Fire fighting water storage

Accessories and ancillaries

For optimum functionality the following accessories will usually be installed on a Balmoral fire fighting sprinkler tank:

  • A reliable water supply connection (usually direct from the service main) capable of refilling a full holding capacity tank in 36 hours or with sufficient flow to replenish a reduced capacity tank in 30, 60 or 90 minutes as necessary
  • Flow testing facility to prove the flow rate of the infill. Adequate drainage should be provided for disposal of water during testing
  • Float or Ball valve/s on the tank infill pipe. These must be located in a secure housing on the tank roof
  • A duel element electric immersion heater to prevent ice forming on the water surface in the area of the ball/float valves on external tanks
  • Electric float switches to transmit signals to the BMS or fire control panels to indicate the high/low level volume of water in the tank
  • A drain valve at low level
  • A gated ladder to allow personnel to get to the inspection and maintenance platform on the tank roof
  • Third party pump suction pipe with an electrically monitored gate valve, locked open
  • A rigid roof that excludes daylight, can withstand snow loads and prevents any matter falling into and contaminating the water
  • Most tanks have a vortex inhibitor fitted at the inlet of the pump suction pipe to prevent air getting drawn into the pump. For LPCB approved tanks the vortex inhibitor must be an approved type. For NFPA and FM Global contracts the vortex inhibitor must be constructed as detailed in their data sheets
  • Trace heating and lagging to all exposed water filled pipes, by others
  • A 25mm warning pipe is installed just above the high water level to give an early warning of ball valve malfunction
  • An AB airgap arrangement with side spill over weir assembly and cowl
  • A larger bore overflow pipe
  • An access hatch is provided at ground level to allow access during tank construction and evacuate personnel in an emergency
  • A contents gauge or device which shows the level of water in the tank
  • Some sprinkler tanks will have a fire brigade inlet installed. This allows the brigade to ‘top up’ the sprinkler water storage if necessary
  • A sump can be formed in the concrete tank base. This allows the sprinkler pump to draw water to a lower level from the tank.


Ball Float Valve

These are installed at the end of the incoming water supply pipe and automatically keep the tank full.


Vortex inhibitor

These are installed on the suction pipes inside the tank to stop a water vortex forming and air being drawn into the pump. Click here more information on the Balmoral FireFlow vortex inhibitor.


Pipe connections

Customers are asked to provide full details when ordering. The type of pipe connection should be specified together with the relevant standard to which the coupling flanges are drilled or the pipes screwed. To assist delivery, the size and position of each connection should also be specified at the time of ordering. Ball and gate valves and all pipework, including bends and flanges, can be supplied if specified at the time of ordering.

Connections can be supplied as flanged stools to BS4504, ASA or DIN standards, or, for small pipework, screwed sockets to BS1387. The connections are fitted to the plates in positions agreed at the time of order.


Pipework configuration

The inlet or delivery pipe can enter the tank through either the side wall at the top of the tank or into a raised chamber. Flow can be controlled through a ball valve, equilibrium float valve or automatic float switch.

Overflows should be positioned in accordance with the required air gap, and all outlets (suction), drains and overflows will come through the side walls of the tanks.

Overflows and warning pipes terminate at high level, horizontally, and can be extended to the floor if required.

Balmoral Tanks type AB cowl

Type AB cowl

Ground level access hatch

Ground level access hatch

Fixed ladder for water storage tanks

Typical arrangement of a fixed ladder according to BS4211