Old Fashioned Galvanized Bathtubs That Can Be Used For Dogs 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 stand-in, which is the galvanized steel stock tank and the newest off the market is the poly plastic stock tank. Both plastic and steel water tanks come in all sizes from 25 gallons to 800 gallons in capacity. They all come with a standard one-year manufacturer’s warranty against defects regardless of manufacturer.

The question most riders ask is which one is better and which one will last longer? I have owned both styles of stock tanks, and both have their advantages and disadvantages. Really, it all comes down to personal preference when making this decision.

Poly plastic tanks usually offer a removable drain plug at the bottom of the tank; this allows for the use of stock drip plug heaters in the winter, which is probably one of the biggest benefits of a poly plastic tank. The drain plug deicers hide under the drain plug at the bottom of the water tank, which prevents curious and mischievous horses from pulling your stock tank heater out of the tank and playing with it! Another big advantage in the winter to a drop-in plug is that they are less expensive than other water tank heaters! Typically a swim plug tank will cost about $34.99 new, compared to a standard tank drainer that will cost $47.00.

Galvanized steel tanks are easier to clean of algae in the summer months with a brush versus poly plastic, which requires a little washing and elbow grease. Steel tanks are sealed with a silicon product on the teeth; this disintegrates over time and causes the steel deposit to flow to the sides and bottom of the tank. If you have horses when the water starts to recede, you will have horses, when the water starts to recede, the steel pole tanks hit, this process will speed up, we have a full set of saddles in our back yard that are always hitting our steel tanks. To remedy this, you can seal the tank’s seams with a silicon sealant or JB Weld also works wonderfully for this type of application. The key is to really work the product into the teeth when you have to reconnect the tank and make sure you apply the product on a clean, dry surface, and then let it dry as recommended. let the manufacturer dry before refilling the stock tank with water. .

Steel column tanks should also come with a bottom drain plug, although you’ll find them difficult to remove and even harder to find a replacement if you lose the plug. Poly tanks, especially Rubbermaid water tanks, have easy-to-find disposal valves in case you lose them. Usually a steel tank is easier to carry when you need to empty the stock tank to clean it.

When comparing the initial cost of these pet tanks, poly versus steel they will be very similar and all differ based on the gallon capacity of the tank. A 149 gallon poly tank will cost about $150.00, a steel column tank of the same capacity will be between $140-160 depending on where you are in the US but pricey. Costs vary more with steel as steel prices fluctuate regularly.

Poly tanks will be exposed to increased UV light at higher altitudes. The tanks will discolor and crack over time. The big downfall of poly tanks is that once they break, there is no repair that can be done on a stock tank. A steel tank can be bent back into shape, beaten, battered, and exposed to brutal cold, and extreme heat and still be repaired after years of use. If you have a horse that likes to jump stock tanks, it may be best advised to stay away from poly tanks in general and be prepared to have your steel tank relined every couple of years.

Both styles of pet tanks should last for years with proper care and abuse. The galvanized steel water tanks I use are over 15 years old. I have also seen poly tanks that are this old. The bottom line is that choosing your water tank is a personal preference, and anyone can get their money’s worth from these products for many years with proper care. Which brand do you go with? HW Brand makes an excellent Galvanized Steel Tank and Rubbermaid or Fortiflex both make excellent Poly Plastic Tanks.

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