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Water Tank Leak


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I have a grey plastic water tank situated under my front deck. I discovered a very slow leak in a joint in the plastic pipework coming from the pump in that area and that's now completely sorted out. However, I've noticed that the cupboard which houses the tank is still wet. On further investigation I've discovered that there is a small hole right on the top edge of the tank from which water squirts a fine spray when the tank is filled/full.

 

Obviously I need to fix this PDQ. I can't get to actually see where the leak is coming from but I know roughly where the squirt comes out. I was thinking of using Fernox LX sealant, with perhaps a piece of right angled plastic profile over the area bonded on with the Fernox. Is there a better solution, bearing in mind that this water is used for drinking?

 

I'd also really like a water gauge to see how full the tank is. Any recommendations here would also be very welcome.

 

Many thanks for reading this whether or not you have any solutions!

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If your water tank filler tube goes vertically straight down into the tank a simple float gauge dipstick can be made. Take a length of smooth wooden dowel rod and secure a large Pike fishing float (one which will pass through the filler neck and tube) and secure it to the end of the dowel rod by binding it to it with cotton and Araldite. How to calibrate and use it;- Put the float stick into the tank first and then the hose in alongside making sure that the float stick can rise up smoothly, turn on the tap and after a while the float will rise up, by watching the water level until full, then mark off the stick at the filler neck with a red band of paint FULL. Intermediate levels can be marked on the stick with yellow and blue bands.

When filling the tank you will of course need to keep an eye on the float gauge stick.

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I love the simplicity of that idea Bizzard but I'd really like to see how much water is in the tank at any time, at a glance. Something like a sight tube would be great but the area is not easily accessible because of the bed.

 

The tank is already vented by'eck - good thought though. Perhaps I need a resin based way to seal the hole as it's a plastic tank? Sylglass sounds interesting Bee... I'll investigate that avenue.

 

As the gauge really needs to be remote I guess I'll have to go for some proprietary system.

 

Thanks for all your input guys... helpful as always.


That sounds ideal IDS. Thanks for that recommendation, much appreciated.

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I have a grey plastic water tank situated under my front deck. I discovered a very slow leak in a joint in the plastic pipework coming from the pump in that area and that's now completely sorted out. However, I've noticed that the cupboard which houses the tank is still wet. On further investigation I've discovered that there is a small hole right on the top edge of the tank from which water squirts a fine spray when the tank is filled/full.

 

Obviously I need to fix this PDQ. I can't get to actually see where the leak is coming from but I know roughly where the squirt comes out. I was thinking of using Fernox LX sealant, with perhaps a piece of right angled plastic profile over the area bonded on with the Fernox. Is there a better solution, bearing in mind that this water is used for drinking?

 

I'd also really like a water gauge to see how full the tank is. Any recommendations here would also be very welcome.

 

Many thanks for reading this whether or not you have any solutions!

 

 

Fernox LSX doesn't bond very well to plastic, and especially not to polythene (if that's what your tank is made from).

 

Is it an 'off the shelf' moulded polythene tank or a custom fabricated tank? If the latter is it probably ABS and a patch of ABS could be glued very effectively using solvent weld adhesive for waste pipes.

 

Alternatively, I'm wondering if a bicycle puncture repair patch would stick to polythene. Or even the ABS.

surely a Hep2O tee piece anywhere in the pipe between tank and tap with a vertical,transparent plastic sight tube and cutoff valve at the tee piece will do the trick.

 

 

Disagree!

 

I'd suggest it needs to go before the pump... :D

(Except it just would cause air to enter the pump when the tank gets low... so not a great idea in any position.)

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surely a Hep2O tee piece anywhere in the pipe between tank and tap with a vertical,transparent plastic sight tube and cutoff valve at the tee piece will do the trick.

And put a floating plastic bead in the tube, so it is easier to see the water level, particularly if it is in a fairly inaccessible location.

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If the crack/hole is small and the tank wall is thick, could you weld it up with a clean soldering iron? Possibly using a bit of plastic - must be the same material - to build it up rather than just smearing it about. But if thin wall you may just end up with a bigger hole.

