How Much Does It Cost To Remove Old Water Heater Which Stock Tank Is the Better Choice, Poly or Galvanized Steel?

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Which Stock Tank Is the Better Choice, Poly or Galvanized Steel?

When choosing a water tank to keep your horses watered, you have two basic options, the good old tank, which is the galvanized steel tank, and the newest addition to the bag, the poly plastic tank. Both plastic and steel water tanks come in all sizes, from 25 gallons to 800 gallons in capacity. All come with a standard one-year manufacturer’s warranty against defects, regardless of manufacturer.

The question most equestrians ask themselves is which one is better and which one will last longer? I’ve owned both styles of stock tanks and both have pros and cons. It really all comes down to a matter of personal preference when making this decision.

Polyethylene plastic tanks usually offer a removable drain plug at the bottom of the tank; this allows for the use of drain tank heaters in the winter, which is perhaps one of the biggest advantages of a poly plastic tank. The drain plug defrosters screw into the drain plug at the bottom of the water tank, preventing curious and mischievous horses from pulling the stock tank heater out of the tank and playing with it! The other big advantage of a winter drain plug defroster is that they are less expensive than other traditional water tank heaters. Typically, a drain plug defroster will cost about $34.99 new compared to a standard sump tank defroster that will cost $47.00.

Galvanized steel tanks are easier to clean of algae in the summer months with a brush compared to poly plastic, which requires a little more scrubbing and elbow grease. Steel tanks are sealed with a silicon product at the seams; this disintegrates over time and causes the steel tank to leak into the seams of the sides and bottom of the tank. This process will also be sped up if you have horses that like to hit the steel tanks when the water starts to drop, I have the gang full of chains in our backyard constantly hitting our steel tanks. To fix this you can re-seal the tank seams with silicon sealant or JB Weld also works wonders for this type of application. The key is to really work the product into the seams when you have to reseal the tank and make sure you’re applying the product to a clean, dry surface, then let it dry according to the manufacturer’s recommendations before refilling the tank with water .

Stock steel tanks should also come with a bottom drain plug, although you’ll find that these are difficult to remove and if you lose the plug, it’s even harder to find a replacement. Poly tanks, especially Rubbermaid water tanks, drain plugs are available in case you lose it. A steel tank is generally easier to push when you need to empty it for cleaning.

When comparing the initial costs of these livestock tanks, poly and steel, they will be very similar and they are all different based on the gallon capacity of a tank. A 149 gallon polyethylene tank will cost about $150.00, a steel stock tank of the same capacity will cost $140-$160 depending on where you are in the US. The cost fluctuates more with steel due to steel prices changing on a regular basis.

Polyester tanks will degrade more at higher elevations with increased UV exposure. Deposits will discolor over time and become brittle. The main downfall of polyester tanks is that when they become brittle, there is no repair that can be done on the stock tank. A steel tank can be bent back, kicked, hit, and exposed to brutal cold and extreme heat, and still be repairable after years of use. If you have a horse that likes to kick stock tanks, you may want to steer clear of polyethylene tanks in general and be prepared to reseal your steel tank every couple of years.

Both styles of livestock tanks should last for years with proper care and no abuse. My galvanized steel water tanks that I am using are over 15 years old. I’ve also seen multi-purpose tanks this old. The bottom line is that choosing a water tank is a personal preference, and anyone can get their money’s worth out of any product for many years with proper care. What brand do you go with? HW brand makes an outstanding galvanized steel stock tank and Rubbermaid or Fortiflex are great quality plastic stock tanks.

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