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Old 05-20-2014, 05:13 PM   #1
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Patch for fresh water tank

I need to patch a crack in my fresh water tank. The imbossed flange that the water intake for the pump line is attached is cracked. Basically, it's cracked right where it is attached to the tank. This is not a fitting that is cracked but rather where the fitting enters the tank.
Anyhow, I am looking for suggestions as what to use to try a temporary repair.
JB weld, some sort of epoxy, Eternal bond, hot glue?
I want to use the trailer for a month till I can have the tank replaced at Jackson Center in July.
I know that this has been talked about before but, using the search feature on here gave me no results.
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Old 05-20-2014, 07:05 PM   #2
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Plastic weld it.
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Old 05-20-2014, 08:11 PM   #3
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Plastic weld it.
Thanks.

I'm beginning to look into it. From my research so far it appears the tank is made from (PE) Polyethylene.
You are probably right about welding it. I have read that almost nothing sticks to PE.
I'm now on a search for a welding kit. Any suggestions?
I see that a company called Norwesco makes tanks and sells repair weld kits.
It includes the welder and the PE strips used to seal the crack.
I need it in a hurry so I'm still looking tonight, just to keep options open with regard to quick shipping and availablity, I can order this kit in the morning if I don't hear anything negitive about it.
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Old 05-20-2014, 08:13 PM   #4
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Bluto

The tank is polyethylene which is extremely difficult to patch.

I would suggest that West Systems G/flex would give you the best odds. You will have to flame treat the area to be bonded first per the G/flex instructions.

Good luck
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Old 05-20-2014, 08:14 PM   #5
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I have not had good results with welding. For it to work, the weld must penetrate, without the plastic getting hot enough to thin out.

Whether welding or bonding with adhesive, it is important to drill relief holes at the ends of the crack.
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Old 05-20-2014, 09:09 PM   #6
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Jammer,
I'll check into that option too. My problem is that I'm trying to do this thru the rather small inspection plate/hole behind the drain outlet on the bottom of the tank.
I'll need all the good luck I can get, thanks!
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Old 05-20-2014, 10:32 PM   #7
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If you have a Harbor Freight tools in your area, they weel two different plastic welding units. I bought one a couple years back and have had mixed results. It is definitely a technique sensitive art.
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Old 05-20-2014, 10:59 PM   #8
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If you would like to try a cheapo fix I'd be happy to send you a couple of feet of some alumibond Eternabond, or doublestick eternabond. Free . I'm not saying it will work but they claim it will repair water tanks and might be a temp fix. PM me if you want.....
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Old 05-21-2014, 10:32 AM   #9
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reinergirl,
Thank you for the nice offer, but I have ordered the welder and the Gflex 655-8 epoxy. I don't know which I'll use. The next time I'm at a store that carries the Eternabond I have to pick up a roll, it sounds like a worthwhile product to have on hand for the super quick leak fix. When I get around to replacing my skylights this winter I will probably need it for the install anyway.
I had the tank draining thru the night and now I need to put a fan blowing on the area that is cracked to get any moisture out.
Hopefully, the stuff I ordered will get here in the next few days.
Thanks everyone for the replys. You have been very helpful in steering me in the right direction.
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Old 05-21-2014, 01:11 PM   #10
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Jammer,
I'll check into that option too. My problem is that I'm trying to do this thru the rather small inspection plate/hole behind the drain outlet on the bottom of the tank.
I'll need all the good luck I can get, thanks!
It is a standard maintenance practice to cut a large inspection hole the first time service to the tanks and valves becomes necessary.

I will be doing this on my trailer tonight to identify and correct what I'm hoping is a leaky dump valve.
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Old 05-22-2014, 08:03 PM   #11
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It is a standard maintenance practice to cut a large inspection hole the first time service to the tanks and valves becomes necessary.

I will be doing this on my trailer tonight to identify and correct what I'm hoping is a leaky dump valve.
Good suggestion, I'll have to take another look at it later this weekend. I'm thinking if I cut an additional inspection hole in the front, I could see all the crack as it seems to go from the top of the boss/flange to the bottom. In other words, it's just hanging there by half the surface that should be welded.
So far I have the large drain plug out of the tank and have a fan directed toward it to help dry any remaining water.
While there I decided to change out that small drain spout for regular/usual draining. That thing only drips anyway when it's opened full. Now I know why. The little tube that connects it to the tank was full of debris from manufacturing. I replaced the tube and put in a new $2.00 valve, I had laying around.
Now it's wait for the ups delivery of the welder and the epoxy too.
At least I have a couple options on mending materials and am ready to get started when they are delivered.

What did you find out the other night with your issue on the dump valve?
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Old 05-30-2014, 10:57 PM   #12
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Update:
Because of the location on the tank and restricted work space I decided to use the epoxy Jammer mentioned. The epoxy bonded well to the tank and sealed the crack completely. I'm very happy with the results.
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Old 06-03-2014, 10:50 AM   #13
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Glad it worked out. For the benefit of others, you might consider updating this thread in a couple of years to report how it lasted.

Quote:
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What did you find out the other night with your issue on the dump valve?
Two loose hose clamps. It took maybe 2 minutes to tighten the clamps, if I count getting the 5/16" driver out and putting it away.

It took an hour and a half to cut the access hole, make a patch, install the patch, and seal the edges with metal duct tape. I cut it large enough for full access to the valves and fittings, so I don't have to do it again, and had to work slowly to be careful not to puncture any tanks or plumbing with a cutting tool or a screw.

Airstream used a 3" rubber coupling between the outlet of the greywater valve and the Y that connects to the outlet of the blackwater valve. That makes assembly much easier at the factory, since the alternative would have been to leave one of the valves disassembled from its flanges so that a cemented coupling could be used.

But they should have used self-tightening clamps.
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Old 11-21-2014, 07:29 PM   #14
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After about 2400 miles the fix is still holding. Haven't lost a drop.
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