When recently conducting a survey at a multi-storey commercial building in Sydney, it was discovered that the automatic fire sprinkler system’s storage tank had been compromised by heavy corrosion. Upon investigation, it was found that the use of unsuitable galvanised nuts and bolts to hold together the stainless steel panels had led to considerable amounts of rust, with some bolt heads falling away upon light contact. The situation had become a critical defect issue compromising the integrity of the tank as a whole and the sealing membrane within.

Corroded Fasteners, close up | Repairing a 25000 Litre Rust Problem

Corroded Fasteners

New fasteners close up | Repairing a 25000 Litre Rust Problem

New fasteners close up

Our Approach

Initially the plan to replace the fasteners included draining the tank and utilizing two tradesmen to spend approximately 5 days cutting, drilling and substituting the nuts and bolts. This process however created several issues for the site. Firstly, the tank drain was a 25 mm pipe that ran into a domestic “drain box”, utilizing this would take almost 12 hours of regulated flow to clear the tank without flooding the building’s roof. Secondly, and most importantly the 17 storey buildings sprinkler system would be seriously impeded in the event of an emergency.

The Result

After consultation with the sites management, it was finally decided that Fire Safe ANZ would allocate it’s sprinkler fitting team in rotating shift to replace the fasteners “one at a time”…. “Repairing a 25000 Litre Rust Problem” Was a big job, and with work being completed during Sydney summer heat wave – a big thank you is owed to our wet division team…!

Stainless Steel Panelled Tank | Repairing a 25000 Litre Rust Problem

Stainless Steel Panelled Tank

The Sprinkler Crew Enjoying the Sunshine! | Repairing a 25000 Litre Rust Problem

The Sprinkler Crew Enjoying the Sunshine!