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Tank Weight Assessment and Move Help?


olaf
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Hey folks, I am trying to move to a new home and am having a heck of a time finding someone to assess the placement of our main tank.
Anyone have any recommendations on structural engineers etc that can help assess the safe placement of a 4' 100gallon tank on our second story?

So far I've reach out to 5 companies and the only one that replied wants $500 just to look at it, with the potential of costing twice that much once they get there. Seems real high to me...

Also, any pointers on who might be able to help move an empty/dry tank in the Seattle area. I've reached out to some of the LFS but they are all booked up.

 

Any help is appreciated!

 

 

 

 

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$500 is pretty typical IME to get a structural engineer to give you the time of day. Sort of how the plumber won't show up unless he's getting $150.

a 100 gallon tank's setup is probably around a thousand pounds as a rule of thumb. The water's about 8.5 lbs/gallon, the rock and sand and glass are more, but there is empty space, etc etc.

that's not an extraordinary weight, so it's probably not much to panic about. here's how I'd make the decision (note: lots of STEM education and critical thinking skills, but not a structural engineer):

* figure out which way the joists are running and make sure you're not setting its 4' along a stud, but across multiple. It should end up essentially across kind of 3 joists. it might actually touch 4 joists, or very nearly so. This spreads the weight VERY effectively, so no one joist has to bear the weight. The joist will have not worry holding 250 pounds. You can get 4-5 big guys to stand belly to back on the second floor without a big deal, and if they're each on their own joist, they can jump in unison and it's fine.

* make sure there's real structure underneath. You don't want a big french door (like to a den/office) below the tank, that means the header is bearing the tank's weight, which is wasn't designed for. if the tank is near a wall that also has a wall on the first floor, you'll be fine. If what's below it is a big opening like between the kitchen and dining, but you can see a lump running along the ceiling (under the tank), that's a big structural beam which will be just fine.

That's my $0.02

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You're talking about roughly 125 lbs/sq ft, which is not really anything to engage a structural engineer for. If you're near an external wall, or near a floor area with structural wall below it, even less to worry about. I believe code is 300 lbs/sq ft load for floor design. Second floor isn't designed for a lighter load than main floor btw.

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1 minute ago, Bicyclebill said:

You're talking about roughly 125 lbs/sq ft, which is not really anything to engage a structural engineer for. If you're near an external wall, or near a floor area with structural wall below it, even less to worry about. I believe code is 300 lbs/sq ft load for floor design. Second floor isn't designed for a lighter load than main floor btw.

^^^ this ^^^

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$500 just to come look...I should pick up that side hustle LOL

 

So, let’s look at this simply, with help from Mechanical Engineer BlueZ 😂(take that for what it’s worth!):

 

100 gal tank weighs:

~800lbs in water

~300lbs in tank/stand dry weight

~200 lbs of gear/rocks

So we are at approx 1300lbs

 

not sure on your tanks exact dimensions so I’ll use a 90 Gal size for ref of 4’ x 18” footprint

 

1300lbs / (4’x1.5’) = 217 lbs/ft^2


The structure of your house can handle this assuming you are spanning more then one joist. If you have an idea of how your house is built (maybe check your crawl space joists), that would help.
 

not sure how accurate the old rule of thumb is, but I recall everyone saying at 180gals and up, you should brace, otherwise you are fine.

 

Overall I wouldn’t worry about it, especially if that house is less than a few decades old.

Edited by Blue Z Reef
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Thanks for the feedback folks, I've read a few of the blog posts floating around out there about floor support and tank placement. My concern was due to the location we have available is parallel with floor joists, though near and external wall.


I'll see if i can find somewhere to get it perpendicular to the joists. Though the previous location is highly preferable.

 

 

Edited by olaf
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18 hours ago, Deuce00 said:

100 gallon I wouldn’t sweat it, on the 2nd floor. Keep the money from the engineers trying to rip you off, they are full of themselves. 

Lol, thanks for the feedback. I wonder if any of you folks would feel this way if the tank was running parallel to joists and not perpendicular?

We have a wall we were hoping to use in the living room to make the tank a centerpiece of the new home, but looks like joists run parallel there and tank would be about 2 feed from the exterior wall. 

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