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Black Tank Secrets


Gary Wells
 

Hello all!


I have been replacing the copper pipe nipple thingies in both black tanks.  Three out of four of the copper inserts came out without too much of a fight.  On two of the copper pipes, leaks had developed from a crack that had developed at the point where the bonding wire is clamped on. From that point, the cracks expanded and ran up into the fiberglass of the tank.


The fourth and final piece of copper did not yield. It would not budge for quite a while, but eventually broke free for just a small amount of motion. The piece would wiggle, and move up and down maybe 1/2 inch but it refused to come free. 


Finally, after several hours of bending, pounding screwdrivers between the copper and the glass, vise grips and channel locks of various sizes I finally got it to break free.  Well, actually, it tore free. What I had in hand was apparently not the complete tube. It seem that this one, unlike the others, runs completely through the tank's 'nipple' and is attached via a hose clamp to a pipe/sanitation hose that is inside the tank.


I remember from the sm2000 diagram that there was an internal 'lifting' pipe but I don't think I saw it a attached to the copper tubing.  At any rate, I have most of the copper tube out but the internal piece, which is still attached to a hose of some sort, won't be coming out. It is just not possible to reach it through the bottom of the tank and I'm pretty sure there's no other access.


I got the inspection mirror up there and it looks like that hose is displaced, but not a significant block.  I'm suspicious that it may have been partially detached for quite a while already...


My initial assessment is that there's nothing I can do about it.  I also think that it shouldn't present too much of a problem in the short run so I'm not ready to run off to find a repair solution right now. 


When we get to Martinique next Spring I will talk it through with the fine folks at Amel.


My question is whether or not anyone has run into this before, if anyone knows if this is "standard" construction (I noticed that s/v Delos had no such problem during their recent episode with a similar problem).


Now to start the cleanout/cleanup process! :)


Best wishes!


Gary W.

sm #209, "Adagio"

Fethiye, Turkey ... prepping for ARC 2018

 


Gary Wells
 

Thanks, Bill.

I doesn't look like there is much I can do about it other than make sure I've got no leaks after reassembly and maybe limit the use of the head.  I am pretty faithful about a 4-6 month cycle on s
jokers and am now considering adding an in-line manual shutoff for extra peace of mind.  It's all about aging gracefully :)

I can't fathom how big a project replacing the black tank will be!  I know that there are SMs that have had tanks added, but methinks that to tear into the factory build will be a mess no matter how it's done. 
 
Until then, it's just gonna have to suffice :)

Best wishes!

Gary W.
sm209, Adagio