55 gal plastic barrel as a fresh H2o tank

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55 gal plastic barrel as a fresh H2o tank

Postby Dave1234 » Wed May 07, 2014 10:40 pm

Thanks in advance. I searched the threads in advanced search and was unable to find any reference to this, although that seems a little odd, cause i don't think its that far out of an idea.

So i am putting together a material list for my 8x16 ct. Currently its pretty much an empty shell, except insulation and a roof air. My son and I use it for the dirt bikes. Anyway, I am going to build a toy-hauler of sorts with a counter and sink in front, with cabinets, and a shower to the side, drop down bed in the back, yadda yadda yadda. My question is, is there any cons to using a 55 gal plastic barrel, on its side, for a fresh tank ? i can tap into the center top for a fill hose, vent it higher than the filler, and pump and drain off the center bottom, (the barrel would be on maybe 2" stilts at each end) other than some tongue weight, not really a problem as it is pulled with a duelly p/u. I figured that it can fit pretty nicely under an enclosed counter, with a rv sink to the side. Accessible though a cabinet door, to reach the drain for winter. Seems pretty maintenance free as these plastic barrels are pretty tough. We have them in abundance as our auto windshield washer solvent comes in them. I realize that the alcohol in the solvent isn't very good for you, as i would flush the barrel thoroughly before any use, and probably wouldn't be drinking the water, other than maybe boiling it for mac and cheese or spag, or something like that.
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Re: 55 gal plastic barrel as a fresh H2o tank

Postby GuitarPhotog » Wed May 07, 2014 10:51 pm

I'd be concerned that the plastic isn't food grade. Since it wasn't used for food products in the beginning, it probably isn't. If it's not, then no amount of cleaning may stop the chemicals that it's made from (volatiles and solvents from the manufacturing process) from entering the water.

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Re: 55 gal plastic barrel as a fresh H2o tank

Postby GuitarPhotog » Wed May 07, 2014 10:53 pm

If there is a homebrew beer supply store nearby, ask if they buy their malt extract syrup in 55 gal drums. They are food grade, and non-returnable. My homebrew shop gives them away for water storage here in drought-ridden California.

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Re: 55 gal plastic barrel as a fresh H2o tank

Postby Dave1234 » Wed May 07, 2014 11:03 pm

Thank you very much !!!! hadn't thought of the manufacture process.... I will check into that.. again Thanks !!!
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Re: 55 gal plastic barrel as a fresh H2o tank

Postby MtnDon » Wed May 07, 2014 11:44 pm

Since they are made to stand upright I wonder how they will hold up traveling when loaded with water and located on its side?


These are very handy for connecting pipes to plastic drums and tanks
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Re: 55 gal plastic barrel as a fresh H2o tank

Postby bobhenry » Thu May 08, 2014 6:03 am

55 Gallons :shock:

400+ pounds :?

I picked up some 15 gallon carboys from a car wash that their soap came in.

I installed two of them on my 8 x 20 flatbed trailer under the floor for cleaning and bathing water.

There are two advantages, you have a built in reserve tank in case of a disasterious malfunction and you can balance the load. You have also reduced your weight to 225 pounds fully loaded. Are you really sure you need 55 gallons?

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Re: 55 gal plastic barrel as a fresh H2o tank

Postby 48Rob » Thu May 08, 2014 6:07 am

By the time you buy a new, food safe barrel, and install fittings, you could have paid for a nice purpose made water tank.
A barrel will take up a lot of floor space too.
You might consider one of these upright tanks;
http://www.valleyvet.com/ct_detail.html ... 1e1f5f451f

If you are after cheap or free, a well cleaned out water heater makes a nice tank too.

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Re: 55 gal plastic barrel as a fresh H2o tank

Postby Dave1234 » Thu May 08, 2014 7:54 am

Bob, ya i know that its going to be heavy actually about 460# heavy, but if centered front I think it would ride well, 100% full or 100% empty for travel. After a day of dirt bike riding in the mud, or dust, or heat, a shower is a welcomed thing x 3-4 days. 55 gal maybe overkill but i tend to over build about everything. As I said previously, weight isn't really a big factor for me, the truck will handle it with ease. and I will be below my gvwr. If i could find a food grade barrel for next to nothing, i may have $50ish in fittings and hoses. :worship:

BUT, thank you all, this is exactly the feed back I am looking for.
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Re: 55 gal plastic barrel as a fresh H2o tank

Postby PaulS » Thu May 08, 2014 9:53 am

Ever thought about two containers one for in the camper and one for the back of the truck. then you could re fill the camper without moving it from camp. Some of those 26 gallon spot sprayers already have a pump and run on 12 vdc. I once had one in a off grid cabin that I once had. When I researched it I found that it was made from the same material that potable water tanks were made from. Someone here on this form is using one in their build. It is what I should of used
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