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Old 13-05-2013, 15:03   #1
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cleaning port for water tank

I have an aluminium or steel (not sure but not stainless) water tank but I does not have an opening port big enough to reach in and clean with a brush. I want to cut a hole 4" diameter. Any recommendations how to secure the top flange to the tank. The metal is pretty thin. It looked to me a regular toilet flange with pvc extension pipe would work, either use metal screws with rubber gasket all around or lots of caulk. Any help appreciated.
Thanks in advance.
Sailor0516
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Old 13-05-2013, 15:09   #2
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Re: cleaning port for water tank

Bolt and glue a henderson hatch in the top and be done with it. They seal with a big o ring and don't leak.

https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=he...D1%3B640%3B350
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Old 13-05-2013, 15:14   #3
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Re: cleaning port for water tank

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Originally Posted by sailor0516 View Post
I have an aluminium or steel (not sure but not stainless) water tank but I does not have an opening port big enough to reach in and clean with a brush. I want to cut a hole 4" diameter. Any recommendations how to secure the top flange to the tank. The metal is pretty thin. It looked to me a regular toilet flange with pvc extension pipe would work, either use metal screws with rubber gasket all around or lots of caulk. Any help appreciated.
Thanks in advance.
Sailor0516

Try this site


Seabuilt - Access Plate Systems

Seabuilt - Access Plate Systems
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Old 13-05-2013, 15:31   #4
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Re: cleaning port for water tank

i've got good sized clean out ports in both my fiberglass water tanks and my stainless diesel tank.

both tanks just have large square holes cut in the top. larger square pieces of fiberglass or stainless cover them; they're held down with self tapping screws. each has a rubber gasket between cover and tank.

amazingly simple - and it works.

you may also want to consider those round plastic deck plates like the ones made by beckson. they're cheap enough and not hard to install, IF, you can really cut a round hole. here's one at west marine -

BECKSON MARINE Pry-Out ABS Deck Plates at West Marine
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Old 14-05-2013, 07:52   #5
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Re: cleaning port for water tank

Quote:
Originally Posted by sailor0516 View Post
I have an aluminium or steel (not sure but not stainless) water tank but I does not have an opening port big enough to reach in and clean with a brush. I want to cut a hole 4" diameter. Any recommendations how to secure the top flange to the tank. The metal is pretty thin. It looked to me a regular toilet flange with pvc extension pipe would work, either use metal screws with rubber gasket all around or lots of caulk. Any help appreciated.
Thanks in advance.
Sailor0516
Do yourself a big favor - Install a commercial access hatch or plate, don't try to cobble something up with parts from the home center. You need something with a backing ring that goes inside the tank and is through bolted in place. They will also cover the rough edges of the hole you cut in the tank.

They are made for the purpose and come with instructions. They are not expensive.

That said, how did your water tank become so dirty that it needs to be manually cleaned? That's not normally a problem with water tanks.
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Old 15-05-2013, 18:39   #6
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Re: cleaning port for water tank

Thanks a lot for the info, I had talked a West Marine employee and he did not know of any commercial made product, said something like a toilet flange would work. I guess he was part time..
I like to scrub down the interior at least once a year and vaccum out any residue, keeps the water fresh tasting.
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Old 15-05-2013, 18:54   #7
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Re: cleaning port for water tank

You will need to find out where the baffles are in the tank. One cleaning port won't allow you to clean the whole tank. They add baffles to the tank so it won't slosh around and effect the boat motion. You need an inspection port for each section of the tank so you can clean the whole tank.
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Old 16-05-2013, 05:19   #8
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Re: cleaning port for water tank

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Originally Posted by sailor0516 View Post
Thanks a lot for the info, I had talked a West Marine employee and he did not know of any commercial made product, said something like a toilet flange would work. I guess he was part time..
I like to scrub down the interior at least once a year and vaccum out any residue, keeps the water fresh tasting.
West Marine sells those plates. I bought one there to install in my holding tank for a cleanout.

I don't understand why you would need to clean a potable water tank unless you accidentally put fuel or sewage in it. My boat was built in 2000 and has no cleanouts in the potable water tanks and the water tastes just fine.

Homes with well water have an accumulator tank that's never cleaned. Homes and buildings have water sitting in pipes and they are never cleaned.

If there's a problem with your potable water, there's a "shock" procedure that involves adding a significant amount (a cup or two if I remember correctly) of chlorine bleach to the water system, filling it with clean water, running water through all the taps until you smell bleach, letting it sit for a couple hours, and then draining and rinsing the system. You can probably find the exact procedure with a web search but that's basically it.

The key to a good potable water system is pretty simple -

1) Only fill it with clean water that you would drink. If the water is from a well and not treated, add a small amount of chlorine bleach to treat it yourself. I used to use an ounce or less for a twenty gallon tank when I had well water. If you can taste chlorine, you're using too much.

2) Fill your tanks with a dedicated, drinking water approved hose that's used for nothing else. Don't wash your boat with it or leave it lying on the dock for someone to use it to rinse their holding tank. Keep it in a safe, secure place. Let the water run through the pipes and hose for a few minutes before filling your tank.

Do the chlorine bleach thing once or twice, then do what I posted and you shouldn't ever need to access the inside of your potable water tanks.
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Old 16-05-2013, 07:07   #9
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Re: cleaning port for water tank

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I don't understand why you would need to clean a potable water tank unless you accidentally put fuel or sewage in it.
All tanks be they fuel, water, or waste have a vent. As the contents cools and heats the generated air flow brings in outside air that contains "stuff". An empty tank still has air that expands and contracts too! The air all over the world has live stuff floating around in it. This builds up in the tank over time and can grow and blossum. A fresh water tank may have been filled with city treated water but the Chlorine really does not remain long in the water. If you use it up you are fine for a whole season.

Any time water sits in a tank for a week or more you'll probably accumulate some residue that you may never notice. It's not a lot but if you never clean the tank after a few years you can see it if you could get a good look inside the tank. You also get precipitated sediments. City water uses processes to precipitate out the impurities and that process continues after it leaves the plant even though very much reduced. Minerals will accumulate in any water tank.

All tanks should have an inspection port and you really need one for each baffled compartment too. If your boat does not have one and you can't install one then you pretty much live with it. Shock treatments are one way to at least kill the stuff that grows in a water tank and lines. Stuff will grow inside the water lines too!
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Old 16-05-2013, 11:51   #10
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Re: cleaning port for water tank

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All tanks be they fuel, water, or waste have a vent. ........
I understand the concept. I'm not going to argue with you, but in my experience (certainly less than yours, but real experience none the less), boat water tanks don't have and don't need cleanout ports and boat potable water systems that are used and cared for properly provide perfectly fine water to the user year after year.
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