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TOPIC: 3270 Fresh Water Tank Replacement Advice

3270 Fresh Water Tank Replacement Advice 02 May 2014 23:17 #1

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Just when I thought it couldn't happen to me...

I was noticing a fair bit of water collecting in the forward bilge the past week or so and was hoping it was rain leaking in from what some had suggested could be the rub rail.

I spent the day at the boat and filled the water tank and then sucked all the water out of the forward bilge with a shop vac. I went back to check a while later after the tank was full and noticed water starting to pool. Stuck my head in the hole with a flash light and could hear the drip so I have confirmed today it is in fact the water tank leaking underneath somewhere.

My questions are:

Can the tank be re-sealed some how? I'm assuming not as none of the posts I searched suggested it could be done.

What is the path of least resistance to remove the old tank? Out the aft stateroom window and what is involved in removal of such? Or cut the tank into pieces?

Looks like many have gone the Ronco option but one person used a bladder. Are there any east coast Canadians that have suggestions or lead to a distributor or manufacturer?

Any other insights or suggestion are welcome. Man, I didn't want to have to get into this this close to launching. :(

Thanks

Trevor

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"Martini's Law"
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3270 Fresher Water Tank Replacement Advice 02 May 2014 23:27 #2

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It happens. The best way to get the old tank out is to cut it in half using a reciprocating saw (or similar device). I would not try to repair it because once you get it lifted you will probably find that the tank is compromised in several locations. I went in with the same frame of mind and was quickly discouraged from that idea once I saw the bottom. I installed the Ronco tank and am happy about it. The tank is only 50 gallons but if you have the output fitting placed at the bottom stern end of the tank, you will be able to access most of that 50 gallons as opposed to the current output location which is at the bottom bow end of the tank.
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3270 Fresher Water Tank Replacement Advice 03 May 2014 00:02 #3

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I think before I abandon the old tank I'd like to get it out in one piece. My dad retired from a company that specializes in designing and manufacturing custom food processing equipment. They work with SS and Aluminum. They maybe able to repair the tank.

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3270 Fresher Water Tank Replacement Advice 03 May 2014 00:16 #4

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diveguy wrote: I think before I abandon the old tank I'd like to get it out in one piece. My dad retired from a company that specializes in designing and manufacturing custom food processing equipment. They work with SS and Aluminum. They maybe able to repair the tank.


It's aluminum and will be almost corroded through in some areas. Most likely caked with mineral deposits also. Not worth the time and effort to try to repair if it even can be repared IMHO.

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3270 Fresher Water Tank Replacement Advice 03 May 2014 00:29 #5

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Last fall I cut 3 inspection ports in the top of my tank and did a thorough cleaning. I had a ton of 'gravel' like stuff in it and it looked really gross. After I got it cleaned up it looked like new. The inspection ports will let me do routine cleaning and I can use a shop vac to empty it before lay up in the fall.

If I were you, I would cut some holes in the top, clean it up and see if you can repair it. The 'gravel' looking stuff inside isn't harmful and easily cleaned up with a scraper and a shop vac.There are epoxy patching materials that will repair small holes. I believe it's worth a try before you pull the tank out and put down the $$'s for a new one.

If you decide to pull it, I'm pretty certain you can get it out through the cabin window. You will have to remove the bridge ladder, but it looks doable.

I'll try to find some pictures of my inspection ports.

Ron

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3270 Fresher Water Tank Replacement Advice 03 May 2014 00:37 #6

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freedre wrote: Last fall I cut 3 inspection ports in the top of my tank and did a thorough cleaning. I had a ton of 'gravel' like stuff in it and it looked really gross. After I got it cleaned up it looked like new. The inspection ports will let me do routine cleaning and I can use a shop vac to empty it before lay up in the fall.

If I were you, I would cut some holes in the top, clean it up and see if you can repair it. The 'gravel' looking stuff inside isn't harmful and easily cleaned up with a scraper and a shop vac.There are epoxy patching materials that will repair small holes. I believe it's worth a try before you pull the tank out and put down the $$'s for a new one.

If you decide to pull it, I'm pretty certain you can get it out through the cabin window. You will have to remove the bridge ladder, but it looks doable.

I'll try to find some pictures of my inspection ports.

Ron


Ditto what Ron said. We added the inspection ports as well & cleaned out buckets of gross calcium etc. Once you have access, you can see what is going on. Search posts by Nile, he did the same thing & documented it. Also there was a thread on fixing a leak in the tank. If you want, I can tell you what I did to get our access ports in. All is not lost, yu will make it work Trevor!!!

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3270 Fresher Water Tank Replacement Advice 03 May 2014 00:39 #7

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freedre wrote: Last fall I cut 3 inspection ports in the top of my tank and did a thorough cleaning. I had a ton of 'gravel' like stuff in it and it looked really gross. After I got it cleaned up it looked like new. The inspection ports will let me do routine cleaning and I can use a shop vac to empty it before lay up in the fall.

If I were you, I would cut some holes in the top, clean it up and see if you can repair it. The 'gravel' looking stuff inside isn't harmful and easily cleaned up with a scraper and a shop vac.There are epoxy patching materials that will repair small holes. I believe it's worth a try before you pull the tank out and put down the $$'s for a new one.

