#134 – Sprinkler Service Supply Checklist

Cheryl Ryan with input from Tom Doty

When on a fire sprinkler service job, aside from a phone, what are the top 15 tools/supplies a technician should have in the service truck? The following are some Fire Tech suggestions:

Fire Sprinkler Service Van

  1. Pipe Threader – A pipe threader is needed for cutting threads into the end of metal pipes so lengths of pipe or other connectors can be fitted together and can also be used to power the groover, if needed.

  1. 2 ½ x 4 Inch Pipe Cutter – A tool used, in place of a hacksaw, to cut and repair mains. It makes clean cuts in a fast manner while also being user friendly when in tight quarters.

  1. In Air Groover. A portable groover that can groove the ends of 1 1/4” – 6” pipes in the air rather than taking the pipe down to the ground. It can also groove pipe in limited space, as it only requires 6” clearance.

  1. Pipe Wrenches – These wrenches are designed to turn threaded pipe and pipe fittings when assembling or disassembling pipes.

  1. Channel Lock Pliers – A multi groove plier, which has multiple grooves for the adjustment of the mouth of the plier, allowing for strong gripping on an object.

  1. Crescent Wrench – This wrench is adjustable allowing it to be used on different sizes of bolts. The head of the crescent wrench is angled so that it can be flipped over to provide two different gripping positions in tight spaces.

  1. Tape Measure – This is always a handy tool to have on the jobsite, as it serves the important purpose of measuring distances and lengths.

  1. Ladders – A necessity for reaching high places safely when lifts are not available and more cost effective than lifts. OSHA says ladders should only be used on stable and level surfaces unless secured. Furthermore, they are not to be used on potentially wet or slippery surfaces unless secured or possessing some type of slip resistant feet.

  1. Patch Materials – Supplies are necessary to patch leaks. For example, carrying 1/8” red rubber that can be cut into pieces and used to place under a hose or pipe clamp to temporarily stop a leak.

  1. Flashlight – There are a variety of handsfree flashlights which come in handy when on a job requiring installation and/or repair work. Headlamps and handheld flashlights are used frequently in the field.

  1. Socket Set – ½ inch drive 7/16 - 1 inch deep provides access to fasteners in tight spaces. This socket set also allows you to tighten and loosen bolts on valves and grooved couplings -- much faster than crescent wrench, but not as fast as an impact wrench!

  1. Impact Drill – This type of driver is primarily used for all bolts on the jobsite, for example valve cover gaskets and grooved couplings. It tends to be more compact and lightweight and usually has more torque while requiring less effort in hand control.

  1. Supply of Mechanical Tees – Mechanical tees provide additional outlets in existing pipeline. When connected to the preset hole at the main pipe surface the mechanical tee allows for a branching off from the pipeline. Also used in the field to repair/replace pipe with welded outlets to get the same result.

  1. Sprinkler Heads – This is the component of the fire sprinkler system that discharges the water in the event of a fire. There are over 2,000 different types of sprinkler heads, so having a variety is best. Facilities should have a spare head box on site that contains sprinkler heads for emergency replacement.

  1. Pipe and Pipe Fittings – Sprinkler Systems are made up of pipes and fittings. The type of pipes and fittings can vary depending on the system. Steel pipe can be used along with patching materials to get the system back up and running. If the system requires something other than steel, then the fix can be temporary until the other pipe/fittings can be purchased and brought back to the jobsite.

As a sprinkler technician, it is important to be prepared…although much of the work may be behind the scenes, it is an important and life-saving job!!