How to Remove and Replace a Fire Sprinkler Head Cover

Fire sprinkler head covers are a very important and integral component of any fire sprinkler system. Normally, sprinkler heads are installed in the ceilings to ensure that they can detect fire right away and put out the fire as well. And sprinkler head covers are installed in the ceilings to cover the gap between the ceiling tile/drywall and the sprinkler head.

So does this means that the fire sprinkler covers are only used for aesthetic purposes? Actually, these are also important to ensure the proper functioning of the sprinkler head and the overall fire sprinkler system. Without a fire sprinkler head cover, smoke and heat can pass through the gap between the ceiling and the sprinkler head, thus delaying the activation of the fire sprinkler system.

To put it short, sprinkler head covers make your ceilings look good while also ensuring the early detection of fire and thus life safety.

Choosing the Right Type of Fire Sprinkler Head Cover

Choosing the right type of head cover depends on the manufacturer of the fire sprinkler head used in your home. This means that each head cover will be different for different sprinkler heads, and that's why you have to carefully check the manufacturer of your fire sprinkler system first.

You can easily find different types of head covers of different sizes - So before we move on to removing and replacing the fire sprinkler head cover, check the manufacturer first and get a new sprinkler head cover that will be used for replacement.

Different Types of Fire Sprinkler Head Covers (sprinkler head covers)

Let's have a look at different types of sprinkler head covers which are commonly used:

1. Adjustable

If the distance between the ceiling/wall and the branch line (the main sprinkler pipe) varies, then we use an adjustable sprinkler head cover. As the name implies, this type of sprinkler head cover is adjustable and thus works really well in situations like this one. Adjustable sprinkler head cover is composed of two parts:
    1. Skirt
    2. Cup
A standard-sized cup can be used for up to 2 inches of adjustment, thus allowing a proper fit on the sprinkler head. On the other hand, the skirt is used to fill the gap. If the space is more than 2 inches, then you can also use extensions for a proper fit and to properly cover the gap.

 2. Flat

If the flush sprinkler head is extended from the ceiling/wall or is recessed, then we use a flat fire sprinkler head cover in this case.

3. Recessed

That's the one which is most commonly used in the ceiling tiles and drywall. A recessed fire sprinkler head cover consists of two parts:

      1. Inner Ring
      2. Outer Ring

The outer ring of the sprinkler head cover covers the gap, and the inner ring is used to encircle and properly cover the recessed sprinkler head.


Why Replace the Fire Sprinkler Head Covers?

Normally, the fire sprinkler heads come with the manufacturer's built sprinkler head cover, but over time, these head covers can get damaged, rusted, painted, or discolored. Yes, you have read that right - The head cover plates must not be painted to ensure that they continue to function as they are intended and can detect fire/smoke right away.

As you can see, there are a lot of reasons which can force you to replace the fire sprinkler head covers. When we talk about fire sprinkler systems in homes, they are very useful and ensure that fire is detected and put out right away - And the key to ensuring that this system works at maximum efficiency is the routine maintenance which also involves replacing the damaged fire sprinkler head covers.

How to Remove a Fire Sprinkler Head Cover

It is actually very easy to remove a sprinkler head cover, and you can do it yourself. Let's have a look at the steps to properly remove the head cover:

    1. First, get yourself a ladder so you can reach the ceiling/wall where the sprinkler head is located.
    2. Whenever you are working on top of a ladder, make sure you have someone holding the ladder or looking over you for safety purposes.
    3. Climb up the ladder and reach the fire sprinkler head cover.
    4. Normally, the sprinkler head cover is threaded and screwed into the sprinkler head base. So in order to remove it, simply unscrew it (by turning it left).
    5. If the sprinkler head cover continues to spin freely but is not unscrewing, it means that it is a 'push-on' type. So firmly pull the sprinkler head cover to remove it.

If you still can't remove the sprinkler head cover, then try looking for a tutorial on YouTube to see how to remove that particular model of the sprinkler head cover. But normally, you can easily remove it yourself by following this tutorial.

Buying a New Sprinkler Head Cover

Once the sprinkler head cover is removed, the next step is to buy a new one. You can easily find the manufacturer and the model number, which is usually printed on the sprinkler head cover. Using this information, you can either order it online or get it from your nearby store, which sells these types of items.

Once again, it is important to get the same type of sprinkler head cover that was used before to ensure that it fits properly and doesn't cause any problems with the fire sprinkler system as well!

Sometimes, the printed information on the cover plates may have been removed due to environmental factors. If that's the case, then do not panic! You can also find the relevant information by looking at the sprinkler deflectors. But if all else fails, simply take the cover plate with you to the nearby store and get a replacement!

How to Install a Fire Sprinkler Head Cover

Once you have bought a replacement for the sprinkler head cover, now it is time to install it:

    1. Once again, use the ladder and place it below the sprinkler head.
    2. Climb up the ladder.
    3. Install the new sprinkler head cover by twisting it or pushing it on (depending on the type of sprinkler head cover).
    4. Congratulations! You have successfully replaced the sprinkler head cover by yourself!
    5. If you can't install the new one and have tried everything, then it is better to hire a professional.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Let's have a look at the FAQs related to this topic:

1. Is it easy to replace the fire sprinkler head cover by myself?

Yes, it is very easy to replace the sprinkler head cover by yourself! In fact, it is as easy as replacing the light bulb! But it does require you to buy the correct replacement sprinkler head cover as well as remove the old one and install the new one.
Just like you can remove a light bulb by twisting it or pushing it out, you can follow the same procedure for this purpose as well. But if you are still unsure that you can't do it or you are having a hard time doing it yourself, then you can also get a professional to do it for you.

2. What is the cost of a fire sprinkler head cover?

Since this is just a covering used to fill the gap, it is not expensive at all! But if you choose to get a professional to remove and install it for you, then you will also have to pay more for their work and time! But as mentioned earlier, the process of removing and installing a new fire sprinkler head cover is very easy, and the only difficult part is getting the correct replacement!

3. Can I paint the sprinkler head cover?

No, you should not paint the sprinkler head cove under any circumstances. As mentioned earlier, painting this part can affect the efficiency of the entire fire sprinkler system! And if your sprinkler head cover is already painted, then you may need to replace it right away.
If the cover plate is loose or has fallen off, then you should try to glue it back or try some other trick. The best remedy is to just replace it with a new one!

Final Thoughts

On the surface, it may appear as if the sprinkler head cover is just a useless part of the heat sprinkler system, which doesn't add any value besides the aesthetics! But in reality, it is actually very important and ensures the smooth performance and full efficiency of the system!

It is common for the sprinkler head covers to stop functioning or fall off, and replacing/installing a new one is quite easy!

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