O-Ring FAQ's

1) What is the Voluntary Replacement Program (VRP)?

It is a program funded by the Tyco Corporation that will pay to replace the 35,000,000 Model “GB” fire sprinkler heads with O-ring water seals manufactured by Central Sprinkler from 1988 to 2000.

2) Why are the O-ring sprinkler heads being replaced?

The defect with the sprinkler lies with the O-ring which seals the unit in the closed position under non fire condition. Underwriters Laboratory tests have revealed that many of these O-ring heads may leak, or not operate in a fire because they may require a higher water pressure to operate than is available in some buildings.

3) How can I tell if our facility has O-ring type sprinkler heads?

First go to You can download a brochure there that will assist you in identifying Model GB heads. You can also download a “claim form” to submit to Tyco. If you are still not sure, contact us toll free at 1-866-977-7366.

4) Are O-ring fire sprinkler heads hard to identify.

Yes, there are 65 different models of O-ring heads. Some are even covered with a ceiling plate for aesthetic purposes. If you are have difficulty determining whether or not you have O-ring heads, contact our toll free information line at 1-866-WSP-SFMO. (1-866-977-7366)

5) If I have Central GB O-ring heads, how do I go about getting them replaced?

Fill out the claim form, accompanied by close up photos of each model of GB head in your facility, and submit to the Tyco Corporation.

6) Is it going to cost me any money to replace the O-ring sprinkler heads?

No!! Once your claim has been submitted and approved by the Tyco Corporation, they will provide the replacement heads and assign a fire sprinkler contractor to schedule a time that is convenient for you to have the heads replaced. All at not cost to you.

7) How long will it take before my O-ring heads are replaced?

Due to the large number of claims already filed, a person can expect to wait between 1 and 2 years from the time you have successfully filed your claim, until they are replaced.

8) Do all fire sprinkler heads have O-ring water seals?

No, only two manufacturers, (Central Sprinkler and Reliable) manufactured fire sprinkler heads with internal O-ring water seals. The other manufacturers use the “Belleville Spring” water seal. The major difference in the two designs is that no part of the Belleville Spring seal is in contact with the walls of the sprinkler orifice.

9) Will my replacement sprinkler heads have O-ring water seals?

No, Underwriters Laboratories will no longer “list” a fire sprinkler head that uses O-ring water seals. All heads now are being manufactured with the Belleville Spring water seal.

10) Have there been other recalls of sprinkler heads?

Yes, another O-ring head, the Central “Omega” was recalled in 1998. Of the 8 million Omega heads manufactured only 5 million have been located. Unfortunately that recall ended several years ago.

11) Why all the recalls on defective fire sprinkler heads?

The issue is not about defective fire sprinkler heads. The issues is about a design flaw in a certain type of sprinkler head water seal that is no longer manufactured. The track record of fire sprinklers over the years has been excellent.

12) How many Model GB O-ring sprinkler heads are there in Washington?

It is estimated that there were over 1.5 million originally installed in the State. A little over 800,000 have been identified since the VRP was announced August 2001. It is believed the majority of the remaining O-ring heads are in hotels, motels, apartments and homes.