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Gray Water Tank Cracked - Repair Options?

#1 User is offline   ethernetguru 

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Posted 22 February 2009 - 10:59 PM

I winterized my unit, but I guess I didn't pour enough in the Gray tank!

We've had some incredibly cold temperatures, and I noticed a drip under the trailer. When I investigated, I found that the gray tank has two small cracks that are allowing water to seep out...about a drip ever couple seconds.

I tried using Marine Epoxy to seal the cracks, but it didn't work.

I've emptied the tank as best I can, but the crack is on the bottom, right in the little dip at the outlet. That means that even when the outlet fully drains, there is still a bit of water in the tank at that spot.

Any ideas on how to effectively repair this? I need to either get ALL the water out (make the tank completely dry somehow) in order to epoxy the cracks, OR I may need to drill a hole in that spot, drain the last of the water, dry out the area, then epoxy a permanant plug into the hole.

Does anyone have a good suggestion before I make a mess of it?

Thanks!

Chester
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#2 User is offline   Sweathog62 

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Posted 22 February 2009 - 11:22 PM

I drilled a hole in my fresh water tank... Water was everywhere, and this material held.... (JB Weld) Found it at Walmart in the Automobile area. Also, you might try some RV Antifreeze in the gray water holding tank to avoid freezing.

Good Luck!!
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#3 User is offline   CamperAndy 

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Posted 23 February 2009 - 06:53 AM

The best repair on the poly tank is heat. Use a soldering iron to seal the crack.
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#4 User is offline   ethernetguru 

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Posted 24 February 2009 - 07:57 PM

Hey, great idea! I hadn't thought of using a soldering iron for the repair.

I'll try to post back my results.

Thanks!

Chester
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#5 User is offline   peacemakerpete 

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Posted 25 February 2009 - 02:45 PM

View Postethernetguru, on Feb 24 2009, 05:57 PM, said:

Hey, great idea! I hadn't thought of using a soldering iron for the repair.

I'll try to post back my results.

Thanks!

Chester



Hi Chester

There are inexpensive kits to WELD the plastic using plastic welding rod. There are 3 different kinds of plastic I believe, and each will not bond well with the other. I broke the inlet pipe off a black water tank and was able to re-weld the flange. Not a fun job, but grey water tank will be much better to work with.

The weld kit will hook up to an air-compressor at low settings (to keep a flow of air) and the welder plugs into a wall outlet. It gives a jet of superheated air that melts the plastic welding rod. That way, you don't char the welding surfaces (like a soldering iron does) and you get much stronger welds. Weld kit comes with 3 different colors of rod. Mine was about $30 of fleabay 4 years ago. And the black water tank is still holding, with NO leaks... And you can build up the damaged area (patch) with more material to strengthen the seam.

Peacemakerpete

#6 User is offline   Lmbevard 

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Posted 26 February 2009 - 07:21 AM

View Postpeacemakerpete, on Feb 25 2009, 01:45 PM, said:

View Postethernetguru, on Feb 24 2009, 05:57 PM, said:

Hey, great idea! I hadn't thought of using a soldering iron for the repair.

I'll try to post back my results.

Thanks!

Chester



Hi Chester

There are inexpensive kits to WELD the plastic using plastic welding rod. There are 3 different kinds of plastic I believe, and each will not bond well with the other. I broke the inlet pipe off a black water tank and was able to re-weld the flange. Not a fun job, but grey water tank will be much better to work with.

The weld kit will hook up to an air-compressor at low settings (to keep a flow of air) and the welder plugs into a wall outlet. It gives a jet of superheated air that melts the plastic welding rod. That way, you don't char the welding surfaces (like a soldering iron does) and you get much stronger welds. Weld kit comes with 3 different colors of rod. Mine was about $30 of fleabay 4 years ago. And the black water tank is still holding, with NO leaks... And you can build up the damaged area (patch) with more material to strengthen the seam.

Peacemakerpete

If you don't want to do that yourself, check with your RV dealer they might know some one that does this. Usually not too expensive. Other wise you could patch it with fiberglass and resin, again fairly inexpensive and easy to do, plus the fiberglass matting will strength the area of the tank where the crack is to add some support.
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#7 User is offline   GlenninTexas 

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Posted 26 February 2009 - 09:40 PM

I'll second the JB Weld. I've repaired a plastic gas tank on my riding mower as well as a crack in my black tank on my RV. This stuff ought to be in everyones emergency repair kit.