If you decide to pull it, I'm pretty certain you can get it out through the cabin window. You will have to remove the bridge ladder, but it looks doable.

I'll try to find some pictures of my inspection ports.

Ron


Thanks. What was the diameter of the holes you cut? I think I should pull the tanks regardless. I understand that the plywood platform the tank sits on is screwed into the stringers so I need to inspect that area for rot.

Hopefully the window is not to hard to remove.

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3270 Fresher Water Tank Replacement Advice 03 May 2014 00:58 #8

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nickatnite wrote:

freedre wrote: Last fall I cut 3 inspection ports in the top of my tank and did a thorough cleaning. I had a ton of 'gravel' like stuff in it and it looked really gross. After I got it cleaned up it looked like new. The inspection ports will let me do routine cleaning and I can use a shop vac to empty it before lay up in the fall.

If I were you, I would cut some holes in the top, clean it up and see if you can repair it. The 'gravel' looking stuff inside isn't harmful and easily cleaned up with a scraper and a shop vac.There are epoxy patching materials that will repair small holes. I believe it's worth a try before you pull the tank out and put down the $$'s for a new one.

If you decide to pull it, I'm pretty certain you can get it out through the cabin window. You will have to remove the bridge ladder, but it looks doable.

I'll try to find some pictures of my inspection ports.

Ron


Ditto what Ron said. We added the inspection ports as well & cleaned out buckets of gross calcium etc. Once you have access, you can see what is going on. Search posts by Nile, he did the same thing & documented it. Also there was a thread on fixing a leak in the tank. If you want, I can tell you what I did to get our access ports in. All is not lost, yu will make it work Trevor!!!


Thanks Nick. I searched the threads and did find a few exampled of access holes. Seems they do need be reinforced around the hole. Is 4200 or 5200 safe you use in a potable water supply?

Yes, please send me what you did.

I was also thinking if the tank is not salvageable, installing a bladder. They make they up to 58 gal and would pretty well fit in that space. Plus, you could drain it and take it home for the winter. I just don't know their lifespan. Just a thought.

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3270 Fresher Water Tank Replacement Advice 03 May 2014 13:20 #9

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I cut access ports into mine a few years ago. I used the 8" size so I could get my hand and arm into the tank more easily. I reinforced the area around the cut outs with 1/4" aluminum as the top of the tank is not flat enough to bolt the access ports to it without twisting them out of shape. The twisting kept the lids from screwing on. I also used some 4200 to seal between the tank, aluminum plates and the ports.

There was a lot of deposits that needed to be scraped out and a lot of pitting in the bottom as well. I used some Marine Tex to fill as many holes as possible. So far the repairs to the pitting has worked.

I also re plumbed the tank from the inside so that it would drain the tank completely.


My wife and I hardly ever fill the tank. We don't need 70 gallons of water for our every day use of the boat. It just adds a lot of unnecessary extra weight. We only need it when we go on weekend trips.

We also drain the tank after every use.We don't see any point in leaving water in the tank to get hot and stagnant during the time we're not using the boat.

When we decide to head back at the end of the day, Jan will start the boat closing procedure on the ride back. She will turn on one or two of the faucets and drain the tank as she tidies up the rest of the boat. By the time we get back to the dock, the tank is generally empty and everything is put away. It only takes a few more minutes to tie off the boat and put the bridge cover on before we leave.


About the Marine Tex...... We don't drink the water from the tank so we're not concerned about any possible contamination from it. We only use the water to wash hands, occasionally shower and clean up. Draining the tank also helps keep contamination to a minimum and insures clean fresh water when we need it.

Until we cut the ports, the water was a nightmare. It would always smell bad and took forever to get all the pink stuff out of the system. We would fill and drain and fill and drain all summer long. It wasn't until I cut the ports that I realized that there was almost 15 gallons of water that never got pumped out. All we were doing was slowly diluting the remaining water, pink stuff and other contaminates. It never really got it all out.

This has probably been the mod that has made the biggest improvement in the smell of the boat.....That and changing out the old stinky sanitary hoses on the black water holding tank.
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3270 Fresher Water Tank Replacement Advice 03 May 2014 20:04 #10

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Thanks for the input everyone. I pulled the tank out today and I'm not going to bother even attempting to clean/repair. Man it had a pile of gunk in it, two leaks and more on the way and a lot of pitting. I think I'm going with a bladder. My tank measured 91" x 24" x 8" and was stamped as having a capacity of 75 gal.

Here's some picture of the removal:











Edit: I removed the sliding cover over the stateroom to give me a few extra inches to get the tank up through. I also swung the forward section of the tank towards Port while my dad maneuvered it up and out. It was close.

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3270 Fresher Water Tank Replacement Advice 03 May 2014 20:51 #11

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Diveguy -- what are the outside physical dimensions of your tank, please? I'm happy to see that it came out through the aft cabin access.

Thanks

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3270 Fresher Water Tank Replacement Advice 03 May 2014 22:11 #12

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See post #10.

