Boxing In And Mounting The Water Tank

A day or two ago I got the telephone call letting me know that our kitchen cabinets (courtesy Ikea) had arrived in Thunder Bay.  I arranged to take delivery this Friday when I am scheduled to be close to the city anyway, and then figured that I needed to keep up my pace on getting the plumbing ready to go.

The next logical step was to finish getting the water tank operational.

I had already managed to sheath the tank in 1/2″ foam on all four sides and double on the bottom.  Now I wanted to protect that insulation and give the tank some support.  From experience, the tank, while very rigid, still tended to bulge when full of water.  This would be a bit unwieldy when it was up on the wall, so I needed something more structurally sound.

I measured the sides carefully and began cutting my plywood.

A snowy day, but still quite comfortable to be outdoors.

With Kenny’s help and some green Robertson screws, we managed to get the sides assembled.  I also enlisted the help of some sliding bar clamps, as the fit was really tight and I wanted to minimize any air spaces if possible.  I think that keeping things nice and tight should help with the condensation situation.

Accompanied by huge trepidation, I sanded the end of my T fitting and covered it with soap to get it to fit into the end of the tank.  Employing my deadfall mallet, I tamped it completely into the molded fitting on the tank and tightened down a pipe clamp on it.  I don’t think I really needed the clamp, it was VERY tight going into the tank, but thankfully, the LDPE of the tank didn’t split.

Due to the fact that I had used a T fitting, I wasn’t able to fit the bottom plywood plate onto the box, and had to cut a slot into it.  The fitting should allow me to attach a length of nylon hose to the outflow of the tank that theoretically will be able to act as a visual cue as to the actual water level inside of the tank.  We’ll have to see how this works in the real world.

Tightening up the bottom plate finished off the box and the only thing left was to get it up on the wall.

Measuring twice to ensure that I wouldn’t have to drill unneeded holes in my walls, I first checked the height of the box.  Then I measured down from the corner of the wall that distance.  Since the ceiling at that spot is sloped upwards at 45 degrees, I figured that I would have sufficient room to get above the tank for installing the overflow and inflow fittings.

It may be hard to see my pencil lines in this picture.

In addition to this, the line I used at this level became the line where I actually installed the lag bolts of the brackets – and the holes for those were already an inch above where the bracket curved out to support its load.  This meant that the tank was dropped a further inch down from the corner of the ceiling.  I really felt that should be enough room for me to access the fittings – additionally, it looks like it will also let me install my corner trim above the tank (something I felt was somewhat optional – it wouldn’t be visible from the main room of the cabin).

Before proceeding, I decided to remove the drying dishes that were directly underneath the tank.  While I knew that nothing could have gone wrong, it’s best to be sure.  It actually made installation easier, as Grandpa showed up as I was removing the dishes and it gave me a surface to stand on during the final phases of installation.

Nothing could go wrong – could it?

Next I installed three brackets along the long edge of the tank, and then a fourth on the short edge perpendicular to the others.  I also spaced the tank out 3″ from the east wall of the cabin to allow me to run my overflow and inflow pipes right in the corner of the cabin.  This still allowed me to have 4″ of bracket under that side.

Up towards the top of the tank I installed two small wall brackets to hold it against the wall.  I’m confident that this should be sufficient to ensure that the tank can’t tip off the base, but this morning I’m of a mind to install a strap up there that goes right from the south wall to the east wall.  This strap would be hidden when I panel the tank, and would completely eliminate any chance of the tank tipping away from the wall.  It would be cheap insurance.

Underneath the tank, I used 1″ lag bolts to fasten the tank to the brackets.  With the plywood only being 3/4″ thick, I added two washers between the plywood and brackets.  While I’m quite sure that it would be impossible for the double layer of insulation under the tank to be completely compressed and expose the base of the tank to the tips of the bolts, I figured it didn’t hurt to be sure that it couldn’t be subjected to those points under ANY circumstances.  From my observations, the bolts come flush with the plywood once they are tightened.

Now it’s time to hook up some water lines, but that may wait a bit until I have the new cabinets installed underneath and can see how they are to proceed.

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