Introduction: Cladding a 1000 Ltr/250 Gallon IBC Water Tank

About: I live in the UK, and own a small business designing and building: Cargo Carrying Bicycles, Bike Trailers, Pedal Powered Utility Trucks & Vans, Pedal Racing Cars and Human Powered Vehicles, lightweight Pony Ca…

Last Autumn I obtained a 1000 litre IBC (Intermediate Bulk Container), plastic tank on a galvanised pallet. This had originally been used to transfer diesel fuel from the shore to ship and then to from the ship to various rigs and platforms in the North Sea Energy fields.

I wanted this tank to store rain water from the shed guttering so that we can irrigate the garden through the summer months but it looked unsightly, and Lois wasn't going to allow me to get away with it. A compromise was agreed, and that was the tank, framework and pallet had to be hidden from view. So I chose to clad it with reclaimed Pallet timbers.

I collected the tank from the quayside, and drove 26 miles home with it on the roof rack of my car, including a few miles of the A47 dual carriage way, and then across Norwich city centre; goodness knows what it did to the wind resistance of the car and the fuel consumption.

Step 1:

When I eventually got it into the garden, I stripped it down, degreased and steam cleaned it all (with a domestic carpet/furniture steam cleaner. Then I painted the already galvanised metal pallet and framework with some zinc rich red oxide primer.

A week or two later, I got around to painting the frame work and steel pallet with some corrosion resistant gloss Black tractor enamel:

Then I got my Pallet Dismantling Bar out and stripped a handful of 2 way pallets to obtain the very useful 4" X 2" stringer timbers. Which I painted with the zinc rich red-oxide thinned with cellulose thinners to help the paint sink into the wood. The following day, the undercoated stringers received two coats of gloss black paint.

Step 2:

The painted pieces of pallet stringers were then screwed on to the reassembled pallet and framework, and a few reclaimed pallet planks were used to begin cladding the side that was going to be placed up against the shed. The tank was then turned around, and placed in its final position tight up against the shed

While I was fixing the cladding planks into place, I realised that the tank had gauge markings in both litres and gallons moulded into the plastic, so I made a couple viewing doors so that we could eaisily check the water level.

Step 3:

An access door was made and fitted to cover the discharge valve and the tap that I have now installed. The tap has to be at that angle for the discharge valve handle to clear it: I'll get around to squaring up the discharge valve handle and the tap this winter when I drain the tank for deep cleaning.

Here is the link to to the additional planters that we have fitted to our reclaimed pallet timber cladded IBC's: