Frequently Asked Questions
We've answered most frequently asked questions in the sections below. It's a good idea to read through them before you buy a tank. It's also the fastest way to find out information. If you still have questions, send us a message on our contact page.
How much water do I need?
FEMA recommends that "you should store at least one gallon of water per person per day." For Example: 4 people for 1 month is 120 gallons (4 x 30 = 120). This is a bare minimum recommendation. Consider the following to determine your water needs:
- The number of people you're storing water for.
- If water is required to re-hydrate and cook your food in an emergency.
- Children, nursing mothers and sick people may need more water.
- A medical emergency might require additional water.
- Water needs increase in warmer climates; in very hot temperatures, water needs can double.
What are your tanks made of? How are they constructed?
All our tanks are BPA-free and food-safe, are high-capacity and structurally sound, have two valves for easy use and water rotation, and our 260 gallon tank fits through doorways. We also carry everything else you need to store water at home: from food-safe drinking hoses to long-term water purification systems.
Our water tanks are made as one composite piece at 700° F by rotational molding, also know sometimes as rotomolding. They are molded from a polyethylene composite independently certified by the National Sanitation Foundation (NSF).
The tanks are molded as a one-piece composite and have no seams. Some ask if there is a seam around the top, but there is not. The line that appears to be a seam around the top is a seam in the metal tank mold, not the plastic tank.
What are the tanks' dimensions?
- 260 gallon tank: 28.75" wide x 32.25" deep x 86.25" tall
- 500 gallon tank: 49" diameter x 67" tall
- 500 gallon doorway tank: 29 in. wide x 69 in. deep x 78 in. tall
Can I use these tanks inline with my house's water system?
Sure Water storage tanks cannot be pressurized by any water system. Our tanks simply aren't designed for that purpose. Tanks of this type are for passive water storage only. If you want to circulate your water somehow, one DIY option is to install a float valve in the top of your tank so that it automatically refills whenever you use the water.
Tank Prep & Installation
Can I store my tank outside? Is it okay in hot or cold places?
Our tanks are made to be out in the sun. However, shade is preferred; material life and water quality is improved if not stored in direct sunlight.
Water freezes at 32° F or 0° C. If you're worried about your water freezing, drain 10 inches of water from your tank as water expands about 10% when frozen. It's not common for Sure Water tanks to freeze all the way through unless conditions are cold enough for a long time. Many of our water tanks are stored in unheated garages during the winter and rarely have a problem with freezing.
Do I need to treat the water before storing it?
Fresh treated municipal water typically does not need to be treated before storing. However, if your water is from other sources such as wells, streams, rivers, and springs it should be treated before storing. Treating your water properly is important; it helps prevent the growth of bacteria, algae, mold, mildew, and other contaminants from thriving in your water.
Do I need to clean the tank? When and how should I?
It's not necessary, but it can be a good idea to clean your tank before using it. We have done our best to vacuum out any leftover shavings or other material. Your tank was made at 700° F, so the likelihood of any living bacteria is very remote. Cleaning steps are as follows:
- Lay the tank on its side on a lawn or driveway. Make sure you don't smash the black fittings.
- Take the lid off and spray water around the inside of the tank until you have a pool of water.
- Pour a third of a cup of bleach in the tank and roll the tank back and forth to slosh it around to coat the inside.
- Stand the tank up and let the water and bleach completely drain out.
How do I install the spigots?
Each tank comes packaged with two brass spigots that need to be installed into the two black bulkhead fittings near the bottom of the tank (the bottom fitting on the 500 gallon tank is already installed). Sometimes it can be easier to do these steps while the tank is laid on its side.
- Make sure the black bulkhead fittings are tight. Remember, these fittings tighten counter-clockwise, the opposite of normal. Don't over tighten these. Just get them as tight as you can by hand or with a small wrench. (we do our best to tighten fittings before shipping)
- Thread the back of brass spigots (the part pre-wrapped in teflon tape) into the bulkhead fittings. Be very careful not to cross-thread them. Take it slow until you can feel them threading in properly, then tighten them by hand as much as you can. Don't over tighten these either. (installing the bottom valve is best when tank is tipped back or laying down)
Where should I place and fill the tank?
Your tank will weigh over 2000 pounds when completely filled. Make sure it is on a level concrete floor with the entire bottom of the tank supported before you fill it. It's not necessary, but if you prefer a barrier between the tank and the floor, we recommend you use a flat piece of plastic, rubber, or plywood. Wooden pallets or structures are usually not strong enough to hold a full tank. Also keep in mind how you plan to drain it if you want to rotate your water in the future.
Once the spigots are installed and the tank is placed properly, you can begin filling your tank.
- Take off or loosen the black top cap to let the air escape.
- Fill the tank to just above the top spigot and wait for one hour.
- Check to make sure that none of the fittings are leaking. If there are drips around a fitting, tighten it a quarter-turn and wait again. Repeat this step until there are no drips.
- Fill your tank the rest of the way. Keep watch on it while it fills to make sure that it doesn't overflow.
- Replace the top cap.
When do I need to rotate the water?
Both the FDA and the Red Cross recommend that you rotate your water every 6–12 months, depending on storage conditions. If you live in a dry climate, it will be more on the 12 months side. Water will also keep longer if you keep the tank in a cool, shaded area, like in a garage, shed, or basement. In a dryer climate, such as Utah or Nevada, fresh water may be stored for 9 to 12 months before rotating. It's best, however, to rotate water more frequently. Depending on storage conditions and water quality, you may want to wash the tank out again every few rotations too.
There are lots of options to treat your water. The best option that we have found is the 5-year water treatment kit that we sell on our Products page. It extends the 6–12 month recommendation to 5 years, which makes things much more convenient.
When it is time to rotate your water, hook a hose up to the bottom spigot and run it to a drain or a place that it can drain out, like a lawn or storm drain. Open the valve and let it empty. While the tank is empty is a good time to inspect it and decide if you want to clean it. A tank doesn't necessarily need to be cleaned every time you rotate the water.
Returns & Warranty
What is the warranty?
If you need to cancel your order for any reason, contact us ASAP. We'll guarantee a full refund for 24 hours, but if the product ships out before you get a hold of us, we may have to subtract the shipping costs from your refund.
We offer a 3-year warranty on our in-house Sure Water branded tanks. (3 years from the date of manufacture.) Our tanks are pretty simple, and any problems will turn up in that time window. If a tank is found defective in that window, we'll ship you a new, equivalent tank to replace it. This warranty only covers the tank itself, not the spigots, fittings, or any accessories. Damage done to the tank during freight is covered by the freight company, not by this warranty. Damage done to the tank by the owner is also not covered.
Here's how it works: if a tank is defective, you can pay to ship it back to us and we'll inspect it to see if it is covered by the warranty. If it is covered, we'll reimburse you for shipping and send you a new replacement tank. If you have a particular situation that may fall outside of what we have here, contact us and we'll try to work something out! We're reasonable people.