
  • Gloss
  • Other

Pricing

  • For color, prices range between $5.50 and $7.50 per cover plate, based on such factors as the size of the plate, its temperature rating, and the quantity ordered.
  • For custom patterns, prices range between $9.50 and $11.50 per cover plate, based on such factors as the size of the plate, it’s temperature rating, and the quantity ordered.
Picture of Victaulic Fire Sprinkler Cover Plate

If this white cover plate doesn’t match your ceiling, Victaulic can customize the color.

Victaulic fire sprinkler covers

Accepted brands of paint

  • Benjamin Moore or Sherwin-Williams, with a $193.50 set-up fee per color.
  • Custom color mixes or other paint brands may be used.

What information do I need to provide about the paint color I choose?

  • For Benjamin Moore or Sherwin-Williams standard colors, no paint sample is required. Simply provide the paint brand, name, and code number.
  • For custom-mixed colors or other paint brands, a paint sample is required that Victaulic will match as closely as possible.

Available finishes

  • Matte
  • Semi-gloss

Pricing

  • The basic cost of each cover plate plus an additional $12 per plate.
Picture of room with custom fire sprinkler cover plates

Custom fire sprinkler covers can perfectly match the paint on your wall or ceiling.

Custom fire sprinkler covers keep fire safety from ruining a beautifully decorated room

Fire codes prevent property owners from painting fire sprinkler covers, as dried paint can cause them to malfunction during a fire. But that doesn’t mean you’re stuck with unflattering covers that mar the aesthetics of your home or office.

QRFS can help you order custom fire sprinkler cover plates that perfectly match the paint, pattern, and finish on your wall or ceiling, blending unobtrusively into the background unless they’re needed to douse a fire.

If fire sprinkler cover plates with standard colors and finishes work for you, browse the internet’s largest selection of replacement fire sprinkler covers here. To order custom cover plates, contact our exceptional customer service team by calling +1 (888) 361-6662 or emailing [email protected].

 

This blog was originally posted at QRFS.com/blog. Check us out at Facebook.com/QuickResponseFireSupply or on Twitter @QuickResponseFS.