Friday, May 4, 2012

Finally! No more carrying water to the barn!

Since we got this house (about 6 months ago) we've been carrying four gallons of water at a time to the barn from the pump house so the animals can have water. Now, it's not really a long walk (probably 200 feet) but doing that three or four times a day really gets to be a pain. I know I can use the exercise, but I'm all about saving time these days.

So I've been looking at water tanks on Craigslist for a few months now, and they all seemed pretty shady. "We're not sure what was in this tank, but I wouldn't use it for water." We thought about buying new, but that's just way out of our price range. I tried putting together some old plastic trash cans in a way that I thought would work, but the bottom of the cans ended up being too flimsy to hold 50 gallons of water and a pipe coming out of a hole in the plastic. The weight of the water would always eventually warp the bottom (even after I built a reinforcement) and it was more of a headache than anything.

I found some 250-gallon water tanks at my local feed store. They call these "water totes" if you look them up online, but they're basically used to ship liquids, so they have a protective cage around the outside and a plastic pallet on the bottom for transporting with a forklift. The feed store guys told me that these were used to ship dish soap and they rinsed them out 3 times before they sell them. I checked inside for any residue, ran some water through it and there was not even a sud. So I bought one (for only $60!!) and brought it home. Of course, I still rinsed it out thoroughly and tested it in the water bottle of a rabbit before giving it to the rest of the animals.

250-gallon water tank
I bought a 4-way hose splitter and a few adapters from Lowe's, but not much else. I have one hose going out to a faucet I built in the chicken coop area of the barn and another hose running to an automatic waterer in the main stall for the goats, dog, and geese to use. The room with the tank is about two feet higher than the other rooms, so it works well to help gravity-feed the hoses that run out of the room.

Everything seems to be working fine so far with only one very minor leak in the main tank valve where it connects to my hose adapter, but I'll fix that as soon as I use up the water in there now. I only filled it up halfway to see how everything is working before filling it up to the full 250-gallon capacity. By the way, 250 gallons weighs 2,085 lbs not including the tank itself, so if you do this, make sure you have a solid foundation underneath!

4-way hose adapter
Hose going to faucet assembly in other room
Faucet in chicken room
Auto waterer connected to tank in other room
So in total, I spent probably $160 on the tank, adapters, piping for the faucet and the automatic waterer. If you count the two 100' hoses I bought to connect to the pump house, you could say I spent $225. Not too bad considering a new tank of that size alone goes for about $400-500.

I'm so happy to have this project finished so I can move on to the long list of others I have waiting for me. I figure with the way we go through water for the animals in the summer, I should only have to refill that tank about once a month. Let's hope this works!


  1. It is good that you’ve finally found a water tank for the barn. Now, you would not walk with heavy loads of water in gallons anymore. And what’s more, while the water is flowing for the animals to drink, you can use the time for other barn tasks. By the way, it is nice that it only cost you $225 for that.

    @ Louisa Matsuura

  2. Plastic and fiber are the most popular and widely used elements to store water. It is a common site to see plastic loft tanks installed on the top of the building. This water tanks are known as poly water tanks or plastic water tanks.