I am building a small water tower and want to make sure that it
doesn't collapse. It needs to be 8-10 feet tall and be able to
support about 2,500 pounds (300 gallons).
I was thinking of using 4 4x4s anchored braced into cement pilings,
2x6s & carriage bolts for lateral supports, and metal braces for
Will this be enough?
Please contact a local licensed structural engineer. 2500 pounds
is a lot of weight to have 10 feet in the air. At the very least,
improperly braced members could buckle and cause a collapse (on
someone). Other problems are amplified considerably if you are in an
area subject to earthquakes, high winds, tornadoes, hurricanes etc...
Craig D wrote:
Locating a water tank about the same size somewhere in your area and
(shudder) copying the construction may a way to go. Better than asking
how to build or support one (with the information you provided) and then
building it using the two paragraphs of information you receive that may
relate to construction techniques.
I think you probably have been warned enough that it will be heavy and
must withstand all that nature can throw at it. I hate to bring up
nuclear threat, but that may be something to consider and the terrorist
threat .... :>)
Hi Craig, hi folks.
Dont forget to consider the weigth of the tank.
300 US gal weight around 2500 pounds. A container for that much water
can weight a non negligible weight. Plus, some of the upper structure
will also add some weight that shall be held by the legs and anchors.
Jack also pointed out an important item, earthquake. An earthquake
can impart horizontal forces that may damage or even destroy a
structure that otherwise is solid enough to hold vertical forces.
Also, consider the weight of snow and/or ice if this is applicable for
your place. Maybe you will need some heating system to avoid freezing
in very cold climate.
Maybe a look at:
will also help.
This is only one of many sites returned by Google using "water tower
design" as the search string.
Jean (Johnny) Lemire from Richelieu, Quebec, Canada
Now _this_ is a truly complete answer to Craig's question. Only things
missing is (a) what to serve the crew for breakfast and (2) how much beer to
cool down for the _post_ construction wing-ding!
I'll be adding Mother Earth News to my Favorites list.
Cool idea, I have something similar here on a smaller scale. It is only 5' high
but enough where water will flow.
Wind was a consideration since the calimity that might require it's use would
be a hurricane.
The tank was already part of my water system. It is a 150 gallon fiberglass
"aireator" that are on virtually every well system in SW Florida. The tare
weight of the tank is less than 50 lbs with the internal fittings, valve and
2 of these on a platform would get you up to the 300 gallons without the weight
and rust problems of steel. They may even make them in 300 gallons.
Thank you for all of your responses...
The tank is cylinder with a 46" diameter and weighs only about 70 lbs.
The tower will be placed in an area that doesn't get snow, has
extremely little earthquake risk, and is on very solid ground (and old
river bed that is solid rock). Per the comment on foundation, each
column will rest on a footing sunk 2 feet in the ground (or as far
down as I can get it before hitting solid rock).
The article that was mentioned suggests using telephone poles... could
4x4s handle the load?
The real problem with 4x4s would be finding them treated to the level that you
get with a phone pole (typically 2.5cca around here)
You can also get these poles in 6" (for dock builders) and that would be
The borgs handle .80cca 6x6s.
Hi Craig, hi folks.
The construction you suggest in your first post shall be quite solid.
Just make sure that you dig deep enough for your leg's anchors so they
are below the frost line if applicable to your place.
Also, make sure your diagonal metal braces will not rust.
Otherwise I would say: go for it and observe it closely to see if it
holds well as it ages. Then, correct any weakness as required.
Jean (Johnny) Lemire from Richelieu, Quebec, Canada.
email@example.com (Craig D) wrote in message
Sure, if you use enough of them. If you use four, the normal
compressive stress in the wood will be a bit over 60 psi. That's
not much but your real concern is not crushing of the wood but
buckling. That's a tougher problem to analyze and I concur with
the others than consultation with someone who knows what they are
doing is a real good idea.
Don't forget wind loading.
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