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  #21  
Old 10-20-2012
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Re: That Darn PO!!

Hellosailor,

Your latest post made me think about this problem some more. I reread what you and GaryLucas had to say about bulkhead fittings, and my understanding is a little better now. My current inspection port is only 4" across and I can't get my arm in far enough to reach the end of the tank. I've been meaning to install a 6" fitting anyway so I can get my biceps through it and clean out the precipates. Once I widen the hole so I can reach the end of the tank, a bulkhead fitting becomes practical.

Getting a hacksaw blade down the 1/2" gap to cut the outside end of the old fitting down flush with the wall could be interesting, but otherwise this is worth investigating. It meets all my criteria of bein repairable, replacable, free of chemicals, fairly permanent, and doesn't preclude replacing the tank if it comes to that.

Thanks for being persistent!

Tom
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  #22  
Old 10-20-2012
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Re: That Darn PO!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by dacap06 View Post
Hellosailor,

Your latest post made me think about this problem some more. I reread what you and GaryLucas had to say about bulkhead fittings, and my understanding is a little better now. My current inspection port is only 4" across and I can't get my arm in far enough to reach the end of the tank. I've been meaning to install a 6" fitting anyway so I can get my biceps through it and clean out the precipates. Once I widen the hole so I can reach the end of the tank, a bulkhead fitting becomes practical.

Getting a hacksaw blade down the 1/2" gap to cut the outside end of the old fitting down flush with the wall could be interesting, but otherwise this is worth investigating. It meets all my criteria of bein repairable, replacable, free of chemicals, fairly permanent, and doesn't preclude replacing the tank if it comes to that.

Thanks for being persistent!

Tom
Tom,
A Banjo brand 1/2" or 3/4" bulkhead fitting in Polypropylene is less than $7. It fits through a tank port of 2-3/4" and requires a 1-5/8" hole in the tank. So if you can enlarge the existing hole to 1-5/8" you are in pretty good shape. You don't need for your arm to fit in there.

I don't think spin welding with the tank in place can be done, and I doubt they can weld a new fitting where the old one is. As I understand it the machine that spins the fitting is like a router, it spins the fitting very fast. I am actually looking into buying a spin welding machine because we use lots of plastic tanks and it could potentially save us a bundle with all the fittings we currently install.

Gary H. Lucas
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  #23  
Old 10-20-2012
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Re: That Darn PO!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by GaryHLucas View Post
Tom,
A Banjo brand 1/2" or 3/4" bulkhead fitting in Polypropylene is less than $7. It fits through a tank port of 2-3/4" and requires a 1-5/8" hole in the tank. So if you can enlarge the existing hole to 1-5/8" you are in pretty good shape. You don't need for your arm to fit in there.

I don't think spin welding with the tank in place can be done, and I doubt they can weld a new fitting where the old one is. As I understand it the machine that spins the fitting is like a router, it spins the fitting very fast. I am actually looking into buying a spin welding machine because we use lots of plastic tanks and it could potentially save us a bundle with all the fittings we currently install.

Gary H. Lucas
The bulkhead that abuts the end of the tank is part of the "nav table table" which is less than a foot wide. I pull out a floor plate, which leads to the water pump in the middle of the well and a hole through which the nipple I screwed into the fitting passes through. I'll have to measure to see if there's room to get a drill in there. If so, making a 1 and 5/8" hole could be easy. It might be enough even to just drill out the entire current fitting, in which case all I need is a hole saw.

I don't understand your comment about not needing to put my arm in the tank. The tank is pretty big, its shape fits nicely within my settee ,and it accounts for hull curvature. The tank in question is Ronco Plastics tank model B145 - the model number is moulded right into the top. This 26 gal tank is 42"' long, 19" wide, an almost 12" tall. How can I position the mushroom on the inside of the bulkhead 21" away horizontally and 11" vertically from the current inspection plate and hold it there to screw the nut in on the outside of the bulkhead without putting my arm in the tank. I guess I'd better go find one of those banjo fittings. There's clearly something simple I'm missing here.

Tom
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  #24  
Old 10-20-2012
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Re: That Darn PO!!

Tom,
An angle drill like a milwaukee will probably fit with no problem.

If you read what I wrote earlier, about using a tape measure to reach across the tank you'll see you don't need to reach inside. You can use the tape measure to pull in a thin rope. slip the bulkhead over the rope and tie a large nut or ring (1/2" long piece of pvc pipe) on the rope so you can pull the bulkhead into the tank. Leave a tail on the rope, if you forgot the gasket you are going to need to pull it back out! Once the bulkhead is pulled through the hole you can grab it from the outside and put the nut on. The nut usually has left hand threads, and the gasket inside the tank grips well enough that it won't turn as you tighten the nut. Occasionally you have to hold the outside end with pliers, but most of the time not.

On one job we used the wrong gasket material, I had to pull out and replace 27 bulkhead fittings, so I know this technique works.

Gary H. Lucas
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  #25  
Old 10-21-2012
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Re: That Darn PO!!

Bingo! The light has finally come on.

Thanks, Gary!

Tom
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