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
3) How can I tell if our facility has O-ring type sprinkler heads?
First go to
www.sprinklerreplacement.com. 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
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
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
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
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.