Are you wondering how you can remove and install a new fire sprinkler cover plate? Then you have come to the right page as that's what we will be discussing today! As long as you have a ladder and a couple of tools, you can easily replace the fire sprinkler cover plate as well. To put it short, it is just like installing a new lightbulb!
There can be many reasons for installing or replacing a fire sprinkler cover plate, such as damage, malfunction, or even if the cover plate is missing! As long as you know about the manufacturer of the fire sprinkler system and the cover plates, you can easily replace it with a new one (the manufacturer matters a lot more than the dimensions!).
What is Cover Plate?
A cover plate is the exterior part of a fire sprinkler which is attached to the copper frame with a special solder. It conceals the fire sprinkler in the ceilings, but that's not the only function it performs... The cover plates are usually connected to the frame by a special solder that is temperature responsive. So whenever the temperature of the room rises above the specified limit, the temperature-sensitive solder melts, and the cover plate falls to the floor.
Once the cover plate falls to the floor, the sprinkler heads present in the ceiling are exposed. And when the sprinkler system is finally activated, the water from the sprinkler heads can easily distinguish any fire in the home!
So to put it short, a cover plate for the fire sprinkler serves three purposes:
- It conceals the fire sprinkler present in the ceilings, thus improving the aesthetic look of your home and the ceilings.
- It protects the sprinkler from dust, debris, and any other unwanted material.
- If the temperature rises above the specified limit, the cover plate falls off and exposes the sprinkler.
Why Change the Fire Sprinkler Cover Plate?
There can be many reasons which may require you to change the fire sprinkler cover plate, such as:
If the cover plate is damaged, then you should replace it right away. A damaged cover plate may not fall off from the ceiling when required and thus can even compromise the effectiveness of the entire sprinkler system!
Let's assume that there are 2 fire sprinklers in your living room, but the cover plate of one sprinkler is damaged. In this case, the water from the sprinkler with the damaged cover plate will not be able to effectively put out the fire. In this case, the room will be left with only 1 functional fire sprinkler! So to put it short, it is important to replace any damaged cover plates right away!
Reuse of Cover Plate
Once the cover plate has fallen off the ceiling, you should not try to put it back into the fire sprinkler! As mentioned earlier, these cover plates are attached to a heat-sensitive solder, and once that solder melts from a rise in temperature, then it has served its function and is no longer useable.
If you somehow manage to install an already used cover plate in the ceiling, it will not fall off with a rise in the temperature!
No Cover Plate
If your sprinkler is missing a cover plate for whatever reason, then you should install a new one right away! Besides improving the looks of your ceilings, a cover plate also protects the fire sprinkler from dust, debris, and so on.
Painted Cover Plate
Did you or someone you hired has accidentally painted the cover plate of the sprinkler system? Then I have some bad news for you - A cover plate which is painted becomes ineffective at detecting the temperature of the room and may not fall off from the ceiling if the temperature rises!
So if you notice that the cover plates have been painted, then you should replace them as well!
How to Remove Fire Sprinkler Cover Plate
Before you can install a new fire sprinkler cover plate, you need to remove the old one first! Follow these steps to remove the fire sprinkler cover plate:
- Get access to the fire sprinkler cover plate (located in the ceilings) using a ladder.
- Unscrew the cover plate by spinning it anti-clockwise. These plates are attached and removed just like light bulbs!
- If the cover plate spins freely and is not backing out, then it is a push-on type of cover plate. Try a firm and gentle pull to remove the cover plate.
Still not able to remove the cover plate? Well, if you are having problems with removing the fire sprinkler cover plate, then you should call a professional.
How to Install Fire Sprinkler Cover Plate
Let's look at the steps involved in installing a new fire sprinkler cover plate:
1. Buy a New Cover Plate
You can skip this step if you have already purchased a replacement cover plate for the fire sprinkler. To find and buy the correct replacement cover plate, check the brand and the SIN of your fire sprinkler system. Using this information, you can easily buy a new cover plate at your nearby store or even online.
2. Access the Fire Sprinkler Head
Since the fire sprinklers are located in the ceilings, you will need a ladder to access the fire sprinkler head! If you do not have a ladder, then you can also try to reach the ceiling using a chair. And while we are talking about using a ladder and working at a height, it is better to be safe than sorry! So if it is possible, ensure that you also have someone close to you while working.
3. Install the Cover Plate
Just like we removed the fire sprinkler cover plate earlier, you can install the new one just in the same way! If it is the push-on type, then you just need to push the cover plate inside. And if it is the threaded type, then you just need to screw it by spinning the cover plate clockwise.
FAQs - Frequently Asked Questions
Let's take a look at the frequently asked questions related to 'fire sprinkler cover plate':
- There is a small gap between the cover plate and the ceiling. What to do?
Actually, that gap is intended and is important for the proper functioning of the cover plate. This gap allows the heat to reach the heat-sensitive solder spots and thus ensures that the cover plates release on time. So if you notice any gaps, do not attempt to completely cover them in any way!
- There is paint on the fire sprinkler cover plate. Does it need to be replaced?
Yes, paint on the cover plates can impact their smooth operation and can even cause them to not release on time in case of a fire. So if you notice any paint on the cover plates, you should replace them right away!
- How much does it cost to buy a new cover plate for the fire sprinkler?
It depends on the manufacturer and the build model of your fire sprinkler system. In general, the price for a cover plate starts from $20.
- Is it easy to install a new fire sprinkler cover plate?
Yes, it is very easy to install a new cover plate. In fact, it is as easy as installing a new light bulb and without the worry of getting any electric shock as well! The hardest part in this entire process is finding the correct replacement cover plate.
Buying the wrong cover plate may hinder the ability of your sprinkler system to function smoothly. On top of that, there is a good chance that it will not fit as well (having different dimensions). That's why you should carefully check the manufacturer and other details related to your cover plate. As long as you buy the correct model of a cover plate, you should have no problems.
- Can I reuse a cover plate that dropped off the ceiling?
A cover plate only drops off the ceiling once the solder which is holding it in its place melts away. So if your cover plate has fallen off the ceiling, then you should not reuse it! Many people try to fix the same cover plate again, which is a wrong practice and can even risk the integrity of your sprinkler system!
So if your cover plate is missing from the ceiling, you should get a new one right away as it also protects the fire sprinklers from environmental factors.