How to Budget for a Chemical Storage System

If you have the need to store chemicals, you want your storage system to be safe, cost-effective and low-maintenance. A lot of manufacturers promise to provide all three, but there are things to think about when designing your tank system that impact the total cost. Things like capital up front costs for equipment, how the engineering of the configuration itself impacts your bottom line, and what long-term costs are associated with your chemical storage system. 

Let’s take a look at these three areas of associated costs to determine how to better budget for a polyethylene chemical storage system.

Budgeting for Capital Up-Front Costs

The tank itself can sometimes be the most expensive component of your system. No matter where you shop for a tank, if the first question isn’t “what type of chemical are you storing?” you know you’re in the wrong place. We simply can’t stress enough how important your chemical is to the system you choose. The cost for your tank and its fittings and accessories begins and ends with the type of chemical you’re planning to store. For example, water storage requires a much different tank configuration than a chemical like sodium hypochlorite. Poly Processing designs packages specifically to help you choose the right system for the chemical you’re storing. With our 40 years of experience, we have a deep understanding of what different chemicals require of our products. Here are a few other things to think about when budgeting for the purchase of a system:

  1. Tank systems for volatile chemicals like hydrochloric acid or sodium hypochlorite require more safety features than a tank that stores a less dangerous chemical. Hydrochloric acid produces dangerous fumes and requires double-walled 100% containment, namely Poly Processing’s SAFE-Tank system. If it is stored indoors, the tank system needs a scrubber that works constantly to keep fumes from escaping. Sodium Hypo produces sludge, which can degrade the chemical, so it requires a tank with a full drain, like Poly Processing’s IMFO.
  2. Tank systems are not complete without the fittings, gaskets, and accessories that make them work. Many manufacturers do not include the cost of flexible connectors in the package price, and they are a crucial component of a safe storage system. Additionally, the flexible connectors offered by some companies fail to connect on the axial plane, making you pay extra for a connector that doesn’t work the way it should.
  3. Safety should be the first concern when budgeting for a chemical storage tank purpose. It is important to purchase the right tank and accessories at the beginning to minimize larger costs down the road. Purchasing a quality, reliable tank provides that safety, as well as peace of mind, and can cut down considerably on future maintenance costs, as well as your business’s operating costs. 

Budgeting for Ongoing Costs and Maintenance

In regards to the tank system itself, the monthly and annual costs of maintaining it should be relatively low, as long as you’ve purchased a high-quality tank designed specifically for the chemical you’re storing. It’s important to choose a company that offers a great warranty, and one that has a knowledgeable field service department. If you do, you will end up with fewer repairs, less maintenance, and lower monthly and annual costs.

Key Costs of an Operating Budget

One unexpected benefit from choosing a tank system based on your chemical and spending the capital upfront costs necessary to make sure you’re buying a safe and structurally sound tank system is that it can ultimately save your business a lot of money in operating costs. For example, when sodium hypochlorite settles over time, it makes sludge, which degrades the chemical in the tank, so you need more of the chemical to do the job. This results in the need to order more chemical, which is very expensive. With Poly Processing’s IMFO full-drain, the tank can be emptied completely. This results in a tank that does not contain sludge, leading to lower operating costs and higher efficiency all around. 

Replacing the chemical within the tank itself is, in fact, the most expensive part of maintaining a chemical storage tank. By ensuring your tank is operating at maximum efficiency, thanks to the proper fittings and accessories, and by ensuring you’re choosing a tank of the correct size, you can maximize your return on these costs. 

Poly Processing has spent 40 years becoming storage experts. We’ve set up packages for specific chemicals that include the best practices for that chemical, so you have all the information you need to make the right decision about your system. We help you understand how to allocate your budget, and we can design systems for even the most challenging chemicals.

For more on how to configure your polyethylene storage system, contact a chemical storage expert today. 

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