Tank Size Calculator
The tank size calculator service is provided by RainWater Harvesting so you can establish the size of tank you might decide to install. You will need to know the approximate dimensions of your house in metres. If in doubt, just pace out the house length and width.
We can do the calculation for you if you supply the information requested below.
Want to do the calculation yourself? It will only take a minute or two.
Insert your building's data in the yellow boxes.
From the roof area of your property, you assess the amount of water available, and equate it to the amount you will use.
Spreadsheet Version Of The Calculator
An Excel spreadsheet version of the calculator is available to download.
- Download the Excel spreadsheet Tank Size Calculator.
- Insert your home's measurements, in metres, in the yellow boxes.
Try to estimate the dimensions of that part of the house from which you will be collecting rain water.
- Refer to the table on Tab "Rainfall" and find out the average annual rainfall in centimetres in your part of the country, then type it in the 3rd yellow box; e.g. if you live in East Anglia, the driest part of the country, use 58.
- Insert in the red box the number of days drought protection you would like from your rainwater harvesting system. You can change the number of weeks at will to see what impact it has on the tank size you need.
- The results of the calculations are shown in the three light blue boxes:
- The first blue box shows the amount of water you need to protect your home use and garden from drought.
- The 2nd blue box shows YES if your roof is big enough to provide the water you need to fill the tank!
- The 3rd blue box shows the tank size we would recommend.
You're done! Congratulations.
To find the tanks suitable for your application, type the size of tank into the search box - say 2700 - and the search should bring up the tanks and systems of that tank size. You can place an order online (or by phone if you have queries) and even have the system installed.
Further Advisory Notes - (Spreadsheet Version)
Many other companies, especially those publishing information on their websites, do us the honour of cribbing our tank size calculator. The only difference we can claim is that we keep ours up to date with the development of regulations, rainfall statistics, new tank products on the market and other aspects which might alter the calculations:
- Lines 8 to 52 replicate the calculations of the UK Communities and Local Government paper "The Water Efficiency Calculator for new
Dwellings" May 2009 available on the internet at
This is the official version of the same calculator required by the Code for Sustainable Homes as issued by BREEAM and by the Building Regulations Part G.
- Our tank size calculator is simplified in only one respect, that is the amount of water used by typical toilets. The official calculator provides
spaces for you to define single flush or dual flush toilets and their capacity or flow rate, whereas ours simplifies this to an average flush of 5 litres
(at best, cistern of 6 litres and low flush of 2 litres, but often larger flush volumes). We retain the Code's 4.42 flushes per day
("Use Factor") times this.
5 litres average volume per flush. If in doubt or if required by the authorities you should run the complete calculation which you can find at http://www.wrcplc.co.uk/PartGCalculator/Calculator.aspx Our washing machine usage is based on a wash for everyone in the home every 4 days.
- The official calculator requires a minimum outdoor water of 5 litres per person per day. If you insert a larger figure in cell F42, as we suggest, and if the rainwater Yield of your roof is greater than the Demand, then the calculator will recommend a suitably larger tank. A small garden needs 200 litres a day and half an acre more like 400 litres a day (in spring and summer).
- Paragraph 12 provides you the volume of rainwater storage required according to the "Code" calculation as referred to in 1 and 2 above. Our tank size recommendations are based on this.
- We add in the light green box at the bottom the recommendations of the British Standard BS 8515-2009. This will typically give a smaller tank size because the drought protection is about 18 days not 21 days. Use it as a check, or select this volume, as you choose. Our calculator uses the BS 8515 "intermediate approach".
- Paragraph 8 uses a roof and filter coefficient of 80% (cell F35) which is 10% loss of water off the roof (mostly evaporation) and 10% filter loss (water going to drain with debris and leaves). Roof loss is much greater if you have a sedum or other organic roof.