I get water from a spring, and have water storage in a concrete tile, 30
inches wide and about 5 feet tall. I have used this for many years.
The concrete tile (similar to a culvert, but shorter) has developed a crack
down the side, and water is dribbling out. Luckily, my spring water flow
this time of the year is so good that I still have enough storage. But,
during the fall when the water flow is very low, this leak will make me lose
as much water as I get from the spring.
I would like to know if there is a way that I can repair this crack. I
have used Water Plug before, but I have used it in places where I needed to
fill an obvious hole or void. I don't know if I can get it to "stick" to a
crack, and I don't think the crack is wide enough for the Water Plug to
actually get into the crack itself.
Any ideas on this, on the best way to seal the crack ?? Should I be trying
to seal it from the inside, or the outside, or both ?? Is there a better
product for this application , other than Water Plug ??
Thanks for any tips !!
Inside is always best. What caused the crack? Will it get worse or have a
catastrophic failure? Most sealers last for a time but eventually let go
again. Consider some sort of lining, maybe a fiberglass lay-up with
polyester resin or epoxy.
Much easier to seal it from inside.
Outside sealing would required injections and that's not a DIY job.
But you first have to dry up the area to repair. If it is at the bottom of
your tank, trouble for you as it will take few dry days to get the crack in
workable conditions plus one or 2 days for curing of the sealer before
refilling the tank..
Then, you will have to open that crack to provide room for the sealer.
And to evaluate if it is a structural crack or a simple shrinkage crack.
If it is structural, i.e. putting the whole stuff at risk of collapse, use
epoxy BUT make sure that this epoxy is compatible with drinking water
(Usually NSF 61 is the reference for that).
If it is a simple shrinkage crack, any sealant compatible with drinking
water will do the job but beware that they don't last long, 2 to 3 years
If it is really a mess to get that crack area to dry up, you may try to
locate materials that can be applied underwater. The epoxy material as
mentioned in another post seems not to be compatible with drinking water and
I am afraid it will be difficult to locate one. Be demanding on that
certification, it is serious.
If you cannot find, then you are left with no choice but to call a
contractor qualified and equipped for injections. Make sure his injection
resin (Epoxy or, more probably, polyurethane) is certified re. drinking
If you tell us in which State you live, I may be able to locate one or 2 for
Is this in a area that freezes hard, if so that is when this crack will
get worse fast from the outside. An idea, drain it down grind in a
bigger gap1/4 - 3/4 or so deep, first use bleach to kill plant
growth-mold, any growth or dirt will never allow a repair to hold, Acid
etch the cracks , flush and wire brush them clean then use a mortar base
product or a modern sealant forced in. Inside coat with a sealant.
Outside consider a metal strap.
Cracks need to be enlarged before applying hydraulic cement (Water Plug or
others). I use a cold chisel and just follow the crack, one blade width at a
time, making a 1/4" v-shaped gouge in the wall. Once the entire crack is
chiseled out I clean it with compressed air to get the dust out, then wet
it, then apply hydraulic cement, pressing firmly into the crack with a small
amount that is slightly too wet. Then once again with material that is the
right consistency. Do both sides of the wall.
Another thought --
I seems your tank was probably made from a 5-foot section of 30-inch
concrete culvert pipe. It may be as easy to replace the pipe as to repair
it. Call your local road maintenance office (state, county, city) for
information on possible suppliers.
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