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Old 07-30-2012, 08:41 AM   #1
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1986 34.5' Airstream 345
Key West , Florida
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Black Water Tank :-(

Can it be repaired (plastic weld) or do thy still make new ones? I have a leak at just above half tank but have yet to drop it and inspect just would like to know my options first and this is the place for answers.
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Old 07-30-2012, 09:20 AM   #2
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1974 20' Argosy 20
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Josh,

Keep in mind the 345 we're dismantling should have the same tank. I can't say if it's any good but will be able to check in a few weeks once I get the floors removed.

I'm glad the leveler worked out for you!

Brad
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Old 07-30-2012, 10:35 AM   #3
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Rowan, check with Keyair, he's got some kind of 'concoction' usig PVC pipe and MEK paint thinner. Seems he's done more than one repair to his tanks using this mixture.
Derek
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Old 07-31-2012, 10:14 AM   #4
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They can be 'welded, but once you remove one of those tanks(not a job for the faint-of-heart or smell-sensitive), you might want to consider having a new one fabricated...pricey, at first, but the old ones begin to show their age, and further leaks and cracks will occur...it's not something you would want to repair, again, E V E R ! ! !
I have replaced the dump lines, gate valves, and 'sweep' from the gray and black water, and once through, vowed "NEVER again!". If you do it yourself, wear a tyvek jumpsuit, hair cover, goggles, earplugs, latex or nitrile gloves(double glove), face mask, and most important, keep your mouth closed...the previous words come to you from one who learned most of it the hard way, and took antibiotics and eyedrops for 2 weeks, and the sinus-trapped odor is burned in my memory to this day...
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Old 07-31-2012, 10:32 AM   #5
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Michael, thanks for the heads up!

I'm going to be removing the black water tank from the chassis sometime in the next few months. I'm not sure if I'm glad to know what to look forward to or not

Brad
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Old 08-01-2012, 10:57 AM   #6
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Josh,
I am not sure what they are made of but I am unsure my MEK/ABS slurry would work.
I think they are polyprop or something...

I know they can be welded...
I have one of these kits that I bought a while back and have had great success with it... You can find them online for much less than MSRP...
Model 6 Airless Plastic Welder | Airless Welders

Personally, I would get your tank guy to fabricate a new one if you need one!
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Old 08-01-2012, 11:11 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ScrapIrony-2
They can be 'welded, but once you remove one of those tanks(not a job for the faint-of-heart or smell-sensitive), you might want to consider having a new one fabricated...pricey, at first, but the old ones begin to show their age, and further leaks and cracks will occur...it's not something you would want to repair, again, E V E R ! ! !
I have replaced the dump lines, gate valves, and 'sweep' from the gray and black water, and once through, vowed "NEVER again!". If you do it yourself, wear a tyvek jumpsuit, hair cover, goggles, earplugs, latex or nitrile gloves(double glove), face mask, and most important, keep your mouth closed...the previous words come to you from one who learned most of it the hard way, and took antibiotics and eyedrops for 2 weeks, and the sinus-trapped odor is burned in my memory to this day...
Oh yay! I'm moving onto this after I'm done with my freshwater tank, something to look forward to! :/
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Old 08-01-2012, 09:00 PM   #8
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Cooler weather is a plus, and maybe a small fan to direct the fumes...the 'empty and well-flushed tank' is never empty, and never clean...little coffer dams will continue to give way during the experience...I wish all of you...well...well.
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Old 08-02-2012, 10:46 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by ScrapIrony-2 View Post
Cooler weather is a plus, and maybe a small fan to direct the fumes...the 'empty and well-flushed tank' is never empty, and never clean...little coffer dams will continue to give way during the experience...I wish all of you...well...well.
There will be one difference between my method of removing the 345 black water tank compared to Josh. I'll be removing the walls first to the point only the floor is left and then I'll cut the floor away. Should make it easy to get to the tank that way. I'll have natural breezes on my side

From what you describe I think when I finally get around to working on the Argosy black water piping (which need some work) I don't believe I'll try and do that inside a shop building. Yuk...
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Old 08-02-2012, 11:16 AM   #10
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Depending upon the damage, you can weld these tanks. I bought a plastic welder from Harbor Freight and used it to repair my black water tank; relocated the vent stack because it caused the wall to be at an angle. The hole where one of the lower-most sensor was located was so bad I didn't want to risk putting a new sensor in so I cut it a little larger and used one of the plastic patches they sell at trailer stores then welded it in. Just as with regular welding, you wouldn't want to attempt this without first practicing. Personally, I'd consider replacing it if you can. Best of luck! -Mary
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