How to Repair Plastic Tanks

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How to Repair Plastic Tanks

Plastic tanks are extremely convenient when it comes to storing liquids and solids. Not only do they come in many shapes, sizes and colors, but they also come in many varieties including polyethylene, polypropylene, CPVC (chlorinated PVC), to name just a few. For the most part, plastic tanks are used due to their light weight, long life span, cost effectiveness and the ability to be molded in a myriad of shapes.

Unfortunately, plastic tanks can be damaged quite easily, especially if the plastic tanks are used daily, are stored outside and exposed to the elements or have come into contact with a harmful substance. Although damage can occur quite frequently to many plastic tanks, repairing them usually doesn’t cost that much or require lots of time.

It should be noted that if a plastic tank used to carry harmful or aggressive substances is cracked or damaged in any way, it should be replaced. Most plastic tanks are far too inexpensive to take a chance repairing, especially when harmful substances are involved. It definitely pays to replace a tank that holds harmful substances than to take a chance repairing it.

Plastic tanks hold many substances most notably waste, fuel (gas, diesel, etc), car fluids (washer fluid, transmission fluid, etc.), water, beverages, hazardous chemicals, etc. For certain plastic tanks that do not hold potentially harmful chemicals fixing them is a great way to save a couple of bucks. Here are three different ways to fix a plastic tank.

Plastic Tank Repair Kit

For those that would like to fix a plastic tank that is used for cars, boats, motorcycles, garbage, etc., one of the most effective ways to do so is with a plastic tank repair kit. These plastic tank repair kits usually come with an epoxy, fiberglass cloth, application brush and sandpaper. They only cost a few bucks and take about 20 minutes for a full plastic tank repair. It should be noted that these repair kits are made for smaller size damage to plastic tank. For instance, you can usually repair small holes or cracks up to about 5 inches in length. If your crack is bigger, you might need several repair kits to complete the job.

Repairing the plastic tank is quite easy, the first step is to sand down the plastic tank’s hole or crack. You should make the surrounding area smooth. Next, place the fiberglass cloth over the crack or hole. Now mix the epoxy and apply it with a brush. It usually takes about 20 minutes for the epoxy to harden and cure. For most tanks, this is a quick and effective fix.

Sealing Tapes

Another effective method to fix a plastic tank is to apply a tape to it. For instance, if you have a small hole in your plastic tank or a thin crack, repairing the plastic tank with a sealing tape will usually get the job done. Once again, you should replace a damaged plastic tank if the contents are potentially harmful to the environment or people. If you are using a plastic tank to store water for your lawn or to store waste, sealing tape works great.

You can purchase sealing tape in most home improvement shops. Most sealing tapes can be purchased for less than $15. These tapes easily adhere to all types of plastic and can stand up to the elements. Many sealing tapes can maintain their adhesion in temperatures as low as -40 degrees Fahrenheit and as hot as 180 degrees Fahrenheit.

Plastic Speed Tip Welding

For those that want to repair their plastic tank with extreme precision, one of the best ways to do so is with speed tip welding. Similar to metal welding, this method used to make high quality repairs on plastic tanks uses a device that looks similar to a soldering iron. The speed tip welder is fitted with a plastic weld rod. The speed tip heats up this plastic weld rod and also presses the rod out of the tip. The result is a high precision bead of soft plastic that can be laid into a joint and fused.

Speed tip welding is perfect for many types of repairs such as doing cracks or affixing to metal. This method is also used to make repairs to plastic tanks that have damage in tight corners. Speed tip welding is cost effective and perfect for hobbyists or professionals.