Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 06-09-2009, 21:41   #1
Registered User

Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 363
Water Tank Leak

The ongoing big refit has hit a big bump in the road....

Tonight I was snooping around the rear of the port main water tank, stainless steel and original to the boat (1981) and I was working a small brass wire brush against the bottom rear edge where the was some obvious rust along the welded seam. I go back looking at it again a few minutes later and there is a drop of water on the hull. So I get my mirror and watch closely, sure enough over about 1-2 minutes in one particular spot a tiny drop wells up and drops off onto the mirror. A leak, no doubt about it. Its leaking about a single drop every 1-2 minutes.

What to do?

Getting this tank out would be a huge mess. Tons of woodwork would have to be removed and I do not think the tank would go through the companionway in one piece. I would guess that replacing the tank would cost HUGE money and take months to get done. We are pushing hard on this refit to leave the dock and go cruising by mid October at the latest.

What other solutions are there? Can I epoxy some glass cloth to the bottom of the tank in this area? How about underwater epoxy putty?

ANY ideas are welcome...


Terry
__________________

__________________
Tspringer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-09-2009, 21:56   #2
Registered User

Join Date: May 2008
Location: daytona beach florida
Boat: csy 37
Posts: 2,844
Images: 1
i had a small leak in a 75 gallon fiberglass water tank that i could not find. i bought a product called 'gluvit' in a marine supply store. it's some kind of polyester resin that's supposedly finds it's way into cracks and seals them. i 'painted' the interior of the water tank with two coats of 'gluvit' and that ended the leak. i think i bought the quart size can. if you google on 'gluvit' you will find out more about it than i know.

my tank does have a very large access port in the top of the tank which allowed me to get my arm down in there and paint the gluvit all around the interior.

i don't know if this will work on stainless water tanks but maybe the gluvit website will be more specific....
__________________

__________________
onestepcsy37 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-09-2009, 11:42   #3
Registered User
 
James S's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: May 2008
Location: Yemen & Lebanon... the sailboat is in Lebenon, the dhow is in Yemen
Boat: 1978 CT48 & 65ft Cargo Dhow
Posts: 5,816
Images: 139
Yeh...thats a tough one...Can you get to the leak well enough to clean the metal on the out side and get it dry?
If so you can probably get away with some sort of surface repair with a spot of 5200 or the like...not sure what kind of smell or hazard that would create....if you cant get it dry then something like MarineTex may work.
Do you have clean-outs? can you get to the inside where the leak is?
Can you cut an opening big enough to stuff a bladder in there?
You can expect to find more of these pin holes as the time passes.
__________________
James
S/V Arctic Lady
I love my boat, I can't afford not to!
James S is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-09-2009, 11:52   #4
Moderator Emeritus
 
David M's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: San Francisco Bay
Boat: research vessel
Posts: 10,150
For now I would put a patch of epoxy filler over the outside. If it has an access port then put a coat of epoxy on the inside. If it starts leaking again in a short period of time then you have a big decision to make
__________________
David

Life begins where land ends.
David M is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-09-2009, 13:31   #5
Registered User
 
Zednotzee's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Oromocto, New Brunswick
Boat: 1976 Alberg 37 Yawl hull 172
Posts: 394
There are several companies who, given the specifications, will build a custom plastic tank for a decent price- certainly cheaper than stainless, & no more corrosion worries. Plastic Tank Custom Fabrication Poly Water Storage Tanks - BARR Plastics
However, I have no solution for the removal conundrum with your existing tank.
__________________
Zednotzee is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-09-2009, 14:02   #6
Moderator
 
Dockhead's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Cowes (Winter), Baltic (Summer) (the boat!); somewhere in the air (me!)
Boat: Cutter-Rigged Moody 54
Posts: 19,737
For God's sake, a drop every one or two minutes. A standard drop of water is 1/20 cc. So in one hour -- 3 cc. A liter would take 333 hours, or two weeks.

