#351 – A Guide to Viking Fire Sprinkler Heads
#351 – A Guide to Viking Fire Sprinkler Heads
Viking’s selection of commercial fire sprinklers covers a range of applications and features
It’s easy to get overwhelmed while shopping for fire sprinklers. The choices seem endless, yet the differences between individual models may appear minuscule. In truth, there are some clear choices for specific applications. In a series of blog posts, we’re taking a detailed look at the offerings of major sprinkler manufacturers, so that you can understand the features each of them offers. This piece explains Viking sprinkler heads, examining factors like:
- Thread Size
- K-factor—the rate of water discharge
- Response speed—standard response (SR) or quick response (QR)
- Coverage area—standard coverage (SC) or extended coverage (EC)
- Temperature rating
- Finishes, both cosmetic and functional
Viking’s founder Emil Tyden entered the fire sprinkler business in 1920 when a fire destroyed the factory for his International Seal and Lock Company. One hundred years later, his company is a leader in the fire protection industry.
Viking has three core lines of commercial fire sprinklers that we’ll cover in this article:
- Model M
Note that Viking does make numerous other sprinklers beyond what we cover here. For instance, the company also manufactures a range of dry barrel, deluge, and preaction sprinkler heads, which are beyond the scope of this article.
Before we get into the details, here’s a quick summary of the Model M, XT1, and Mirage sprinkler heads:
The Model M line
- A relatively small sprinkler
- Two varieties: Micromatic and Microfast
- Micromatic is standard response, Microfast is quick response
- Standard coverage and extended coverage are available
- Stainless steel construction is available in some models
- Cosmetic and corrosion-resistant finishes are available
Next-generation XT1 sprinklers
- Small—smaller even than the Model M line
- Corrosion-resistant stainless steel construction comes standard
- Standard and quick response options
- Standard coverage only
- Cosmetic and corrosion-resistant finishes available
Mirage concealed pendent sprinklers
- Concealed pendent sprinklers paired with cosmetic cover plates
- Standard and quick response are available
- Standard and extended coverage are available
- Corrosion-resistant finishes are available for the sprinkler assembly
Now, let’s take a closer look at each line:
Model M Viking fire sprinkler heads
The Model M line of sprinklers was, at its introduction, notable for its compact size. This is reflected in the names of its two varieties: the Micromatic and the Microfast.
Microfast sprinklers, fittingly, are quick response (QR) sprinklers—those with a primary mission of quickly activating to protect people by enabling them to escape during a fire. Micromatics are standard response (SR) sprinklers, which focus on containing the fire in its original location and suppressing its growth.
Most Model M sprinklers use a temperature-sensitive glass bulb, but some feature a meltable fusible link.
Model M K-factor and pipe thread size
Both the Micromatic and the Microfast varieties come in upright, pendent, and sidewall orientations. In any orientation, they are available with 1/2" and 3/4” National Pipe Thread (NPT).
The two most widely-available K-factors—the rate at which water discharges—for Model M sprinklers are the 5.6 and 8.0 industry mainstays. The only exceptions to this are some of the extended coverage sprinklers with extra-large orifices. These have a K-factor of 11.2 or more. And some of the high-pressure sprinklers have a low K of 2.8.
Model M sprinklers come in standard or extended coverage
Importantly, Model M sprinklers are the only non-concealed Viking sprinklers available with extended coverage. Extended coverage sprinklers, where they are feasible and allowed by National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) standards and local codes, offer some system cost savings over standard coverage sprinklers. But their use has become less common in the US, as some codes do not allow them, they require expert knowledge of minimum operating pressures, and they must be installed in a "smooth, flat ceiling."
The option for extended coverage gives the Model M line a unique feature, even though Viking has more modern sprinklers available.
Temperature, finish, and construction options for Model M sprinklers
Viking offers a wide range of temperature ratings for their Model M sprinklers, including 155F, 175F, 200F, 286F, and 360F. The highest of these ratings are not available in some finishes, namely, with a wax coating or Nickel PTFE (ENT).
Model M sprinklers are available in unfinished brass or with chrome, white polyester, black polyester, and nickel PTFE (ENT) finishes. Polyester paint and ENT finishes provide corrosion resistance. Wax coatings, which also confer corrosion resistance, are also sometimes available either over brass or over polyester paint.
And a few Model M sprinklers are available with solid stainless-steel construction instead of brass.
Find the Model M Micromatic sprinklers with the features you need from these tables:
Model M Micromatic Conventional and Upright Sprinklers
|VK130||Bulb||Upright||SC||SR||1/2"||5.6||Stainless steel construction|
Model M Micromatic Pendent Sprinklers
|VK132||Bulb||Pendent||SC||SR||1/2"||5.6||Stainless steel construction|
|VK368||Link||Pendent||SC||SR||3/4"||8||Stainless steel construction|
Model M Micromatic Sidewall Sprinklers
Find the Model M Microfast sprinklers you need with these tables:
Model M Microfast Conventional and Upright Sprinklers
Model M Microfast Pendent Sprinklers
Model M Microfast Sidewall Sprinklers
Viking’s XT1—the next generation of fire sprinkler heads
While they provide some unique, useful features, the Model M is somewhat of a legacy line. They are superseded by the XT1 line of sprinklers, hailed by Viking as the “next generation of fire sprinklers.”
XT1 sprinklers are small—smaller than the “micro” Model M’s. For example, the VK102 Micromatic sprinkler has an overall length of 2-1/4”, while the XT1 that follows it, VK1021, is only 1-15/16” long. They are easy to install, and they all resist corrosion, coming standard with stainless steel deflectors and arms.
