Installing rainwater tanks at home will need some guidance if you don’t want it to make a mess in the future. Having some accessories and fittings as a backup can make your plumbing easier each time there is an issue with the tank. But it is more important that you have the required accessories and fittings with the rainwater tank you buy so that you can save some money on the deal. Here are a few accessories that you need to have when plumbing a rainwater tank into your house.
Standard Fittings for the Tank
If you haven’t ordered a tank before, you could be confused as to where the outlet, overflow, and inlet are to be placed. Onsite cutting is preferred most of the time for the accurate fit it ensures, but without the right tool, you might find it difficult to handle. Having the manufacturer to do the cutting before dispensing would be a better idea in such cases to avoid the risk of damaging the tank. The three holes that a rainwater tank consists of are:
- Tank inlet: A hole at the top of the tank with a diameter of about 200mm to 500mm. Strainers are to be fitted here to keep out insects.
- Tank outlet: A ball valve is affixed at the bottom of the tank to connect with the flexible piping. The rainwater can be accessed from this location, and the outlet helps in absorbing shock and ground movement.
- Tank overflow: Excess rainwater is released through this hole at the top of the tank. The water can be fed into your stormwater tank or stormwater drain.
Inlet Strainer and Cover
A screen has to be placed over your tank on the holes to prevent the infestation of insects vermin, frogs, and mosquitoes. Make sure that the strainers you use are fit for food contact if you are using the water for potable purposes. The aperture of the hole on the screens you use for the tank should be of a size no more than 1 mm to keep out insects and mosquitoes. A cover is required for the strainer and inlet so that the water is protected from the exposure to sunlight.
Ball Valve and Flexible Coupling
Water tank outlets are usually concealed using a ball valve which pivots when the handle is turned. The perforated ball inside it turns to reveal the hole for the water to flow when turning the handle. A flexible coupling also needs to be installed at a length of 300mm from your ball valve. If ground movement happens or your PVC piping sets into some kind of motion, stress can be caused in the tank to result in voiding warranties and leaks.
Pressure Pump and Cover
If you use the rainwater in your toilets, washing machines, and taps, water needs to be pumped into the supply system, for which you will need pressure pumps. Use a cover to maximise the life of your pump by protecting it from the harsh weather.