#369 – Replacement Fire Sprinkler Escutcheons: Finding the Right Model
#369 – Replacement Fire Sprinkler Escutcheons: Finding the Right Model
Get the correct fire sprinkler escutcheon ring to fill in the gap
Fire sprinkler escutcheons fill the gaps between sprinklers and the ceilings or walls they protrude from. And their purpose isn’t just cosmetic.
Fire sprinklers activate based on the ambient temperature. If hot air can rise through the gap, heat won’t accumulate as quickly around the heat-sensitive element—and the sprinkler might not activate on time. By filling the holes, escutcheons ensure that sprinklers work as intended.
Fire sprinklers need the right escutcheon—any old model won’t do. Organizations like UL and FM Global “list”—safety test and approve—particular sprinkler-and-escutcheon combinations. NFPA 13: Standard for the Installation of Sprinkler Systems (2019 edition) also specifies that a “sprinkler assembly” should be listed:
7.2.6 Escutcheons and Cover Plates.
18.104.22.168 Plates, escutcheons, or other devices used to cover the annular space around a sprinkler shall be metallic or shall be listed for use around a sprinkler.
22.214.171.124* Escutcheons used with recessed, flush-type, or concealed sprinklers shall be part of a listed sprinkler assembly.
A.7.6.2 The use of the wrong type of escutcheon with recessed or flush type sprinklers can result in severe disruption of the spray pattern, which can destroy the effectiveness of the sprinkler.
A “sprinkler assembly” includes the sprinkler and any cover plate or escutcheon installed with it. Only sprinklers, escutcheons, and cover plates made by the same manufacturer can be listed for use with one another. Thus, it’s important to use listed sprinkler assemblies and follow manufacturer installation instructions.
Whether you’re replacing an old escutcheon or installing a new sprinkler system, it’s vital to get the right model.
But with potentially hundreds of different models on the market, finding the correct fit can seem complicated. In this article, we explain how to do it, using only the information provided on a sprinkler head.
How to match an escutcheon to a fire sprinkler
Fortunately, there isn’t only one escutcheon for every sprinkler. Sprinkler manufacturers produce a handful of escutcheon types, and one kind of escutcheon often works (and is listed) for many different sprinklers. It’s simple to determine which one you need for your particular sprinkler. Follow these general steps:
- Match the sprinkler model to an escutcheon model
- Pick the escutcheon model that meets the installation needs
- Pick the escutcheon that matches the sprinkler thread size
Matching the sprinkler model to an escutcheon model
The first step in finding the right escutcheon is knowing what sprinkler you have. That means knowing who manufactured it and its exact model. Start with the “SIN.”
Manufacturers assign a sprinkler identification number (SIN) to every sprinkler with a particular size, shape, and fabrication—though, when the response temperature or finish changes, the SIN stays the same. The SIN is stamped right on the sprinkler deflector, alongside other information.
Sprinkler SINs begin with an alphabetic prefix of 1 or 2 letters, indicating the manufacturer. For example, “VK” is for Viking, “V” is for Victaulic, and “TY” is for Tyco. You may encounter sprinkler without a SIN; these are typically produced by manufacturers that aren’t in business anymore. If you have older sprinklers, read these tips for identifying them. Otherwise, counterfeit sprinklers may lack a SIN, or it may be incorrect.
Knowing the SIN can help you find an approved escutcheon if you have access to the sprinkler’s technical data sheet (TDS). You can also find the right escutcheon without the TDS, however. Manufacturers often divide their sprinkler catalog into models with similar features, and certain sprinkler models are compatible with specific escutcheon models. Match your sprinkler to the same escutcheon model.
Find the escutcheon model that meets the installation needs
Narrowing escutcheons down to a model still leaves options. Within one model, there might be several sub-categories. For example, Viking’s NP model is divided into NP-1, NP-2, and NP-3 escutcheons.
To thin out the list of possibilities, figure out which installation requirements the escutcheon needs to meet. These can include:
- Range of adjustment
- Installation method (thread-on vs. slip-on)
- Outer-cup diameter
- Construction and finish (important for corrosion resistance)
It may be necessary to consult the technical data sheet to determine which model fits your particular needs. For example, Viking’s XT1 sprinklers generally work with any NP escutcheon. But the sprinkler’s TDS specifies that XT1 sprinklers with Viking’s ENT finish can only use NP-1 escutcheons or standard flat escutcheons.
Note that manufacturers may have “standard” flat escutcheons that are approved for most or all of their sprinklers, as long as they fit. In this article, we’ll confine ourselves to recessed or adjustable escutcheons that have specific approvals.
