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Old 08-14-2017, 08:45 PM   #1
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Can I use my spare aluminum tank for water

Hello smart folks, I have a question. I have an unused never filled with fuel, fuel tank. My last trip we ran out of the 1000 gallons of water (water is only used for wash down, showers, toilets and ice maker for icing beer, water and fish down) Not For Drinking!!! Can I use this tank for added water capacity with out messing up the water supply and without damaging the future fuel usage for the tank? Thanks Paul
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Old 08-14-2017, 08:48 PM   #2
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Sure...why not?
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Old 08-14-2017, 08:53 PM   #3
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don't know, did a few searches and it seamed like a mixed bag of results. Most of them don't suggest ingestion of water from an aluminum tank but I'm not going to do that (except for brushing the teeth)
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Old 08-14-2017, 10:06 PM   #4
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We assume you are going to make the necessary plumbing mods to make sure none of that water gets mixed in with your fuel, right?


Also, don't forget to change out the deck fill from one that says "Diesel" to "Water".
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Old 08-14-2017, 10:44 PM   #5
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You can, but why would you want to?
If you run thru 1000 gal then get a water maker.

The tank was designed and installed to be a fuel tank. I'd be afraid that:
You possibly miss something in the conversion that taints your water supply or your fuel supply.
That you eventually want to use it as a fuel tank just screams, watermaker.
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Old 08-15-2017, 12:11 AM   #6
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swampu, if you use that aluminum tank for water (whether its potable for just for flushing/washing) then you may wish to coat the interior first with a polysufide or some other "food safe" coating.

BTW, I understand you not wanting to procure a watermaker. If your vessel was designed for that 1000 gallon tank then having it filled helps settle your huge boat down to its DWL - it helps with stability. Assuming your vessel is a converted commercial hull and is probably upwards of 55-60 tons (at full displacement) then that needs to be considered.
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Old 08-15-2017, 05:07 AM   #7
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The tank was never hooked up. I did install the deck fill but that was all. There are plugs installed to all the bungs. It's a brand new tank. It's not feasible to coat the inside of the tank without cutting a bunch of holes in it, unless the application of the polysulfide can be done by filling and draining the tank. I am trying to find an economical way to add water storage.
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Old 08-15-2017, 05:12 AM   #8
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Also, I would not keep water in the tank for more than 2 days. The tank is 250 gallons. Basically I would fill all the tanks and after two days pump the aluminum tanks water into the main tank
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Old 08-15-2017, 07:17 AM   #9
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I wouldn't do it. Replace it with a water tank (plastic) if you want to store water in it.
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Old 08-15-2017, 12:22 PM   #10
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Is there an actual problem using aluminum to store water? Any science behind it, I don't want to hurt the tank, I payed $2500 for the tank, I don't want to tear it out and put a plastic tank in its place. I've got room for a bunch of tanks, but I would like to utilize this tank
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Old 08-15-2017, 01:18 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swampu View Post
Is there an actual problem using aluminum to store water? Any science behind it, I don't want to hurt the tank, I payed $2500 for the tank, I don't want to tear it out and put a plastic tank in its place. I've got room for a bunch of tanks, but I would like to utilize this tank
I have an aluminum water tank as my primary (and only) potable water tank. I drink from it all the time.

I'd be very interested in hearing any evidence that this is a problem. Not idle speculation from tin-foil-hat enthusiasts, but actual science.
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Old 08-15-2017, 02:45 PM   #12
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........... I am trying to find an economical way to add water storage.
If you used 1,000 gallons of water with no chance or refilling the water tanks, I would be looking for ways to conserve water, not carry more.

You say you don't drink the water but do you use it for cooking? Making coffee? Rinsing dishes? Brushing your teeth?

Ask the tank manufacturer about converting it to water use. There may be chemicals left on the surface during the manufacturing process.
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Old 08-15-2017, 03:32 PM   #13
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Island Packet uses aluminum in all of their water tanks and has built nearly 1,000 boats. I have owned two in my lifetime and me and other owners have never had a safety problem.

They will corrode over time and develop pin hole leaks. But that takes dozens of years and maybe never if you don't put any bleach in for disinfecting.

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Old 08-15-2017, 04:40 PM   #14
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If you used 1,000 gallons of water with no chance or refilling the water tanks, I would be looking for ways to conserve water, not carry more.

You say you don't drink the water but do you use it for cooking? Making coffee? Rinsing dishes? Brushing your teeth?

Ask the tank manufacturer about converting it to water use. There may be chemicals left on the surface during the manufacturing process.


I use my boat for fishing an island about 60 miles from the house. We drag boats down there and fish for four days. I'm not interested in conserving water but with being comfortable. I have a 500# ice machine and 8-10 people taking showers. We ran out of water on the last day, I would like to flush toilets and wash the boat on the 6-8 hour ride home. All cooking is done with bottled water, showers, teeth and washing dishes use boat water.
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Old 08-15-2017, 04:41 PM   #15
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Sorry, use k cup coffee and wife would toss that thing over if I used anything but bottled water
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Old 08-15-2017, 05:09 PM   #16
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Since you are very adamant no human consumption I see no issue at all.

And even if for that, any issue could easily be overcome.

Just make sure everything clearly marked so anyone looking at the systems when you're not around can easily understand what's going on.
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Old 08-15-2017, 06:52 PM   #17
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Mr. s. Have you given any thought to rooftop rain collection? I know nothing about the idea other than being aware that some boaters do collect and store rainwater. Possibly dedicate the new tank to rainwater for flushing and wash down. You could initially pre fill it at the dock with mains water then allow it to top up whenever it rains.
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Old 08-16-2017, 02:22 PM   #18
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I have 550 imperial gallons in aluminum tanks. Meh

Water companies put al in water to deal with turbidity. Some people use aluminum cooking pots.

Chlorine doesn't like al so try and filter it out.

The coffee I'm drinking now is al water.

I want to see the science too.
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Old 08-16-2017, 10:20 PM   #19
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If the tank has an inspection port in it that could be pulled, and you could check the tank and vacuum out any leftover water before filling it with diesel, I would go for it. My boat has integral tanks welded right into the aluminum hull, and it has worked for 27 years. If they ever corrode out from the inside, I may need to scuttle the boat, and start looking for a new one. I am afraid to pull the inspection ports and look in there.
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