When buying a rainwater tank, you can save money by ensuring many required fittings and accessories are included in your deal. This is especially important if plumbing your rainwater into your house. This article is intended to help you know what other fittings and accessories you will need when plumbing in your rainwater tank.
Standard Tank Fittings
As part of the process when ordering your rainwater tank, you might be asked where on your tank you need your inlet, outlet and overflow. Sometimes it is preferred that these be cut onsite to ensure an accurate fit, but if you don’t have the right tool it is often easier to have the manufacturer do this for you to avoid the risk of damaging your tank.
There are three general holes with rainwater tanks:
- Tank Inlet – located at the top of your tank, it is a hole about 200mm to 500mm in diameter where a strainer should be fitted to keep out insects and leaves while allowing clean rainwater to flow through into your tank.
- Tank Outlet – located on the lower half of your tank, usually near the bottom, where you want to access the rainwater. You normally affix a ball valve that connects with flexible piping (to absorb ground movement and shock).
- Tank Overflow – located at the top of your tank, this hole allows excess rainwater to be released when your tank is full, it can be fed into your your stormwater drain, a stormwater tank or even into a second rainwater tank.
Inlet Strainer and Cover
To keep your rainwater of a high quality, prevent mosquito infestations, frogs, vermin, insects and the like from entering your tank you will need adequate screen on all your tank holes.
Screens should have a hole aperture size of no more than 1mm to keep out mosquitoes. If using your rainwater for potable purposes (e.g. cooking or drinking), you should ensure your strainer is approved for food contact.
In addition, sunlight can reach your rainwater through the inlet if it is not covered. This can cause algae growth, so an important accessory is a cover often made to fit the strainer.
Ball Valve and Flexible Coupling
Ball valves are quite reliable and therefore commonly attached to water tank outlets. A ball valve has a perforated ball inside that pivots when the handle in turned. When turning the handle in line with your pipes, a ball inside turns revealing a hole that allows water to flow through. When the handle is pivoted 90-degrees the ball turns providing a solid wall that prevents water from flowing through.
It is important to also install a flexible coupling (rubber hose) about 300mm in length from your ball valve to your supported poly piping. Failure to do this can cause stress on your tank if your PVC piping moves or there is ground movement, resulting in leaks and voiding warranties.
Overflow Piping and Strainer
While your PVC piping is normally something you purchase separately, you will also need appropriate screening on your overflow. Team Poly provide a unique solution with a 90mm elbow shaped pipe with a built-in strainer. This prevents mosquitoes, insects, frogs and the like from getting into your tank through its overflow.
Pressure Pump and Cover
Pressure pumps are obviously needed if you will be pumping rainwater from your tank to toilets, washing machines, irrigation systems or taps on your property. Pumps ensure adequate water pressure to where you need it and make use of your mains power.
To maximise the life of your pump and protect it from the weather you will need a cover. These are normally made to match your tank and often purchased separately. While simple, they also muffle the noise of your pump and will save you needing to replace your pump earlier than needed.
Rainwater diverters are important to the quality of water flowing into your tank. They capture the first litres of initial rainwater run-off, which often contains dust, dirt and leaves, from flowing into your tank.
Team Poly provide unique high-quality water diverters made to fit your tank. They divert the first 60 litres of rainfall to ensure a cleaner water supply, have a built-in leaf filter and adjustable drain valve.
If you are after a complete package solution that includes your water tank with all main fittings and accessories, then let us help you. Talk to Team Poly today, we’d be happy to assist you with a complete packaged deal.