It's also easy to pick the right category of sprinkler for the application when you know what features your escutcheon needs.
Find an escutcheon with the right NPT size
The final step in picking an escutcheon is getting the size right. Escutcheon holes are sized to fit around the threads of the sprinkler head, and they are sold based on national pipe thread (NPT) measurements. A 1/2” escutcheon doesn't have a 1/2" hole. Instead, it works with a 1/2” NPT sprinkler head.
Now, we’ll specifically explain how to get the right escutcheon for sprinklers made by three major manufacturers: Viking, Victaulic, and Tyco.
Finding the right Viking replacement fire sprinkler escutcheons
Viking has three main models of sprinklers that need escutcheons and only a handful of escutcheon models—so, finding the right Viking escutcheon is straightforward.
Viking’s core sprinkler models are Model M, Freedom, and XT1. You can determine which model you have by looking at the SIN number or by checking the features of the sprinkler. The features of each are summarized here:
|Viking’s mainstay prior to the XT1||The "Next generation of fire sprinklers”||Residential sprinklers|
|Standard (Micromatic) or quick-response (Microfast)||Standard or quick response, small size, stainless steel deflectors||SINs: 3 digits, 400s|
|SINs: 3 digits, 100s to 300s, a few 500s, 600s||SINs: 4 digits, 1000s to 3000s||Works with: E escutcheons|
|Works with E and G escutcheons||Works with NP escutcheons|
Viking’s XT1 sprinklers work exclusively with the NP-line of escutcheons. NP-model escutcheons are further subdivided into NP-1, NP-2, and NP-3.
NP-1 escutcheons can be purchased with stainless steel construction and have the largest adjustment range. NP-2 and NP-3 escutcheons come only in cold-rolled steel and have smaller adjustment ranges. However, they allow sprinkler heads to be recessed or extend slightly beyond flush.
|Construction||Cold-rolled steel or stainless steel||Cold-rolled steel||Cold-rolled steel|
|Diameter of outer cup||3 1/16”||3 1/8”||5 1/8”|
|Adjustment||Flush to 5/8” recessed||11/32” past flush to 1/2” recessed||11/32” past flush to 1/2" recessed|
|Thread size (NPT)||1/2", 3/4" NPT||1/2", 3/4” NPT||1/2", 3/4" NPT|
|Finishes||Bright brass, polished chrome, polyester white, polyester black||Polished chrome, polyester white||Polished chrome, polyester white|
Viking’s E and G escutcheons work with their Model M and Freedom sprinklers. E-1, E-2, and E-3 escutcheons have the same construction and adjustment specifications as the corresponding NP escutcheons. Model G-1 escutcheons are designed for sprinklers installed on sloped ceilings and allow for angular adjustment to match the angle of the ceiling.
|Construction||Cold-rolled steel or stainless steel||Cold-rolled steel||Cold-rolled steel||Cold-rolled steel|
|Diameter of outer cup||3 1/16”||3 1/8”||5 1/8”||4”|
|Adjustment||Flush to 5/8” recessed||11/32” past flush to 1/2" recessed||11/32” past flush to 1/2" recessed||Angular adjustment up to 5/8”; for sloped ceilings|
|Thread size (NPT)||3/8”, 1/2", 3/4” NPT||1/2”, 3/4" NPT||1/2", 3/4" NPT||1/2", 3/4" NPT|
|Finishes||Bright brass, polished chrome, white polyester, black polyester, ENT, custom||Polished chrome, polyester white, custom||Polished chrome, polyester white, custom||Bright brass, polished chrome, polyester white, polyester black, custom|
Check out our previous blog for more information about Viking’s escutcheons and their selection of commercial sprinklers, or browse our selection of Viking E-1, E-2, E-3, G-1, and NP-1 escutcheons. If you don’t see the model or finish you need, contact us and we’ll help you get it!
Finding the right Tyco escutcheon
Tyco has an extensive catalog of fire sprinklers, but getting the right escutcheon for your sprinkler is still pretty simple.
Start with the sprinkler model. You can determine which model you have by looking up the SIN in Tyco’s catalog. Alternatively, you can simply look at the sprinkler’s characteristics. The names summarize their features: “B” indicates a bulb sprinkler, “L” indicates a link sprinkler, and “FR” indicates a quick response sprinkler. If you have a quick-response fusible link Tyco sprinkler, its model is “TY-FRL.”
