03 February 2022

How Much Does A Rainwater Tank Cost?

So, you’re in the market for a new rainwater tank? And you’re wondering how much the investment will be and how much bang you’ll get for your buck? And why are some tanks more expensive than others? Surely, a tank is just a tank, isn’t it? Fair enough. You’re entitled to know! In this article we’ll talk about some of these influences in the tank industry that determine how much that you, the customer, ultimately end up paying…..

Water Tanks

Blog Tile Cost 2

All across this great country, rainwater tanks are manufactured to comply with Australian Standards, meaning that the actual tanks are very similar, regardless of who makes them. If that’s the case then, you might be wondering why prices vary from year to year and from one supplier to the next, and what are the things that drive the cost of a tank upwards?

Raw Material Costs

As many of us would know, in recent times the cost of many raw materials has increased substantially. Unfortunately, the raw materials to produce rain tanks (both poly and steel) have been no exception to these hefty price increases.

Special Delivery Locations

Should you be lucky enough to live in a ‘remote’ or ‘faraway’ place, your tanks may attract an extra delivery charge. In Tasmania, a few examples of this would be locations such as Bruny Island, King Island and Flinders Island, and more distant destinations such as Cockle Creek.

Occasionally tank deliveries are done via helicopter – you’d also be wise to get pricing confirmed for this before assuming it falls under the ‘Free Delivery’ banner!

Special and Customised Configurations or Fittings

If your specific tank configuration requires special or customised fittings, you’ll likely incur extra cost. This is because (as with most products), there is a ‘standard’ configuration that pricing is based on, and when this is changed the supplier has to cover the extra costs that are related to your job. That said, most tank suppliers are very happy to customise, and they do it regularly.

Grade of Material

While most tanks are made from a fairly small variety of base materials, there are times when special materials may be required, which can increase the cost of a tank. For example, if a metal tank needs to be manufactured from 304 Grade Stainless Steel rather than standard Galvanised material, the cost of the tank will be substantially increased, likewise if a poly tank is required to contain hot or heavy contents it must be made from different polymers to a standard water tank.

Pumps and Accessories

There are literally thousands of options when it comes to pumps and other accessories for your tank. Particularly with pumps, the quality and capacity of the unit is closely reflected in the purchase price – the more you spend the better the result will be. To learn more about which pump will suit you best, read our article about Pumps – help explain the differences!

Now you’re probably wondering…. logically, if there are things that drive cost upwards, what are the factors that drive cost down?

Collect ex Works

Because of the bulky nature of the products, most tank manufacturers in Australia will quote pricing that includes an allowance for delivery to site. Should you have the equipment and capacity to transport your tank safely yourself, some manufacturers will offer a discounted price for ‘Collect ex Works’ – it’s well worth checking.

Grade of Material

Just as there are some materials that will increase the cost of a tank, there are also some materials that can lead to a decrease in the cost. Some examples of this are

  • Off-spec Polymer Colours – from time to time manufacturers may be able to source raw material that is not the colour it was intended to be – this material may be obtained at a better than normal price which allows savings to be passed on.
  • Recycled Polymer – in some applications, tanks made from recycled polymer can be used. Just a note of caution though – they can’t be used for potable (drinking) water and should not be used for large tanks and high stress applications.

Factory Seconds

As in almost all manufacturing industries, sometimes there are rejects and factory seconds. Most companies will sell these products at a discount, although please be aware that normal warranty terms are usually waived when purchasing F/2 products.

So, we’ve already said that the manufacturing specifications of tanks doesn’t vary too much from one company to the next….. so what are the differences between tank companies that you are entitled to know about?

And what are the less obvious things that determine where a company is positioned in the marketplace?

Path to Market

As is common in many industries, some tank manufacturers choose to deal directly with the end user, while others prefer to work through a dealer network. There are pro’s and con’s for both approaches – but normally the pricing is fairly consistent across both. In the instance of a dealer network scenario, the manufacturer shares the profit with a local dealer who in return promotes the products and handles sales for their area. This method has the advantage that it keeps money flowing through local communities, providing jobs and income for the locals, but ‘flash sales’ and ‘discount days’ are not so common because profit margins are smaller for both the manufacturer and the reseller.

Delivery Equipment and Procedures

You will appreciate that oftentimes rainwater tanks are very large and awkward products to deliver and get into place. Most tank suppliers offer free delivery to site, although the usual ‘on-site placement’ procedures may vary from company to company. Working with an experienced delivery team member can save you hours and hours of ‘blood, sweat and tears’ on the job – they’re usually well trained and competent at what they do!

Warranty Periods & After Sales Service

As the client, you’re entitled to the assurance that the product that you’re purchasing is of good quality and that it is backed by a credible and genuine warranty. Broadly speaking, the longer the warranty and more comprehensive the after sales service that is offered, the more expensive the initial purchase price will be.

In summary, we’re back to the age old ‘Good, Fast, Cheap’ discussion. You can have Good and Fast, but it won’t be Cheap. You can have Good and Cheap, but it wont be Fast. You can have Fast and Cheap, but it won’t be Good.

At Orion Australia, you’ll rarely find us in the blue circle. Simply because we are uncomfortable there. And bring human, we prefer to operate in our comfort zone.

Pricing Guide – Round Poly Tanks

So as a guide, we have included a chart below, which will help you to get a feel for the size of

the investment you are making……

We can now determine from this chart that a 500L tank is valued at around $580 ($1.17 x 500L), a 4600L tank will be around $1300.00 ($0.29 x 4600L) and a 26000L tank will be around $3640.00 ($0.14 x 26000L). This is a general guide only, but should give you a good feel for how much outlay is needed!

Standard Inclusions

A standard rainwater tank, as we refer to it, includes the following components:

  • The tank itself
  • Leaf Strainer with integral insect mesh screen
  • Leaf Strainer Cover
  • Two threaded outlets, both plugged with a bung
  • Brass valve – take one of the bungs out and replace it with the valve
  • Poly hex nipple to connect valve to tank
  • 90mm Rapid Seal (rubber overflow seal)
  • 90mm overflow screen with insect mesh
  • Roll of thread tape (10m)
  • 40mm sludge outlet to satisfy BCA regulations.

Standard Delivery Procedures

At Orion Australia, we prefer to give you all the news (good, bad or both) up front. The pricing we quote includes delivery to most areas in Tasmania – some remote destinations or special delivery requirements might attract some extra freight charges.

When our delivery team arrive, they assess the task of placing the tanks and come up with a plan of action – literally every delivery is different. We do everything that we can to make the delivery and placement process seamless, based on the time and extra manpower that are available.

And no, our trucks don’t have a crane or Hiab! If the tanks need to be craned into place this is the responsibility of the site owner to arrange. But our delivery team are pretty good at what they do and a fair bit can be achieved without a crane!

After Sales Service and Warranty

We believe that a good business deal is one where both parties are happy. This, of course, includes a commitment to follow up service and in the event of a warranty claim or problem with a product (yes, we quite admit that sometimes this happens) we accept that it is our responsibility to make good. We are thankful to clients who are quick to advise us of any issues because it allows us to get the problem sorted sooner.

If you’re interested, you can view the Orion Australia P/L Warranty Terms and Conditions here.