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3270 Fresher Water Tank Replacement Advice 03 May 2014 22:31 #13

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Thanks. It's the same as in my 1983 3270. Nice to know it'll come up the stairs. I did some trig a while back before I moved the water pickup to the aft end.

At an angle of n degrees, x gallons are unavailable to the pickup in the front of the tank. I can send you the spreadsheet if you'd like.

n -- x
1 -- 16
2 -- 22
3 -- 29
4 -- 36
5 -- 42


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3270 Fresher Water Tank Replacement Advice 03 May 2014 23:18 #14

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lhighland wrote:
Thanks. It's the same as in my 1983 3270. Nice to know it'll come up the stairs. I did some trig a while back before I moved the water pickup to the aft end.

At an angle of n degrees, x gallons are unavailable to the pickup in the front of the tank. I can send you the spreadsheet if you'd like.

n -- x
1 -- 16
2 -- 22
3 -- 29
4 -- 36
5 -- 42



Woe...what's with the fancy math! Sure, send it along. My plan is to go with a bladder and the pickup will be aft for sure.

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3270 Fresher Water Tank Replacement Advice 04 May 2014 00:09 #15

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We don't have a window that far aft, it is a blacked out piece of something that looks like window. Did you just take it out?

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3270 Fresher Water Tank Replacement Advice 04 May 2014 01:49 #16

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nickatnite wrote: We don't have a window that far aft, it is a blacked out piece of something that looks like window. Did you just take it out?


The picture makes it look like it's almost against the door but it's the same aft window you'd have on your 3218. I have that black piece of something too.

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3270 Fresher Water Tank Replacement Advice 04 May 2014 14:34 #17

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How did you get your water line unhooked at the top?

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3270 Fresher Water Tank Replacement Advice 04 May 2014 18:08 #18

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nickatnite wrote: How did you get your water line unhooked at the top?


I ended up cutting the 1 1/2" coupling right at the intake spur on the tank. I'm going to have to add a section of hose anyway for the new bladder.

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3270 Fresher Water Tank Replacement Advice 06 May 2014 18:36 #19

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FWIW, I did the three hole access thing and cleaned out all of the gunk but when I was done, the previously non-leaking tank now leaked. I tried to seal as many pits as I could from the inside but it still has a slight leak. :S I'm going to attack the problem next month so I'll be watching this thread closely.

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3270 Fresher Water Tank Replacement Advice 06 May 2014 20:48 #20

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hughver wrote: FWIW, I did the three hole access thing and cleaned out all of the gunk but when I was done, the previously non-leaking tank now leaked. I tried to seal as many pits as I could from the inside but it still has a slight leak. :S I'm going to attack the problem next month so I'll be watching this thread closely.


I'll post the completed project once installed. If you search this members posts-cessna210g, he installed the bladder and hasn't had any issues.

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3270 Fresh Water Tank Replacement Advice 09 Jun 2014 05:17 #21

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I had a leak in a gas tank on my motorcycle years ago and used a liquid epoxy which repaired it easily and it lasted for years. Is there not anything like this or would this be an option for a water tank? Might be worth contacting the manufacturer! It is a liquid that you put in and swirl around the tank to coat the interior then let it dry!

www.caswellplating.com/restoration-aids/...gas-tank-sealer.html

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3270 Fresh Water Tank Replacement Advice 09 Jun 2014 13:33 #22

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TD Images wrote: I had a leak in a gas tank on my motorcycle years ago and used a liquid epoxy which repaired it easily and it lasted for years. Is there not anything like this or would this be an option for a water tank? Might be worth contacting the manufacturer! It is a liquid that you put in and swirl around the tank to coat the interior then let it dry!

www.caswellplating.com/restoration-aids/...gas-tank-sealer.html


Your going to have a hard time swirling anything around inside that tank. It's really big and has two baffles that divide the tank into thirds. That's why three access ports are required to clean all the sections. Also, any liquid that is thin enough to "Swirl" will only run to the back of the tank and pool up because of the stern heaviness of the boat.

As I stated earlier, I have used Marine Tex with good results. It's an epoxy that is thick enough that it wont run. First I sanded the bottom of the tank and then vacuumed it clean. Then I mixed up a batch and spread it around the bottom of the tank with a wide putty knife. It took several mixings to do each section. The section in the aft end of the tank was the worst area of pitting. No doubt that it was because of the fact that there was always water in that end.

I'm sure other products will work as well. They just need to be thick enough not to run.

Good luck.

Reed

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3270 Fresh Water Tank Replacement Advice 03 Apr 2015 15:07 #23

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Just thought I'd update this thread with picture of the final install. This is a 200 litre bladder which is a little smaller than the original but it held plenty of water for us over the season. It's also easy to winterize and you pretty much get all the water out then flip over the intake corner to make sure nothing pooled and froze there over the winter.
It was a good option for us. Only draw back is no ability to install a level meter.




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3270 Fresh Water Tank Replacement Advice 03 Apr 2015 16:07 #24

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Nicely done !

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3270 Fresh Water Tank Replacement Advice 03 Apr 2015 17:09 #25

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Thanks for the update. Very useful pictures.

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