The Tyco sprinkler models and the escutcheons they use are summarized here:
|Standard Response||Quick Response||Standard Response||Quick Response|
|Uses Style 10, Style 40 (TY325 uses 15 and 20, TY3351 uses 10)||Uses Styles 10, 20, 30, 40 (TY3331 uses 10 and 20, TY323 uses 15 and 20)||Uses Styles 20 and 30 (TY3311 cannot be recessed)||Uses Style 20 (TY3321, TY3322, and TY4322 cannot be recessed)|
Tyco groups its escutcheons into Style 10, 15, 20, 30, 40, 50, and 70 (with these last two serving only niche purposes). Each sprinkler model can use more than one escutcheon model. This can seem confusing, but each escutcheon model only works with one sprinkler size. For instance, Style 20 only fits 1/2" NPT sprinklers. Narrow down the selection based on the NPT size and the range of adjustment needed, where applicable.
|Specs||Style 10||Style 15||Style 20||Style 30||Style 40|
|Construction||Carbon steel or stainless steel||Carbon steel or stainless steel||Carbon steel or stainless steel||Carbon steel or stainless steel||Carbon steel or stainless steel|
|Diameter of outer cup||2 7/8”||2 7/8”||2 7/8”||2 7/8”||2 7/8”|
|Adjustment||Flush to 3/4" recessed||Flush to 5/8” recessed||Flush to 1/2" recessed||Flush to 1/2” recessed||Flush to 3/4” recessed|
|Thread size (NPT)||1/2" NPT||1/2" NPT||1/2” NPT||3/4" NPT||3/4" NPT|
|Finishes||Brass-plated, pure white, signal white, set black, chrome-plated||Brass-plated, pure white, signal white, set black, chrome-plated||Brass-plated, pure white, signal white, set black, chrome-plated||Brass-plated, pure white, signal white, set black, chrome-plated||Brass-plated, pure white, signal white, set black, chrome-plated|
Check out our blog for more information about Tyco escutcheons and an overview of their commercial sprinkler line, or browse our selection of Tyco’s most useful escutcheons—Style 10 and Style 20. If you need another model or a different finish, contact us and our support team will help you get it!
Finding the right Victaulic escutcheon
Victaulic has one of the most user-friendly catalogs around. The company has a straightforward selection of sprinklers that makes it easy to get what you need, and that’s doubly true with escutcheons. Victaulic has three main models—V24, V27, and V34. Finding an escutcheon that works with a sprinkler is easy—just match the first three letters of the sprinkler SIN to the escutcheon model. Sprinkler V2705 can use any V27 escutcheon. Sprinkler V3406 can use any V34 escutcheon.
Victaulic’s escutcheon models come in two varieties: recessed and flush. The recessed varieties have two options for adjustment range: 1/2" or 3/4". The specs of the V24, V27, and V34 escutcheons are shown below:
|Specs||V24 Recessed||V27 Recessed||V27 Flush||V34 Recessed||V34 Flush|
|Construction||Cold-rolled steel, brass, or stainless steel||Cold-rolled steel, brass, or stainless steel||Cold-rolled steel, brass, or stainless steel||Cold-rolled steel, brass, or stainless steel||Cold-rolled steel, brass, or stainless steel|
|Diameter of outer cup||2 7/8”||2 7/8”||2 13/16”||2 7/8”||2 13/16”|
|Adjustment||Flush to 1/2” or 3/4" recessed||Flush to 1/2” or 3/4" recessed||N/A||Flush to 1/2” or 3/4" recessed||N/A|
|Thread size||3/4" NPT||1/2" NPT||1/2" NPT||3/4” NPT||3/4" NPT|
|Finishes||Chrome, white polyester, custom||Chrome, white polyester, custom||Chrome, white polyester, custom||Chrome, white polyester, custom||Chrome, white polyester, custom|
Check out our blog for more information about Victaulic escutcheons and commercial fire sprinklers or browse our selection of Victaulic’s V27 escutcheons. If you need another model or a finish we don’t show online, contact us and our customer support team will help you get it!
A fire sprinkler escutcheon covers the gap and ensures sprinklers activate—make sure you get the right one
Escutcheons ensure that fire sprinklers work as intended by filling the gap between the wall or ceiling and the sprinkler. If heat could rise through that hole, sprinklers might not activate in time. Thus, it’s essential to choose the correct escutcheon.
We've outlined how the core sprinkler models of three major manufacturers—Viking, Tyco, and Victaulic—work with their escutcheons. Check sprinkler technical datasheets for more information about specific approvals.
QRFS stocks a wide range of Viking, Tyco, and Victaulic escutcheons. If you don’t see the specific model or finish you need below, contact us, and our customer service team will help you find it.