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painting water tank

I need to paint my fresh water tank. Any tips would be gratefully received. Best type of paint, do I need to take it back to bear metal, any easy ways for preparation etc.. Also not sure if I can get into the tank easily (I`m quite large) so any help with this would would be great. Failing all this are there companies that would do it for me at my mooring (lechlade on Thames).

Asked by: Paul Jones  | 12.58pm, Monday 26 September

WW says:

If the tank has already been painted using a bitumen type paint, you are allowed to re-coat it with a bituminous water tank paint. This may look very much like to paint used on the outside of the hull but the two should not be confused. Water tank paint should not affect the taste of the water after the first few uses but hull paint certainly will. One suitable water tank paint is produced by Rylard. New tanks must be painted with a two-pack bitumen-free coating.
Assuming the tank is already painted with a bitumen paint, the inside should be cleaned and any loose paint removed with a scraper. Bare metal should then be sandpapered to produce a key before the areas are patch primed with the tank paint. When this is complete, the whole tank can be painted with two full coats using a brush or roller. After the paint has thoroughly dried, the tank should be filled and allowed to stand for several hours before being emptied. This will need to be repeated two or three times by which time the bitumen taste should have gone.
I don't know of a company that specialises in this work but it does not require any particular skills so any boatyard willing to carry out this unpleasant task should be suitable.
Alternatively, You might consider having a flexible liner inserted into the tank. This will be more expensive and may involve enlarging the manhole in the top but it does provide a more hygienic and, hopefully, long term solution.

Graham Booth  | 2.37PM, Monday 26 September

I am glad you found the information useful. One company that manufactures tank liners is Duratank in Southampton - http://www.duratank.com. One thing I should say is that, if you decide to go down this route, you should clean, and ideally paint, the inside of the tank and make sure there is nothing inside that might puncture the liner. This will obviously involve some of the unpleasant work you are trying to avoid but, once it is done, you should have much less maintenance in the future.

Graham Booth  | 8.34PM, Tuesday 27 September

Readers say:

Thanks for the advice, Very much appreciated. I will look into the costs of lining the tank as this would cut out the need for further painting. Thanks again.

Paul Jones  | 12.10PM, Tuesday 27 September

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