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Thread: Cold Weather Effect on Tank Foundation

  1. #1
    Associate Engineer
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
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    Cold Weather Effect on Tank Foundation

    Hello everyone,

    I have been asked for advice on one of our "water" tanks on our plant site. We are located in North Dakota and it is the middle of winter (low 30's this week so not very cold but we have about 3 - 4' frost around here). This is a 142' diameter x 40' high tank set on a concrete pad and earth foundation (see attached detail) and was built back in the early 1980's.

    The tank has been empty since last summer and now one of the process engineers have informed me that they will be filling it shortly with warm water (80 degree Fahrenheit). I was asked if filling the cold tank with the warm water would have any negative impact on the tanks foundation. My initial thought is no.

    Does anyone see something that I don't?

    Thank you!



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  2. #2
    Lead Engineer Cake of Doom's Avatar
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    Aug 2012
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    UK
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    That's roughly swimming pool temperature. I'd imagine even a cold water fill would hit that temp. over an average summer so I wouldn't worry about that too much. As it's based on all made ground, uplift probably won't be an issue either. I'd be more worried about freeze / thaw damage to the concrete but a visual inspection could satisfy that.

    All the usual caveats apply about taking advise from the internet. Other than that, happy filling!

  3. #3
    Associate Engineer
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
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    4
    From my experience with fuel pipelines and tanks I don't think you will have any problems. We have put ground temp fuel into tanks well below freezing temperatures without any problems. As long as your tank is built according to standards the thermal expansion and contraction it will go through should not damage the concrete below.

    Drew K

  4. #4
    Engineer
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    Nov 2018
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    Abu Dhabi
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    over an average summer so I wouldn't worry about that too much.

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