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I Can a plastic container break from having too much water

  1. May 21, 2017 #1
    I have a plastic container holding about 30 gallons of water, and it is bowing. Do I need to be concerned about it breaking?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. May 21, 2017 #2

    fresh_42

    Staff: Mentor

    Yes. It depends on a lot of variables: density and dimensions of the container, which sort of plastic it is, age, shape, location (UV radiation), and probably some more. So in general, yes is the only answer possible.
     
  4. May 21, 2017 #3
    So it is inside, out of the way of uv radiation, it is rectangular, brand new, 28-3/4" x 21" x 18" h. Would building a wooden box around the container preventing it from bowing reduce the likely hood of it breaking? Is there anything else I can do to prevent it from breaking?
     
  5. May 21, 2017 #4

    berkeman

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    What is the container usually used for? It's hard to believe that it's meant to hold a liquid, and is bowing under its normal load...
     
  6. May 21, 2017 #5
    I don't know if it was meant to hold liquid, I am using it as a extra water storage container for my evaporative cooler.
     
  7. May 21, 2017 #6

    berkeman

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    Can you post a picture? And yes, building a supporting box around it should minimize the possibility of it rupturing.
     
  8. May 21, 2017 #7
  9. May 21, 2017 #8

    fresh_42

    Staff: Mentor

    If this is of the same consistency as those boxes they sell here in hardware stores, I wouldn't trust them. They are likely to split somewhere, bent or not.
     
  10. May 21, 2017 #9
    so it sounds like if I am considering using this over a few summers I should just buy a real water storage tank?
     
  11. May 21, 2017 #10

    Vanadium 50

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    Absolutely. Given those dimensions, you have something like 350 pounds of water in it. I doubt it was intended to hold this much.
     
  12. May 21, 2017 #11

    anorlunda

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    Those blue plastic barrels are pretty rugged and affordable.
     
  13. May 21, 2017 #12

    BillTre

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    That container is not made for holding water. I have seem these used as sump for aquariums and they do occasionally fail.
    A container built for holding water would have thicker walls, possibly have some cross braces, and/or be circular.

    You have a water pump in there. If you had it hooked up to a float switch, you could use a smaller container (requiring less strength to hold the water; easier to find) to accumulate water until the switch turned on the pump. The pump would then pump the water away.
     
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