Westsail Owners Alliance - Thread: "WATER"
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Thread: "WATER"

12,268 posts on 2,444 threads   •   From Mar 07, 2004 - Jan 08, 2012

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WATER


Greg and Christy Johnson

This weekend I removed both s/s water tanks so as to paint the bilges. I would like to replace them with the poly tanks and was wondering if these still in good shape tanks could be reused as fuel tanks


Brian Smith

I'd be curious to hear the pros and cons of stainless vs poly for water storage... which cleaner, better over the long haul for drinking... which longer lasting, more maintenance free, etc...??


Greg and Christy Johnson

The tanks were really never fitted or installed correctly. There wasn't any straping installed so the tanks have a lot of movement and there isn't enough room under the tanks to install spacers to keep the tanks off the bilge.
What started out as a simple 'just of few fixes' has become the retrofit of the decade. I have asopted the mindset of I don't want to screw with this part again so if it can be replaced with new and it won't break the bank it gets replaced.


Norm Rhines

Just for the record

I installed Buds Poly tanks and have never regretted it.

I can clorox them (cant do with SS)

They are quiet

I have not seen a spot of rust (can't do with ss)

And after the first 2 months of water usage there is no taste of plastic.

so for what it is worth The Plastic is an excellent choice
Norm


Greg and Christy Johnson

I'm glad to hear that my choice of poly tanks will be ok but now back to the original question. Can I reuse the SS tanks for fuel?


Norm Rhines

The SS tanks are OK for fuel, except

1.) They will not have a certified MFg sticker on them (insurance / coast guard issues ( pressure test req.)

2.) If you leave them in the bulge you will need a fuel lift pump to the engine as they are lower than the engine.

so in general people do not do reuse ss water tanks

My suggestion if you want to reuse them, cut them down so that they will fit like a tray on top of the new water tanks allowing you to use the space as storage tools, heavy stuff etc.

There is about 3" between the top of the new tanks and the bottom of the sole.

Hope this helps
Norm

P.S. Bud may have other ideas for their reuse.


Greg and Christy Johnson

Norm--Thanks for the information. I never thought about the need for the tanks being certifyed. I'll clean them up and put them on e-bay.


Jpower6210

I would also be curious to hear why you want to replace the stainless- I am about to pull mine to paint the bilges, replumb, etc., I am leaning towards not putting my water in plastic and refurbishing, cleaning the tanks, etc. Would be curious to hear what other folks have done-
John


Aaron Norlund

Further, why can one not put bleach in stainless water tanks? I've never heard of this, at least not in the quantity about which we're speaking (cap full in five gallons or so). I realize you can't put 100% bleach on stainless for extended periods, but I find it hard to believe that what is acceptable for me to drink is too hard on my metal tank.

Thanks for your help,
Aaron N.


Brian Smith

you can't chlorox ss tanks? really?? glad i read this post,
was going to this spring... what do people do to recommision ss freshwater tank??


Norm Rhines

Aaron:

As long as you stay in very very low concentrations of the bleach you will be fine but I have found (Pool Shock treatment con bleach works for me as it is easy to carry on the boat and a little goes a long way still using the 500g packet.

but no mater how low you go there is some damage, but low enough it will last for 100+ years, issues come up when you pore the bleach directly in and spill a bit (100% for long periods) and you are correct if you can't taste it you are in the 100 year zone.

But just spill once on the outside missing the cleaning and you are on your way to holes.

Don't get me wrong ss is good and maybe even better with a water maker which has NO tolerance for Clorides, But cleaning is better done with an ozone maker, UV is even better but You have to find a way to allow all surfaces to be impinged with the UV light.

Hope this clears up the bleach issue (I assumed we all pour it directly into the tank rather than preblend and add through a hose.

Thanks:
Norm


Ralph and Sandra Weiland

Chlorides and the 300 series stainless steels are incompatible because chlorides cause stress corrosion cracking. Although bleach performs by the action of chlorine, it is generated from sodium hypochlorite, and chloride will be present in the solution. Chloride and bleach also remove the passive film present on stainless and expose the surface to corrosion. Best stay away from chlorine bleach.


Bud Taplin
(Member)

The poly tanks I have made for drinking water are from a food grade polyethylene, and should last forever with no problems. The poly holding tanks are made from another mixture, good against the chemicals in a holding tank. My tankmaker will not autorize the use of his poly tanks for fuel because of the liability issue of the tanks melting in case of a fire, and adding additional fuel to the fire.


Tom and Barb Koehl

Bud, I got the replacement poly water tanks from you and I'm just now getting ready to install them. Checking the drawings in the Construction Manual, the original tanks had a fill and vent on the top and drew fresh water from the bottom end. The replacements have the fill and two 3/4 inch taps on top, nothing on the ends. What's the best way to draw the water? A siphon tube? Any recommendations? -Tom Koehl


Bud Taplin
(Member)

Tom, I supplied pickup tubes with the tanks, as well as the vent fitting and a cap for the fill. If you have misplaced them, let me know and I can send some new ones. The fittings on the tank are 1/2" pipe thread for the pickup and vent, and 1-1/4" pipe thread for the fill.


