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How to Choose A Right Water Tank For Your Home in Malaysia: 11 Useful Tips

Choosing a Right Water Tank in Malaysia

  20 Jan 2022

Poly or Stainless Steel? The 11 Most Important Tips For Choosing the Right Water Tank For Your Home in Malaysia

Today we're going to reveal 11 little-known tips on how to choose the right water tank for your home in Malaysia.

In fact, having a water tank at home can serve as a backup water source, especially for unfortunate times of water disruption, which happens quite frequently in Melaka and Selangor. When this happens, citizens have to go through the trouble of carrying water buckets to and fro the water tanker, and this can be difficult for the elderly.

When water cuts have become an annual perennial issue, we should consider installing a proper water tank with a big enough capacity to get through these periods. But, choosing the right water tank isn't that easy.

Things To Consider For Choosing The Right Water Storage Tank

These are all the ‘homework' you need to figure out in order to find the perfect water storage solution.

So, in today's article, we're going to cover all the 11 useful tips and techniques we've shortlisted for you to get yourself the best water tank for your family home. We hope that you'll get deep insights from this post.

Let's get started!

Size: What Water Tank Size Do I Need for My Family?

According to the Environment and Water Ministry, Malaysians have a higher-than-recommended water consumption volume daily at 219 litres per person. (The supposed rate is at 160 to 165 litres per day!)

While you may want to reconsider the way you utilize water, let's break it down further on how water is allocated for our daily activities.

Daily, a person needs about 30 litres of water for consumption and personal hygiene. For laundry, dishes, home cleaning, and such, a person would require an extra 20 to 30 litres of water. So, let's round things up and estimate that a person needs at least 160 to 219 litres of water per day.

While water tanks can be diverse in size, and the most common ones in Malaysia are usually between 70 to 100,000 litres in capacity.

To pick out the best one for your home, you have to know how many family members you have and their water usage pattern (depending on their lifestyle). If let's say you have a family of three members, so the calculation goes:

219 litres x 3 pax = 657 litres per day

In case you need to store for at least a month for any emergency, and this volume will be enough for a maximum of 2 days (a bare minimum), then it will be:

657 litres x 15 (30/2 days) = 9,855 litres

Thus, a water tank of up to 10,000 litres (or 2,200 gallons) will be enough to support a family of three.

If you have any family member working from home or involved in sports (which means more laundry and more usage of water), you may want to increase the estimation. As opposed to that, if everyone's out for work or school on weekdays, the estimation could be slightly lower.

Once you have this figured out, you can consider either going with a metal tank that has a maximum of up to 100,000 litres, or an HDPE tank that has a maximum of 50,000 litres (depending on the manufacturers).

By the way, not all water tanks are measured in litre. Some of them, especially for HDPE (or poly) tanks, are mostly measured in gallon. In case you need to do some maths, keep this formula in mind for any conversions required:

1 gallon = 3.78541 litres

Material: Stainless Steel vs Poly — Which One Is Better?

In Malaysia, the two most common types of water tank materials are Plastic (also known as PE, Poly or HDPE water tank) and Stainless Steel.

HDPE tanks are lighter in weight, rust-resistant, and leak-proof. Furthermore, they are cheaper than metal tanks too. Since they are lighter, it makes them easier to transport, install, clean, and maintain.

Stainless steel tanks are better known for being able to resist rust and heat. It is durable, easy to clean and maintain as well. On a side note, these tanks can be further divided into two categories: SUS304 and SUS316.

SUS304 is commonly available in the Malaysian market and is used the most for household-grade storage tanks. SUS316 is being regarded as the higher, more premium steel, used mainly for chemicals, oil, and gas. It has higher strength, durability, and corrosion resistance as compared to 304. This is why it is used most frequently in marine, industrial, pharmaceutical, and chemical manufacturing industries.

Now, we'll look into individual qualities separately and make a quick comparison between both materials.

Poly Tank Stainless Steel Tank
Water Quality Made of food-grade Polyethylene that is suitable for storing potable water.

BUT! Light-coloured tanks that are exposed to sunlight over a long time can cause the growth of algae and bacteria.

So, if the location of your tank is exposed to the sun, go for dark-coloured ones like black or dark green. The downside is that your water may be warmer.

Or, you can choose to place it under an awning where it is partially shaded to keep the water cool.
Consists of chromium that makes it strong, adherent, and corrosion-resistant.

It holds the ability to resist oxidation by water, chemical contamination, and the formation of algae.

Be it high or low temperature, metal tanks can withstand them all. There is no risk of cracking, rust, or freezing that would compromise the water quality.
Summary: Both materials are good at keeping your water safe and clean for drinking. However, stainless steel tanks are a better option for outdoor settings, while PE tanks are better for shaded or partial shaded areas.
Heat & UV Resistance Prolonged exposure to sunlight may cause normal PE tanks to crack under thermal expansion.

