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Old 03-21-2016, 04:00 PM   #1
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Water Tanks - Repair/Replace - Opinions

Found a bit of a leak in the port water tank...

Ronco plastic replacement is listed at $439

What about having the tank repaired by welding?

The tanks are 30-yeats old.

Opinions solicited.
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Old 03-21-2016, 04:13 PM   #2
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Greetings,
Mr. CLA. Since it's only water, the cheapest may be to remove and have welded IF that cross beam is readily removed. It'll be 50/50 IMO but for the probably cheap repair what have you really got to lose? In anticipation of possible failure, alter that cross piece so it IS easily removed.
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Old 03-21-2016, 04:41 PM   #3
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Is it steel or aluminum ?
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Old 03-21-2016, 05:11 PM   #4
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I'd replace. It looks like you have good access. A cheap upgrade as far as boating goes.
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Old 03-21-2016, 05:17 PM   #5
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I'd replace. It looks like you have good access. A cheap upgrade as far as boating goes.
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Old 03-21-2016, 05:37 PM   #6
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If the leak is in a flat panel an inch or more from a corner, you can go to a plumbing supply store and buy a plug to stop the leak. You drill out the hole a bit and then insert it like a toggle bolt and then tighten the head to expand the rubber and seal the leak. I used one on a water pressure tank in a previous home. That's not the best way to deal with the problem but it will work and probably last until you get another leak somewhere else.

If it's leaking at a seam or corner, that won't work.

Replacing the tank is the permanent solution.
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Old 03-21-2016, 05:55 PM   #7
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City water is chlorinated, and chlorine is corrosive. Even if your water is from a well, if you add bleach to each fill, you're adding a corrosive. The average of life an aluminum water tank is about 20 years...steel a bit longer. And the first leak in any metal water or waste tank is always just the FIRST leak. Your tank is 30 yrs old. So I'd bite the bullet and replace it now.

Or you can be like a guy on one of the houseboat sites I was on several years ago who'd patched his aluminum water tank in so many places that he'd just about turned it into a tank made entirely of JB Weld!
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Old 03-21-2016, 05:57 PM   #8
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Having repaired lots of alum. tank, both fuel and water, pull it and see if you can locate the leak. My experience it will have a cracked weld. If cracked in the weld, drill a 1/8 hole on each end of the crack and weld it up. Should last another 30 years or so. If the leak is in the sides or bottom-away from the welded seams, probably be from corrosion and then I'd replace it. Good luck with it. Let us know what you find and do.
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Old 03-21-2016, 06:57 PM   #9
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Not a doctor ... but hasn't aluminum been linked to alzheimers ?

+1 with Peggie on the chlorine
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Old 03-21-2016, 07:09 PM   #10
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Not a doctor ... but hasn't aluminum been linked to alzheimers ?
I don't remember.
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Old 03-21-2016, 07:12 PM   #11
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agree with all the above, if you decide to replace and buy from ronco, and can give them a business license the price will come down approx 40%. I know, I bought a tank from them last week, Linda is who you want to talk to and she is great on customer service.
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Old 03-21-2016, 07:54 PM   #12
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Hey How about this......This and Duct tape fixed anything..They advertise boat fixes....

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Old 03-22-2016, 08:36 AM   #13
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agree with all the above, if you decide to replace and buy from ronco, and can give them a business license the price will come down approx 40%. I know, I bought a tank from them last week, Linda is who you want to talk to and she is great on customer service.
Bruce

At negative 40% Ronco would make it a simple choice.

I do not have a business license... hummm...

Plus... who says i have to replace both tanks now?

Could be a quality fix for under $300.
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Old 03-22-2016, 08:45 AM   #14
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Greetings,
Mr. CLA. Maybe Ronco will throw in one of these as a bonus...

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Old 03-22-2016, 10:38 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by CarlinLA;
I do not have a business license... hummm...
Someone you know must have. Nobody says a water tank has to in your name.
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Old 03-22-2016, 11:38 AM   #16
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RT, Ronco Plastics is no relation to the Pocket Fisherman and VegoMatic Ronco.

Btw, any way you can make your photos any larger? There's still at least 1/4" of space left in the box.
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Old 03-22-2016, 11:53 AM   #17
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Someone you know must have. Nobody says a water tank has to in your name.
Wouldn't it be a bit dishonest to claim you had a business when you actually don't to get a discount on a product?
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Old 03-22-2016, 12:06 PM   #18
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I'll bet you will find more than one leak or area of wall thinning where the tank sits on those supports. So unless you do your own welding, I would just go for a new plastic tank. Remove the tank, inspect, take it to a tank shop, and decide.
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Old 03-22-2016, 01:31 PM   #19
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Wouldn't it be a bit dishonest to claim you had a business when you actually don't to get a discount on a product?
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.
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Old 03-22-2016, 03:18 PM   #20
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Lucky is the owner with access to the top of ANY tank, such as you apparently have! Now, on to your solicitation of opinion regarding repair or replace.

Judging from appearance, your tank is aluminum. If so, and it's currently leaking, and 30 years old, I believe the tank has reached end of service life, and should be replaced. There are less-expensive ways to solve your (current) leak, but the "fix" will be far from permanent. You can butch up a repair with all kinds of gak. JB Weld, 5200, duct tape, etc etc. And that's all I'll say about that!

If your (again, presumed) aluminum tank has been routinely filled from city water, most likely that water has been chlorinated. If so, that chlorine has reacted with the aluminum alloy, forming several oxides on the inside. One of them, aluminum oxide, forms hard "crusticles" on the internal walls and floor. Under each crusticle lies a corrosion pit, where the oxide "mines" its contents. Once that pit breaches the wall, the tank leaks.

Welding that hole from the outside may be possible, depending on where the leak site is, how clean the welder can get the weld site, how much "junk" remains inside, etc. It is very unlikely that any welder will attempt a weld repair, even on a water tank, inside a boat hull. Given you can get to the top already, I would pop in an access port immediately (Seabuilt - Access Plate Systems), inspect the interior, and go from there.

Plastic tanks work fine for water. Finding one that fits is another story, although Ronco (Ronco Plastics - Marine Water Tanks, RV Water Tank, Auto Detail Tanks, Water Tanks) apparently has several hundred sizes available. Another very good alternative for a custom tank replacement is 316L stainless, from a competent tank manufacturer. If you go the custom tank route, 316L is my personal choice for water tanks, with due diligence regarding design and installation of same.

Regards,

Pete
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