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Old 08-10-2003, 11:12   #1
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Fresh water tank leak

Hi,

I own an Endeavour 40 with two aluminum fresh water tanks. ( 1984 ) One of the tanks has developed a seam leak in the upper third of the tank. The leak is in an area that exceeds the length of my arm, from the inside of the tank. I can't reach it from the outside without cutting up the deck.

Is there any kind of a spray type sealant that I could use on the inside of the tank. I was thinking about something like the rubberized Rhino type liner that I've seen in pick-up truck bed's.

Anyone know any products for this type of application?

Thanks in advance for any suggestions.

Larry s/v AbbyGale
St. Pete Fl.
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Old 08-10-2003, 13:02   #2
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Tank Repair

The following URL covers this to some extent.

http://www.irbs.com/lists/trawlerworld/0305/0447.html

If you want to work from the inside of the tank you can try the following ... figure out how much longer your arm needs to be & cobble up an extension, or a tool holder, for a tongue depressor. You'll want it to be quick & easy to change tools, or depressors, but also hold it securely (don't forget to visit your doctor & swipe many tongue depressors).

You'll also want to tinker with it dry first, and get the feel of following the bad corner with your tool. You may find that you need to develop a touch for advancing or retracting your tool holder in your hand as you go along the corner. You'll also want to get yourself a good inspection mirror if you don't already have one, and a bright flashlight, then get comfortable with quickly aiming, illuminating & viewing where you need to.

You might also try a couple of practice globs of epoxy in similar corners, the idea being to be sure that you're mixing something that can be spread decently ... use your tool holder & pay particular attention to angles & pressures that will make it “chatter” along the corner, then don't do that.

If you have the ability to do so, weld some scraps of aluminum together & play with the epoxy. If you're not set up for welding just about any decent wall thickness above 1/4 can be quickly drilled, tapped & butted together for your purposes, or simply clamped with a c-clamp or into a corner jig, whatever you have handy. In a pinch, your kid's bubblegum will do nicely.

I mentioned welding, not because test scraps need to be welded but because I'd just grab the welder & tack together half a dozen samples in a few minutes. Once tacked, holding your corners together would no longer be an issue. Except for screwing pieces together wall thinkness is more or less irrelevant to your purpose, you're just after a similar surface & corner to practice with.

You might also adapt your toolholder to grab a piece of scotch bright & use it to clean the corner up a bit, but don't forget to rinse the tank really good when you're done patching it & you might try to suck it clean with a vacuum nozzle after you scrub & before you patch.

After you've prepared your corner, gone through the motions or rehearsed & mastered your reaches, mirror use & epoxy you'll be ready to goop up & go for it.

As my grandaddy used to say, why go half-assed when you can just grab both cheeks & have a fine ol' time ...

Good luck, Troubledour
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Old 08-10-2003, 22:26   #3
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Additionally ...

If you can reach it at all with a drill bit, you might consider a stop hole at the ends of your existing crack, or slightly beyond it (just to make sure you get the ends of it). If reach is a problem, an extended length bit or extension shank should take care of that. Finding the ends of the crack will be trickier than poking a hole through it.

Troubledour
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Old 09-10-2003, 14:18   #4
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Thanks for the advice. I'll begin practicing and work with it until I get it right and then go for the gusto and attempt to seal the tank. The tank is already dry, I have not been using that one under the assumption I would have to remove it. ( Just the thought of tearing it out frightens me )

Could you please recommend a good epoxy for this project. I would just buy the first thing off of the shelf, and probably get it wrong.

Thanks again for your help
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Old 09-10-2003, 18:55   #5
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Link Above

The link I posted above suggests an Epoxy product called SPLASH ZONE by Devoe Co.

I haven't used that one specifically & would expect any decent 2 part epoxy to do just fine. Might take the opportunity to try a couple of different brands (as you're testing) & see what you like.

Another link or two ...

http://lists.samurai.com/pipermail/t...ch/010162.html

http://www.devoecoatings.com/

Also, I tossed in the thing about acquiring tongue depressors from your doctor in a moment of levity ... if you can afford $75.00 for a handful of depressors the entertainment value might be worth 10% of that $75.00.

Another option would be WalMart or any other well-stocked dept or hobby store. WalMart carries "tongue depressors" for about $2.50 per bag of I forget how many ... festive colors can be had for a little more than $3.00 per bag. Further, I say "tongue depressor" only because they're flat, wide & semi flexible sticks with just about the right radius on the end.

Let me add that when using a flashlight to illuminate an area for viewing with an inspection mirror that you're usually best off to shine your flashlight at the mirror & let the mirror reflect the light to the area of interest. Differently put, use the mirror to steer the beam. Learning to do this can take some practice but it's a skill so useful around machines of all sorts that you'll soon wonder how you ever did without it.

Enjoy, Troubledour
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