How Fiberglass and Polyethylene Water Tanks Differ

Zainab Alawi
Apr 27, 2022, 1:03:17 PM

Water tanks are available in various materials, shapes, and sizes. Every material used in such tanks has its own unique qualities, merits, and demerits.

Based on your individual needs, you need to determine what type of water tank suits you best.

Fiberglass and polyethylene are two very common materials used to make water tanks. Let’s look at some properties of each and get an idea of how fiberglass water tanks and polyethylene water tanks differ.

Fiberglass Water Tanks

Fiberglass water tanks come with many advantages. Fiberglass, as a material for building water tanks, is durable and versatile. However, it is relatively costly too.

Key characteristics of fiberglass water tanks are:

1. A well-known advantage of fiberglass tanks is their ratio of strength-to-weight that allows them to be practically placed anywhere.

2.Fiberglass tanks can be buried without any fear of failure because of rotting or rust over time.

3.These tanks are quite rigid and stiff, but relatively light and thin, which makes them brittle and susceptible to cracking.

4.Fiberglass water tanks need to have internal lining for reduction of algae growth.

Since fiberglass is expensive, especially if there’s a small-sized tank, it’s the most ideal material if you need large tanks, especially custom-designed ones.


Polyethylene Water Tanks

Polyethylene water tanks make the most economical option for storing water up to about 50,000 gallons. Potable water tanks of plastic are easy to install, easy to handle, durable, strong, and light weight.

Being rotationally molded, such tanks don’t have any seams to leak. Polyethylene water tanks also don’t require any special foundation or bedding, and typically are placed over a bed of pavement or sand.

Key characteristics of polyethylene water tanks are:

1. Polyethylene tanks are light-weight, strong, and more economical than alternative materials.

2. They can be installed easily because of their lightness and strength.

3. The flexibility associated with plastic allows for various shapes and styles.

4. Tanks made of polyethylene are non-corrosive.

5. They come in various colors to suit your tastes and preferences.

6. Such tanks are impact resistant, and you can literally roll them into place.

7. Many of such tanks consist of UV inhibitors incorporated in the polyethylene of the tanks.

Black and dark green polyethylene tanks are made specifically for storage of water only, with the dark hue inhibiting growth of algae.

Maintaining the quality of water stored in water tanks is also a pressing issue and may dictate your choice of the water tank. Regular maintenance is needed to make sure that the stored water is germ and pest free. Incorporating multiple layers is a popular solution that curbs this hassle of maintenance, as using it helps to elongate the service intervals. The total number of layers also helps to distinguish between different kinds of water tanks.

· Single layered: These are constructed with a single layer of plastic and are not UV stabilized, which means they do not protect the water tanks from the ultraviolet rays and can lead to the growth of algae inside the tank.

· Double layered: These tanks incorporate two layers of insulation, where the first layer is also the outermost and resists abrasions. The second layer protects the tank from UV exposure.

· Triple-layered: These tanks have an outer layer that protects from UV rays and another layer, which enhances the visibility of tanks interior. These tanks are highly-durable, leak-proof, also rust and corrosion-free.

· Four layered: These are the costliest of all, with three layers of plastic and one layer of polyurethane foam, which maintains the temperature of the water, and also increases the structural strength of the tank.