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Fresh Water Tank Leak

Discussion in 'Technical Discussion' started by JWY, Jan 28, 2021.

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  1. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    That was one of my concerns with epoxy, 5200, etc. You need to know if it'll affect drinking water. That's why I suggested JB Weld from the outside. Simplest thing to try. If it doesn't work you've wasted $5. As for epoxying a plate inside, that will involve major (expensive) surgery. Still waiting to hear how big this tank is and where it's located. There was talk of baffles. Do we know there are baffles and how they're situated? Sure would like to see inside before spending big bucks only to have it corroded throughout the interior, maybe rotting through at another spot when you're done. I wouldn't go further than the JB without knowing the condition inside.
  2. JWY

    JWY Senior Member

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    Thanks again for all of the thoughts, opinions, and suggestions. Any recommendations for who might be an appropriate person for assessment/repair for this?
  3. Maxwell

    Maxwell Senior Member

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    We had a similar issue a few years back. Ours was due to a poor weld on the bottom seam. They had to cut an access in our teak and holly floor, remove the old metal tank in pieces and had it replaced with a custom made poly one mounted lengthwise instead of horizontally to avoid having to remove cabinetry etc. Likely a smaller tank/boat than you are dealing with, but the job was approximately $4500k for a 130 Gal tank installed.
  4. Capt Ralph

    Capt Ralph Senior Member

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    Find a old phart named Bob Cannon in your woods. Great metal fab guy. He has been absent a while but worth it if you can find him to make access and repair. I last found him at Lauderdale Marine Center A few years ago. Used to live rite across the street from there.
    Bob and I have always agreed on honest work and ways to make the impossible happen.

    Any quality shipwright should be able to do a R&R.
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2021
  5. mapism

    mapism Senior Member

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    Just curious, how many of you folks actually drink water from the boat tank?
    Personally, I never did, even if none of my boats had corrosion or any other tank problems.
    Bottled water is for me just one more item in the food shopping list, no big deal and cheap insurance.
  6. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    Brush your teeth, make your coffee, cook your food, absorb through your skin when you wash.
  7. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

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    We do on the lazzara (fiberglass tanks) . Carbon filter, UV light plus another filter at a dedicated tap on the sink. It s excellent. Taste better than the crappy purified stuff like aquafina.

    when we go to the Bahamas for weeks, we used to load up 15 or 20 cases of Evian. Takes too much space
  8. Capt Ralph

    Capt Ralph Senior Member

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    We have twin stainless tanks.
    Not a problem.
  9. d_meister

    d_meister Senior Member

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    ...ice for drinks!
  10. mapism

    mapism Senior Member

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    Well, maybe myself and my wife are more fussy than really necessary.
    BTW, the boat has integral fiberglass tanks for everything (fuel/water/black/grey), and we load fresh water through an onboard softener.
    So, it's not like we ever had bad taste or smell from tap water - it's just that old habits die hard, I guess.
    Together with the fact that we have excellent and inexpensive bottled water available.
    In fact, we use it for anything meant to go down the hatch, including cooking, tea, coffee, ice.
    But maybe we should rethink all that, 'cause of course reducing the stuff to load onboard is never a bad idea.
    If Judy doesn't mind staying o/t a bit further, I'd be interested to hear more about the carbon filter & UV light that Pascal mentioned.
    How does it work, and is it worth fitting?
  11. Capt Ralph

    Capt Ralph Senior Member

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    Carbon filters and UV light treatments are usually SOP after a RO system.
    Additional carbon filters and UV treatments for after tank storage can be in-line after the pressure tank or at point of service like a drinking tap at the galley sink.

    Years ago I was warned that water would beat the price of gas. Bottled water did make that happen.

    Josie and I had to come to a real life / survival agreement; If we can tolerate beer, wine, hooch & colas, then we can drink filtered tap water.
    Amazing how much storage we ended up with.
    Amazing how much money went back into the budget.

    BTW, we do rotate one flat of bottled water for emergencys while deployed.
  12. mapism

    mapism Senior Member

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    I don't have a RO system onboard, but actually I assumed that also Pascal was not referring to it.
    I mean, he said that they fill the boat with cases of bottled water before going to the Bahamas, where I guessed they use to fill tanks with RO water.
    Which in fact is not recommended for drinking, AFAIK.

