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Old 07-02-2011, 10:35 PM
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Default Water storage ideas - IBC Totes?



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I have two 55-gallon barrels and some bottled water, but just a few minutes ago my huband and I were talking. He is concerned since much of our food needs water for cooking, that we should add another barrel.

I have seen people on SB mention the IBC water totes that hold 275 gallons. I don't know where to acquire and how to fill / retrieve the water out.

We have both barrels stored in the basement on the slab cement floor with thick rubber pads between the barrel bottoms and the floor. We also have a detached garage with room, but it is not heated or air conditioned.

I would appreciate suggestions and source ideas. Thanks!
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Old 07-02-2011, 10:50 PM
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I'm using IBC totes. They're a perfect solution for my particular needs. Just make sure you get ones that held food grade liquids. Some of them are used to ship chemicals and such. It's not that hard to find food grade ones, since cooking oils, liquid sweeteners and such are commonly shipped in them too.

You can get standard pipe fittings for them. But you'll have to buy a few adapters to adapt the large opening down to something that will fit a spigot or valve. They can be filled with a garden hose, or a pump.

Unfortunately, sometimes they take some detective work to find. Mine came from a factory that makes sandwiches for convenience stores. But you could check other food factories. Anyone who would use oil, vinager, sweeteners, soy sauce or other liquids in large quantities. You can also find them on and off in craigs list or the newspaper ads.

You may be able to stack them 2 high in your basement. If so, that's 550 gallons of water, off in a corner somewhere, only taking up about a 4 foot square footprint.

If you have any small scale farming in your area, that's worth checking out too. They always seem to be selling used irrigation or livestock watering tanks here. I ended up with a 325 gallon one for free, just for hauling it off. Overall, I have $100 invested in 1,600 gallons of water storage.
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Old 07-02-2011, 11:00 PM
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Thanks for the quick reply!

A few more questions:
  • are these totes hard sided or soft sided?
  • would a pickup truck be needed to haul one home?
  • could this be filled and stored in the garage vs basement (with headspace in case of freezing)?



Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeK View Post
I'm using IBC totes. They're a perfect solution for my particular needs. Just make sure you get ones that held food grade liquids. Some of them are used to ship chemicals and such. It's not that hard to find food grade ones, since cooking oils, liquid sweeteners and such are commonly shipped in them too.

You can get standard pipe fittings for them. But you'll have to buy a few adapters to adapt the large opening down to something that will fit a spigot or valve. They can be filled with a garden hose, or a pump.

Unfortunately, sometimes they take some detective work to find. Mine came from a factory that makes sandwiches for convenience stores. But you could check other food factories. Anyone who would use oil, vinager, sweeteners, soy sauce or other liquids in large quantities. You can also find them on and off in craigs list or the newspaper ads.

You may be able to stack them 2 high in your basement. If so, that's 550 gallons of water, off in a corner somewhere, only taking up about a 4 foot square footprint.

If you have any small scale farming in your area, that's worth checking out too. They always seem to be selling used irrigation or livestock watering tanks here. I ended up with a 325 gallon one for free, just for hauling it off. Overall, I have $100 invested in 1,600 gallons of water storage.
Old 07-02-2011, 11:29 PM
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I'm planning on using IBC totes to set up a water storage system which catches water from my downspouts. If you look up LDSPrepper on YouTube, he did a great series of videos on the subject.
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Old 07-02-2011, 11:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ShaynaGirl View Post
Thanks for the quick reply!

A few more questions:
  • are these totes hard sided or soft sided?
  • would a pickup truck be needed to haul one home?
  • could this be filled and stored in the garage vs basement (with headspace in case of freezing)?
They're a large square heavy duty plastic tank inside a metal cage. They're heavy. About 150 lbs or so. And large. So a truck and a couple people are required to move them around. They can be stacked 3 high when full.

I don't know how well they handle freezing. Frozen liquid doesn't just expand upward. It expands outward too. They're pretty tough and durable, but I don't know if they're designed to withstand freezing. You could probably google up a supplier that makes the tanks and check the specs. I know I've seen them for sale new (pricey!!!) online somewhere.

