Trawler Forum

Trawler Forum (
-   General Discussion (
-   -   Water Tanks - Repair/Replace - Opinions (

Hawgwash 03-22-2016 02:47 PM


Originally Posted by jungpeter;
Now, on to your solicitation of opinion regarding repair or replace.

Great information, Pete. I wonder how many here would ever have connected the dots (or spots) related to city water.

rwidman 03-22-2016 03:49 PM


Originally Posted by Hawgwash (Post 426323)
Oh, come on. There is nothing dishonest about a person with a business license buying the tank at a discount and gifting it to him.
Good grief.

Good grief? :rolleyes:

It's dishonest no matter how you spin it. Shopping for a better price is fine. Lying to get one is "lying".

Hawgwash 03-22-2016 03:56 PM


Originally Posted by WesK (Post 426368)
Good grief? :rolleyes:

It's dishonest no matter how you spin it. Shopping for a better price is fine. Lying to get one is "lying".

Oh, OK. So, if you had kids, they always knew there wasn't a Santy Claws, right?

raindr 03-22-2016 06:59 PM

dishonest? umbs me? you must be west marines best customer! I have all your marine supplies in stock at retail plus 10%

HeadMistress 03-22-2016 07:38 PM

I don't mean to BE a poop, and I have no authority to ask but I will anyway: would you two mind taking your ethics debate somewhere else?

Thank you!

OreWa 03-22-2016 09:12 PM

Agree. Thank you.

ulysses 03-22-2016 09:28 PM

While the "city water" and chlorine may have been a small factor is the demise of the 30 year old aluminum water tank it is receiving far too much blame. If the city maintained a 2 parts chlorine per one million parts of water the ph and corrosiviness of the water should have been minimally effected. Anti-corrosion measures and/or inhibitors would have been required of the system if the water became overly corrosive. Well, that is the way its supposed to work other than in Flint, Michigan.

Remember that as the chlorine is entering the tank and as the water is exposed to 02 the chlorine diminishes.

A factor that may be playing a greater role in the life of the tank would, IMHO be the dissimilar metals. Aluminum tank should not be touching the steel brace and bulkhead.

Irish Rambler 03-22-2016 11:07 PM

First question. How long do you plan to keep the boat ?
I had a similar quandary when one of my galvanised tanks sprung a leak. As I planned on keeping the boat for some years, after considering all options, I did a redneck repair to cover me until autumn.
After the season's cruising I stripped out the engine room, there are two 225 litre tanks, one each side of the engine compartment, removed one of the tanks and took it to a stainless fabricator and had an exact dimensional copy made with bright annealed interiors (mirror finish) with two modifications, two small access hatches on top for cleaning and a small sump with drain tap for any sediment.
It wasn't cheap.
I refitted the tank, spray foamed the bed underneath, between the rear of the tank and hull, then sheeted the sides and front with expanded polyurethane.
I did the same with the other tank, replaced fittings & plumbing in new 'food grade' quality hardware and fitted an electronic anti lime scale system.
Cash with no receipt (it's an Irish way of life) got me great discount deals with suppliers.
3,000 seemed a lot of money in 2006, but it was money well spent.
The system's still working perfectly 10 years later after cruising the West coast of Scotland, around Ireland, England, France, Spain and Italy.
As fresh water is such a key health element your better just to bite the bullet and do a really first class job.
As we say in our family business motto, Quality is remembered long after price is forgotten.

jungpeter 03-23-2016 02:04 AM

2 Attachment(s)
Ulysses: With all due respect, I must disagree. if the "crusticles" shown in the first picture of the inside of my water tank weren't caused by an oxide of aluminum precipitated out of the aluminum itself by contact with elementary material resident in city water, I'd sure like to know a more likely cause. While you are correct that chlorine which is typically added to water systems as sodium hypochlorite (bleach) to kill bacteria is rendered less-active by contact with oxygen, and the sodium hypochlorite eventually loses it's toxicity to bacteria after contact with oxygen, it remains as a proven reactant to the aluminum alloying elements extent in the tank material itself.

Water is nature's universal solvent. Time and water will ultimately fail all materials. And when man introduces impurities into that water (bleach in a boat's water tank for instance) that timeline is shortened. How short? In my opinion, a 25-year service life for aluminum water tanks is about it. Anything longer and you're on borrowed time.

Determining the ultimate cause of CarlinLA's water tank failure is impossible by viewing a single picture of the exterior of a 30 year old tank. If I implied otherwise, I apologize. But that's not the question he posted. He simply asked "fix it or junk it". I thought my answer was pretty clear-junk it.

Determining the cause of MY 26-year old water tank failure was easy, once the tank was forensically (and destructively) examined by a professional materials scientist post-replacement. The second picture hopefully illustrates the corrosion pit beneath each "crusticle" shown in the first picture. And my leak occurred at one of those pits. Dissimilar metals (other than, perhaps, those dissolved elementally in the city water inside the tank) DID NOT contribute to my tank failure. And, I would be willing to wager that many, many aluminum water tanks in pleasure boats afloat today look very like mine did. Sure got my attention, and my $$$$!



ulysses 03-23-2016 05:23 AM

Pete: My first question would be if the "professional material scientist" used the term "crusticles". On my research into crusticles I have found a completely different definition, I would suggest a quick search on that subject. it would appear that the urban dictionary refers to that term as shrunken testicles.

