Common Rainwater Tank Overflow Issues

Long gone are the days when rainwater tank manufacturers produced products with limited features. Today, the high demand for rainwater tanks has forced manufacturers to equip their containers with various accessories and features. For instance, overflow outlets are a critical feature for preventing overflows. Notably, the outlets are equipped with screens to help keep out bugs and debris. That said, rainwater tanks with overflow outlets still suffer from spillover issues. Here are the most common overflow problems and how to address them.

Incorrect Water Inflow/Overflow Ratio

There are various ways a plumber can connect a gutter system to a rainwater tank. For instance, homeowners with different houses on the same lot can direct gutters from individual buildings to a single tank with one outflow outlet. Unfortunately, the inflow rate might surpass the outflow rate when several pipes and gutters lead to the same rainwater tank. Within a short time, your tank will fill to the brim and start overflowing from the top. Therefore, matching the inflow and outflow is essential to prevent spillover issues. If you have many pipes directing water to one tank, install multiple outflow outlets.

Gumming Overflow Screen

It is important that rainwater tank owners install outflow outlet strainers. The small holes help prevent insects and debris from entering a water tank. Unfortunately, the holes in a tank outflow mesh are small; hence, trapped debris and bugs form a sticky layer of organic matter over time. Consequently, it blocks the outflow and causes spillover. Thus, inspecting and cleaning an outflow screen is critical to preventing blockages, particularly if your tank is fitted with a fixed screen. However, a screened "overflow flap valve" that flaps open when water reaches the outflow point and closes when the downpour stops is better. Still, you must inspect the flap valve to ensure the springs keep the flap working correctly.

Misaligned Overflow Outlets

Linking more than one tank offers greater flexibility by increasing your rainwater harvesting capacity. In fact, linking multiple rainwater tanks to improve water-harvesting capacity may be easier and cheaper than replacing the existing one with a larger model. That said, aligning the overflow outlets of different tanks is essential to preventing overflow issues. For instance, the overflows will not line up if you link a small tank to a big one on the same foundation level. Unfortunately, the misalignment places undue pressure on smaller tanks' outflow outlets, causing them to burst at the seams and pour out. A professional plumber can help you align the overflow outlets of linked tanks regardless of size to prevent spillover issues.

To learn more about rainwater tanks, contact a supplier.