Depends on what caused the leak.
MOST radiator leaks that respond well to repairs are mechanical damage
or joint failure. Repairing the mechanical damage or resoldering the
split joint USUALLY make the rad virtually as good as new.
If a rad has corroded through from both sides and the fins have fallen
off, soldering up the resulting leak is a stopgap repair at best.
Same with a water tank.
A pourous weld? - fix it and it will LIOKELY last a long time. A stray
bullet went through it? Fix it and it will last a long time.
A rust blister due to damaged anti-corrosion coating on the outside
(like paint)? Good chance a repaior will last.
If the tank has corroded badly from the inside out, patching one hole
may well be the first of a LONG string of repairs, few if any of which
will be "successfull"
On Wed, 13 Jan 2010 11:00:10 -0600, Pete C. wrote:
Someone else suggested welding a new bottom on. Do they lift it up with a
crane and then cut the bottom off and fabricate a new bottom?
Or do they tip it over on its side and weld the bottom on from the side?
I wouldn't want it rolling down the hill!
Either of those methods would probably work. A simpler method would
probably be to just gradually jack it up a couple feet on cribbing and
then work on replacing a section at a time, moving the cribbing as
needed, since the replacement metal will be likely be in 4x8 sheets.
That's almost 10X an estimate for a tank alone I'd think; at least if it
doesn't have to be potable (but even there I'm sure their available for
much less than $20k @ 5000 gal.
Assuming you're in CA from the fire protection requirement, here's one
link that might be of some interest--they have black poly from roughly
the $2k range.
I agree. The original estimate was wrong. The "poly" tanks appear to be
about $2,000 (plus California 10% sales tax).
From this link, there appear to be only 3 manufacturers (Norwesco, Inc. of
St. Bonifacius, Minnesota, Snyder Industries of Lincoln, Nebraska and RMI
in Gardena, California).
They advertise a one to three year warranty for the poly tanks but say they
can last 15 years or more.
The tanks I have are welded painted steel, not corrogated or galvanized.
Looking that up, it appears the major players are "All State Tanks" of
Grove, Oklahoma, and "Columbia TecTank" of Kansas City, Kansas, both of
whom mostly erect the tanks in the field.
The web site above says "A 5,000 gallon steel tank may cost $3 per gallon"
so that's what the well guy must be talking about when he told me it would
be $20,000 to replace my 5,000 gallon steel tank.
I'd guess there are a number of other suppliers as well; there are
several more in this area than those because of the demand for ag use
tanks; depending on where in CA you are I'd expect the same for that
purpose or for the specific purposes/needs you outline.
As for the various other options --
I'd still say odds are quite high that the cost of either the bladder if
available or rigging and welding a new bottom will approach or exceed
the cost of new poly tank.
It's always worth a shot to see if can use the temporary patch that
could extend the life somewhat. My luck in welding on thin bottom of
the smaller round tanks we use (for hauling water for cattle on pasture)
has been mixed--some have turned out so thin burned thru and was given
up on and others still had sufficient overall material w/ just a few
pinholes. It'll all depend on what actually find if go in.
One thing wrt the longevity of the poly tanks -- I presuming you're in
warm weather country otherwise you would have icing problems w/ them
just outside w/ above ground piping. If so, the primary problem is
likely UV even w/ the black poly; since these are stationary application
you could undoubtedly extend lifetime by putting under roof and sun
shade on south/west sides to minimize that cause for deterioration.
Most any weld shop can do it. Typical welder is about $75 to $100 an hour +
materials + travel time.
If the leak is on the bottom, it may be difficult to get to. If there is
one leak, there may be others. As I said, it has to be seen to be properly
determined what action to take. It may just be a pin hole leak in one spot,
it may be a pile of rust held together by paint.
1 - Fill the tank with some really nasty stuff...maybe even plumb your
toilets into it.
2 - Call Mike Rowe over at Dirty Jobs. He's always whining about
running out of Dirty Jobs for his show.
Maybe they'll come out and fix it for free.
As a Journeyman welder and pipeline welder of 30 years, and as a few
other posters said, drain it and weld it. I have come across this
before...putting a patch on it will just prolong the enevitable. Cut the
bottom off it and weld a new one on. I used to build 35-50 thousand gallon
fuel tanks for the oil industry. Normal prodedure is after having replaced a
tank bottom. The outside bottom is covered in thick tar to prevent
rusting...doesn't really matter what it sits on then..ie wood, concrete,
soil. Hope that helps... Jim
That's an interesting idea since it's the bottom that must be leaking.
One question is how to "move" the tank. It's on quarter-inch thick wood
slats (most of which are eaten away by now). The other tank is on good
quarter inch slats so I assume the rot from the water ate away the wood.
Can something like this be tipped over? It's on a hill so I'd worry about
it rolling down the hill. Can the "bottom" be welded in place?
I guess straps can be used to hold it from rolling down the hill?
No Godspeed it can't be done on it's side... It's gotta be lifted straight
up using a "gin pole" laying it on it's side will only egg shape it under
its own weight. we lay them on their side after the bottom has been welded
on and use a paint roller to apply the tar.... Jim
Better yet...EMail my welding business at ...... morriswelding at
sasktel dot net ....send me photos and I'll coach you from there...I
am home on time off (Wife is doing treatments after BEATING breast cancer)
so am home and am looking for something to do to keep my mind busy...so I'll
give you all the free advice you need while I'm sitting at home...Jim
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