You can go for UV-stabilized tanks made with special stabiliser resin that can inhibit or absorb harmful UV rays. Thus, preventing it from becoming brittle.

But it may still be susceptible to cracks and leakages since the weather has become unpredictable these days.
Metal tanks are UV light-proof and are able to reflect sunlight.

This makes them a safer option to be placed under full sunlight locations as they are capable of keeping water at a cooler temperature.

They have high heat resistance which fully guarantees the water inside does not breed algae.
Summary: Similar to the previous comparison, stainless steel tank makes a better choice for outdoors as they are more ideal as storage of drinking water.
Strength The rotomoulding process bonds polyethylene tanks through speed and heat, making them more durable and less likely to fall apart.

They are more impact resistant, and hard objects like a hammer can hardly make a dent.
Steel might be harder than plastic, but the strength of metal tanks depends upon how well they are manufactured.

As their parts are welded or bolted together, they can become weakened over time. Plus, they are more susceptible to dents and may require repair.
Summary: Both tanks are very strong and will not bulge or warp. Stainless steel, however, is less impact-resistant than a poly tank which can easily withstand being struck with a hammer.
Application Best for places with limited space e.g., small households or high-rise buildings. Usually positioned under awnings or placed on shaded rooftops to avoid exposure to direct sunlight.

Ideal for pharmaceutical and chemical storage, or as a rainwater harvesting system.
Best used for small residential areas, office buildings, schools and small factories, and water storage for firefighting.

Also suitable for industrial usage such as mining, irrigation, power generation, processing, etc.
Summary: This largely depends on where you live and where the tank will be placed.
Environmental Impact Not recyclable and generally takes 100 to 1000 years to degrade (and that's just an optimistic estimation). The majority are made with an eco-friendly alloy and consist of 70% to 80% recyclable materials, which helps reduce carbon footprints.
Summary: If you're eco-conscious, go for metal.

Price: How Much Does A Water Storage Tank Costs in Malaysia?

Of course, this depends on how big of a water tank you and your family needs. Let's reuse our calculations from earlier.

A person is estimated to use 219 litres of water per day, which amounts to 657 litres per day for a family of three.

1 pax = 219 litres per day

219 litres x 3 pax = 657 litres per day

Let's round things up to 660 litres, this volume will be enough for a maximum of 2 days (a bare minimum). To include the chances of an emergency, let's increase our estimation.

660 liters x 3.5 (7/2 days) = 2,310 liters

Therefore, the size of tank you'll need is at least 2,300 litres (or 500-600 gallons).

Price For A 1000-Litre Tank

The price of a 1,000 litres (or 220-250 gallons) water tank is — for one person per week:

Poly / HDPE Tank Stainless Steel Tank
RM400 to RM750 RM1,000 to RM1,800
(May cost up to RM2,400 to RM3,400 for a tank with stand)

Price For A 2000-Litre Tank

The price of a 2,000 litres (or 450-500 gallons) water tank is:

Poly / HDPE Tank Stainless Steel Tank
RM700 to RM2,500 Around RM1,800 to RM2,800 for normal cylinder shape tank;
Can go up to RM4,700 for a special square shape tank.

Price For A 3000-Litre Tank

The price of a 3,000 litres (or 650-700 gallons) water tank is:

Poly / HDPE Tank Stainless Steel Tank
Around the range of RM3,000. But currently not available yet in the Malaysian market. Ranges from RM2,800 to RM7,500 depending on the shape needed.

Shape: Circular or Rectangular? Does Shape of the Tank Matter?

Shapes of Water Storage Tank

Stainless steel tanks normally come with limited shapes. They are either circular or cylindrical, and either standing or horizontal. The only difference is whether one is with or without a stand.

HDPE tanks have a wider variety of shapes. They can be rectangular, round, or square. The reason for their versatility is that they are normally required for lower capacity as compared to metal tanks. This makes them easier to fit into residential houses with limited spaces.

However, the ideal shape would be a cylindrical-shaped storage tank. This ensures a smooth and even distribution of water pressure and easier liquid transportation. Since round structures minimize the surface area through which heat radiates, therefore the water temperature remains more constant as well.

But on the other hand, square and rectangular tanks are easier to store and they take up lesser space than cylindrical ones. Their modular design is ideal for construction companies that are building new housing developments.

Colour: How About the Colour? Which Should I Choose?

While stainless steel tanks do not come with many colour choices, poly tanks pose a wider variety, the common ones are black, white, dark blue or dark green. But most Malaysians use black-coloured ones.

