What Is An ROV Sprinkler Tank Inspection?

An ROV sprinkler tank inspection is possibly something you have heard of. But do you know what it means? The clue is in the abbreviated word. It stands for Remotely Operated Underwater Vehicle (ROV). It allows sophisticated waterproof equipment to be guided around the inside of a filled water tank to get an in-depth picture of its condition. If it is in need of cleaning and disinfecting, then the use of companies such as Total Water will be able to administer this and make sure the water tank is safe for use.

As well as saving time and money, there are important other benefits. Businesses and municipalities that rely on a sprinkler system for fire protection should only ever have their water tank inspected in this way. Apart from being economical, it is safer than inspecting an empty tank. Supplies of water to sprinkler heads will continue to be available throughout the inspection.

Ensuring a sprinkler system is never unwittingly taken out of operation should be a key consideration when planning a maintenance schedule for a sprinkler tank. Investing in an underwater inspection is the recommended course of action when engaging independent specialists. Insurers prefer tanks to be ready to distribute water in the event of an emergency. This means downtime should only ever be considered during refurbishment, relining or removal and replacement work.

Remote Controlled Underwater Vehicle

An ROV sprinkler tank inspection involves an unmanned vehicle being placed below the water line. Unlike remote controlled vehicles used on the land, these agile machines can travel to great depths. So, they can be used in a wide variety of tank sizes. Sensitive, they are extremely manoeuvrable and are controlled by experts outside the tank.

As well as being equipped with lights, they carry cameras and, increasingly, ultrasound instruments. The ROV has transformed the way sprinkler tanks are both inspected and maintained. They can detect problems not visible to the naked eye and make it much easier to recommend the right course of remedial action.

Pioneered by the Royal Navy and then developed in the United States, ROVs have been a trusted way to carry out underwater inspections for more than three decades. The fact that technology developed by the military is now benefitting everyone is something a lot of businesses and public bodies can be thankful for.

The benefits of having sprinkler tanks inspected with an ROV include:

  • No need to drain the tank / conserves water
  • Constant fire protection throughout
  • It’s quicker than outdated inspection formats
  • More reliable results
  • Thorough examination of a tank’s internal surfaces
  • Evidence recorded by equipment can be used to determine a course of action

All the data gathered during an underwater inspection will be used to generate a report that clearly sets out a tank’s overall condition. The report will highlight individual shortcomings and be accompanied by high definition photographic and other supporting evidence. This is important when outlining the reasons for repairing, refurbishing or decommissioning a tank.

Who carries out an ROV sprinkler tank inspection?

ROV sprinkler tank inspection services are generally only offered by leading specialists. As well as having an encyclopaedic knowledge of a water tank’s anatomy, they understand the safety protocols involved and recognise event the faintest indications of a problem. This type of underwater survey can detect issues before they cause a leak or malfunction.

Typically, an ROV survey will check a sprinkler tank for:

  • Signs of corrosion
  • Rust
  • Weakening of tank walls
  • Integrity of seams
  • Condition of pumps and valves

Inspections will also take in things like access points and tank covers. When investing in an inspection of your sprinkler tank, ensure the contractor you choose is accredited by recognised bodies. Look of for things like CHAS, the British Automatic Fire Sprinkler Association and Safety Schemes in Procurement. Because of the life-saving role a sprinkler tank plays, you should never leave this process to chance.

Underwater inspections can be carried out on any type of water tank, regardless of their composition, or whether they are located below or above ground. Neither does it matter if they are welded or bolted.

Benefits of an ROV water tank inspection

In a nutshell, the benefits of an ROV sprinkler tank inspection are numerous. As well as being cost-effective, it is environmentally friendly because it saves the unnecessary loss of water. It is also practical. There are differing opinions over how often a tank should be inspected in this way. Some experts say once every ten years. Others suggest once a year.

The truth is, regular inspections make it much more likely that defects will be found early on. This has obvious benefits. It gives site operators the chance to extend the life of a tank and reduce the need for replacement.

It is generally accepted that having to invest in a new sprinkler tank is not only costly, it can cause disruption – not just to the supply of water to a sprinkler system but to the smooth running of a site.