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Old 01-28-2010, 11:09 AM
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jdm
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Default Drinking Water Tank - Aluminum or Fiberglass?

This is probably a dumb question, but here goes ...

Which will impart less taste to drinking water over the course of a few days?

Are both these materials safe for storing drinking water? (The fiberglass tank lining could be sprayed with gelcoat or maybe epoxy. Which would be best/safest for the long run? The aluminum tank insides I assume would be left untreated.)

I've looked into polyethylene (plastic) tanks but nothing in the Todd or Ronco selection would work, so I'm going to have one custom built to fit through my bow hatch and be positioned in the v shaped area in the forward bow storage compartment.

The target size of the tank is around 10 gallons.
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Old 01-28-2010, 02:14 PM
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Plastic would be best but if that does not work I would go with epoxy, I was told aluminum is not used because of links to alzheimers.
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Old 01-28-2010, 02:18 PM
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If it was me, I would check into using those odd shaped plastic gas tanks
before going the custom route...check WM catalog...I have even seen some that are u shape...
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Old 01-28-2010, 02:40 PM
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Default Guess it won't be aluminum!

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Plastic would be best but if that does not work I would go with epoxy, I was told aluminum is not used because of links to alzheimers.


I'm losing my mind too fast already. I guess I need to look hard at the best way to coat the inside of a custom fiberglass tank.
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Old 01-28-2010, 02:42 PM
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Remember The Graduate with Dustin Hoffman ?? Mr McGuire is takes about 5 minutes to impart on graduating Ben his advice for life:

Mr. McGuire: I want to say one word to you. Just one word.
Benjamin: Yes, sir.
Mr. McGuire: Are you listening?
Benjamin: Yes, I am.
Mr. McGuire: Plastics.

-The Graduate, 1967
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Old 01-28-2010, 02:52 PM
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Kracor.....
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Old 01-28-2010, 02:54 PM
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Default Looked through catalogs

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If it was me, I would check into using those odd shaped plastic gas tanks
before going the custom route...check WM catalog...I have even seen some that are u shape...
I originally wanted to go with polyethylene (Todd or Ronco) and looked at a large Plastic-Mart.com catalog with odd shaped tanks.

Unfortunately due to my relatively small bow storage hatch opening and need to preserve accessible storage space just inside my hatch in the bow storage compartment, I need a custom shape tank that will fill the forward v up at the bow and be only 10 inches tall x 18 inches wide. Custom plastic was way too pricey when I talked to a Ronco tank modification rep.

So what is the deal with epoxy coating the inside of a custom built fiberglass tank? Which type of epoxy is best for this application? Spray it on or roll it on?

Any specific guidance on fiberglass drinking water tank construction rules of thumb would be appreciated.
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Old 01-28-2010, 02:57 PM
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I would build out of plywood and coat with West System epoxy, because I am familiar with it.
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Old 01-28-2010, 03:24 PM
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I would not use fiberglass. Too many bad things to leach out. Poly would be my first choice, Aluminum would be my second choice. Recent studies have shown there is no link between aluminum and Alzheimer's.
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Old 01-28-2010, 03:35 PM
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Aluminum is found in heavy dozes in dead Alzheimer victim's brains. It is considered by many researchers as on of the principal contributors to alz. What? huh? Where am I?
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Old 01-28-2010, 03:54 PM
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Just don't drink the water! I use mine to shower, flush the crapper, wash my hands and wash the deck. 10 gallons; why bother? Just carry on a couple of jugs.
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Old 01-28-2010, 04:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdm View Post
I originally wanted to go with polyethylene (Todd or Ronco) and looked at a large Plastic-Mart.com catalog with odd shaped tanks.

Unfortunately due to my relatively small bow storage hatch opening and need to preserve accessible storage space just inside my hatch in the bow storage compartment, I need a custom shape tank that will fill the forward v up at the bow and be only 10 inches tall x 18 inches wide. Custom plastic was way too pricey when I talked to a Ronco tank modification rep.

So what is the deal with epoxy coating the inside of a custom built fiberglass tank? Which type of epoxy is best for this application? Spray it on or roll it on?

