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Old 05-11-2011, 11:42 PM   #1
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Default Welding a ruptured aluminum water tank.

Greetings once again.

I was wondering if anyone has successfully had a ruptured aluminum water tank repaired, I was at the RV repair place and they said it could not be welded and the tank had to be replaced. I really don't need a hot water tank so replacing it seems silly because of the high cost of tank. But welding it is cheaper and I will continue to use it if I can. That will save me removing it and having to fabricate a cover over the hole. Or re-purpose the spot to relocate the battery with outside access.
I almost thought of JB weld because of the low pressure but the expansion rate would create a crack in a short time even if it did work.

I don't really understand why it can't be welded as I have done some stick welding way back and sealed steel containers before. I just don't have the equipment and have not welded anything for about thirty years.

Gexter
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Old 05-12-2011, 12:39 AM   #2
g1g
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Default Re: Welding a ruptured aluminum water tank.

Yes they can be welded. I know this first hand as when I bought mine it was broke wide open and I had it welded
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Old 05-12-2011, 01:05 AM   #3
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Default Re: Welding a ruptured aluminum water tank.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gexter
Greetings once again.

I was wondering if anyone has successfully had a ruptured aluminum water tank repaired, I was at the RV repair place and they said it could not be welded and the tank had to be replaced. I really don't need a hot water tank so replacing it seems silly because of the high cost of tank. But welding it is cheaper and I will continue to use it if I can. That will save me removing it and having to fabricate a cover over the hole. Or re-purpose the spot to relocate the battery with outside access.
I almost thought of JB weld because of the low pressure but the expansion rate would create a crack in a short time even if it did work.

I don't really understand why it can't be welded as I have done some stick welding way back and sealed steel containers before. I just don't have the equipment and have not welded anything for about thirty years.

Gexter
Are you saying you have an aluminum tank on your water heater?
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Old 05-12-2011, 02:49 AM   #4
g1g
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Default Re: Welding a ruptured aluminum water tank.

I think he is refering to the hot water tank and like I said I had mine welded but I had to take it out to have it done. Also I will mention it takes a special setup to weld aluminum.
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Old 05-12-2011, 05:02 AM   #5
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Default Re: Welding a ruptured aluminum water tank.

Sounds like the RV folks are out to make a buck or two!! You can weld aluminum; if you want, you can get material for the job from a outfil called AlumnaWeld - check them out. I used their product about 6 years ago on a pontoon boat - still holding firm. At any rate, find another service center. Safe travels.
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Old 05-12-2011, 04:58 PM   #6
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Default Re: Welding a ruptured aluminum water tank.

Sorry about that, Yes it is the Hot water tank.
I was sure it could be welded and this pretty much confirms it.
All I have access to is a mig but I will have to go to a shop with a Tig which means paying but it should not be too bad and well worth it compared to a new hot water heater.

This same shop is the one that is doing the insurance work for the fire resulting from a overfilled propane tank. they seemed good at first but I have got a couple warning signs since then. But they have the rig right now.
One sign was asking them to replace the Dometic with a Nov Kool instead and they wanted 1700 plus 200 shipping then I pay tax on top of that.
I ordered one from BC for 1100 plus 150 shipping fully insured instead, They will still be installing it because it seemed the best place to go after talking with the other outfits.

I am going to look into the AlumnaWeld if it holds up under heat and expansion that will be the way to go.

Thanks all for the tips
you guys are great, your going to make this adventure into B class much smoother than anticipated, there is a whole lot of stress involved with a learning curve.

Gexter
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Old 05-12-2011, 05:11 PM   #7
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Default Re: Welding a ruptured aluminum water tank.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gexter
Sorry about that, Yes it is the Hot water tank.
I was sure it could be welded and this pretty much confirms it.
All I have access to is a mig but I will have to go to a shop with a Tig which means paying but it should not be too bad and well worth it compared to a new hot water heater.