    Anyway, fitting a drinking tap in the galley with its specific filters+UV wouldn't be a big deal for me.
    I'm just wondering if it's worth...
    ...Though I guess that's better discussed in some nutrition, rather than boating forum! :)
  13. Capt Fred

    Capt Fred Senior Member

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    I have one carbon filter on my boat located after the FW pump and it filters water to the entire vessel. It is a standard Home Depot size canister and filter. Works great.
  14. JWY

    JWY Senior Member

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    I didn't drop out - I will report back after findings and fixes (if any required). Thanks again to all.

    Judy
  15. DOCKMASTER

    DOCKMASTER Senior Member

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    It’s hard to make recommendations without really knowing the situation and surroundings. However, if by chance you can access the top of the tank above the leak you can cut an access hole in the tank top. Make the access big enough to get in and repair the leak on the bottom from the inside. Repairs can be via epoxy or preferable weld repair if possible. If the tank has any separation from the hull it can be welded safely. Weld cloth and other items can be placed between the tank and hull provided there is a little room there. But if concern over welding, make repairs with epoxy or JB or applied liner, whatever you like. Once repairs are done make a bolt-on access cover where you made the cut. Install riv-nuts, use a gasket and new plate. By doing this you can always access the area again if future additional repairs are needed.
  16. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

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    actually we used to load up on Evian before heading to the Exumas. Last few trips we ve relied on board start instead, as explained because of the amount we had to load and the space it took. Plus all the tree huggers making us feel guilty about plastic :)

    I confess that I am a water snob and care about the taste. I can’t drink bottled purified water like Aquafina etc. if I use bottle water it has to be spring.. so I wouldn’t be drinking the water out of the tank if it wasn’t good :)

    in Miami we fill the tank with city water. Because the boat heat a lot of use, water never stay in the tank for more than a couple of days. We never connect the boat to dock water. We don’t filter water coming in the tank because the city water contains chlorine which helps keeping the water fresh in the tank

    the UV light is installed before the pump inlet. The carbon filter is on the pump outlet. The drinking water tap at the galley sink has a filter as well as water dispenser in the fridge.

    In the Bahamas we only use the watermaker. No need to pay up to $0.40 a gallon for sometimes questionable quality. There is a Carbon filter on the product output going into the tank and then when in comes out of the tank it gets the UV treatment and the second carbon.
  17. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    Pascal has it down, and is how I would do it.
  18. Capt Ralph

    Capt Ralph Senior Member

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    Pascal has it down, and is how we mostly do it.
    Only difference; We are connected to the dock water (still 24x7 live-a-boards).
    On laundry and/or boat washing days and before any deployment, we use up the ships water and re-flood with fresh.
    Need the 240 gallons (ballast) in the stern for proper trim while at the dock (while the forward fuel tank is full).
  19. d_meister

    d_meister Senior Member

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    Since I'm often the guy who has to haul the garbage, I've always looked for ways to have less of it. Besides, I'm congenitally cheap :) Drives me nuts to empty abandoned half full water bottles that nobody claims and toss them.
    Much of the cruising with owner's parties has been to island locations, and the more aware locales won't let you dump your trash on them.
    My solution has been to have either the whole boat filtered for taste and odor centrally, or to have a bar faucet filtered. The next step is to buy class "A" disposable water bottles in at least 700 ml size (Fiji) and mark each one with a guest's name. After the water from across the equator (?) is gone, the guests can refill at will. They're usually receptive and supportive. We do the same at home. Sometimes there will be someone who goes rooting around for a new bottle, but I'm always happy to find the one they abandoned somewhere.

    Back to the tank. I'm with DOCKMASTER on fixing it. I would ask a really talented TIG welder to look at it. TIG welding (the only choice, really) creates very high heat in a localized area, so insulating the environment could maybe work.
  20. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    Back in the day my mother would freak if we ever drank from a bottle or can. Something about getting diseases from them and animal pi---ng on them. Also cause it was considered low class. Of course those were the days when water was free, before skinny girls made water bottles a fashion statement. You know you can buy water in gallon jugs and drink from glasses. You can even add ice.:rolleyes: Stores a lot easier too. (Don't you just love when that 24 pack breaks open and you're chasing bottles.