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Old 03-09-2007, 10:06   #1
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Source for Inexpensive Potable Water Tanks

I've been scouring the internet looking for inexpensive potable water tanks. Many places are charging $300 for a 100 gallon tank, $270 for a 80 gallon tank (that fits my desired dimensions).

Has anyone sourced lower cost tanks?

I did find a place that sells reconditioned HDPE barrels in the 55 gallon size (for $45), but it's a barrel and that makes it hard to keep in place. Square tanks are more simple.

Thanks for any input.
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Old 03-09-2007, 11:06   #2
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I've looked at pretty much every online tank vendor Sully. These guys are by far the most reasonable: http://stores.ebay.com/Tank-Depot

Close second would be: shipstore.com -Part of - ShipStore.com ™
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Old 03-09-2007, 11:21   #3
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Sean, if you don't mind barrels and doing your own washing, many bulk food importers give 'em away for free. They import olives, pickles, peppers, feta cheese, etc. in USDA food-grade barrels ranging from 15-55 gallons, and then look for the cheapest way to get rid of them (give 'em away often) because "sanitizing" them and re-using them is not economically feasible.

Photo processing labs (everything isn't digital yet) also often use tall 15-gallon containers that are USDA food grade for innocuous things like bleach and fixer. These can be washed out and used for potable water, again, they are simply put out with the trash.

Obviously the folks who take the time to soak, wash, clean, and ship these have to charge something--there's a lot of labor involved.

Still not the same as heavy-wall shaped tanks, just an alternative if you have space and time.
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Old 03-09-2007, 12:03   #4
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Thanks, guys.

The HDPE tanks (old food storage) were high on my list thanks to a good price, but the installation isn't going to work. I have a square area of dimensions:

36"H x 36"L x 20"W

The tank depot does seem to have some reasonable prices. Thanks.
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Old 03-09-2007, 12:12   #5
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Whatcha up to, Sean? Keeping the old gal and going into the "fresh water to Bermuda, Rum back to New England" trade? < VBG >
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Old 03-09-2007, 13:33   #6
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Whatcha up to, Sean? Keeping the old gal and going into the "fresh water to Bermuda, Rum back to New England" trade? < VBG >

Now THAT sounds like a fun job. I'd probably end up short on the return trips to New England though.

Naaa. We're moving along and the boat is selling. These are for another project - a land based 5 year plan type project.
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Old 03-09-2007, 16:06   #7
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Ok here is a "stupid" thought/question that popped into my head. Those food grade barrels that are free, could you, say....strap 3/4" plywood to the sides then heat them to the point that they would, not melt but get hot enough to reshape?? I know nothing about that type of plastic its just a thought that suddenly came to mind.

Now you see some of the weird junk that goes through my mind.
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Old 03-09-2007, 20:29   #8
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You will have week spots. It may make nice art but for something more durable, you will have to go some other route.
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Old 04-09-2007, 01:03   #9
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You can pick up STAINLESS STEEL used LPG tanks (out of their test dates) as scrap metal. They just need a thourough wash.
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Old 04-09-2007, 01:15   #10
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These are for another project - a land based 5 year plan type project.
Don't tell me, let me guess..... A raft???? ;-) :-)
I don't know why plastic tanks are as expensive as they are. Well....I suppose I do. Cost of oil, cost of making a mold.
What about custom making a SST tank Sully?? Only other way would be making an Epoxy glass tank. You can custom make it to suit that way. Even fit baffles inside it if you want. Fit the inlet and outlet and breather where you want it. Simple and should be cheaper than plastic. Just more of your time is all.
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Old 04-09-2007, 05:00   #11
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Don't tell me, let me guess..... A raft???? ;-) :-)
I don't know why plastic tanks are as expensive as they are. Well....I suppose I do. Cost of oil, cost of making a mold.
What about custom making a SST tank Sully?? Only other way would be making an Epoxy glass tank. You can custom make it to suit that way. Even fit baffles inside it if you want. Fit the inlet and outlet and breather where you want it. Simple and should be cheaper than plastic. Just more of your time is all.

Wheels, we think alike again!

I was thinking about making an epoxy glass tank too. I have to make the receptacle area where the tank goes in and secure the 1000 lbs of water from going anywhere... so why not glass in the tank? Is epoxy glass safe to store drinking water in? Does it leach any chemicals out that would cause my hair to fall out or something?

Now what about making the top of a tank like that? Would you have a "hull deck joint" type of setup using a top or cap like a boat's deck that bolts on?

PS: No, we're going to make the big sacrifice and go on land for 5 years. We found a way to earn enough doing that to live off the interest while sailing. Thank GOD we finally got some numbers to work out.
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Old 04-09-2007, 16:00   #12
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Is epoxy glass safe to store drinking water in? Does it leach any chemicals out that would cause my hair to fall out or something?
I have been told it is too much of something eles that make ya hair fall out. :-)
Yep its safe. Fully cured Epoxy is safe and will not leach. You want to give it's surface a good wash to ensure all nasty residuals are off the surface. A wash of Vinigar, dish washing detergent and warm water.
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Old 04-09-2007, 16:18   #13
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Water Tanks

Here is a picture taken of one of my wife's projects. This is one of two 5000 gallon poly tanks we use on the farm to collect rainwater for general household use. At one point I contacted the Gougeon Brothers about the WEST product for a hot tub I was building and they said it was stable. You may want to check with them for potable water and just make your own. Also I get 30 gallon Dr Pepper syrup drums for $10 each in Kemah. They are great for building dingy docks. Finally if the guys iin the picture look familiar you may have seen them on This Old House as part of a green buildiing project in Austin.
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Old 06-09-2007, 03:43   #14
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I checked west systems local here and was told "fully cured no problems" Use building grade ply and glass epoxy inside and epoxy outside. Dont forget the nice big inspection ports for cleaning. (plastic screw in dingy ports). I was reminded to make sure it was well attached half a ton of water filled box flying around the boat may make someone say "bum". Due to the "drought" now becoming known as "a permenant change in climatic conditions" there has been a three month wait for rota molded poly tanks.We have a healthy government subsidy for their instalation.
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