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Old 09-16-2010, 10:48 PM   #1
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Suggestions On Lifting Water Tank To Roof


Hi everyone,

I am assembling a solar water heater on my roof. The frame is in place but the 40 gallon hot water tank (110 pounds) needs to be moved to the roof (22 ft off the ground). Other than having 2 people try to carry the tank up on 2 ladders, I hope this experienced group can suggest a better way.

Many thanks,

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Old 09-16-2010, 11:43 PM   #2
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Suggestions On Lifting Water Tank To Roof


helicopter. Works for the 120' light poles. surely would work for a little tank.


are you sure you want to put a 110 pound tank on your roof? You add 40 gallons of water to that and you have 444 pounds. That is a lot of weight to put on a roof.


so getting it on the roof. Doesn't sound like fun.

Know anybody with a bucket truck?

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Old 09-17-2010, 07:25 AM   #3
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Suggestions On Lifting Water Tank To Roof


It’s either muscle it up or hire someone with a boom to set it up there for you. That’s about it.
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Old 09-17-2010, 08:55 AM   #4
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Suggestions On Lifting Water Tank To Roof


Could you work with pullies or a come-a-long. Of course you'd need to fabricate a method for holding this in place. Other thought is to make a STURDY "V" trough, pad the contact areas to reduce friction and prevent scarring, fasten trough securely at top and bottom and invite 3 fairly strong friends over.
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Old 09-17-2010, 09:34 AM   #5
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Suggestions On Lifting Water Tank To Roof


I assume you examined the structural capacity of the roof to hold the load, as previously noted by a poster. This is obviously CRITICAL, so you presumably submitted the calcs to the building inspector when you pulled your permit. So back to the question of getting a tank up to the roof.

Option one, the easiest, most expensive, is to rent a crane for the day. Need a light lift crane with boom and 22 foot vertical reach. Could cost $1000. Seems a bit pricey.

Option 2, You rent a manlift from the local rental store with enough capacity to get the tank to the bottom of the roof. You then winch it to the top of the roof using an electric winch such as is used on trucks. Of course, you need to attach the winch to the top of the roof using adequate fasteners, but you need to attach the tank also, so perhaps you can use the tank platform for the winch. And make sure the tank is on a rolling crate so you don't destroy your roof when you winch it up. Cost for this option includes the manlift plus the winch, much less expensive than the crane.

Option 3, you muscle this up a pair of ladders and either carry it or winch it to the top of the roof. This is a BAD PLAN, and has the real potential to kill someone, so I suggest you go with 1 or 2.
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Old 09-17-2010, 09:54 AM   #6
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Suggestions On Lifting Water Tank To Roof


If the WH was in a box I would strap it to a 4 wheel dolly. Build a ramp out of plywood to reach the roof. Put the ramp between two ladders. Tie a rope to WH walk up the ladder pulling the WH. At intervals on the ramp and on the top of the ramp, add a cross piece to the ramp ie 2x4. Pull the dolly over the small cross pieces to rest if needed (say every eight feet). Same for the top when you reach the roof.

You also could have a person on the other side of the roof on the ground holding a rope tied to the WH so it wouldn't slide back down.
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Old 09-17-2010, 09:57 AM   #7
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Suggestions On Lifting Water Tank To Roof


Quote:
Originally Posted by Daniel Holzman View Post
I assume you examined the structural capacity of the roof to hold the load, as previously noted by a poster. This is obviously CRITICAL, so you presumably submitted the calcs to the building inspector when you pulled your permit.
Of COURSE he pulled the permit, why would he risk his life (and his family's lives) just to save a few bucks? That would be quite foolish. To raise the APPROVED tank, he could use a 100' rope tied around the balanced center of the tank, toss the rope over the roof to the other side of the house and have a couple of his friends slowly pull as he walks it up the ladder on the other side keeping it centered on the ladder. Difficulty will vary with roof pitch, of course.

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Old 09-17-2010, 10:06 AM   #8
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Suggestions On Lifting Water Tank To Roof


I'm sorry, but why the heck do you feel you have to have the tank, itself, on the roof? Is it not the collectors through which the water runs that create the hot water? Doesn't the tank just store it?

I can think of several ways to do this that do not involve risking a roof collapse.
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Old 09-17-2010, 10:29 AM   #9
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Suggestions On Lifting Water Tank To Roof


Quote:
Originally Posted by Willie T View Post
I'm sorry, but why the heck do you feel you have to have the tank, itself, on the roof? Is it not the collectors through which the water runs that create the hot water? Doesn't the tank just store it?

I can think of several way to do this that do not involve risking a roof collapse.
I was thinking the exact same thing.....
I don't think 20' closer to the sun will make THAT much difference either....

-=chuckle=-

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Old 09-17-2010, 10:29 AM   #10
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Suggestions On Lifting Water Tank To Roof


Water weighs about 8.35 lbs per gallon
So a 40g tank of water is 335 lbs...plus weight of tank & fittings
As stated make sure your roof can handle the weight
Adding 450 lbs of weight in one spot could cause a collapse

I'd be inclined to use multiple ropes
And have one rope tied to a car bumper as a security rope
Taking up the slack as it goes up the roof
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Old 09-17-2010, 10:48 PM   #11
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Suggestions On Lifting Water Tank To Roof


Quote:
Originally Posted by Willie T View Post
I'm sorry, but why the heck do you feel you have to have the tank, itself, on the roof? Is it not the collectors through which the water runs that create the hot water? Doesn't the tank just store it?

I can think of several ways to do this that do not involve risking a roof collapse.
It is a evacuated tube collector where the heat transfer tubes warms the water in the tank directly. It is an open loop system where the tank preheats water before going in to the regular hot water heater.

Here are photos of one installed.

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Thanks,
Art
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Old 09-18-2010, 01:27 PM   #12
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Suggestions On Lifting Water Tank To Roof


The easiest way to do it would be to set up a pulley system using a simple gun tackle (that would reduce the weight by half, making it easier to control the lift).

I don't suppose you've got a strong tree (or other fixed structure) overhanging the roof? That would be ideal, since you could set up a nice stable two-point lift.

Lacking an existing structure to anchor your lift, you could rig a temporary derrick on the gable end.

Alternatively you could anchor your lift on the opposite side of the house - i.e., run your lines up over the roof and down to a fixed point on the other side. You'd have to nail some boards to the roof for the tank to slide across to protect the shingles though.

Personally, I'd probably go with the 3rd option above (assuming the 1st wasn't possible).

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Old 09-18-2010, 02:14 PM   #13
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Suggestions On Lifting Water Tank To Roof


4 possible options .

1. rent a bucket truck capable of lifting that height and weight.

2. Maybe the lifts they use for taking shingles to the roof would work , a pack of shingles weighs about 80 lbs.

3. Do you know anybody in the sign business ? If you do get them to help lift it to the supports.

4. Maybe get a local tree company to do it for a few bucks.


You might have to spend a few bucks to get it in place.
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Old 09-19-2010, 12:04 AM   #14
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Suggestions On Lifting Water Tank To Roof


I'd tie one end of 2 ropes to your frame, have them go under the tank, then back over the top of it, over the roof, and down the back side.

as you pull the ropes on the backside, the tank will roll its way up at half the speed. I'd use a truck or quad to pull the ropes.

Go slow!

well, actually, if it was me, I'd just pull the damned thing up with a rope directly. maybe a pully or just a friction guard, and climb down 110 lbs lighter

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