Plug it with epoxy and forget about it.
__________________
Dockhead is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-09-2009, 14:04   #7
Moderator Emeritus
 
David M's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: San Francisco Bay
Boat: research vessel
Posts: 10,150
If your tank has no baffles then you may be able to put a collapsible liner in there. This will save you having to remove it or having to patch it.
__________________
David

Life begins where land ends.
David M is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-09-2009, 17:17   #8
Registered User
 
stevensc's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Thibodaux, Louisiana
Boat: Monk 36 Trawler
Posts: 679
You might try draining the tank, dry out the leaking spot with a heat gun or hair drier and apply something like Splash Zone or JB Weld, press it into the crevice. If you can get at the inside apply there otherwise to the exterior spot where the leak is. Leaks may pop up elsewheres or maybe not. This might fix the problem for a few $$.
Good luck
Steve
__________________
stevensc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-09-2009, 18:09   #9
Senior Cruiser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: between the devil and the deep blue sea
Boat: a sailing boat
Posts: 17,314
There is a premix epoxy putty 'magic stick' you can squeeze in. It is sort of like the buble gum solution, except dries well wet.

b.
__________________
barnakiel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-09-2009, 08:42   #10
Registered User

Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 363
I am going to give this stuff a go:

Microseal, metal sealant, seal castings


I have emptied the tank and will be working to get it completely dry inside, then I am going to use a yard sprayer with metal wand to spray the stuff into the tank at the seams. I am also going to clean up the edges I can reach, treat them with ospho and then apply JB Weld.

That that all fails.... I may nuke it from orbit, the only way to be sure.



Terry
__________________
Tspringer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-09-2009, 09:45   #11
Registered User

Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 1,848
marine tex will work and last a long time or you can have somebody tig weld it in place
__________________
motion30 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-09-2009, 01:55   #12
Moderator Emeritus
 
GordMay's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Thunder Bay, Ontario - 48-29N x 89-20W
Boat: (Cruiser Living On Dirt)
Posts: 31,577
Images: 240
Marine-Tex is NOT rated for potable water repairs.

Marine Tex, epoxy resin, adhesives, silicone grease, engine treatment, cleaner, repair, bond, fill, seal, fiberglass, aluminum, plastics, Starboard, wood
__________________
Gord May
"If you didn't have the time or money to do it right in the first place, when will you get the time/$ to fix it?"



GordMay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-09-2009, 05:08   #13
Certifiable Refitter/Senior Wannbe
 
Wotname's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: South of 43 S, Australia
Boat: Van DeStat Super Dogger 31'
Posts: 7,331
Assuming you can get it completely dry and very well cleaned (from the outside), I would try soldering it (standard 60/40 solder). You will need a decent heat source and assuming heat is not a problem for the surrounding materials.
316 SS will solder surprising well if you use phosphoric acid (rust convertor) as a flux.
__________________
All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangereous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible. T.E. Lawrence
Wotname is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-09-2009, 09:09   #14
Registered User

Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 363
The leak is on the bottom rear edge of the tank.... to solder it would require removing it and removing it would require huge de-construction of the salon.

The leak is tiny, the inside of the tank actually looks very good. After researching this more, my documentation on the boat shows this tank was replaced 10 years ago. This leak is clearly crevice corrosion on a weld seam. I believe that if I can properly seal this leak the tank will be fine. The Microseal seems the perfect solution.... we shall see. I am working now on getting the tank completely dry inside.


Terry
__________________
Tspringer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-09-2009, 11:56   #15
Registered User
 
James S's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: May 2008
Location: Yemen & Lebanon... the sailboat is in Lebenon, the dhow is in Yemen
Boat: 1978 CT48 & 65ft Cargo Dhow
Posts: 5,816
Images: 139
its hard for me to imagine that a marinetex patch on the outside of a tank to close a hole or crack of the size described would have sufficient contact area with the water to be of any concern....having said that I'm no expert and probably did more than my share "partying" in my youth so ...it may be hard for me to tell if there would be any effect
__________________

__________________
James
S/V Arctic Lady
I love my boat, I can't afford not to!
James S is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Main fuel tank leak Alan N Crichton Construction, Maintenance & Refit 2 10-05-2009 15:45
Diesel tank - slow leak kipwrite Construction, Maintenance & Refit 3 05-03-2008 19:42
Find and repair leak in fresh water tank jenifox Construction, Maintenance & Refit 2 03-02-2008 15:58
Gas tank leak around sendeing unit gasket phorvati Engines and Propulsion Systems 12 26-10-2007 10:25
Fresh water tank leak lannen Construction, Maintenance & Refit 4 09-10-2003 18:55



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 21:14.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.