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Old 01-14-2013, 11:47 AM   #1
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Aluminum water tanks.

Wondering how many if any of you have aluminum water tanks. We need to replace a tank and the yard wants to build it out of aluminum. Any issues? Chuck
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Old 01-14-2013, 12:00 PM   #2
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Some people say that aluminum causes ... what's the name of that disease where you forget stuff?
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Old 01-14-2013, 12:04 PM   #3
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Some people say that aluminum causes ... what's the name of that disease where you forget stuff?
I forget also but I would not have water tanks made of aluminum.
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Old 01-14-2013, 12:11 PM   #4
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Why not? They are no different than aluminum hulls with the water inside instead of outside.
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Old 01-14-2013, 12:20 PM   #5
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I would install a molded Polyethylene tank. Several companies make these in various sizes. No worry about taste or corrosion.
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Old 01-14-2013, 12:44 PM   #6
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I have aluminum tanks. I sent a grab sample to a local environmental testing laboratory a couple of years ago. I had them test for the presence or absence of bacteria (drinking water) and metals. The concentration of bacteria was fine along with the metals except for...aluminum. The concentration of aluminum was above the National Drinking Water Standards. So I have decided not to use the water for drinking. We load up with bottled water for drinking, coffee, tea, adult beverages and use the tank water for everything else: showers, washing dishes, etc.
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Old 01-14-2013, 01:05 PM   #7
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Some people say that aluminum causes ... what's the name of that disease where you forget stuff?
It's called Alzheimer's! I remember because my water tank is stainless steel.
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Old 01-14-2013, 01:14 PM   #8
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Greetings,
C.R.A.F.T. disease. (Can't remember a freakin' thing.) Ususally contracted by long term married types. Regardless, if you have the choice, as mentioned above either non-aluminum or don't drink aluminized water. Now where did I put that Pong game?
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Old 01-14-2013, 01:34 PM   #9
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I appreciate all of the comments but I would really like to hear from folks that actually have aluminum tanks. Chuck
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Old 01-14-2013, 01:49 PM   #10
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I appreciate all of the comments but I would really like to hear from folks that actually have aluminum tanks. Chuck
I told you I donít remembered?


Something to do with the low galvanic rating of aluminum as compared to other metals? In some industry aluminum as a sacrificial metal. The reason they like aluminum is because its easy to weld and light weight to install. If you do ask them about installing, protection/preventive, galvanic, and absorbing in the water.

I donít know of anybody that has aluminum tanks for water. There are better choices.
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Old 01-14-2013, 02:05 PM   #11
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We had SS tanks with Al inspection ports/lids on our last boat. We would get a residue on the Al, heavy enough to fall into the tanks. I could clean the ports and within weeks, the residue would be back. We are looking at adding SeaBuilt inspection ports on our current tanks. They sell SS and Al systems and recommend SS for water.
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Old 01-14-2013, 02:08 PM   #12
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My Pilgrim 40 came with 3 aluminum water tanks. I removed one to add to my storage space. The 1985 aluminum tank had what appeared to have a lot of white scale I am not sure what the scale was but I do not use the water in my water tanks for drinking or cooking.
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Old 01-14-2013, 02:10 PM   #13
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Greetings,
ONE opinion: Aluminium and Alzheimer's disease - Alzheimer's Society
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Old 01-14-2013, 03:04 PM   #14
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I appreciate all of the comments but I would really like to hear from folks that actually have aluminum tanks. Chuck
I think you'll find that aluminum is considered a very poor choice for fresh water tanks because of the reasons previous posters have listed. Plastic tanks are great for all reasons except taste-- some can put a plastic taste in the water that never goes away, even with time. Other types of plastic apparently don't do this.

The tanks in our boat are original to the boat so are now 40-plus years old. They are stainless steel. The thing to consider in metal tanks, at least older ones, is lead in the welds. Our tanks probably have this but we don't worry about it. We use the water in our tanks for everything including drinking. But we use the boat year round so the water turnover is fairly high.
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Old 01-14-2013, 03:21 PM   #15
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My water tanks too are stainless, as specified by the designer very early on in his boat design career - Art DeFever. I lost a Seaward water heater made of Al, due to severe corrosion, after 9 years of use. The Al hot water tank gave off the white crud mentioned earlier by Alfton.

Not all Al is created equal. Some alloys are better than others for liquids. What does your tank guy say about Al alloy specs? IF you are planning on keeping your vessel for less than say 6-8 years Al may not be a bad decision but he next buyer may be wary. Many boats have Al fuel and water tanks, especially Al boats! If you go Al insure "perfect" install with no non Al in contact and no trapped water underneath.
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Old 01-14-2013, 04:24 PM   #16
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Because of aluminumís low galvanic rating, zinc is 3, aluminum is 7 to 10, mild steel is 15 to 17, SS is 23 to 26, bronze/copper 27 to 30, and gold/silver 33 to 35. In some industries aluminum is used as a sacrificial metal. So if you do get aluminum tanks make sure you ask about the installation, protection/safe guards, and oxidation.

The best metal is still SS for water but it has to be left natural.
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Old 01-14-2013, 04:59 PM   #17
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Wondering how many if any of you have aluminum water tanks. We need to replace a tank and the yard wants to build it out of aluminum. Any issues? Chuck
Quote from Tony Fleming: "Water tanks in Flemings are very heavily walled polyethylene, molded in one piece, and consequently they have no joints or welds. We previously used stainless steel, which (despite its popular reputation for excellence) in in fact vulnerable to crevice corrosion. The corrosion-resistant surface to stainless steel is only a few microns thick, and should this become disturbed and there be insufficient oxygen to replace it, corrosion can occur very rapidly. Especially at the welds. In some instances, we found that chlorinated water was sufficient to trigger the problem. Polyethylene is totally inert and is used universally for the storage of drinking water- as well as for corrosive chemicals."
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Old 01-14-2013, 05:50 PM   #18
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Quote from Tony Fleming: We previously used stainless steel, which (despite its popular reputation for excellence) is in fact vulnerable to crevice corrosion.
Since I'm a big Fleming fan and have met Tony Fleming, I would love to know where this quote, attributed to Tony, came from.
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Old 01-14-2013, 05:56 PM   #19
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Since I'm a big Fleming fan and have met Tony Fleming, I would love to know where this quote, attributed to Tony, came from.
From an extensive interview with Tony Fleming regarding the design and construction principles of his yachts.

You can download a pdf of the entire document here:

Luxury Yacht, Yachts for Sale, Brokerage, Fleming Yacht, Corvette Yachts - Chuck Hovey Yachts
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Old 01-14-2013, 07:27 PM   #20
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I notice on the GB Forum some problems with Al water tanks. One interesting post discussed a copper bonding strap contacting the full length of the tank. Out came the Al tank and in went a SS tank.
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