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Choosing a Plastic Chemical Tank or Water Storage Tank
While a tank may seem like a fairly uncomplicated purchase, that can be deceiving! In fact, you need to carefully consider a range of application-related questions in order to successfully select the right tank for your needs. Spending time up-front on the considerations listed below will save you countless hours of headache later on!
Consider the following when choosing a tank:
1. Type of Liquid Being Stored (Chemical or Water)
•  Confirm that the chemical or liquid being stored is compatible with the tank material, as well as any fittings, vents or gaskets.
2. Size (Volume & Dimensional Footprint)
•  What size tank do you need? Select tank sizes are available in different dimensions to best fit your application space. When considering any space restrictions, don’t forget about tank stands or secondary containment (see below right).
3. Location of Installation (Indoor or Outdoor)
Translucent Tanks for Indoor Applications (Shown in Natural)
Opaque Tanks for Outdoor Applications (Shown in Black)
•  Where is your tank being installed? While translucent tanks are sufficient for most indoor applications, most manufacturers recommend opaque tanks for outdoor applications. Opaque tanks, which can come in a variety of colors, prevent penetration of harmful UV rays that can degrade your stored chemical.
•  Note: Opaque tanks do not allow visibility to liquid levels through the side wall. If level indication is required, we recommend installing an ultrasonic level transmitter into a 1" fitting on the top of your tank. See pages 917-924 for our complete selection of ultrasonic level controllers.
4. Fittings (Factory Installed, User Installed
    or None)
•  IMPORTANT: We highly recommend having any tank fittings factory installed. This will protect the tank warranty, and eliminate the possibility of installation errors. You must specify factory-installed fittings at time of order. USABlueBook offers fitting installation on select in-stock tanks. Give us a call for more information.
•  Commonly installed fittings include a fill (top bulkhead for filling), a drain (bottom bulkhead for draining and cleanout), and a U-vent with bulkhead fitting for proper ventilation. IMPORTANT: U-vents should always be sized one size larger than the fill fitting. Example: A tank with a 2" drain and a 2" fill requires a U-vent of at least 3". Since plastic tanks are not pressure vessels, this prevents tank failure due to over pressurization. Installation of any fittings without adequate venting will automatically void tank warranty.
Flexible connections help
prevent tank failures.
•  Tank sidewalls expand and contract during filling and draining of stored liquids. DO NOT hard pipe any connections to your tank fittings, as all tank warranties will be void. Instead, always use a flexible connector (such as the Flexmaster® on page 1609) to allow for expansion and contraction, without putting stress on the tank wall.
5. Secondary Containment Requirements
•  Dual Containment Tanks: For applications requiring secondary containment, USABlueBook offers a variety of dual containment tanks. These specialized tanks feature an outer tank that helps contain chemical leaks in the event of an inner tank failure.
•  Spill Containment Pallets: For protection against chemical spills when using single-wall tanks, USABlueBook offers spill containment pallets that meet SPCC, EPA and Uniform Fire Code. See pages 986-992 of our Maintenance section for complete listings.
Important reminders:
•  Read all tank documentation: Always read all warning labels and installation guidelines provided before use and installation.
•  Test your tank: All tanks should be filled with water for a minimum of 5 hours before adding the stored chemical, to test for any leaks or damage due to shipping. Manufacturers require documentation of this hydro test or the warranty is void.
•  Consider all NFPA, OSHA and Government Safety Precautions: Most tanks are considered to be confined
spaces—follow all proper confined space entry procedures. Make sure signage for chemical warnings and Safety Data Sheets (SDSs) are displayed and comply with all local, federal and OSHA requirements. See pages 1522-1540 of our Safety Section for signage options.
Need a tank you don’t see here?
USABlueBook has access to many additional tank styles and sizes in a variety of materials. If you don’t see what you’re looking for, just give us a call. We’ll do our best to get it for you.