Inspection of the sprinkler tank

- easily with underwater drones

Tank inspection with underwater drones

If a sprinkler tank can't deliver when it needs to - well, it could very well be a matter of life or death. For this reason, there are laws and regulations that determine how often a sprinkler tank must be inspected. But there are several reasons to inspect the tank more often than the law requires. Here are the top 3:

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

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3 reasons to inspect sprinkler tanks regularly


Avoiding damage to life and property

If there is not enough water in the sprinkler tank or if sludge is pushed into the sprinkler system, the result is the same: the fire that has started can take hold and cause major damage. In addition to repair costs, the cost of stopping production or relocating operations must also be taken into account.

The Fire Protection Association* highlights another possible financial penalty on its website:

- It is ... important to be aware that there may also be legal consequences if someone is killed or seriously injured in a company fire where the accident was caused by serious deficiencies in the working environment.

It is common for work environment crimes that are not committed intentionally to end with the legal entity, i.e. the company, being sentenced to pay a company fine, which in some cases can amount to several million kronor," says Lars Brodin.

* Read more on the Fire Protection Association's website.


Compensation from insurance companies

If the sprinkler tank is not in good condition, you may have problems with compensation from the insurance company. In Sweden, a sprinkler system must meet the requirements of SBF 120:8 (issued by the Swedish Fire Protection Association).

In addition, insurance companies may impose further requirements to approve the installation. The Fire Protection Association's website* provides good advice for fire safety managers:

Deficiencies in systematic fire protection can affect insurance compensation in the event of a fire. The insurance conditions contain so-called safety regulations related to fire protection. A breach of these safety regulations may result in reduced compensation or, in exceptional cases, denial of compensation because the company has not complied with its obligations under the insurance contract. It is therefore important to read the insurance conditions. Ultimately, deficiencies in fire protection can also lead to higher premiums.

According to SBF 120:8, the interior of the sprinkler tank must be inspected and cleaned every 10 years. But it may be a good idea to inspect the tank more often, as corrosion and other factors can render a sprinkler tank useless in much less time.

*Read more on the Fire Protection Association website


Planned maintenance

So you want the tank to be in good condition and working. An inspection allows you to detect potential risks before they develop into serious problems. Instead of being in an emergency situation, you can plan maintenance and address the deficiencies in good time. You reduce the risk of damage to the sprinkler system and the stress of having to quickly resolve the issue of water supply for fire protection.

Here you can read more about common damage to sprinkler tanks.


Start by inspecting what you can see

An inspection usually starts with an ocular or visual inspection*. A thorough visual inspection gives a good indication of the condition of the sprinkler tank. Look for rust spots, cracks and leaks. Don't forget to inspect joints and connections. It is good if you can look at the top of the sprinkler tank, where the water comes into contact with oxygen. If there is corrosion here, it is likely that the inside of the tank is also affected. How much will be revealed in the next step, the internal inspection.

* Statutory inspections must be carried out by accredited, independent inspectors.

Internal inspection with underwater drones

Inspecting sprinkler tanks has become much easier thanks to underwater drones. Previously, there were basically two options, sending a diver down into the tank, if that was even possible. The other option was to empty the tank, with all the extra work and costs that entailed.

Using underwater drones, sprinkler tanks can be inspected easily, safely and quickly without affecting fire protection. Operations in the premises can continue during the inspection as the fire protection is working as usual.

Today there is no reason not to inspect the tank more often than the 10 years required by law. With regular inspections, you can detect any damage in good time and plan for maintenance.

Kopterflug, our partner in Germany, uses underwater drones to inspect sprinkler tanks.


If the inspection is part of the statutory inspection, it is important that it is carried out by an accredited independent inspector. They can only state whether there are faults that need to be addressed, but never suggest how to do so.

What do you get from an underwater drone inspection?

Underwater drones have advanced technology and provide good documentation. After a completed inspection, you have the condition of the tank documented in writing, detailed, clear images and high definition 4K video. Some drones use Sonar systems with sound waves, which allows for inspections and measurements even in murky water.

The inspection report provides a good basis for planning and budgeting for future maintenance and repairs. Among other things know:

  • If the tank needs cleaning. Are there deposits or sediments in the tank? Is the water clean or is it contaminated by algae or other dirt?
  • If there is corrosion on pipes, flanges, screws and the like. Are there infestations on the walls and floor of the tank?
  • If seals and joints are damaged. Are there signs of leakage?
  • If the structure is intact. Are there holes or cracks in walls or partitions?

Contact us if you need help inspecting a sprinkler tank!

Together with our partners, we can help you carry out internal inspections of sprinkler tanks in a simple and easy way.

We can also recommend what should be done to ensure that the sprinkler tank works properly. At Cistern Solutions, we also have the skills needed to do the work.

We provide a guarantee on our work and after completion, we have an independent surveyor inspect the results.

If you are interested in finding out if your sprinkler tank is in good condition, please contact us!

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