Personally, I think I'd avoid anywhere that they might freeze. Your water does you no good if it's frozen when you need it.

Oh that reminds me of another source. Most cities of any size have materials resellers who specialize in selling used shipping materials, tubs, totes, padding, boxes, etc. They usually have the IBC totes also. You'll need to poke around the yellow pages for that one.
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Old 07-03-2011, 12:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ShaynaGirl View Post
Thanks for the quick reply!

A few more questions:
  • are these totes hard sided or soft sided?
  • would a pickup truck be needed to haul one home?
  • could this be filled and stored in the garage vs basement (with headspace in case of freezing)?
http://shop.ebay.com/i.html?_from=R4...All-Categories

* Hard sided.
* No, you could use a trailer.
* Yes.
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Old 07-03-2011, 05:42 AM
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Default IBC Source

Even though you're in Kentucky, I know that Lexington might not be convenient for you.

However, if Lexington is convenient, then you can get the totes from http://www.lexingtoncontainercompany...IBC-Totes.html

I have not got these particular totes from them before but I have got a number of items on different occasions. The barrels that they say were triple washed were very clean, so I think the totes are probably pretty clean as well.

I'm not affiliated with them in any way (just a customer) but I like to help others here find good sources. If you go there, they have mylar bags, pumps, buckets, gamma lids, barrels, different spigots, etc. So take some extra money if you have it.
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Old 07-03-2011, 06:40 AM
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One concern on putting them in a basement is getting them down there. They are usually slightly less than 4'X4'X4'. Is there an area in your garage that adjoins the house that you could insulate and put vents through the wall to allow air flow from the house. If a vent were to be put low into the basement and high to an upstairs room, it would allow natural air flow. Your goal isn't to keep it room temp. just to keep it above freezing. It would only need to be big enough to cover the totes. Don't forget to insulate the floor.

Like Mike said, make sure it is food grade. I wouldn't count on being able to clean a chemical tank well enough for potable water.

Some totes have standard pipe threads and others require an adapter to change it to pipe threads. Some have a metal cage and others have a plastic cage.

Set bottom tote on bricks or something strong to get it off the floor for ease of access to the drain valve.
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Old 07-04-2011, 12:06 PM
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A quick note on cleaning the tanks. If possible, try to get them prewashed. They're a hassle to clean. Mine had contained vegetable oil and had quite a lot left in them. I put them upside down on saw horses and used an inexpensive electric pressure washer from Harbor freight to blast the insides with warm water and dish soap. Then I left them upside down on cinder blocks in the sun to drain and dry out.

I already had the pressure washer for blasting cobwebs off the rough stucco finish of my house at the time. You can rent them cheap enough, but I wouldn't recommend it. Some people use them to spray grease removers and such. They aren't that expensive to buy. Maybe buy one, use it to clean totes, then resell it or something.
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Old 07-04-2011, 03:38 PM
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Thanks to everyone for all the ideas!

I showed these to my husband, and he is skeptical that we can handle these on our own and current setup.

However, we have two more water barrels on order (these will make 4).

As for the IBC totes, I've not entirely given up on these either. Maybe in the future we can bury a tote and catch rainwater to diversify our water options.

At least we are thinking, starting and DOING -- all in the right direction as a team.
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Old 07-04-2011, 03:56 PM
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Check your local area's craigslist.
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Old 07-04-2011, 04:23 PM
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great idea! This board is very valuable with these alternate methods. Now if I could just find one (or two) of these locally in the carolinas.
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Old 07-04-2011, 06:35 PM
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Default ibc Totes - Source

Does anyone have a trusted Western US source they've done business with where I can price a new tote? I don't want to deal with cleaning out syrup or other previously stored liquids.

After pricing them new, I may change my mind, since it may not be cost effective. I'm just curious what the 275gal. food grade IBC's cost.