Colours of HDPE Water Tank

The reason why dark-coloured tanks are the preferred choice is that they repel the growth of algae and bacteria in this warm climate, but they might heat up faster if put under direct sunlight. This makes the water you're using hot rather than refreshing (if used for drinking purposes). But warmer water also creates the perfect breeding ground for bacteria. So, we highly suggest putting it in a shaded area.

Light-coloured tanks, on the other hand, reflect sunlight and are slower in absorbing heat. They also look more pleasing aesthetically.

Lifespan: How Long Does A Water Tank Last?

Poly / HDPE Tank Stainless Steel Tank
Around 15 to 25 Years
(Depend on whether they are exposed consistently to the sun or not)
Around 50 to 70 Years
(Due to high resistance to sunlight heating, environmental pressures & fire)

Location: Where Should I Place the Tank?

Water tanks are best placed above ground or on a rooftop. The main reasons why water tanks are usually placed at elevated heights is because:

  • Water flows towards gravitational force naturally;
  • The greater the height, the greater is the pressure.

It is only with high pressure that water can get to where it is needed in your house. Above-ground water tanks are less labour-intensive and less expensive to build. Since it is above ground, it is easier to detect any damage and fix it without specialized equipment.

If you're going with a stainless steel tank, you can place it under direct sunlight as it will help evaporate the chlorine in the water, making your water less pungent.

Installation of Stainless Steel Tanks Under Direct Sunlight

For polyethylene tanks, it is best to place them under an awning to avoid direct exposure to sunlight that will promote algae growth and cause cracking (unless you pick one that is UV stabilized).

Installation of Poly Tanks on Rooftop

Maintenance & Installation

All that's required for any tank installation is a stabilized flat spot with firm foundations. For PE tanks, even crusher dust bases are OK. Stainless steel tanks though require a more compact and solid foundation due to their construction.

PE tanks are also much lighter and easier to set in place. If you also decide to re-locate your tank later on, then a plastic tank is much easier to move.

Once a metal tank is installed, you do not want to move it again. Not only is it heavy, but you risk compromising its structural integrity and having leaks develop. That is why it is also important to ensure your foundations are protected from erosion.

Maintenance wise, poly tanks require much less ongoing expense to maintain and can be set up with a tank self-cleaning system. A metal tank often requires a more expensive two-tank system.

Brand: Which Brand Should I Go For?

HDPE Tank Brands

For HDPE tanks, Deluxe, King Kong, Kossan, Mui Fatt, and BNH are some of the brands you can choose from. While Kossan and Mui Fatt are the most commonly used ones in Malaysia.

Stainless Steel Tank Brands

As for stainless steel tanks, you can pick from Deluxe, King Kong, STAR, ATKC, Maju, LSL, DWT, Formosa, TOP, and TReinz. The popular ones in Malaysia are King Kong and Deluxe stainless steel water tanks.

You should also base your decision on the tank's certification and warranty period, which we will talk about next.

Certification: What Are the Certifications Required For A Water Tank?

Water Storage Tank Certifications

All water tanks should be certified by the Standard and Industrial Research Institute of Malaysia (SIRIM) and the Suruhanjaya Perkhidmatan Air Negara (SPAN). This ensures that the water tank meets the quality set by these governing bodies.

If you want to be further assured, look for the IKRAM QA certificate for metal tanks, and an FDA certificate for poly tanks to ensure that the polyethylene used is proven to be safe for holding drinking water.

Warranty: How Long Does It Cover?

HDPE tanks normally come with a 5 to 10 years warranty, while stainless steel tanks are mostly with a 10-year warranty, subject to the terms and conditions set by each manufacturer

Under these warranty periods, services, inspections, and repair work are covered. These jobs are normally carried out by its own OEM manufacturer.

For example, Kossan HDPE tanks cover 10 years for indoor use, 5 years for outdoor use, whereas Mui Fatt tanks cover 10 years for indoor use, 8 years for outdoor use (Subjected to specific terms and conditions).

Final Few Tips

Before making any decision, you can always read up reviews online before purchasing from any suppliers. Don't forget to find out how long does it take from purchase to delivery and installation.

Read Reviews Online

You may also want to know how the tanks will be installed, and will it affect the existing water plumbing system of your house.

If you have any confusion or second thoughts, speak to professionals to get their opinions and advice.


Knowing all these pieces of information above before you purchase a water tank is very important. Because once you've made your mind, you have to bear the consequences if there are any installation or parts replacement needed in the future (especially for those placed under an awning), which can be costly at times.

Once you've got a clear picture and understanding of everything, you're now ready to get yourself a water tank!

For more tips and guides on different hardware, be sure to visit our blog again in the future.