4 Mistakes to Avoid When Purchasing & Maintaining a Tank

If you have recently purchased a tank for chemical storage or you are thinking about it, there are a few things you might want to consider before and after the purchase of one. Not only is this to protect the tank itself, but also the solution you are placing in the tank and your workers' and employees' safety.

Based on the years that our team has helped people configure the appropriate chemical storage system, we’ve come up with four mistakes sometimes made that can have heavy financial and safety ramifications. While some of these tips might seem simple, it is often their simplicity that causes new owners to overlook them altogether.

1. Lacking Chemical Knowledge

There are several important reasons to start a chemical storage system configuration with knowledge of the chemical being stored. Mistakes are made when people only offer a generic chemical name, they don’t inform the manufacturer of the exact concentration of the chemical being held, or the specific type of chemical is left out.

For example, if an alum-based material is being stored, it’s important to know exactly what the material is. MSDS sheets provide a manufacturer with all of the information that the future tank is based on. If the sheet is for the incorrect chemical, there could be all kinds of hazardous issues, including leaks in fittings, vapor issues, and cracks. Everything about the tank, from the thickness to venting structures to even the color of the tank, starts with knowledge about the chemical.

2. Improper Installation Site Foundation

No matter where the tank is installed, a smooth and level foundation is a must. The pad that the tank will rest on needs to also be of the adequate size, especially for the installation of seismic and/or wind restraints. If the tank pad is not the right size or thickness, it is likely that a tank will have to be pulled off its site while a proper-sized pad is installed, and then have the tank reinstalled afterwards. This process could easily take up a lot of time and money.

Having an uneven surface to place your tank on will cause uneven stress on the tank itself. While it might be "good for now", down the line this small error could cause big issues, that again, will cost you time and money. Best to do it right the first time around. More information about this can be found in our Tank Installation Guide.

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3. Missing or Improper Off-Loading Equipment

When your tank arrives to your plant or facility, there needs to be equipment on-site to get the tank from the truck to its installation site. Make sure you use a crane or forklift with extended forks, depending on the size of the tank. The point of this is to move the tank from point A to point B without damaging the tank, its fittings and accessories, or your surroundings.

If you damage the tank to the point where it cannot be used or no longer is considered safe, another tank delivery will have to be arranged. Improper installation equipment could also leave your plant susceptible to harm if the tank lands somewhere it should not. There could be other chemicals that spill or plant walls that are compromised. It’s a costly mistake you will definitely want to avoid at all costs.

4. Failing to Inspect Purchased Tanks

Yearly inspections are vital to maintaining safe chemical storage. There are serious risks when you fail to participate in checks on an annual basis. A minor issue with a tank’s fitting or improper temperature settings could lead to major problems that compromise the tanks integrity, possibly leading to chemical spills and cracks in the tank. We recommend your chemical storage system, including the tank’s fittings and gaskets be inspected once a year with our Inspection Checklist to avoid unfortunate future scenarios.

If you’d like to learn more about how to properly install and maintain safe and effective chemical storage, please contact a chemical storage expert today.

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