Elevated water tanks serve many needs such as the storage of drinking water and industrial uses including agricultural irrigation, fire suppression, chemical manufacturing and food preparation. Tanks can be constructed of different materials such as fiberglass, concrete, stone, steel and various plastics.
If you have responsibility for an Industrial water tank and you are singing the Winter song popularized by Dean Martin, “Baby it’s Cold Outside,” you may have a need for concern because the water in a storage tank is subject to freezing temperatures. Freezing temperatures can cause problems requiring water tank repairs.
Why Do Water Storage Tanks Freeze?
Temperatures at the freezing point can cause water tanks to freeze-up when combined with these conditions:
- Water in the tank is static or in non-use conditions.
- The water level in the tank is higher than the tank’s specifications.
- The tank has not been prepared or outfitted for the cold conditions.
- Tank leaks are present, fostering faster freezing.
What Damage Can Occur?
When water freezes it expands and that expansion can be very powerful, creating significant damage. The frozen water can:
- Crack and tear the tank liner and even puncture or split the tank exterior structure itself.
- Crush any structures inside the tank, such as instruments and ladders.
- Burst the pipes associated with the tank.
How to Prevent Frozen Tanks
- Use water in the tank and keep it moving because moving water is less likely to freeze than standing water.
- Lower the water level in the tank during Winter weather to allow better water circulation in the tank and prevent overflow. Always keep the water level below the specified fill level maximum.
- Check for any tank or connecting pipe leaks which could contribute to heat loss. Get a qualified expert to assist with tank leak repairs.
- Employ a water heating system to elevate the tank water temperature above the freezing point.
- Ensure proper tank insulation. Tanks should be designed and prepared for cold weather conditions. A professional commercial tank liner repair company can serve these purposes well.
- Install a sloping tank cover to prevent ice build-up on the top of the tank.
Tank Repairs & Maintenance
The most common cause of leaking tanks is the age of the tank and an aging lining. So, the primary “fix” can be to “waterproof” the inside by fixing cracks in the walls of the tank and repair or upgrade the condition of the tank lining by a commercial tank liner repair company.
Get Expert Assistance for Tank Leak Repairs
Don’t try to fix the damage from a frozen tank by yourself. Contact Picon FRP, Inc., based in San Pablo, CA and serving the San Francisco Bay Area. Picon is a full-service manufacturer and field service provider of industrial fiber reinforced plastic and anti-corrosion products, tank repairs and custom fabrication.