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#8 User is offline   palod 

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Posted 13 April 2009 - 07:32 PM

Hi Chester:

Why not try the plastic tank repair kit from Permatex?

Read about it at http://www.permatex....otive/09100.pdf.

It's supposed to be available at Ace Hardware.

PALOD

#9 User is offline   swanny 

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Posted 13 April 2009 - 08:11 PM

found this info on another site. eek1 it has some info from Keystone and some personal info. hope it helps with your problem. this was dated 2/27/09
also at this point it probably wouldn't hurt to drill a small hole to drain the water. i don't have any experience with this type of problem. this is just something i found. good luck

I just got off the phone with Amy at Travel star. UPS is charging her between $130 - $170 shipping and when tanks arrive damaged there is a bunch of grief getting it taken care of. Because of that she refuses to ship directly. Amy said to call Keystone at 574-535-2100. Ask for customer service. Keystone gets a volume discount of $50.00 shipping. I asked what the tank would cost and she said around $80.00.
Amy says the tanks are not designed to be suspended without bottom support. Next we talked about strapping. I expressed a concern that metal strapping might chafe through and asked if the strapping used to hold down loads on a 18-wheeler would work. Amy said sure she has even seen people use strips of carpet and it worked fine. One strap close to plumbing dump valves and the other 2/3 of the way toward the rear of the tank. Then surprise of surprises Amy asked me why I donít repair it myself. I asked her how. Amy said get a bucket of water and pour some Oatey ABS cement into the water. Swirl the cement around in the water and make a ball. Squeeze out the water and form a putty ball. After cleaning the cracked area using MEK (Methyl Ethel Ketone) form the putty around the cracked area to finish the repair. 24 hours minimum before use and a few days is better. I asked exactly what the tank was made of and Amy replied ABS. So there you have it.
My plan is to first reinstall the muffler hangers to the sewer pipe and get everything in position where it normally lives. Then I am going to use carpet strips and support my gray and black tanks. Clean the cracked area and use the ABS putty fix. Before I button everything up it seems like putting some real insulation in there would be a good idea EXCEPT if the black tank failed again dealing with the extra insulation would be UGLY. Thoughts? I absolutely LOVE JB Weld. I have used it on so many things and it has NEVER once failed me. Because this looks like it is going to be a one-chance deal, and because it is suggested by the manufacturer I am going with that recommendation. Sorry Doug Iím hangin with Amy. Sure hope Iím not sorry in the future for not using JB Weld. .
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#10 User is offline   bkramersr 

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Posted 18 May 2009 - 06:08 PM

View Postethernetguru, on Feb 22 2009, 11:59 PM, said:

I winterized my unit, but I guess I didn't pour enough in the Gray tank!

We've had some incredibly cold temperatures, and I noticed a drip under the trailer. When I investigated, I found that the gray tank has two small cracks that are allowing water to seep out...about a drip ever couple seconds.

I tried using Marine Epoxy to seal the cracks, but it didn't work.

I've emptied the tank as best I can, but the crack is on the bottom, right in the little dip at the outlet. That means that even when the outlet fully drains, there is still a bit of water in the tank at that spot.

Any ideas on how to effectively repair this? I need to either get ALL the water out (make the tank completely dry somehow) in order to epoxy the cracks, OR I may need to drill a hole in that spot, drain the last of the water, dry out the area, then epoxy a permanant plug into the hole.

Does anyone have a good suggestion before I make a mess of it?

Thanks!

Chester

my gray water tanks cracked at the flange as well, so did another camper in our park who has the same year/model outback that i do, i am thinking that there should be a push for a recall for these tanks and or the installation process. as i to was told by the manufacturer that they were not designed to be used without belly straps. the folks in our park with the same modcel that i have had thiers replaced and the dealer used the same tanks and did not support them with straps, the dealer said it was not necessary

#11 User is offline   California Jim 

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Posted 18 May 2009 - 07:34 PM

x2 on the soldering iron if it's only a hairline, otherwise JB weld is The Bomb.

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