When searching for a new, or replacement tank, there are a variety of considerations that go into what type of tank will be the best for your business.  Although the up-front cost for a stainless steel tank can sometimes be more than a plastic, or polyethylene tank, you may end up spending much more money, lose out on potential revenue, and even compromise the safety of your employees and your customers by not selecting the right type of tank.  Below are the main factors to consider when making this decision and how stainless steel tanks compare to plastic ones.  

  • Durability & Strength

  • Ease of Installation and Moving

  • Safety

  • Maintenance


Stainless steel is a very durable material, resistant to corrosion and extreme temperatures. Plastic storage tanks are noticeably less durable. Additionally, they can be prone to cracking or leaking under certain conditions.  This can lead to having to replace your tanks earlier than expected and more often which will then increase the total expenses that are put toward your tanks.  Stainless steel tanks are also resistant to corrosion which means that they will not be a risk to leave impurities in the materials you are storing in the tanks.

Durability Advantage:     Stainless Steel

Strength Advantage:        Stainless Steel

Ease of Installation and Moving

Plastic tanks are definitely going to be much lighter than stainless steel tanks making them easier to move around, however, because plastic tanks can be less durable and not as strong as stainless steel, you must install them with added care to ensure that they do not break, crack, warp or bend during the move. 

Stainless steel tanks will typically need a forklift to install and move but because of their strength and durability, this can be done without worry of any issues due to breaking, cracking or warping. 

If you end up with a broken or cracked tank you will lose time as you wait for a replacement tank and you will have to spend more money on the replacement tank.  Overall, it would be a much better choice to opt for the stainless steel tank, if possible, to avoid these issues and ending up spending more money and wasted time.

  Ease of Installation & Moving Advantage: *Plastic, but possibly a draw

*Even though we are giving plastic the advantage for installation and moving, you may end up with more complications, costs and lost time if anything happens to compromise the plastic tanks during installation and moving.


The safety of the tank itself as a piece of equipment is the first measure of safety to consider.  When working with a stainless steel tank, you are dealing with a lot of weight which means that you must make sure to take proper care and precautions when installing and moving.  Plastic tanks are much lighter so they wont be as big of a safety hazard if the tank falls or is tipped over when installing or moving.  However, stainless steel tanks become much safer, in this regard, once the tank is in place.  Since the stainless steel tank has such a higher level of durability and strength, you will not have nearly the same worries of the tank breaking or falling, due to cracks, bending and warping.  You will also not have to worry about the tanks strength being compromised due to the weight of the materials you are storing or holding inside.

The second measure of safety for tanks will deal with the contamination of materials you are holding in the tank. There is a reason why you will typically hear people call stainless steel tanks “sanitary tanks”, and the reason is simple.  Stainless steel tanks are able to keep out bacteria, mold, rust and other contaminants that can make your product unsafe and unable to be used.  This is especially important when storing water or any other type of food-grade product that is meant for consumption or use with humans or animals.  Plastic tanks are extremely susceptible to growing mold and bacteria making them a poor choice for storing water or any other food-grade product.

The third measure of safety to be considered is the fact that stainless steel is fire resistant.  Hopefully, you will never have to deal with any type of fire in your factory or anywhere else for that matter, but the reality is that these things do happen and it is reassuring to know that stainless steel tanks and equipment are fire retardant.  Plastic tanks are not resistant to fire and can actually help to fuel a fire and make it easier for the fire to spread.  If your plastic tank melts, you will also lose all the product stored in those tanks and have to replace the tanks.

The bottom line is that when it comes to safety, stainless steel tanks have a huge advantage over plastic and it can end up saving you large amounts of money by going with stainless.  The first rule I have always taught my staff and even my own children is “Safety First”!  This will always apply to everything, especially when you are considering the lives and safety of your employees and customers!

Safety Advantage:             Stainless Steel


The maintenance of your tanks is extremely important and can directly impact the ability to keep your product sanitary and free from any impurities as well as help to ensure that the integrity of your tanks can be kept, allowing the tanks to last longer. 

Stainless steel tanks are very easily maintained and take a small amount of maintenance compared to plastic tanks.  One of the main reasons that stainless steel tanks are so easy to clean and maintain is due to the fact that Stainless steel is a non-porous and extremely smooth surface versus plastic, which is not as smooth and can have numerous small ridges or crevices that can be havens for bacteria, mold and other contaminants that you do not want to have invading your product. If you ever want to switch the product that you are storing in the tank, you will also have a much more difficult time cleaning out original product in plastic tanks. 

A great product that is non-toxic and able to be used as a cleaning aid for both stainless steel and plastic tanks, along with any other surface or material, is PureBiotics Cleaning Solutions.  PureBiotics & Chrisal products are applicable to all places where hygiene is of great importance. Hospitals & Healthcare facilities (hospitals, rest homes, medical clinics…), Residential & Commercial facilities (hospitality and accommodation, schools, offices/workplaces, homes…), Farming & Animal housing (horses, cows, pigs, chickens, goats, sheep…). PIP products are perfectly safe and will strongly improve hygiene to humans and animals.  You can find a full list of products that PureBiotics can be used for here.  What is great about the PureBiotics cleaners is that they are environmentally friendly and no protective clothing is required and contact with bare skin will have no negative effects.

When it comes to the bottom line for your business, you will end up spending less money to maintain and clean stainless steel tanks compared to plastic.

Maintenance Advantage:              Stainless Steel


Overall, its easy to see that a stainless steel tank will end up being a much better choice for your next new, or replacement, tank.  This is especially true when you are dealing with food-grade products and potable water.  A plastic tank becomes a valid option for various chemicals and solvents that are not meant for human consumption or interaction, or with non-drinking water that is not meant to be consumed by humans or animals.  Even then, it still may end up being a better choice for you to use stainless steel due to the safety and maintenance advantages of stainless steel over plastic which can save you money and help keep your product line running as efficiently as possible will help avoid needless costs for replacement tanks which will also slow down, or stop, your production.


For more information about TanksUSA stainless steel tanks and to see all the different types of stainless steel tanks, equipment, pumps and parts please visit us www.tanksusallc.com  You can also request a quote for any type of tank by simply clicking here

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