Step 4: Making a Hanging Platform
My hanging platform is a piece of 3/4″ plywood reinforced with two aluminum bars. There are many other ways to do this, just make sure that the platform can handle a weight of 250 lbs. The platform has a threaded hook in each corner that passes through the aluminum bar and is fastened with a nut.
When you purchase the two types of hooks and the chain, check that they are rated to more than a quarter of 250 pounds. In my case, all of these items were rated between 80 and a 100 pounds, so my hardware has a margin of safety of about 70 pounds above the maximum weight of the tank.
Next, after drilling a small pilot hole, screw the wood screw hooks into the ceiling joists (third photo below), if possible placed symmetrically over the area where you want the platform to hang.
Hook the chain over the upper hooks and then onto the lower hooks of the platform. Adjust the hooking of the bottom links until the platform is nearly level. Then, place the water tank on the platform and do a final set of adjustments on the chain links.
My platform hasn’t given me any trouble during the last year. The wall behind it in my basement is concrete, but if you have a more delicate wall in that location, you may want to put some padding on the back edge of the shelf. Another safety feature that I should add, but haven’t, is to bolt the back of the shelf to the wall itself, loosely, so that, in the event of an earthquake, the shelf would not be able to swing too much.