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By Dave09

North Yorkshire, United Kingdom Gb

Are 2nd hand IBC tanks safe to use as water butts?
Giant water butts cost £200-£500, but 2nd hand 1000 litre "IBC" tanks are £20-£40 on ebay. Tempting, but the adverts often don't say what they originally contained. I don't want to poison my plants. Some people seem to store fuel in them. Is it possible to clean them out sufficiently for use watering garden, or should I avoid?



what is an ibc tank for starters and do you know what they were used for in the first place ? as long as its not thick gloopy stuff most things are capable of being cleaned out especialy if its for plants as aposed to fish . theres a good chance you could use a bleach and or a detergent and soak it for ages . then when you think its clean get a cheap plant you dont mind using and try it on it . it realy depends what has been in it before .

1 Nov, 2010


If you have questions about a particular IBC tank available on e-bay you can ask the seller any questions about previous use.

There seems to be a wide variety available...all sizes and made from varying materials. Good luck! Because of their size it seems they are mainly pick-up only.

1 Nov, 2010


good thinking whistonlass x .

2 Nov, 2010


IBC tanks are the heavy plastic bulk liquid storage tanks, typically 1,000 litres, used throughout industry. They can be used to store anything and i would not trust a seller of used ones to tell me the truth, if he even knows.

2 Nov, 2010


Many thanks for the replies.

That's my fear Bulbaholic - sellers may not even be aware what the tank has been used for in the past. They are suspiciously cheap. A common second-hand use seems to be by DIY bio-diesel makers. I imagine even a low concentration of diesel could be seriously bad for plants.

2 Nov, 2010


Having said what I did, Dave, when driving home today I noticed several in fields holding water for horses.

2 Nov, 2010


I hope you can find one that is suitable, Dave....if you have space to accommodate one it would be a godsend in summer months and also the rainwater is recommended for a lot of our plants. I did notice at least one seller who said his container was clean and hadn't been used to store anything nasty. Now, as Bulbaholic's all in the trust you have in the seller....

2 Nov, 2010


id find someone and think of some good questions to ask them.

2 Nov, 2010


Most sellers on ebay will let you inspect the IBC before you buy it........ take the top off and have a look inside
They do come in 2 different sizes 600 liters & 1000 liters hope this helps.

23 Dec, 2012

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