Although it's impossible to know what the exact lifespan of your polyethylene tank will be, there are steps you can take to extend its life in order to get the most out of it. The information outlined in this article is meant to extend the life of your polyethylene tank, which will help you save money in the long run, as well as ensure that you're maintaining your polyethylene tank (and its chemical contents) properly.
1. Inspect the Installation
A great deal of the longevity of your tank depends on its proper installation. Inspect the installation of your tank to ensure that all of the connections and fittings used in the lower third sidewall of your tank are flexible and that it's sitting on a flat, clean, and smooth surface.
There should be no bolts, nuts, washers or other debris beneath it. The tanks should not be pressurized as a pressurized tank could result in a premature failure. Proper ventilation is also important when the tank is being drained and filled to ensure that it vents to atmosphere.
2. Check the Storing Temperature
The storing temperature of the chemicals in your tank is also very important. Check the temperature of your polyethylene tank regularly to verify that it never reaches above 100 degrees fahrenheit. If you know that your tank will be subject to extreme temperatures, a specially-designed tank with a thicker construction is required. Avoid mixing or cutting chemicals in the same tank if the temperature will be negatively affected as part of the process. If you do mix chemicals that will affect the temperature, make sure the mixture is handled correctly (especially when dealing with higher concentrations and dilutions) and always check that the proper storing temperatures are met afterwards.
3. Perform General Inspections
There are a few general inspections that you can perform to make sure that your tank is in good working condition. Inspect the gaskets, the torque on bolts and the fittings. For recommended torque values and techniques refer to the installation and operation guide. Make sure the fittings and threaded connections aren't loose (which can occur during shipping)-- this can result in a leak, and leaks can lead to cracks in the tank. Check all connections to ensure that they're not worn out, that they're flexible, and that there are no leaks in any of them. Ensure that all valves are functioning and in good working condition, and that all ventilation lines are clear of obstructions. If the tank is outdoors, remember that animals and insects can burrow inside and obstruct the lines; check the lines to make sure that no animals have entered. Also check to make sure the vent line has not been reduced from the original vent fitting size on the tank.
4. Perform Annual Inspections
Certain annual inspections should be performed to ensure that your tank is maintained properly. Make sure you're cleaning your tank annually and inspecting it visually with a flashlight, looking for any abnormalities. If you're not sure what to look for when inspecting your polyethylene tank, we can help. Our field service specialists have cameras and other specialized equipment -- as well as the expertise -- to make sure everything is functioning the way it should. Performing inspections on the original installation, checking the chemical storage temperature, and conducting regular annual inspections will help your polyethylene tank reach its maximum lifespan and ensure that it is property maintained at all times. Tank Maintenance and Annual Inspection checklists can be found in the back of the Installation and Operation Guide or the link above.