That being said, yes your pictures do indeed indicate some corrosion and metal problems inherent with aluminum of a certain age and service. I would further agree that you were correct in your opinion that the original post would indicate a replacement was in order for the tank.

A very small water system might use a sodium hypochlorite (bleach type) solution in treatment of its water but most systems (municipal) will use chlorine gas, once again it is not so much the chlorine as the ph change which should be corrected as it leaves the plant by induction of corrosive inhibitors.

Water indeed is the universal solvent and everything will sooner or later pass through the water cycle in some manner or other. It is good that you pointed that out. My concern in your and Ms. Headmistress' comments about chlorine is that it may cause some to avoid chlorination and perhaps do more damage to a child or individual's health in an attempt to get a few more years out of an aluminum tank. In my opinion that is not worth the potential gains. I have seen first hand the death and disability that a nickel's worth of chlorine could have avoided. We won't even go into the problems associated with fertilizers and water.


CarlinLA 03-23-2016 11:12 PM

Hi Everybody...

That was a great turn-out of thoughts and opinions -perhaps even a few facts interspersed in there. The crusticles are pretty disturbing.

Ethics... i understand that Ronco needs to protect their resellers by maintaining a retail price for their retail customers. I almost think the wholesaler retailer relationship is an outdated business model. The web has just transformed the market and any serious buyer can establish a best price and expect to pay that price... but what do I know about money... my hobby is boating.

So I need replacement tanks, Ronco sells a viable replacement, both tanks at retail are less than a boat-buck, and most are in agreement that replacement is the most reasonable path forward.

I'm no elitist... I can use a food service tank or agriculture tank if they will fit... 33Lx18hx20w... rectangle... anybody have a source for something like that?

HeadMistress 03-23-2016 11:40 PM

You said you'd found one in the Ronco catalog. Their marine tanks are top quality, with walls about 50% thicker than most others,which means they can support the weight of the contents, which would be 428 lbs in a tank that size, without bulging and flexing, which causes cheap thin tanks to fail. Plus, they install fittings in the sizes and locations specified by the customer when they make the tank. And, they're in Tustin, less than an hour's drive from you, so you could go get it and save the cost of shipping.

It's ALWAYS cheaper and easier to do ANYthing right the first time than it is to do it over, and the amount you'd save by "cheaping out" this time won't be enough for it make any economic sense to risk having to replace it again.

And btw, Ronco's direct retail prices are below their reseller's retail prices.

CarlinLA 03-28-2016 06:22 PM

1 Attachment(s)

Ronco it is...

Went to Tustin this morning - heavy traffic headed southbound... found it easy enough.

Welcoming type workers there...

Your choice - black or white plastic...

Choice but not that you have a choice - thick or thin wall - told them it was for a boat - instant thick...

Made my order and made arrangements to pick them up in about two weeks...


The photo is of the manufacturing area - with the machines that roto the plastic against the mold - also cool.

More to follow when the tanks are available.


ulysses 03-28-2016 06:32 PM

Do they mold in or tap fittings ?

CarlinLA 03-28-2016 06:53 PM


The technician requested to do the inserts on Saturday morning when I pick the up... said it takes 5-minutes per tank.

Will give me a chance to take pictures of the existing to verify measurements.

FF 03-29-2016 06:17 AM

Most tank fittings first have a hole cut and then a big router spin welds whatever fittings you desire in place.

It is fairly cheap per fitting so do not forget to install at least a 2 inch deain as low as you can get in the tank.

Winterizing can take a LOOOOng time is the fresh water pump is needed to drain it.

Thick wall, thin wall, all plastic tanks will flex, and work harden.

The best plan is to install the tank in a reinforced box , ply is fine, if you only want to purchase one set of tanks.

While the tank is new it is a good idea to install a clean out port , the after market fuel tank units work fine.

Someday the tank will sit too long and grow "stuff" inside , nice to be able to scrub it rather than flush multiple times , and to hope its clean.

MurrayM 03-29-2016 09:05 AM


Originally Posted by FF (Post 428343)
The best plan is to install the tank in a reinforced box , ply is fine, if you only want to purchase one set of tanks.

Don't some plastic tanks swell and you're supposed to account for it, or is that just with fuel tanks?

sunchaser 03-29-2016 09:36 AM

Many Al vessels with integral tanks. Most in salt water. Some much older than the OPs tanks. Not disputing that Al tanks can rot out, I had a Seaward water heater tank that went kaput after 10 years, I'd view construction, installation or stray currents as a much bigger worry than city water.

Oh those poor older Flemings, what will they do given Tony's penchant for Al tanks? Art DeFever got it right, SS water tanks!

FF 03-30-2016 05:10 AM

Fuel causes plastic tanks to grow on the first fill up, which has to be done before they are tied down.

Not water

bayview 03-30-2016 09:44 AM

On metal tanks the bottom can be cut off and new welded on. depending on the tank it may be worth considering.

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 12:13 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.6.0
Copyright 2006 - 2012