I rather fear it's scrap. If you bought it cheaply, can't you get a
When I was a teenager in the Cotswolds over 50 years ago, we had a
corrugated galvanised iron water butt. That froze solid one year, and
split the seam round the bottom. Against all the odds, I mended that
with fibreglass resin/paste (remember David's Isopon?) and it lasted for
least another 20 years! But I don't think that would bond with the
plastics used these days.
Drain it, dry it out thoroughly inside, get some black bitumen paint
gunge and some Flashband from your local DIY shed. Lay the butt on its
side with the leak lowermost, crawl in and paint the bitumen
generously over and around the area of the leak, then apply a patch of
Flashband while the bitumen is still tacky, making sure it's pushed
flat all over, and apply more bitumen over that. leave it a day or two
for the bitumen to dry. Don't wear your best suit; a torch can be
useful to see what you're doing.
By the time you've bought the bitumen and Flashband, it would probably
be cheaper to get a new butt. Only cost-effective if you've got some
already at the back of the shed/garage/workshop.
It will almost certainly be polyethylene. As others have said, very
little sticks to it and bitumen / flashband on the inside is probably
the best bet (I have a giant wheelbarrow repaired that way). Holes to
"stop" the crack are probably not a bad idea. If the surface is flat you
may get an adequate seal by clamping rubber sheet on one side with a
suitable plate and a suitable number of nuts and bolts. Although it may
weep initially, the crack might well seal itself with silt over time. It
can also be repaired by welding with something like a soldering iron,
you are likely to need a "filler rod" to build up the thickness. Use
bits of scrap polythene from something else.
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