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Cleaning Fresh Water Tank

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    Cleaning Fresh Water Tank

    I got around to investigating my fresh water level sensor today which wasn't working. Had to cut out a small piece of flooring to get the cap off the fresh water tank and then I was able to look inside. Yuck! I've since read through Yachtman's thread earlier this year about replacing his tank and a tank replacement may be in my future too, as I'm planning on redoing all my flooring soon anyway, but I have a few questions about the aluminum tanks. Somebody mentioned in the earlier thread that they're no longer allowed in boats. Why is that? Does anybody know what that gunk in the bottom of the tank actually is? It's like a fine sediment that sits on the bottom of the tank in funny shapes. In my picture that hardware piece you see is a part of my sensor that fell down into the tank, I was able to fish it out later minus the feeler rod part.
    What about just cleaning out one of these tanks? I don't think it has any holes in it. I must admit I think the water on my boat tastes fine but after showing this picture to my wife I don't think we'll be drinking it anymore.
    Shot of my water tank through the open cap. it's about half full of water.

    #2
    Looks like lime or calcium deposits that have settled out of the water. If you were to look at the inside of the plumbing in your house you would see the same thing. Fill and go.

    Comment


      #3
      It is possible that the white material in an aluminum tank is: aluminum chloride hydrate, harmless but nasty looking, it can build up and clog the supply and vent openings.
      Pat says: DO-IT-RIGHT THE FIRST TIME!

      Bayliner 3870 "ALASKA33)
      Twin 350 GM power
      Located in Seward, AK
      Retired marine surveyor

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        #4
        Click image for larger version  Name:	 Views:	1 Size:	292.1 KB ID:	410249 In my tank it was worse than I had thought. The corrosion slime was close to half inch deep behind the baffles in areas which cant be inspected. I bought a bladder tank yesterday to replace it. I know boatworkfl says it might be harmless but i can tell you my experience from yesterday.

        a week ago I cut part of the tank apart. Enough to let the little bit of water in it to dry up. Yesterday I finished cutting the tank out but all that what was slimmy in the tank had dried up into a crystal looking substance. I cut the tank with a sawzawl and all that stuff powderized and was going in the air. Well this morning I can hardly breathe. I really wish I had used a respirator but at the time I didn't think it necessary. Im not kidding when I say I'm having breathing issues.

        Here is a picture of what was up against the water outlet port.


        The original poster asked why aluminum tanks aren't used anymore for drinking water. Here is a link to some reasons why. Now much of its is speculation, but just the same.

        https://www.focusforhealth.org/alumi...UaAgBNEALw_wcB


        I would rather not find out the hard way. Personally i would rather not be drinking aluminum and I'm not convinced that what is in there is harmless but that's me and I'm no expert. It ended up some of those corrosion spots had holes in them anyway
        1989 Avanti 3450 Sunbridge
        twin 454's
        MV Mar-Y-Sol
        1979 Bayliner Conquest 3150 hardtop ocean express.
        Twin chevy 350's inboard
        Ben- Jamin
        spokane Washington

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          #5
          I'm certainly going to put an inspection camera in my tank now.Yikes!
          Ted G
          81 2555 Saratoga Sun Bridge
          5.7 Volvo 290 DP OD
          (soon 4 sale)

          86 2850 Contessa
          Mercury 350 Mag
          290 Volvo DP

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            #6
            Well, I've looked through the research and I'm not convinced that aluminum is a health hazard in itself. It really is all around us and I haven't dropped dead yet. I don't think my tank is actually corroded, I just have this sediment on the bottom, so I think I'm going to try to cut an access and inspection panel in the top of the tank and see if I can clean it out. All the flooring is scheduled to be replaced anyway so this will be a good time to decide whether I should replace the tank or not. If the tank shows any signs of failure then I better replace it now though, don't want to be ripping up brand new flooring a couple years from now.

            Comment


              #7
              That tank has other material than calcium deposits.
              The 2 types of calcium deposits are white.
              When I cut out my 3870 tank I will post some photo's, but I am sure it will look like most of the older aluminum water tanks.
              I have a sediment filter on my tank line to the galley.
              Pat says: DO-IT-RIGHT THE FIRST TIME!

              Bayliner 3870 "ALASKA33)
              Twin 350 GM power
              Located in Seward, AK
              Retired marine surveyor

              Comment


                #8
                I'm not convinced either way also health wise.some say it does and some say it doesnt. The data isn't conclusive but if i don't have to I would rather not.

                as far as cleaning the larger tanks. My 50 gallon tank had 3 baffles in it top to bottom and side to side tank divided in 3rds by the baffles. What that means is if you plan on cutting a hole in it to clean it you can only get to 1/3rd of the tank or unless you cut 3 holes in it trying to clean it is a waist of time.
                1989 Avanti 3450 Sunbridge
                twin 454's
                MV Mar-Y-Sol
                1979 Bayliner Conquest 3150 hardtop ocean express.
                Twin chevy 350's inboard
                Ben- Jamin
                spokane Washington

                Comment


                  #9
                  I think my tank is just a wide open rectangle but if that is not the case then it will probably end up coming out. Hopefully I'll see later today.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Ya, I just have the one tank but I think it is like your 50 gallon with three compartments. It looks like it really is holding together well though but now that I see how big it is I'm going to have to wait until I'm ready to rip out quite a bit more floor before I can really get to cutting access and inspection ports. I hope I can save the tank though, that would really be the easiest thing. And I got my water level sensor replaced so that gauge is working again. Got some replacement glowplugs in for my genset engine so I'll shift back to that project for now.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      My tank is 27"W x 70"L ×7 " D. The real reason I replaced mine is was it was leaking i would have had no problem with a good filter and using bottled water for drinking. No way would I drink from it. However i do like drinking from The tap if I wanted to.

                      The new tank I'm installing is a 52 gallon bladder about the same size. It will fit in the space and i have a speacial drinking water filter system I'm going to install with that. It removes pretty much everything from the water.
                      1989 Avanti 3450 Sunbridge
                      twin 454's
                      MV Mar-Y-Sol
                      1979 Bayliner Conquest 3150 hardtop ocean express.
                      Twin chevy 350's inboard
                      Ben- Jamin
                      spokane Washington

                      Comment

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