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Old 02-22-2008, 12:07 PM   #1
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Hole in Gray Water Tank of 1988 Saturn T1550

I just bought this camper and a rock must have blown a hole in the gray water tank on the way home. I hope this is not a "sign."

I suspect that I shouldn't even bother with trying to repair this hole. Given the age of the tank and the size of the hole, I think I will just replace it. Although, they are making some amazing adhesives these days.... I will try to get a picture of the hole posted this evening.

Questions I have been pondering...

-How hard is this going to be? Is this going to be a "can of worms?" I'm pretty handy and it seems like the tank shouldn't be too tough to access, as the tank is mounted under the TT over the axel.

-How much should I expect to pay for a new tank. My tank size is ~30" x 48" x 4". The brochure says it is a 21 gallon tank. I have found a 2 places that seem to have sizes that are close, but not exact (plastic-mart.com and pplmotorhomes.com). Prices range from $100-200. The toughest part I think, will be finding one so shallow.

-Am I correct that this is just a gray water tank? I don't see a black water tank. I think they must consider the 3" drain line as the black tank (it is only specs at 10 gallons).

-How hard will it be to make the drain fitting connections?

-Should I just have a dealer do the work so I can bring it back if it leaks in the future?

Thanks in advance for any suggestions or ideas you may be able to offer.
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Old 02-22-2008, 03:53 PM   #2
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Well, I have to admit I made a serious "OOPS" with my 1987 T-1660 and the said OOPS resulted in me busting the black tank drain off the side of the tank. I bought the proper type plastic repair kit at Lowes, fixed the tank and didn't have any problems, But, ya gotta work fast as that repair stuff sets up fast, REAL FAST. How big is the hole and is it on the side or bottom of the tank? Biggest problem might be the missing "plastic" that came out of the hole. I had all my pieces, except for small "slivers", so the repair kit filled in the gaps.


Kitty
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Old 02-22-2008, 04:10 PM   #3
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Since I don't know the size of the hole, not sure "IF" this is worth a try.



http://www.tweetys.com/index.asp?Pag...D&ProdID=11368

OK< just called my friend that had the 1982 1550. The black tank is directly under your toilet and has the 3" drain pipe coming from it. You should also have a gray water tank that would have a 2" drain pipe coming from it. He could not remember the location of his gray water tank. Now, the 3" pipe and 2" pipe could go into a "connector" so that you only have to remove one cap, pull the "T" handle on the 3" side to allow black tank waste drain, close that handle, then open the "T" handle on the 2" waste drain to allow gray water to drain. Hope this helps, sorry I don't have any pics for you.
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Old 02-22-2008, 08:27 PM   #4
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Thanks Kitty. Ok, I see where the black tank is. The toilet is actually raised up a little. and the tank is above the floor and under the toilet. It seems uneffected by the damage. The gray water tank is the one with the hole. It is located directly under the trailer between the floor and the axle.

Upon closer inspection today the hole is not only on the front/bottom of the tank but also in the top of the tank. So the rock (or whatever) pierced the both walls of the tank. Yikes!

Since this is the gray water tank I am going to try a repair once the weather warms up. A new tank will not only be expensive but a real pain to replace. A couple hours on a repair attempt will be worth it. If it doesn't work, then I'll replace it.

I'll be sure to post pics of the attempt.

Let me know if you have any suggestion or experience with this type of repair.
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Old 02-22-2008, 09:15 PM   #5
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Scott,

I think you'll make out just fine using the repair kits. Keep us posted. IF my severely damaged black tank repair worked, I'm sure your minor repair will work.

Kitty
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Old 02-23-2008, 05:19 PM   #6
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Here is a picture of the hole. It looks like it is worse than I first thought. However, I still think I will attempt a repair. My Father-in-law says he has some industrial ABS adhesive from his auto body shop that is pretty good stuff. It's worth a shot. I'll try it in a month or so when it warms up enough outside. Thanks!
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Old 02-24-2008, 07:40 AM   #7
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Ouch
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Old 04-30-2008, 08:54 PM   #8
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Well, it finally got warm enough around here to do the tank repair. I am happy to report it worked very well.

I searched for a replacement tank and found a few that were reasonably priced, but I was a little unsure they would fit. I think I found one that was an exact replacement but was big bucks. I also believe it would have been a very big job to actually replace it.

I found a website that sells industrial plastic adhesives www.eplastics.com . My tank is black ABS so I bought their ABS to ABS adhesive. I also bought a piece of ABS to use a patch material. The hole on the outside was about 5" x 8" including the cracks. The repair patch on the outside is about 12" x 12". I had to work fast with the large repair patch. There is also a hole on the inside (top of the tank) that required about a 5" x 7" repair patch. The outside repair patch needed to be shaped since the hole was right on the curved part of the tank. This was accomplished with a heat gun. ABS shapes easily with a little heat.

I tested this adhesive before I attempted the repair. It sets in about 3-5 minutes and hardens nicely in 24 hours, and hardens like a rock in a about a week. I then thought I should test the test repair in water, since this is a water tank! I kept it in a bucket of water for about 3 days and it it didn't change a bit! It doesn't look pretty but it worked great.









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Old 05-01-2008, 08:16 AM   #9
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Looks good, Scott.

I'm about to deal with a similar situation on my black tank. Found a small hairline crack in the tank, and a rather long hairline crack in one of the elbows between the tank and dump valve. I suspect somebody ran over something which smacked the tank and piping.

From what I've read, proper ABS to ABS bonds wind up with about 75% of the strength of a solid piece. Should hold up just fine!

- Frank
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Old 05-01-2008, 08:28 AM   #10
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I have a similar issue. The pipe coming up from the black tank to the toilet mount is broken...the threads broke off on the toilet mount side. I went to the dealer and they had one left, so it's all good!

Jon
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Old 05-01-2008, 01:01 PM   #11
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Protect Tank

After reading your post and with a 1000 mile dirt road coming up I've decided to put glue 1/2 inch styrofoam on the outer surface of my gray tank. At least on the leading edge that would take a direct blow versus a glancing blow along the bottom.

I did this for my motorhome's gas tank when we drove to Alaska. It worked for the gas tank but not for the front window, three hits.

Thanks for the fix-it tip.

Norm Milliard
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Old 06-22-2008, 07:08 PM   #12
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Results

After reading your post and before we left for Labrador I had glued foam to the leading edge of our gray holding tank to reduce stone damage.

After over 1000 miles of gravel road, the foam now has been peppered by gravel and looks it yet none punctured the tank. I assume the blue foam did it's job.

Of course our trip was extreme but it only takes one rock. It looks like it worked for us.

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Old 06-22-2008, 10:01 PM   #13
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Norm,
Good call on the foam protection! I've driven 1000 miles of gravel road before (not with a camper though) and it certainly takes a significant toll on your rig. Special accomodations/considerations need to be taken and you made a smart call, I'd say! Glad to hear your trip went well.

My trip was from Fairbanks, AK to Prudhoe Bay, AK and back. Fabulous trip, but it beat my truck more than I could have imagined. No regrets! Boy those kind of extreme trips live so strong in our memories - what fun! Way to go!
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