Damaged sprinkler tank

- causes and measures

Risks of a damaged sprinkler tank

To provide adequate fire protection, all parts of the sprinkler system must work as expected. A damaged sprinkler tank can compromise safety in several ways. If the tank does not contain enough water, the fire can take hold before the building is evacuated and the fire brigade arrives. If sediment from the tank is pumped into the system, it can become clogged. In the worst case, the whole pipe system can collapse as it is only designed to transport water.

It is therefore extremely important not to have a damaged sprinkler tank.

How do you find out if the tank is in good condition? What are the most common problems with sprinkler tanks and what can you do to fix them?

*) Please note that all references to regulations, laws and authorities on the website apply to Sweden and Swedish conditions.

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Common injuries:

  • Corrosion
  • Sediment
  • Leakage
  • Weakened construction
  • Details such as fastenings rusting away

Three common problems with sprinkler tanks



Corrosion is a common problem in sprinkler tanks. The rust corrodes the sheet metal and affects the strength of the structure. What happens if the sprinkler tank collapses? Many hundreds of cubic meters of water would pour out and cause major damage.

Why does the tank start to rust?
Water can contribute to corrosion in several ways.

  • If it rains into the tank, the pH of the water will drop and the risk of corrosion increases.
  • The same is true if the water contains a lot of oxygen, which it does if, for example, you uses fresh water from a lake. The more oxygen, the more easily rust forms.
  • Heat exchange sets water in motion and affects how quickly the tank corrodes. Heat exchange can occur if the sprinkler tank is insulated and the pump housing is heated.

The materials in the tank can also have an impact. Inserting stainless steel pipes into a sheet steel sprinkler tank results in a process called galvanic corrosion.



Rust damage can eventually result in a hole in the sprinkler tank. If a damaged sprinkler tank is outside, the water leak may not cause any major disasters. You may not even notice the leak, if water is only seeping out of the bottom joints. But the leak probably means that the tank is filled with new, oxygen-rich water to maintain the right volume. And more oxygen can speed up the corrosion process.

If the sprinkler tank is indoors, this can be more problematic. A major leak can lead to acute and severe water damage. And what are the costs if you cannot use the premises for a longer period of time?



Another problem is rust and deposits that accumulate at the bottom of the tank. Add algae and other microbial growth from the walls and you have quite a lot of sediment after a few years.

The bottom sludge is the first to be discharged into the sprinkler system when it is activated. There is a high risk that pipes and sprinkler heads will be blocked and little or no water will reach them.

How do I know if I have a damaged sprinkler tank?

Troubleshooting sprinkler tank problems

Preventing problems with the sprinkler tank is, of course, the best thing to do. You can do this by inspecting and cleaning the tank regularly. A damaged sprinkler tank can be an expensive affair.

A thorough visual inspection of the tank provides good guidance. Look for rust spots, cracks and leaks. Don't forget to inspect joints and connections. It is good if it is possible to look down into the tank.

An underwater drone allows a real-time inspection of the inside of the tank without emptying it of water. You can see immediately if there is damage that needs to be repaired. The drone can take pictures and videos that the inspector can analyze to compile a detailed report on any damage and deficiencies.

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One of our partners in Germany, Kopterflug, uses underwater drones to inspect sprinkler tanks.

Do you have a damaged sprinkler tank?

Measures for a damaged sprinkler tank

In the vast majority of cases, the solution to a broken sprinkler tank is repair. At Cistern Solutions Sweden we have many years of experience in finding and fixing sprinkler tank problems. This has resulted in an effective method of repairing damaged sprinkler tanks with reinforced epoxy.

You can read more about the method here and see several examples of how we solved sprinkler tank problems for other customers.

If you have a damaged sprinkler tank, contact us! We will solve your sprinkler tank problems, from inspection and proposal of measures to carrying out the renovation.

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