XT1 sprinklers are available in all orientations—pendent, upright, and sidewall—and in quick response and standard response varieties. All XT1 sprinklers feature a temperature-sensitive glass bulb.
XT1 K-factor and pipe thread size
Viking manufactures XT1 fire sprinklers in 1/2" and 3/4" NPT sizes and with a K-factor of 5.6 or 8.0. Almost without fail, 1/2" NPT sprinklers have K=5.6, and 3/4" NPT sprinklers have K=8.0. The only exceptions are VK2002 and VK2022, replacement-only parts with 1/2" NPT and K=8.0. Note that this thread size and flow rate combination is not approved for new installations, only replacements.
XT1 sprinklers offer standard coverage
XT1 sprinklers are not available with extended coverage—only standard coverage. Again, this is due to the less-common use of extended coverage sprinklers in modern systems (especially in the US), and the fact that some local codes do not permit their use.
Temperature and finish options for Model M sprinklers
Viking offers a wide range of nominal temperature ratings for its XT1 sprinklers, including 155F, 175F, 200F, 286F, and 360F. The highest of these ratings is not available for nickel PTFE (ENT)-coated models.
XT1 sprinklers can be ordered with a range of cosmetic and functional finishes, including brass, chrome, white polyester, black polyester, and nickel PTFE (ENT). White and black paint and nickel PTFE provide corrosion resistance.
Viking’s XT1 sprinklers are the next generation of fire sprinkler heads. Shop for upright and pendent XT1 sprinklers plus accessories on our website. Don’t see what you need? Contact us, and we'll get it for you.
Choose the right XT1 sprinkler head for your needs by using these tables:
XT1 Pendent Sprinklers
XT1 Upright Sprinklers
Mirage concealed pendent fire sprinkler heads
Viking’s Mirage concealed pendent fire sprinklers, when paired with cosmetic heat-sensitive cover plates, let you maintain the appearance of a smooth ceiling. Mirage sprinklers can be purchased with standard response or quick response. All Mirage sprinklers feature a heat-sensitive glass bulb, as well as a heat-sensitive cover plate assembly.
K-factor and thread size for Mirage sprinklers
Mirage concealed fire sprinklers have threads in 1/2" and 3/4” NPT sizes. When it comes to water flow, Mirage sprinklers have a range of K-factors—2.8, 4.2, 5.6, 8.0, and 11.2 are all available.
Mirage fire sprinklers come in standard and extended coverage, plus specialty applications
Mirage models are available with standard or extended coverage. Viking also offers Mirage concealed sprinklers and cover plates specifically designed without ferrous materials so that they are suitable for MRI rooms. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) devices are used for medical applications and feature extremely powerful magnets. MRI rooms must be free of all ferrous material for safety reasons.
Temperature response options for Mirage sprinklers
Mirage sprinklers, like all concealed pendents with cover plates, actually have two temperature ratings—the activation temperature for the sprinkler head and the drop-away temperature for the cover plate. The temperature at which the plate falls away must, naturally, be sufficiently lower than the temperature at which the sprinkler activates.
The following temperature combinations are available:
- 155F sprinkler/135F plate
- 175F sprinkler/165F plate
- 200F sprinkler /165F plate
Cosmetic options for Mirage concealed sprinklers and cover plates
The actual sprinkler heads for Mirage concealed head systems only come in two colors—brass and electroless nickel (the latter for corrosion resistance). However, Viking offers cover plates in:
- Polished chrome
- Bright Brass
- Brushed Brass
- Antique Brass
- Brushed Copper
- Brushed Chrome
Moreover, Viking will provide custom-designed cover plates on request. QRFS suggests printing an image of a fire sprinkler on the cover plate. Learn more about matching cover plates to sprinklers and why you shouldn't paint your cover plates in our previous blogs.
Shop a rich selection of cover plates for Viking Mirage concealed pendent sprinklers on our website. If you want to order a Mirage sprinkler or a custom cover plate—or can’t find the sprinkler you need— contact us.
Pick the right Mirage concealed pendent sprinkler for your needs by using this table:
Mirage Concealed Pendent Sprinklers
|VK462-MRI||Bulb||Pendent||SC||QR||1/2"||5.6||For MRI rooms|
|VK464-MRI||Bulb||Pendent||SC||QR||3/4"||8||For MRI rooms|
|vk538||Link||Pendent||EC||QR||3/4"||11.2||Extra-large orifice, ordinary hazard|
|VK636||Link||Pendent||EC||QR||3/4"||11.2||Extra-large orifice, light hazard|
Viking’s commercial fire sprinkler heads fill generalist or specialized roles
Viking’s Model M, XT1, and Mirage sprinkler heads suit a variety of applications. Need extended coverage, high pressure, high K-factor, or quick response? Odds are that a Model M sprinkler will get the job done. Looking for a compact, easy-to-install sprinkler for a corrosive environment—or, really, most applications? The XT1 is the most modern choice. Need a concealed head sprinkler with extended coverage and a cover plate that matches the background? A Mirage concealed pendent with a custom cover plate is just the thing.
With a wide selection of temperature responses, response speeds, coverage areas, K-factors, cosmetic and utilitarian finishes, and more, Viking’s selection of sprinklers can hit just about any requirement.
Get the sprinklers you need by shopping our selection of Viking commercial sprinklers. Don’t forget Viking escutcheons, cover plates, and installation tools to finish the job. And if you don’t find what you need, reach out to us, and we'll help you get it.
Call us at +1 (888) 361-6662 or email [email protected].