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Author Topic: Does anyone have a aluminum fresh water tank?  (Read 2836 times)
gpatomhunt
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« on: May 26, 2006, 03:36:44 PM »

I would like to know if anyone out there has or has had a fresh water tank made out of aluminum? I am converting a 1986 Neoplan and have been thinking of having my tanks custom formed out of some 18 guage new aluminum that I have on hand and I will weld them myself. I have been told that it would make the water have a bad taste, although aluminum has been used for cooking pans, soda pop and water storage tanks for wells. Does anyone have any experience with aluminum water tanks. Huh
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Ace
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« Reply #1 on: May 26, 2006, 04:00:10 PM »

It's a long story but whatever you do DON'T make your waste tanks out of aluminum or you'll be sorry! That's what I was warned about, but mine work very well after two years!

As for the fresh water? Go for it!

Ace
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coachcrazy
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« Reply #2 on: May 26, 2006, 04:10:38 PM »

aluminum is fine for freshwater tanks, we make them for our trucks. the company i work for sperry rail, we test rail ways with induction and ultrasound. we need water for the ultrasound and install 50 gal tanks on the trucks.  anyway thats what we use for our tanks.
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gpatomhunt
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« Reply #3 on: May 26, 2006, 04:12:20 PM »

Ace are you saying that I should not make my waste tanks out of aluminum or that someone told you not to do it but that you did and they worked very well. I HAVE been toying with the idea of making all my tanks but did not know if I would have problems down the road. Sure do appreciate all the help I can get....
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phil4501
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« Reply #4 on: May 26, 2006, 04:15:55 PM »

I used to run aluminum water tanks on my race car with no problems, never drank that water though. There was no corrosion issues at all in 6 years. Liberty Coach uses aluminum waste tank on some models. Sorry, I can't be more help.
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TomNPat
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« Reply #5 on: May 26, 2006, 11:51:47 PM »

We used a 75 galllon tank for fresh water on a truck conversion starting 10 years ago.  Still working, but need to pay close attention to anode rod to assure water doesn't eat through tank.

Flavor doesn't seem bad to me and saw no other problems.  But the people who sold us the tank said to pay lots of attention to the anode rod.  Have used one us in the time quoted above.

We try to make our coffee from bottled water, drink the same.  To wash dishes, take showers, wash hands, and flush toilet, it worked great.

On our bus we used white ABS.  According to some respondents, this was a mistake also.  But I'm still alive and kicking wildly after five years.

Reasoning:  The 75 gallon prefab tank fit the truck conversion on a fuel tank holder.  It was needed, we bought, we used.  The 120 gallon ABS tank for the bus was made at home to fit the bus.

We did both conversions our way, and that's probably wrong according to the 'experts'.

TomNPat
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niles500
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« Reply #6 on: May 27, 2006, 12:04:32 AM »

TomnPat - in almost 40years of home building I've never seen "white" ABS - can you exemplify?
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boogiethecat
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« Reply #7 on: May 27, 2006, 05:29:34 AM »

It seems to be pretty well accepted that styrene based plastics aren't good for potable water, and as far as aluminum, well if you have to use anode rods to keep it happy, that means that either the aluminum or those rods are dissolving in your water to do their work, they are either magnesium or zinc, and either way I don't think I'd be drinking it.  If the water is just for the toilet and washing dishes, maybe.
But since polyethylene and stainless are such proven and approved materials- with them there are (currently) no health issues to worry about, and it's your body you're keeping healthy, why push it?
Not saying you can't or shouldn't, but my vote goes to poly or stainless for any water that may get inside me one way or the other...

On my Crown, I added a completely separate 20 gallon tank and pump just for cooking and drinking water... I fill it with Reverse osmosis'd water that's really good for drinking.
 Maybe you can do something like that if you really want to use aluminum for your main tanks.  Then it's not such an issue with health.  20 gallons for cooking and drinking goes a long way...
« Last Edit: May 27, 2006, 05:37:47 AM by boogiethecat » Logged

1962 Crown
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TomC
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« Reply #8 on: May 27, 2006, 08:36:45 AM »

On the truck I used to drive I had full facilities on board.  My fuel tanks were 150gal, my gasoline tank was half the sized at 75 gal (gas powered gen-Kubota and such weren't popular yet), and my water tank was another 75 gal 28" aluminum fuel tank, that never had fuel in it.  While it work well, the aluminum would react with the chemicals in the water and with the swishing action of the truck movement, would create little balls of hard chemicals.  I had a screen filter before the water pump that I had to clean about once a month.  You could tell when it needed cleaning since the water would stop.  I never drank the water because of the aluminum.  I would carry at least 8 gallon jugs of fresh water usually bought from the reverse osmosis vending machines in front of markets. Granted soda cans, beer kegs, etc are made of aluminum, but I believe they are made of a harder alloy that prevents them from flaking.  Personally, the polyethelyne (I think) that you can weld is the best.  It is incredibly tough, and once you've rinsed the tank and used for a while, you don't have any taste come through.  Plus they weigh less than aluminum.  Good Luck, TomC
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Tom & Donna Christman. '77 AMGeneral 10240B; 8V-71TATAIC V730.
gpatomhunt
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« Reply #9 on: May 27, 2006, 09:06:04 AM »

I can use a reverse osmosis system being as I already have one. I don't know if I would be worried so much about the zinc or magnesium though because people do take those kind of supplements for health reasons and also home hot water heaters have zinc anode rods installed in them. I have never heard of magnesium rods but that does not mean they do not exist. The only other problem I see with a reverse osmosis system is that you would use up alot of water out of your tank during the flushing of the system unless you return it to your original water tank and I believe that is what I would do being as I plan on using at least a 150 to 200 gal. tank for fresh water and I believe the small amount of impurities that would be flushed back would be diluted so as not to become a problem. We do alot of boondocking now with our 5th wheel trailer and plan on doing so with the bus. I was really more concerned about the electrolysis and taste but maybe the anode rods would solve that. I hadn't really considered using the rods for the electrolysis. I really want to Thank everyone for their input as every bit of it helps, keep it coming. Smiley
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