Any specific guidance on fiberglass drinking water tank construction rules of thumb would be appreciated.
I believe there are companies that will fabricate a polyethylene tank to your specifications. Do a thorough web search.

Another option is a bladder, essentially a bag that will adapt to the shape of the space. Try West Marine or defender.com.
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Old 01-28-2010, 04:24 PM
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Like Ron said... a bladder. Come in several sizes. Can be installed almost anywhere. No vent necessary the bladder just shrinks as the contents are used.

I've seen these used for showers and they were just placed on a cabin top.
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Old 01-28-2010, 05:11 PM
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Default Bladder as supply?

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Like Ron said... a bladder. Come in several sizes. Can be installed almost anywhere. No vent necessary the bladder just shrinks as the contents are used.

I've seen these used for showers and they were just placed on a cabin top.
There will be a 5 GPM pump that would be connected by white high pressure hose to supply a few sprayer hose outlets. One sprayer hose connection outlet will be at the stern end of each of the two recessed gunwale mounted rod boxes, and one will be inside the bow storage area.

Would a bladder really be appropriate for use in this application? I'm looking for a permanent secure installation that can stand up to being bounced around in the bow of a small center console. The use of the water for drinking is an option I'd like to preserve, otherwise I wouldn't care about the tank lining material.
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Old 01-28-2010, 05:21 PM
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Default Marine plywood frame for tank

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I would build out of plywood and coat with West System epoxy, because I am familiar with it.
What is the thinnest available marine plywood that would be strong enough for this application?

I'd like to keep the tank walls no more than 3/8" thick since the tank can only be 10" tall to fit it through the bow storage hatch opening. At 3/8" x 2 (top and bottom tank thickness combined) that would leave only a little over 9" of tank interior volume height.

Other than marine plywood, is there anything else that is very thin, strong, and rotproof that could serve as the structural form for an epoxy coating?
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Old 01-28-2010, 07:43 PM
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Default Epoxy coated aluminum?

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Aluminum is found in heavy dozes in dead Alzheimer victim's brains. It is considered by many researchers as on of the principal contributors to alz. What? huh? Where am I?
Is coating the inside of an aluminum tank with epoxy a viable option? Will epoxy (if done right) last "forever" in a sealed chamber containing only air and freshwater?
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Old 01-28-2010, 07:52 PM
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Chlorine and aluminum is a no no, and water tanks need to be cleaned.

Try freezing water bottles and using them instead of ice in your large cooler.

As the ice melts you can drink the water.

Warm water on a hot day is not very satifying, unless you bath with it.
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Old 01-28-2010, 08:32 PM
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With only a few gallons, you might be better served to use an insecside sprayer, with a pump. 5 gal/ min is a high volume for a small tank. Also for primary washdown, use raw water.

The bladder tanks have gromets in the corners to tie them down. You need to line the bow area with ozite carpet to avoid chafe on a bladder tank if you use one.

I have made tanks out of plywood and epoxy/glass coating. Some boats have gel coated tanks. I prefer pastic or Stainless Steel--avoid aluminum. Plywood--Brunzel comes in 3mm marine ply--this is about 1/8" and is used for kayaks and canoes, so it is very strong, when covered with glass and epoxy.
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Old 01-28-2010, 08:39 PM
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There are many fiberglass water tanks in service with only a gel coat lining but my preference would be an epoxy lining intended for the purpose. Devoe paint company markets a coating designed for water tanks.

You might consider building the tank in place utilizing the structure that is there, adding a lid and coating it with Devoe.

I've personally build quite a few fiber glass water tanks and my first choice would be plastic, second would be stainless steel, and third would be fiber glass. I would not consider aluminum.
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Old 01-28-2010, 09:27 PM
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30 yr old 100 gallon Aluminum water tank in my Bertram and other then the time it was filled with a non-drinking rated water hose, which left it smelly for a bit, there have been no problems with it. We do have an undersink filter with its own faucet for drinking but hardly ever used due to stock of bottle water.
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