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Poor Tank Installation and Misuse: How to Avoid Problems with Your Poly Water Tank

The proper preparation and installation of your poly water tank ensure a long and trouble-free life. The majority of poly water tank claims are due to improper installation or overuse.

Many issues may have been avoided if the tank owner had followed the instructions that came with the tank. This article looks at some of the most typical ways poly tanks have been placed incorrectly or misused throughout the years.

Please don’t make the same mistakes others have made. We will always honour our tank warranties where conditions have been met, but it is obviously an unpleasant situation when there is evidence of misuse or bad installation.

Tank Misuse or Abuse

  • Climbing on top of your tank – People are enticed to leap on top of their tanks while connecting plumbing or getting up on a roof. Tanks are made to store water, not to support the weight of someone walking on top of them. Don’t do this since it might cause the top of your poly tank to cave in.
  • Lack of man power – water tanks can be quite heavy and so it is important you have enough people power to help unload and move your tank into place. Tanks Direct recommend customers have adequate manpower onsite to assist:
    • 9,092L – 13,638L: 1 person required onsite at time of delivery (2 total)
    • 22,730L: 2 people required onsite at time of delivery (3 total)
    • 23,640L – 31,823L: 3 people required onsite at time of delivery (4 total)
    • 36,369L – 46,824L: 4 people required onsite at time of delivery (5 total)
  • Failure to secure tank – it is essential upon delivery of your tank that you immediately fill it with 2.5cm of water to properly secure it from being blown over and damaged.
  • Moving a tank that isn’t empty– when moving your tank, it is important that you ensure it is empty. Moving a tank with water isn’t just heavy, but can exert enormous pressure on the base and walls.

Poor Tank Base or Foundations

  • Uneven and soft surfaces – For example, unprepared rough and uneven ground can weaken the foundation or allow sharp items to harm or even rupture your tank (bearing in mind that 1000 litres of water weighs a tonne!)
  • Poor deck bases – Timber sleepers, bricks, and corrugated iron are all unstable and should be avoided at all costs. These are unstable and may cause the tank to fail due to stress. Deck bases made of timber sleepers, bricks, or corrugated iron are unstable and can lead to tank collapse due to increased forces.
  • Incorrect slab thickness or material – Poly tanks must be set on either compacted crusher dust or 100mm thick reinforced concrete (150mm thick if greater than 36,000L)
  • Incorrect slab diameter – all bases should be at least 200mm greater than the diameter of the tank (100mm space all around the tank)
  • No base retainer – over time the tank base can be eroded causing the foundation to become sloped or unstable. To prevent this happening an adequate retainment should be considered for the base.

Poor Tank Installation

  • Solid tank foundations – just covered, they are crucial to maintaining the structural integrity of your tank.
  • Lack support for connecting pipes – pipes leading from your tank overflow and outlet should be fully support without relying upon your tank’s structure. Unsupported pipework causes excessive strain on fittings and tank wall.
  • No flexible joiner from tank outlet to pipework – a short 300mm flexible rubber hose from your tank outlet/valve to plastic pipework will help absorb any shocks and movement preventing broken fittings.
  • Tank overflow pipes – need to lead water away from tank or your tank’s foundations can be undermined.

It is important to note that Tanks Direct poly tanks are manufactured in Australia to be some of the strongest on the market. They are made to exceed the Australian Standard for poly tanks, AS/NZS 4766 Polyethylene storage tanks for water and chemicals, which ensures that a poly tank is capable of containing water, liquids for food and beverage manufacture and chemical solutions at atmospheric pressure. Nonetheless, they still require proper care.

Many problems that arise can be avoided with correct site preparation, tank installation and care. Installation instructions included with tanks are there to prevent any of the above issues from happening. Every rainwater tank sold should have them included.