Tom and Barb Koehl

Bud, Thanks, I'll look tomorrow and let you know. I may have mixed them up with the fuel tank parts. Sorting out all the plumbing is like a jigsaw puzzle!


Bud Taplin
(Member)

The water tank fittings are all plastic, with a copper tube on the pickup, held in place with a piece of plastic tubing and cement.


Tom and Barb Koehl

Yep, I found them with the fuel tank sight glass. They've been sitting in the back of the barn until now. Thanks. By the way, is there a drawing for the horizontal brace for the water manifold, or do I just design my own? I've cut the 3/4 fir ply "pads" for the tank straps and plan to glass them in next week. Is one layer of glass matting sufficient? I'm not very familiar with the holding power of glassed in mounts. -Tom


Randell 'Randy' Kocurek

I was worrying I had wasted an asset when I trashed my old ss water tanks. Now I don't have to think about it anymore.


Bud Taplin
(Member)

Grind the fiberglass in the areas where you will me mounting the pads. Score the bottom of the plywood pads, and put some resin soaked mat under the pad when you stick it to the hull. Then cover over with a layer of mat and cloth, extending out about 4" or 5" out from the pad. Be sure to taper the top edges of the pad to be able to smooth out the fiberglass.

The other alternative is to make the pads, score the bottoms, then seal them with epoxy resin. Use an epoxy putty to stick the pad to the hull. No fiberglassing required.


Randell 'Randy' Kocurek

My old boat has stainless steel straps that press directly against the new Bud's poly water tanks I recently installed and have yet to fill. Two straps per tank. I think the straps go to pads that are AOK. The only cushioning I have provided to the tanks, besides strips of teak in the bilge, are pieces of rubber inner tube where the corners of the tanks meet the straps.
Should I have more cushioning or protection?
Thanks.


Bud Taplin
(Member)

Randy, You just have to make sure that the stainless straps do not cut through the rubber inner tube pieces and then possibly rub directly on the poly tanks. Maybe some more durable corner pieces, such as firehose.


Tom and Barb Koehl

Bud, when I unpacked the new water tanks I recall an instruction sheet as to how to clean/prep the tanks but can't locate it amongst all the other piles of boat stuff. Something about carting them around in the back of your SUV to agitate the solution. Can you post the procedure?


Bud Taplin
(Member)

Tom, I will email you the page. It is in my Westsail Service Manual.


George and Rayna Shaunfield

My W28 has a 70-gallon aluminum water tank mounted under the raised floor of the settee (ie. inaccesible except for the fill, pickup, and vent connections). I think the tank is empty, but have not verified that yet.

What is the recommended procedure for cleaning an aluminum water tank?

Can it really be cleaned sufficiently that it could be used for drinking water?

George


Stephen and Lu Ann Yoder

George,
All the talk about messing up an old aluminum tank by using chlorine scared me. So, we just started using the tank as-is. We've filed it with city water (which contains chlorine) a few times. During the first year or so of visiting the boat every few weeks, we only used the tank water for cooking, cleaning, etc and opted to drink bottled water (bottles that we filled at home). But, since our home water was from a well that we had never had tested, not to mention we never had the pipes, holding tank etc. cleaned and yet the water never made us sick in over 20 years, I started to ease my fears of what was in the tank. So I took a sample from the tank to have it tested for coliforms. Test came back negative. So I put a new filter element in the cheapy water filter between the tank and the sink and we started using the water. Now the tank contains mostly RO water but, if the tank was dirty, it still is. So far, no ill effects.

I don't necessarily recommend this procedure, but it worked for us.

-Steve


Aaron Norlund

George,

A few gallons of white distilled vinegar will kill anything in there, and shouldn't hurt the metal. Just flush the tank out a few times afterward.

Cheers,
Aaron


Bud Taplin
(Member)

The problem that was discovered with aluminum water tanks is a calcium buildup in the tank when using water that has a high mineral content (hard water). If you use water with a low mineral content (soft water) there should be no buildup. You might be able to use some of the products sold in the market to clean mineral deposits from aluminum cooking pots and coffee makers to dissolve any buildup in the tank. You should definitely use a filter on the water coming out of the tank.


Tom Crank

The best non lethal way to remove hard water deposit is as Aaron said white vinegar. Bought by the case a a warehouse club it's cheap. also good for cleaning bronze.


George and Rayna Shaunfield

Rydlyme -- Why did I not think of that sooner? It is a biodegradeable, non-corrosive liquid for removing calcium and scale buildup in many types of equipment. I used it to clean my heat exchanger last year before installing the engine. And I still have some left. I will call the company tomorrow to see what they have to say. http://www.rydlymemarine.com in case anyone else is interested.

Thanks, Bud, Aaron, and Tom. I will consider those options as well.
George


Randell 'Randy' Kocurek

I'll second Bud's opinion that you should definitely use a filter coming out of the tanks if you plan to use that water to keep you happy, healthy and alive. I have brand new tanks but will plan on a quick install of a simple filter. Problem is, as I see it: you cannot tell when you need a filter. You're just guessing, and that could be bad.


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