Proper storage of chemicals involves the ability to completely drain storage tanks of all contained chemicals as part of a regular cleaning routine.
Sometimes, however, draining the tank is easier said than done. Space constraints, incorrect fitting placement, or dealing with hazardous chemicals can all create chemical evacuation challenges.
These challenges might lead someone to ignore regular tank draining. Let’s look at a few reasons why full tank drainage is important and how having a full tank drain system can reduce maintenance time and headaches.
1. Minimizing Residual Chemicals in Tanks
When a tank is not fully drained, remnants of older chemicals are left behind. These residual chemicals, like built-up salts, metals, etc. , can compromise the quality of the new batch of chemicals.
Full tank drainage allows for all chemicals to be evacuated from the tank. This effectively eliminates residual chemicals and helps maintain chemical purity.
2. Easier and Safer Tank Cleaning
In most cases, chemical tanks should be regularly cleaned. Without a proper full drain system, plant employees may need to enter a tank and incur the risk of coming in contact with or inhaling hazardous chemicals in the confined space. This is particularly dangerous when you are storing harmful chemicals, such as hydrochloric acid.
A full tank drain system minimizes this risk as employees no longer have to enter the tank to remove chemicals and cleaning can be conducted via a pressure washer or high power hose from a safe location.
3. Eliminates Free Radicals
When certain chemicals, such as sodium hypochlorite, are stored in a tank, over time, salts and metals that are in the chemical will fall out of the chemical to the bottom of the tank and collect there. If you don’t have full tank drainage, the new chemicals that are placed in your tank will mix with the salts and heavy metals which can create free radicals. These free radicals attack the interior surface of the tank, which can cause damage and compromise the integrity of your chemical storage system over time.
A full tank drain allows these salts and metals to exit the tank during normal operations without getting caught in the chemical feed system.
4. Limits Compromise of Structural Integrity
Compromising a tank’s structure in any way can lead to problems. Drilling holes in a tank to add side-manways or fittings in order to drain chemicals creates opportunity for structural damage, specially in a linear polyethylene tank. The potential of deterioration of gaskets and leaking fittings increases.
Building a tank with full drain from the start is ideal. The ideal full drain fitting is one that is molded as part of the tank and does not have any metallic inserts as part of the fitting. This type of full drain system is part of a monolithic, homogenous tank, with no seams or welded areas. Manufacturing a tank in this way eliminates the risk of the tank’s structure being compromised.
An Integrated Full Tank Drain
At Poly Processing, we offer a storage tank that comes equipped with a unique Integrally Molded Flanged Outlet (IMFO®) system that molds the flange as part of the tank, eliminating many of the difficult elements that traditionally come with maintaining a vertical chemical storage tank. This fitting does not rely on metallic inserts to attempt to create a full drain.
Our IMFO® system, with a flat bottom or a slope-bottom, allows for full tank drainage.
No matter if you have a full drain chemical storage tank or not, we recommend an annual inspection of all your tanks. These inspections can pinpoint any weak or brittle fittings