My concern with using fernox lx is that it is a silicone, and if it doesn't work the silicone residues will make sticking something else on very difficult. If the crack is away from a spigot etc could you use a small stainless self tapper?

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An artificial human knuckle is required here to knock on the tank from bottom to top or top to bottom that will make the appropriate noises of the tanks contents. The human knuckle could be improvised by a pianoforte hammer fixed to an eccentric gear with a light return spring the whole running up and down the side of the tank on a little rack ladder (like a lock paddle rack) knocking for all its worth as it goes operated by a little remote handle turned by hand or electric motor.

The noises emitting from the tank would be like so depending on its fullness or emptiness;- BOOOOOOOOIIIIINNNNNGGGG all the way up or down! empty. Thud, thood, thad, thed, thram thrum, bonk, boing, boooiinng, nearly empty. Thod, thad, thud,thud, thud, thud, thud, bonk, full up. Plus variations and different permutations of these noises depending on the tanks construction and fullness which your ear will soon become accustomed to deciphering.

Hope this helps. closedeyes.gif

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I can't help with the leak issue, but I've just uploaded details of a water tank monitor I've designed, to the PicAxe.com website. See here for details:http://www.picaxe.com/Project-Gallery/Archive/2015/9

 

It does use float switches fitted to the tank so if it's not practical to fit them to your tank, this option wouldn't be suitable for you. The components for the whole transmitter probably cost less than £10 though the float switches were another £5 or so on top of that. The remote display is maybe another £10 or so and it seems to work anywhere in our 40' boat (with the transmitter right at the back).

 

P.M. me if you need more details.

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An artificial human knuckle is required here to knock on the tank from bottom to top or top to bottom that will make the appropriate noises of the tanks contents. The human knuckle could be improvised by a pianoforte hammer fixed to an eccentric gear with a light return spring the whole running up and down the side of the tank on a little rack ladder (like a lock paddle rack) knocking for all its worth as it goes operated by a little remote handle turned by hand or electric motor.

The noises emitting from the tank would be like so depending on its fullness or emptiness;- BOOOOOOOOIIIIINNNNNGGGG all the way up or down! empty. Thud, thood, thad, thed, thram thrum, bonk, boing, boooiinng, nearly empty. Thod, thad, thud,thud, thud, thud, thud, bonk, full up. Plus variations and different permutations of these noises depending on the tanks construction and fullness which your ear will soon become accustomed to deciphering.

Hope this helps. closedeyes.gif

if used too often it will only exacerbate the leak.

but it will probably be easier to fix if it opens up a bit.

probably need a caulking iron and some cotton/tar wadding.

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I bought one of these to monitor water levels in my tank:

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Digital-Water-Flow-Meter-flow-1-5-25-0-litres-min-1-2-BSP-Fittings-COUNT-DOWN-/351083569337?hash=item51be3620b9

I plumbed it in to the water hose immediately after the pump, so no messing around with the tank, and it took less than half an hour to fit. I also spliced in an extra length of cable so I could fit the remote display in the galley, above the sink.

It's a count down flow meter, and so you just set it with the total capacity of the tank and then it counts down as you use water, telling you how many litres you have left. Whenever you top up with water you just hit reset to go back to the total. I've been using it for a few months now and it's great, as it lets me know when I'm running low so I can fill up when I have a few litres left.

There's a few suppliers suppliers on ebay, so make sure you get the right one for your hose size. The blue ones are count down meters (which I prefer) and the green ones are count up meters.

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surely a Hep2O tee piece anywhere in the pipe between tank and tap with a vertical,transparent plastic sight tube and cutoff valve at the tee piece will do the trick.

 

That's what I have (between tank and water pump) but without a cut-off valve. Sorry what's that for? There's an isolator after the tank before the sight tube - is that what you meant? The tube is at knee level but the water level can easily be seen without kneeling.

 

P1000274.jpg

 

The sight pipe has to be capped at the top otherwise the pump will pull the water out of it and pull air into the system. I just taped on a 15mm radiator valve. The pump creates a vacuum in the headspace of the pipe, so to find the current water level you just open the valve at the top of the pipe and then close it again, but you shouldn't do this while the pump is running.

 

P1000276.jpg

Edited by blackrose
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