01-15-2008, 08:02 PM
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I'm not an engineer, but, I find it hard to fathom that an apartment building is designed to a 40# psf spec for the floor load. A full 18cf refrigerator weighs more that that. As would a full bathtub with a full grown man at 200#.
I have worked for architects and, although I worked the mechanical and service side most of my career, I believe that BOCA requires a load of a much greater as a minimum. I believe that the design criteria is in the neighborhood of 125# psf for a live load. Local jurisdictions may vary. A roof on a home weighs aproximately 35# per square foot to give one an example. This is higher in areas where snow loading is heavier.
I may be mistaken, as I don't have my reference books handy, but the theory is hard to accept. One way to circumvent this would be to place the tank along a wall that is consistant from top to bottom. A good example would be a firewall. This would minimize deflection caused by the weight of the tank. Shear may be a concern, but I think it would be minimal. We are talking 440-550lbs. The weight of 3 average men standing in a 4sf area.
A few years back, I had a 125g, 180g and a 300g all on the second floor of an apartment complex. None fell through nor did any plaster crack on the ceiling of the floor below me.