#416 – Explaining Changes to TY-B and TY-FRB Series Tyco Fire Sprinklers

In the past decade, Tyco made slight modifications to some fire sprinklers that changed sprinkler identification numbers — but not much else. Here’s how to buy the right sprinklers and escutcheons.

Some Tyco fire sprinklers underwent a minor change that caused nearly identical heads with slightly different sprinkler identification numbers (SIN) to be on the market. And QRFS sometimes gets questions about which sprinkler to order and which SIN to choose.

For example, should you buy a Tyco sprinkler with a SIN of TY323 or TY3231?

Both are 5.6K, quick response pendents with a ½ in. NPT connection and identical performance characteristics. Both are TY-FRB series sprinklers. So, what gives with the extra digit? And which one should you buy?

The short answer is that the sprinkler with a shorter SIN is a newer, slightly smaller model, but two versions are basically interchangeable — unless you’re buying escutcheons to match them. The new sprinklers with shorter SINs only work with Tyco’s Style 20 and Style 15 escutcheons, not Style 10. The older SINs fit with all of those escutcheons.

Read on to learn more about the differences and why Tyco “reengineered” later models.

If you need replacements and know the parts you need, check out QRFS’s selection of Tyco sprinklers, Tyco escutcheons, and Tyco wrenches.

A summary of the Tyco TY-FRB and TY-B series

Among five other lines of standard spray sprinklers, Tyco offers two impacted by this change:

  • TY-FRB series: quick response sprinklers suitable for Light and Ordinary Hazard occupancy types
  • TY-B series: standard response sprinklers for Light, Ordinary, and Extra Hazard applications.

Both series come in upright, pendent, recessed pendent, horizontal sidewall, recessed horizontal sidewall, and vertical sidewall orientations and K-Factors up to 8.0. However, the available activation temperature for the TY-B maxes out at 360°F, whereas the quick response TY-FRB tops out at 286°F.

Essentially, these are Tyco’s go-to models for quick or standard response, standard spray sprinklers.

How these Tyco fire sprinklers changed

In 2013, Tyco introduced new versions of each TY-B and TY-FRB sprinkler, and their corresponding sprinkler identification numbers have a one-digit difference. For example:

  • Older SIN: TY3151; newer SIN: TY315
  • Older SIN: TY3251; newer SIN: TY325
  • Older SIN: TY3131; newer SIN: TY313
  • Older SIN: TY3231; newer SIN: TY323

Beyond dropping the “1”, the physical differences are minor: the frames of the newer sprinklers are a little shorter.

For example, end-to-end measurements of the newer TY325 pendent and the TY315 upright are 2″ (50.8 mm) instead of 2-3/16″ (55.6 mm) for the older TY3251 and TY3151.

Tyco TY315 and TY3151 diagram
The newer TY-B TY315 standard response upright sprinkler (left) is 3/16″ shorter than the old TY3151 upright. Image source: Tyco-Fire

Tyco issued a notification letter on Feb. 21, 2013, introducing the change and its impact:

The reengineered sprinklers are slightly different in appearance from the existing models, but are equivalent in fit and function, and more importantly provide the same trusted and proven quality expected of any Tyco manufactured product.

Thus, the new sprinklers (with a SIN minus the “1”) have the same listings, fit, and performance characteristics. And Tyco explains that the “new model sprinkler may be installed and used as a substitute for the current sprinkler it replaces.”

But there is one big caveat: “due to a shorter profile” the newer TY-B and TY-FRB models “cannot be installed with Style 10 escutcheons, only Style 20 escutcheons, and […] Style 15 escutcheons.”

Otherwise, everything else, including the available finishes and compatible sprinkler wrenches (the W-Type 6 Sprinkler Wrench and the W-Type 7 Sprinkler Wrench), remains the same.

Why Tyco “reengineered’ the TY-FRB and TY-B series and how old models phase out

Tyco didn’t explain why it modified these sprinklers in its 2013 announcement. But a Tyco Senior Applications Specialist told QRFS that “the reengineered sprinkler has been designed in concert with updated manufacturing equipment and processes.”

This likely means the smaller sizes increase production efficiency and perhaps lower costs. But the impact on consumers is minimal, other than having to choose the right escutcheons and perhaps a little confusion over slightly different SINs. The company has been manufacturing new versions for the past nine years and selling old ones in select regions until the stock ran out. And some aftermarket sellers still carry and publish the older SINs.

Regardless, the good news for buyers is that both models — with or without the “1” at the end of the SIN — are essentially interchangeable, except for using Model 10 escutcheons.

Tyco Style 10 escutcheon
Again, only the older versions of the TY-B and TY-FRB are compatible with this Tyco Style 10 escutcheon.

If you need replacement Tyco fire sprinklers or accessories, QRFS has you covered with the following:

Have any questions or need help placing an order? Contact us at 888-361-6662 or support@qrfs.com.

This blog was originally posted at QRFS.com/blog. If this article helped you, check us out at Facebook.com/QuickResponseFireSupply or on Twitter @QuickResponseFS.

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