Pricing and Costs of Steel and Stainless Steel Tanks

By Leah Kuriluk, writer
Jul 05, 2011
Image Credit: Monkeybusinessimages / Getty Images

Many factors play a role in determining the price of a stainless steel tank

Purchasing a steel or stainless steel tank can end up being more expensive than you bargained for if you don't do your research. There are many factors that determine how expensive or cheap steel and stainless steel tanks are, including size, coatings, thickness, shipping and more. You can use these factors to figure out the pricing and costs of steel and stainless steel tanks before you buy.

Generally speaking, the larger the tank, the more expensive the tank and the transportation will be. Extra thickness and plating can inflate the price as well. Many of these features are necessary for certain industries, but do make models more expensive.

1. Coating or adding plating to large steel tanks can be more expensive than adding these features to a smaller tank. Large tanks require more materials and take longer to coat.

2. Used stainless steel tanks can be less expensive than newer models, but specific features can be hard to find and used tanks won't last as long.

3. Some stainless steel tank manufacturers factor in shipping costs, while others charge a separate fee. Always check to see whether transportation is included in the purchase price.

Use steel instead of stainless steel tanks for a cheaper option

Even large steel tanks will probably cost less than a smaller stainless steel model. Although tanks made of steel tend to be cheaper and very strong, they don't work for every industry. Steel tanks are more prone to corrosion and don't work as well for storing liquids. This problem can be avoided by coating the steel tank in an epoxy or other finisher, but if the finish ever cracks or wears away then expensive problems may start. Steel tanks can cost anywhere from $30 to $75 for a small model to thousands for a larger model.

Purchase stainless steel tanks for high quality and liquid storage

Stainless steel tanks have a wide variety of uses. Stainless steel storage tanks, like stainless steel wine tanks or a stainless steel water tank, keep liquids carefully contained and monitored. Stainless steel tanks can also store flammable and combustible liquids and gases like petroleum, although storing this type of liquid requires a stronger grade of steel to meet environmental and safety regulations. Smaller liquid tanks for personal or small business use can be anywhere from $50 to $300 dollars, while larger tanks, for example water towers, can be hundreds of thousands.

Custom steel and stainless tanks are usually more expensive

Custom stainless steel tanks can be designed with your job in mind. This kind of approach can be cost-effective if you can't find a model with the features you need without a bunch of extras tacked on, but custom tanks are generally pricier than stock models. Ask the custom stainless steel tank fabricators to give you an itemized estimation beforehand. This can save you money in the long run, and give you an estimate of what you'll have to spend.
  • Local and online auction sites often sell used stainless steel tanks cheaply. If you're looking for a small business or personal-sized tank, checking auction sites first might save you time and money.
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