Westsail Owners Alliance - Thread: "W42 Water Tanks"
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Thread: "W42 Water Tanks"

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


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W42 Water Tanks

Nick Cherney (Guest)

I was reading a post by Mike Perkins in another section and he said he had significant corrosion in the water pickups in his tanks when he removed them. I am wondering if others have had the same problem. we suck a huge amount of air from all three water tanks (almost to the point of making the pressure water system unusable) and I have fixed everything I can think of and have decided the only possible conclusion is that the water pickups are corroded. Has anyone replaced their pickups without pulling the tanks? if you cut out the pickups is there any method (maybe aerosol?) of applying a coating to the inside of the tanks while you have a hole cut in them? has anyone stuck a flexible bladder inside their old tanks? if so how big of a bladder? the tanks don't leak water but I am sure its not too long until they start to. I was envisioning cutting out a hole where the water pickups are welded, spraying something inside to give them a new lease on life, and then welding on new pickups.
W42 Rocinante

Bud Taplin

The aluminum water tanks many times had an aluminum pickup tube welded in place. I have seen these tubes get holes in them due to corrosion, then when the water level is below the location of a hole, the pump will pick up air rather than water. An easy fix is to cut the tube off about 2" down from the top of the inside of the tank, and slip on a plastic hose that goes to the bottom of the tank. An easy job and it fixes the problem.

Dave Kall

We had a coper pickup tube welded in place in ours and it had corrosion about 30-40% of the way up the tube making cutting out about 1/3 of the tanks usability. We replaced them with plastic pickup tubes. The fix Bud mentions is rather easy but getting into the tank and doing that is the hard part. We pulled out the refer, the floor and the dinette area to get the tanks out. When I put the dinette back together I put it together so I wouldn't have as much to pull out again if I ever need to get the tanks out again.

nick cherney (Guest)

right, I figure if I go to that much trouble I may as well replace the tanks with non corrosive polythylene. I figured I could use a rotary saw to cut a hole around the weld on top of the tank, pull out the tube and then have new pickups welded on (maybe with plastic lower portions). That way I don't have to pull apart any cabinetry. any ideas about a spray sealant?

Bud Taplin

The easier thing to do is cut a hole next to the pickup tube, and install an 8" screw-in plastic cleanout lid. You can then reach inside the tank, cut the pickup tube off a few inches below the top, and push on a plastic tube that reaches the bottom of the tank.

The alternative if the tank is leaking is to cut out as much of the top of the tank as you can reach, and use bladders in the compartments between the baffles.

nick cherney (Guest)

now were talking! sounds like a great idea. any sugestions about ways to prolong the life of the tanks once I have a nice 8" hole to access them from?

Dave Kall

On my last boat, a w32 I had SS tanks and only filled them with rainwater. After 15 years I pulled them to clean them and they looked like new. What a waste of time.

I would suggest only putting rainwater in or RO water and then treating with iodine or clorine with the correct amounts. When you put water from Municipalities you end up with all kinds of chemicals, all wanting to interact with your tanks.

Bud Taplin

One idea to coat the inside of the tank is to use hot tar. Messy, but effective. If you pull the tanks out to clean them, use automobile undercoating on the exterior to protect the metal from salt water corrosion.

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