Water Tank Repair and Replacement

This topic comes up now and then on the list-serv.
Basically there are two approaches to leaking tanks and one thing to carefully investigate.

  • Be sure to determine where the leak is originating. It is a common problem to "bow" the tank tops by overfilling and this causes a failure in the seal around the access ports/plates. I replaced the sealant on the ports with a two prong approach. After CAREFULLY removing the ss bolts retaining the tank ports, I cut and punched new "gaskets" from neoprene rubber. The original sealant appeared to be a butyl rubber material that had failed after 25 years. I coated the new gasket with potable water safe silicone and then re-sealed the plates. I gave them ample time to cure and haven't had a problem since. So, this is one potential solution.
  1. If the actual tanks have failed, the two approaches I've encountered are:
    • Remove the tank ports and thoroughly clean the tank interior. There are baffles that you have to work around. If memory is correct, the repair involved cutting the top off the tank but leaving a lip so that a new lid could be attached. In fact, if bladders are used, the baffles and top need to be removed anyway.
    • Obtain a potable water safe epoxy to be used to coat the interior of the tank. Sherwin Williams is one manufacturor of this type of epoxy. Just be sure it is rated for potable water.
    • Coat the interior.
    • Fabricate new tops and gaskets and seal the newly finished tank.
  2. Remove the tops and baffles and measure the interior.  Contact a company to fabricate a bladder type tank. Here is a reference I found buried on the list-server:  "I replaced the water storage with custom and conformal bladders. Built by Husky. About $200 each. I did downsize them to appx 75usg each. And built a mini bulkhead inside the tank space to allow for more provision storage."

Hope this helps.