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How to repair 1000 gallon polyethylene water tanks

2012-04-13   Views:10

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When your polythene water tank springs a leak, learn how to repair it to ensure the continual delivery of water into the distribution system. A resilient plastic with a long lifespan, polythene is easily repaired without industrial tools or an expert

When your polythene water tank springs a leak, learn how to repair it to ensure the continual delivery of water into the distribution system. A resilient plastic with a long lifespan, polythene is easily repaired without industrial tools or an expert's knowledge of plastic manufacture. The process of plastic welding works particularly well with polythene. While usually not aesthetically perfect, functionally, the plastic works like new when welded. Repairing a 1,000-gallon polythene water tank is no exception.

Skill level:Moderate

Things you need

Scrap polytheneKnifeDrill3/16-inch bitHeat gunWelding glovesSafety glasses

Instructions

1 Turn the water pump off before working on the water tank. Drain the tank by opening the emergency release valve located on the outflow pipe at the bottom of the tank. You do not need to drain the tank entirely, just drain it a few feet below the crack.

2 Measure the length of the crack, or diameter of the hole in the water tank. Score a piece of polythene out of the scrap piece with the knife. Make the dimensions 1 inch wider and 2 inches longer than the crack, or 1 inch larger than the puncture's diameter.

3 Drill holes through the two ends of the crack in order to prevent the crack from growing after the weld cures. Drill holes along each side of the crack 1 1/2 inches apart and 1 1/2 inches away from the crack. If the tank is punctured, drill holes 1 1/2 inches outside the puncture, 1 1/2 inches apart.

4 Place the patch over the area selected for repair and centre it. Heat up the area by passing the heat gun over the patch several times. Blistering and burning will occur if you hold the gun in one place over the patch for an extended period. After ten passes, spread the soft patch away from the centerline of the crack or the radius of the hole with the putty knife. Fill the holes drilled around the damaged area with melted polythene. When the melted polythene seeps into the holes and cures, this causes the patch to adhere permanently to the tank.

5 Turn the pump back on and fill the tank above the patch. Observe the tank for containment. If the leak persists, drain the tank again below the patch and reheat the patch with the heat gun. Spread the melted polythene in a wider perimeter around the patch with the putty knife. If the patch does not leak once you fill the tank, check it periodically -- every few days -- to ensure it holds.

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