How to Replace Flush Mount Sprinkler Cover Plate

In case you find your sprinkler cover plate damaged  or missing and you want to replace it, this guide will help you know how you can do it. But we need to understand what a cover plate is. It is a piece of metal connected to a frame made of copper. It is screwed into the sprinkler to protect it from dirt, debris and dust. Once you remove this cover, the sprinkler head will be exposed. Cleaning the cover plates or simply moving them are some of the reasons why they may need to be replaced. 

Let’s take a look at some of the important factors that can play a role in replacing flush mount sprinkler cover plates. 

Factors to Consider while Replacing Flush Mount Sprinkler Cover Plate

First of all, you must know that a single plate fits within a sprinkler and you can’t let a new plate take that slot.  Also, if you install the wrong cover plate, that will cost you a lot. It would be damaging in a way that it’ll void the warranty of the sprinkler. This will lead to more expensive repairs in future. In some cases, the wrong cover plate directly damages the sprinkler. So, make sure you avoid this mistake by all means.

If a cover plate falls off, don’t try to put it back by using glue or any such material. There is a difference between solder (of cover plate) and glue’s behavior in order to react to the temperature. This will lead to a blocked sprinkler, which will produce a risk of fire as well. Just buy a new one and use certain tools to put the plate back there to avoid any issue later.  

How to Replace Flush Mount Sprinkler Cover Plate using Proper Tools?

Replacing the flush mount sprinkler cover plate ensures that your sprinkler works well enough. These plates are mainly there for the safety of sprinkler heads. During the installation of sprinklers, inserting the plates is one of the last steps. You may use certain tools to get the job done rather than climbing the stairs up & down. These tools include cap-removal devices, cover plate installation devices and sprinkler wrenches, specifically designed for certain sprinklers. 

Let’s take a look at the tools now to see how they work.

  • Cover Plate Installation Tool

Cover plates are usually round in shape and have two sizes, large and standard. For their installation, the tools used also have two sizes, large-dia and standard-dia. For using the tools to replace cover plates, use the following steps:
  • Use sprinkler wrench for removing the protective cap.
  • Place the flush mount sprinkler cover plate on the tool.
  • Lit the plate to its head and then push the cap.
This method and the tool works well enough with both new and old threaded models.
  • Removal of Sprinkler Cap

As mentioned earlier, there are two types of tools to remove the cap in order to install a cover plate. But you can remove the sprinkler cap with a single tool also. This tool mounts to 1” dia pole in order to install the cover plates. But this tool works with specific sprinkler caps only. The threaded rows on the outer part of these protective caps fit into the hole present at the center of the tool. For removing the cap, you just need to screw the tool on the cap. After that, pull the cap away and it’ll be removed.
For installing flush mount sprinkler cover plates, removing the cap (if there is one) is really important. Placing the plate onto the tool then, lifting it to the cup and pushing it to the place will help you replace the cover plate with ease properly with the use of tools. So, you need sprinkler wrenches, cap removal tools as well as flush mount sprinkler cover plate installation tools to get the entire job done.
  • Removing Sprinkler Cover

In the factors mentioned above, you’ve got an idea of which sprinkler cover you’ll be in need of and what things to avoid. So, for finding your sprinkler cover, you just need:
  1. An old cover
  2. A ladder 
The cover plates made by different manufacturers have different depths as well as circumferences. However, all of them are threaded and screwed into the base of the sprinkler. If you want to replace all the cover plates or just a single one, just unscrew the cover. If they seem to spin freely without backing out, you’ll need a firm but gentle pull for removing them because they’re “Push On”. 
If no method works for you after using all the tools, contact a professional instead of keep trying because that may do more harm than good. All in all, you must ensure that the tools are being used properly by you for removing the cover or cap and for installing the cover plate or else, you’ll be on the losing side with some financial loss that may increase if you don’t pay the required attention.

How can you Find Sprinkler Identification Number?

After removing the cover, you need to look for the sprinkler identification number which is also referred to as its model number. It has 5 or 6 digits with a letter or two in it. For example, a popular Tyco model for concealed fire sprinkler is TY3551. Take a look at the list below in order to get to know the manufacturer’s name using letters:

  • Victaulic is represented by V.
  • Tyco is represented by TY.
  • Senju Sprinkler is represented by SS.
  • Reliable is represented by R.
  • GL represents Globe.
  • Viking is represented by VK.
  • AG Sprinkler is represented by AG only.

You can see the valid identification numbers of covers marked on them. Inside a new cover lies a sticker that has all the details related to that cover including manufacturer’s name and the ID number. Newer models of cover plates contain a sticker (because it is mandatory for them). Sometimes, if you don’t see a sticker there, look for a stamp. Here is one of the images below to let you know how a sticker looks like and what information it contain.   

If you find it difficult to remember the identification number because you don’t have any cover plate left, take a look at the sprinkler's deflector because everything (including the number) is stamped on it. Also, not like one cover plate is compatible with a single sprinkler only. Some manufacturers offer a variety of sprinklers and the plates may fit into all of those. So, check the plate first after installation in order to ensure that you’ve used the tools well.

What Does a Sprinkler Cover Look Like?

A sprinkler cover looks more like a cup with one of its ends being dome-shaped for letting the sprayed paint flow. The coverdome is attached to the sprinkler head with the help of an adhesive or a magnet. A flush mount sprinkler cover plate provides the sprinkler heads with a cleaner look. When the temperature rating of this plate is reached, the sprinkler head is exposed because the plate falls away. The head contains a glass bulb filled with a liquid  that bursts at a specific temperature.

Some of the types of sprinkler heads that are commonly used include:

    1. Pendent
    2. Upright
    3. Sidewall
    4. Concealed 

The ones we’ve talked about in detail regarding the replacement of flush mount sprinkler cover plates are concealed ones. So, take a look at the features of each type of head and act accordingly. 


Replacing the flush mount sprinkler cover plate isn’t as easy as it seems and if not done, it may let you pay more than what you were supposed to spend on it. The correct use of tools is really important in this regard, a few of them have been mentioned above. All you need is to know how different kinds of plates work with different heads and which situations will make you replace flush mount sprinkler cover plates. 

Taking a look at its identification number is another addition to the factors that must be considered when you plan to install the plate or replace it. The best you can do now is to make a list of tools, see how you can utilize them in the best possible manner and start working on the process. You’ll surely end up replacing the plate that might have been damaged or painted in the wrong way. 

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