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Floor Loading for large tanks

Hello Folks:
    I have been taking some drafting courses here in
NY.  Some of the rule of thumb I was given was that
the average home built to code uses a system of floor
joists to allow for 35 pounds/square foot of floor
loading in an average residence.  So if your joists
are 2 by 6 on 16 inch centers you are probably in this
ballpark.  The unsupported span of the joist is a
critical factor that needs to be assessed.  Commercial
structures (like office buildings) generally allow for
150 to 200 lbs/square foot of loading to accomodate
the loads of filing cabinets.  I believe floor joists
in this case would average about 2 by 12 on 16inch or
12 inch centers.  Unsupported spans then become the
issue.  If you are doing this in your home, I would
suggest putting some colums/beams under the immediate
joists that will support the joists to bear the tank
load, just to be on the safe side. Remember that along
one wall where all the joists come in at 90 degrees to
the wall, they (joists) rest on another equally sized
wood member called the sole plate.  This sole plate is
often wood and could begin to crush slowly under
concentrated load points. I don't want to make it
sound impossible, but with carefull consideration you
can succeed and know that you have not sacrificed the
integrity of your home and the new tank. Best of luck
and keep us posted on your progress and findings.
Thanks, Diana

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