#433 – How to Find a Fire Sprinkler SIN (Sprinkler Identification Number)

Learn where this vital code ‘lives’ and what the SIN tells you

Nearly every fire sprinkler manufactured after December 31, 2000, has a sprinkler identification number (SIN) on its deflector following rules issued by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). It’s a four-to-seven-digit code that starts with one or two letters revealing the head’s manufacturer:

The rest of the SIN comprises numbers indicating a specific model and most of its crucial characteristics: orientation, response type, K-factor, coverage type, and more.

Once you know the SIN, all that’s left to pick from are the sprinkler’s activation temperature, finish, and any needed accessories like compatible escutcheons, cover plates, or head guards. This model designation is the ‘master key’ for identifying sprinkler heads and getting the ones specified for a fire protection system.

Where to find the fire sprinkler SIN

1. The sprinkler’s deflector

The first and most consistent place to find the SIN for a modern sprinkler is the imprint on its deflector:

fire sprinkler sin
The SIN for this Victaulic standard response, 8.0k, pendent sprinkler is the “V3405” on the edges of the deflector. Where the SIN is on the deflector may vary—but it’s always there somewhere on heads manufactured from 2001 on.

Spotting the SIN on concealed sprinklers is a little trickier since the heads are hidden behind a cover plate. Individuals can remove a cover by first trying to gently unscrew it (lefty-loosie). If it spins freely but isn’t backing out, it’s a “push-on.” So, the next step is a gentle but firm pull to remove it.

If neither method works, ask for professional help—the cover might be stuck in place. And always ask for a pro’s assistance if you have any hesitation. You do not want to damage a sprinkler or accidentally set it off.

Fire sprinkler SIN on concealed sprinklers
The SIN on this Viking quick response, 5.6k, concealed pendent sprinkler is the “VK4621” toward the top of the deflector in the left image above. The cover plate also has an inner label that shows all the SINs/sprinklers that the cover is compatible with.

2. In system documentation or a list in the sprinkler cabinet

Building owners with original system plans (ideally, all of them should have those) can often find a list of the sprinklers in the system, including the SINs. Another place to look is in the spare sprinkler cabinet.

NFPA 13 and NFPA 25 require individuals who are responsible for a commercial system to keep a certain number of spare fire sprinklers and matching wrenches on hand in a cabinet. This cabinet should also have a list of every sprinkler in the building—their number, type (SIN), and other info.

Sometimes, this documentation is missing. In that case, looking at the deflector of a head that needs to be replaced (or an identical one nearby) is the most straightforward fire sprinkler SIN source.

Spare sprinkler cabinet and fire inspector
When the fire inspector comes knocking, there should be a list of all the sprinklers/SINs in the building in a spare sprinkler cabinet. But it isn’t always there, and the sprinklers’ deflectors can provide the SINs. Image source: City of Chula Vista, CA

What if I can’t find the fire sprinkler SIN?

Remember, NFPA mandated putting a fire sprinkler identification number on the deflectors of all sprinklers at the end of 2000. And many sprinklers and systems have been around a lot longer than that.

Some older sprinklers have a SIN, while others don’t have this official, consistent code. Instead, they might feature various logos and other lettering stamped on the frame or deflector. In this case, a little research is needed. You can note any markings anywhere on the sprinkler and research the head online. Checking for any system documentation is also a good idea.

Or, to make things easier, contact QRFS and ask us for help! We’ll request pictures of the deflector, frame, and any markings and try to determine what it is—and how you can replace it.

QRFS Quick Finder

An easy way to ID and buy sprinklers and accessories

Once you know the SIN, the QRFS Quick Finder shows you the exact sprinkler and its essential accessories, including escutcheons, covers, and wrenches.

The Quick Finder also has an “I can’t find my SIN” option that shows you how to contact us and submit information to identify mysterious sprinklers.

You can also reach out to QRFS at 888.361.6662 or support@qrfs.com with any questions—we’re here to make fire protection simpler and easier!

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

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