Thanks in advance.
Old 07-04-2011, 06:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by XJP5 View Post
Does anyone have a trusted Western US source they've done business with where I can price a new tote? I don't want to deal with cleaning out syrup or other previously stored liquids.

After pricing them new, I may change my mind, since it may not be cost effective. I'm just curious what the 275gal. food grade IBC's cost.

Thanks in advance.
New ones are not a good value. The prices I've seen for new ones were about $1,000. You can buy water tanks for less cost per gallon. But cleaning them is no big deal, just some work. And a lot of places clean them before selling. Most of the resellers do. It's usually only when you buy from the end user that you have to clean it yourself.
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Old 07-04-2011, 07:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeK View Post
New ones are not a good value. The prices I've seen for new ones were about $1,000. You can buy water tanks for less cost per gallon. But cleaning them is no big deal, just some work. And a lot of places clean them before selling. Most of the resellers do. It's usually only when you buy from the end user that you have to clean it yourself.
Mike,

I'm just concerned that it may be very difficult to eliminate the syrup residue out prior to filling with drinking water. I did fnd a company not far from me in an adjacent state that sells food grade, 1 use, Schutz brand 275 Gallon IBCs for $75.00 and they will steam it out prior to shipment for a $15.00 fee. Do you think that will clean it properly?

Even with shipping, it appears to be more cost effective for me than buying two food grade 55gal drums.
Old 07-04-2011, 07:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by XJP5 View Post
Mike,

I'm just concerned that it may be very difficult to eliminate the syrup residue out prior to filling with drinking water. I did fnd a company not far from me in an adjacent state that sells food grade, 1 use, Schutz brand 275 Gallon IBCs for $75.00 and they will steam it out prior to shipment for a $15.00 fee. Do you think that will clean it properly?

Even with shipping, it appears to be more cost effective for me than buying two food grade 55gal drums.
This may be the company you found but these guys are in colorado. I have gotten a couple 55 gallon barrels and they are good to work with. You would have to pay freight shipping which may not be too bad.

http://www.cozerowaste.com/index.php...&products_id=1
Old 07-04-2011, 10:41 PM
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I have 2 of these totes and I got lucky and paid $20 each!!!

If I would have known that some people are charging close to $100 for them I would have snagged more.

My system is for collecting rain water for my garden which is about 200 feet from the house.

I have 2 55 gallon plastic barrels that I have at one corner on the house at a downspout connected together.

When they are full, I have a small electric pump that I hook up and pump the water down the the totes at my garden.

550 gallons of water lasts me a long time in the garden considering how much water I get off of my roof.

These totes are great!!
Old 07-04-2011, 11:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by XJP5 View Post
Mike,

I'm just concerned that it may be very difficult to eliminate the syrup residue out prior to filling with drinking water. I did fnd a company not far from me in an adjacent state that sells food grade, 1 use, Schutz brand 275 Gallon IBCs for $75.00 and they will steam it out prior to shipment for a $15.00 fee. Do you think that will clean it properly?

Even with shipping, it appears to be more cost effective for me than buying two food grade 55gal drums.
That's about average price. And I wouldn't complain about the cleaning fee. Beats buying a pressure washer for $70-80 and saves work too. Syrup is easy to clean out. I'm sure steam cleaning would get enough of it that a quick rinse at your house would be all that's required. Sugars are relatively large molecules and don't tend to embed deeply in plastic pores as easily as some chemicals do.
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Old 07-04-2011, 11:44 PM
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Quote:
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I have 2 of these totes and I got lucky and paid $20 each!!!
Mine costed $20 also, uncleaned. The guy who got lucky was the one who sold them to me though. He got them for free from the food factory. Of course I didn't learn about that part until after I bought them. Cleaning soy oil out was a learning experience but it wasn't all that hard to do.
Old 07-05-2011, 01:15 AM
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I ordered four of them last week from someone I found on Craigslist. He had both 275 and 330 gallon tanks advertised, but he only had 275 gallon tanks available, so I went with those.

Has anyone had any success installing a two way, filtered automatic breather valve into the cap at the top of the tank?
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