This same shop is the one that is doing the insurance work for the fire resulting from a overfilled propane tank. they seemed good at first but I have got a couple warning signs since then. But they have the rig right now.
One sign was asking them to replace the Dometic with a Nov Kool instead and they wanted 1700 plus 200 shipping then I pay tax on top of that.
I ordered one from BC for 1100 plus 150 shipping fully insured instead, They will still be installing it because it seemed the best place to go after talking with the other outfits.

I am going to look into the AlumnaWeld if it holds up under heat and expansion that will be the way to go.

Thanks all for the tips
you guys are great, your going to make this adventure into B class much smoother than anticipated, there is a whole lot of stress involved with a learning curve.

Gexter
I must really be missing the boat here, or your setup is way different than our 07 C190P. Our water heater is a burner, with tank, of 6 gallon capacity. According to the Suburban website the tank is made of steel, with a glass (porcelain) lining, just like a home water heater. The only aluminum I have ever seen in a water system is if you have an aluminum anode rod, instead of magnesium. Aluminum is a sacrificial metal in water systems and will dissolve under many water conditions, especially when hot.
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Old 05-12-2011, 05:41 PM   #8
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Default Re: Welding a ruptured aluminum water tank.

Interesting.

The tank is made of a silver non rusting metal and sure looks like aluminum.
A friend just took his out the other day and it was definitely steel metal and he welded his up without issue.
He was wondering the same thing.
It could be another alloy but I have no idea what. When I get the rig back I will check the manufacturers site. I have a water heater in my old trailer that I replaced not that long ago and it is steel.
If Aluminum dissolves under hot water conditions then it should not be used in kettles or even cookware as cooking vaporizes moisture of what is being cooked. Alzheimer's anyone?
I already tossed my Aluminum cookware except the kettle. I guess the kettle should have been the first to go!
I think I will fix it in case I upgrade in a few years to a newer rig and need to sell it, but not use the hot water tank.
Its already on bypass for the last while anyway, and its not needed.

Gexter
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Old 05-12-2011, 06:53 PM   #9
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Default Re: Welding a ruptured aluminum water tank.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gexter
Interesting.

The tank is made of a silver non rusting metal and sure looks like aluminum.
A friend just took his out the other day and it was definitely steel metal and he welded his up without issue.
He was wondering the same thing.
It could be another alloy but I have no idea what. When I get the rig back I will check the manufacturers site. I have a water heater in my old trailer that I replaced not that long ago and it is steel.
If Aluminum dissolves under hot water conditions then it should not be used in kettles or even cookware as cooking vaporizes moisture of what is being cooked. Alzheimer's anyone?
I already tossed my Aluminum cookware except the kettle. I guess the kettle should have been the first to go!
I think I will fix it in case I upgrade in a few years to a newer rig and need to sell it, but not use the hot water tank.
Its already on bypass for the last while anyway, and its not needed.

Gexter
If you do find it is steel, it will probably have the glass lining. You can weld it, but you will destroy the linings rust prevention, but it really doesn't matter as any life is a gain over throwing it away.

The aluminum cookwear is an interesting thing, and as you said, some relate it to Alzheimers. Acidic things like tomatoes are the worst, I hear. The pans don't disappear, like an anode rod, because you need dissimilar metals and and electrolyte to cause the reaction, and you don't get that on a stove in a pan.
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Old 05-12-2011, 08:10 PM   #10
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Default Re: Welding a ruptured aluminum water tank.

Hi booster.
The tomato acid thing applies to cast iron pans or so my wife keeps telling me. As far as I know its a chemical reaction with tomato and cast iron pans not electrolytic.
I used to be a boat rigger and I was always replacing the sacrificial anode on aluminum outboards. Zinc was used because it was the path of least resistance in the electrolysis between the water and the boat leg in the water, or so I was told.

I am tossing the thought of having it welded or ordering that HTS-2000 Aluminum weld stuff and brazing it on with my torch. one I get get done right away by a pro and the other I would have to order wait for it and then do it myself.
I vote having a shop do it and order some of this stuff in case something like this happens again.
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