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I have a leaking water tank here in Bombay, India. I'm looking for suggestions on how to repair it.The tank is a plastic Sintex water tank. There are cracks around a water pipe running into the side of the tank. I am looking for approaches to sealing the leak. I believe soldering/welding is one option, but I think using some kind of sealant on it might also be an option. Opinions on the pros and cons of each approach would be helpful. Specific recommendations for sealant would also be helpful; I'm not sure what to look for. Here are some photos of the leak. In order, they show:

  • A row of tanks.

  • The pipe leading to the leak.

  • A closeup of the pipe leading to the tank.

  • A closeup of the cracks in the tank areound the pipe.

  • Another closeup of the cracks.

A row of tanks. The pipe leading to the leak. A closeup of the pipe leading to the tank. A closeup of the cracks in the tank areound the pipe. Another closeup of the cracks.

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MacGyver would simply need gum and tape :o) now without playing around, can't you get your hands on synthetic foam, like the one we use in walls for filling up and isolate humidity? –  balexandre Feb 2 '12 at 20:33
    
@balexandre: Hmm. Can you be more specific, please? Do you have a link for this? –  Faheem Mitha Feb 3 '12 at 0:27
    
At least for the bottom photo, the crack appears to be caused by movement of the pipe. So however you seal the leak, be sure to install some kind of framework to stabilize the pipes themselves. –  Bob Sep 27 '12 at 15:16
    
Getting an adequate bond to some types of plastic can be very difficult. I've found that polyurethane based sealants and adhesives stick to a wider variety of things than anything else I've tried. You may want to try some test bonds with different candidates before effecting the actual repair. –  bcworkz Sep 27 '12 at 18:41
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2 Answers

up vote 7 down vote accepted

You can use a few methods.

I would recommend using fibre glass firstly and then maybe some sort of epoxy /putty.

FIRST AND MOST IMPORTANT

You will need to clean the areas that you are going to work with. And i do not mean like wipe with a tissue.

  • I mean take some sand paper and lightly scratch the surfaces so it scores it to give better grip to the adhesive.
  • You can do the same around the steel pipes you want to bond, but you will have to be more vigorous in making scratches in the metal.. this will help very much in bonding! It will not stick to flat surface very well.
  • Try to work with gloves and avoid touching the area you are working with. Your fingers leave oily substance and can cause the bond to be weak.
  • Using a clean cloth, spirits /alcohol (cannot be oily) clean the and blow out any dust residue, any particles from sanding, and wipe it clean with alcohol /spirits before you start to apply any methods.
  • Make sure that during the cleaning and curing (drying period of at least 48hours) there is no water leaking in the affected area.

Fibreglass

You can buy fibre glass sheets pretty cheap, they are used in the boating industry, car body shops and some building supplies.

enter image description here

You will now clean the are and apply the fibre glass sheets in single layers, fold and mould them to the shape you desire. During this process you will apply resin (it is very sticky so use gloves again) and dont be shy.. use plenty of it per layer.. let it dry a bit, come back and add another layer and expand over the bottom one. Maximise surface area.

enter image description here enter image description here

Here is an example on PVC pipe, patching up a leak. ON a steel pipe you need to wind it wider out to maximise the bonding surface, especially if its under pressure.

enter image description here

Epoxy / Putty

Using a strong putty, usual called steel putty, or putty with steel, you will mix 2 compounds, or some tubs are air activated. So open them take what you need and close it.

enter image description here enter image description here

You will mould the putty to the area you need.

enter image description here

And you let it dry for the recommended period of time.

Pros / Cons

  • Because you are working with two different materials it is difficult to bond them. They both expand/contract in different ways and do not bond in the same way. Using either of the methods maximise the bonding effect.. while taking into consideration differential surface tension.

    • These methods will bond and seal the two parts.. so if you ever need to get access to the pipes, maintenance or disassembly, you will most likely have to cut the steel pipe off with a grinder after the bondage leaving ample space for a connector later on.
  • It is possible that areas around the new bond might start to take the extra ware and tare.. monitor this and apply more fibre glass in areas that look like that might start to fail.

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Hi ppumkin. I'm sorry I never thanked you for the nice and super-detailed answer, but the problem got taken care of by someone else, and I never ended up using any of the information I got from answers to this question. –  Faheem Mitha Apr 19 '13 at 21:41
    
OK - Glad you got it all sorted out in the end. With Regards –  ppumkin Apr 21 '13 at 6:48
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You can also try Cargo Quicksteel product check it on the internet & its available in India at Vishakhapattanam

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