How long your tank will last depends upon your application. The chemical being stored, the temperature and what you are using the tank for (mixing, transport, storage, etc.) all affect the lifespan of your tank. Some chemicals will permeate the tank wall and accelerate the aging process by changing the molecular structure of the resin. An example of this is sodium hypochlorite (industrial or swimming pool bleach), which reacts with heat (elevated temperature) or light (UV) and releases free radical ions that attach to the polyethylene (or other) resin. Over a relatively short timeframe, these ions will weaken the tank wall and cause something called “environmental stress cracking” and the tank should be replaced. Periodic flushing of the tank will prolong the life, but it still won’t last as long as a tank holding water, for example.
The most common reason for pre-mature tank failure is a poor installation. Piping connections on poly tanks must be adequately supported with pipe supports and expansion joints or flexible connections to allow for thermal expansion and normal flexing of the tank wall. Installing the tank on a surface with foreign materials under the tank will puncture it when the tank is filled. The tank must be installed on a clean, flat surface and be fully supported to prevent the tank from sagging, which will create a shear point and ultimately a leak. Tanks should never be hung over the edge of a tank pad without ancillary support. Installing heavy equipment directly on the tank without adequate external support or reinforcement can also cause the tank to fail prematurely. Peabody’s highly trained staff can help you to properly design your tank system to eliminate these types of installation “no-no’s”.
Tanks used for transport or mixing will not last as long as tanks used for storage, due to the mechanical stress, wear and tear associated with these types of applications. Tanks stored indoors will last longer than those stored outdoors. We have seen tanks last from 3 to 20 years and longer, depending upon the application.
Contrary to the claims of other manufacturers, our linear polyethylene tanks are extremely durable and will last trouble-free for many years if properly installed. They have superior impact and chemical resistance and will never “unzip” and fail catastrophically. They also will not crack open and spill chemicals all over the ground under normal. Our 30-plus year track record of providing poly tanks to a long list of satisfied customers supports the fact that our tanks are as good as you can get. We also offer other materials (like polypropylene, fiberglass and PVDF) of construction on some of our tanks. Check with customer service for specific application assistance.