What Is A Tankhouse? What Is The Purpose Of A Tank House?

What Is A Tankhouse? What Is The Purpose Of A Tank House?

What Is A Tankhouse?

A tankhouse is a water tower encased in siding and was used as part of an early self-sufficient domestic water system.

It typically consisted of a windmill, a hand-dug well, and the tankhouse itself and supplied both the house and garden before electricity or municipal water mains were available.

The tanks collected rainwater and stored it at an elevated level so that gravity could push it through pipes connected to the house, providing running water throughout.

What Is The Purpose Of A Tank House?

Tankhouses are an essential component in many households as they provide a dependable water source for domestic use and maintain consistent water pressure.

They usually consist of a large tank with a capacity ranging between 2,000-3,000 gallons which are placed on top of an elevated platform at least twenty to forty feet in height.

This allows the stored water to be pressurized so it can be efficiently distributed to meet the household’s needs. Not only does this ensure that adequate water supply is available for all members, but it also helps prevent shortages during peak demand or dry weather conditions.

Furthermore, these tanks are often insulated with fiberglass and polyurethane foam to keep stored water from contamination while reducing energy costs and maintaining temperature stability.

What Is The Main Reason Why Tanks Are Placed On Top Of Buildings?

The main reason for placing tanks on the top of buildings is to ensure that households have access to sufficient water pressure.

By positioning the tank at a higher elevation, it can benefit from the force of gravity meaning that more water pressure will be present in each house’s taps – this is an important scientific consideration.

This action also allows for water to flow easily throughout pipes and it is for this reason that tanks are often placed on rooftops in order to reach optimal levels of gravitation force.

Types of Tankhouse?

Tankhouses in California come in various designs, including vertical and sloping sides for the supporting tower and the tankroom (top floor) that may or may not overhang the tower.

The redwood tank is usually exposed rather than enclosed by siding, with or without a roof above it.

Four to six traditional types have been drawn out in illustrations from Cooper, Pitman, Manning, and Thorsheim. While some still preserve the top level, which enables one to identify their original design more easily, many existing tankhouses no longer retain this feature.

To further complicate matters, some were attached to windmills that could stand alone on their own towers. Sadly, most of these windmills have disappeared today.

History of Tankhouse?

Tankhouses have a long and varied history in California, where today they come in various shapes and sizes, such as vertical or sloping-sided towers with an upper tankroom.

In some areas, one particular type of tankhouse is more common than others, though some of the rarer variants built back in the 19th century are octagonal towers.

These were usually connected to a windmill tower – both of which rarely remain intact today – making it difficult to determine what their original design was like.

Nevertheless, tankhouses still stand tall throughout California and it’s clear that they’ve had a rich and varied history over the centuries.

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