Why You Should Clean Your Fire Sprinkler Storage Tanks

Fire sprinkler storage tanks are often susceptible to corroding as their metal substrate is not always protected during the installation process. This can be due to the original coating breaking down or liners failing to function correctly. As a result, this can lead to a loss of water from leaking which can be detrimental to the safety of the application in which the fire sprinkler is utilised in. As such, this article will discuss:

  • Different types of fire sprinkler storage tanks
  • The reasons why you should clean fire sprinkler storage tanks
  • Final considerations

Common Types Of Fire Sprinkler Storage Tanks

To start with, we are going to disclose some of the different types of fire sprinkler storage tanks that are apparent across the UK.  

Glass Reinforced Plastic (GRP) 

GRP water tanks are now the leading industry standard water containment unit currently found in the UK. They are lightweight, sturdy and are highly versatile – perfect for the use of a fire sprinkler storage tank. GRP tanks provide safe storage for water without the risk of corrosion or contamination from bacteria. Given the materials the water tanks are made from, they are also resistant to high temperatures and harsh weather conditions meaning the tanks will not degrade over time. What’s more is that GRP storage tanks require minimal maintenance once installed, have a lower cost for transportation (due to their lightweight capabilities), use less water than fire services and finally, can operate automatically 24/7. 

Steel Sectional Storage Tanks

Sectional tanks are a series of modular panels bolted together. They can provide an infinite range of sizes and capacities. They can be easily transported to remote areas, conveniently packed and are relatively straightforward to install so long as there is skilled supervision present. Furthermore, steel sectional storage tanks have excellent flexibility to adapt as storage requirements change, can be installed in areas with restricted access quickly, inherently possess impressive strength and durability and have long term life expectancy. All of these features make them ideal for a fire sprinkler storage tank. 

Steel / Concrete Cylindrical Tanks 

Somewhat similar to the steel section tanks, these cylindrical-shaped water tanks are known to transport liquid better than others due to their superior stability. The shape of these water tanks allow them to possess a low centre of gravity. This specific quality allows these water tanks to be more balanced during liquid transport as opposed to rectangular / square-shaped water tanks which have a higher centre of gravity. 

A further characteristic of a cylindrical-shaped water tank is its impressive strength. Stainless steel tanks are very strong and will not bulge. Concrete also shares similar strength properties to stainless steel. However, what’s important to consider is that with the steel variation being a metal, it is less impact resistant than its concrete counterpart which can easily withstand any form of contact. 

The Reasons Why You Should Clean Fire Sprinkler Storage Tanks

Cleaning your fire sprinkler storage tank is more important than you think. This is because there are many adverse and potentially life threatening substances that can arise if your storage systems are not maintained. With this in mind, below we have stated the possible disasters that could occur if you do not clean your tanks.

Oxygen Depleted Atmosphere 

If your fire sprinkler storage tank is dirty, you run the risk of potentially being in an oxygen depleted atmosphere. This is primarily due to considerable amounts of rusting and corrosion inside the tank. Rust is an iron-oxide formed by the reaction of iron and oxygen in the catalytic presence of water or air moisture. If rusting has occurred, oxygen levels have depleted which means the people in the surrounding vicinity can be prone to confusion, loss of judgment, loss of coordination, fainting or even death. For this reason alone, you should consider cleaning your water tank on a frequent basis to stop this process from happening. 

Legionella

Legionella is a bacterium that is commonly found in natural water sources such as lakes and rivers. They are usually present in small concentrations so pose no threat to public health. However, if this water enters man-made water systems, there is a risk that Legionella bacteria present in the water can rapidly multiply which increases the risks associated with Legionnaires’ disease.

Generally, fire sprinkler systems will not normally support the growth of legionella but there is  still a risk. This can be primarily due to poor maintenance of the systems which is why you should have your fire sprinkler storage tank regularly cleaned and maintained.

Final Considerations 

Temperature is a major factor when it comes to water storage. More often than not, the temperature in fire sprinkler systems remains low enough to not support the growth of legionella bacteria. However, it may contain distribution pipework that may become warmer and support the proliferation of legionella. Maintaining a temperature below 20 degrees Celsius in your water tank will ensure that harmful bacteria  doesn’t grow. Always consider this when deciding to call experts to install a water storage tank.

Our exceptional fire sprinkler lining and repair service here at Covac can correct any issues with fire sprinkler tanks. The aim with our refurbishments is to restore your tank to the condition it was when originally installed. We also offer our services on various types of sprinkler tanks from steel sectional, GRP and concrete structures, so we can find the right fix for the material of your tank with relative ease.

If you are interested in fire sprinkler tank refurbishment, why not contact us on 01455 556 631 or alternatively email us: info@covac.co.uk