Fury That Lies Within – Tank Lining Ontario
AlKrete – The Tank Savior… Avoid Tank Repair
I'm not talking about a run of the mill 60-Gal household unit here, I mean the giants, 500Gal - 30,000Gal carbon-steel tanks with entry access. Some of these tanks are large enough a person could, seemingly, live quite comfortably inside one. Firewater tanks are some of the largest.
Often overlooked and under-maintained, these giants of the boiler room eventually corrode away from the inside out leaving behind water damage from leaks and rusty-brown tap water.
To the untrained eye, there may seem to be nothing to worry about by examining the tank exterior. Which leads to the question many ask, "Why fix what ain't broke?" I'll show you why. It's what lies within the tank that is the real concern. The original, cementitious tank lining, over time will breakdown and expose the tank substrate to the corrosive elements found naturally in water. If the lining has been left unattended, more often than not you will find decaying, rusty sediment falling from corrosion barnacles and even stalagmites of crusted ore. This vision of a sunken Titanic is anything but pleasing to the eye and upon seeing this atrocity one could only wonder how safe this water is to drink or shower with? Domestic hot water tanks most often fall victim to neglect.
Repairs or replacement for such potable water tanks can be severely damaging to the pocket book and owners quite often required to either cut budgets in other areas to accommodate the necessary funds or settle on inferior tank replacement systems. This monetary crisis of tank repair or tank replacement can easily be avoided with regular tank maintenance, AlKrete-relining and Anode replacement. Tube bundles and heat exchangers should be inspected on a regular basis as well.
Relining is necessary when the original tank lining has begun to fail. The most widely used product on the market for this application is AlKrete. (Stone lining)
Alkrete is a Calcium Aluminate Cement lining material, developed in 1962 by Lafarge Canada for the AS Leitch Company, designed specifically for potable hot water tanks. It has been tested for strength and potability to CSA / NSF / Ansi-61 standards and has been used in thousands of applications across the country with an outstanding track record with tanks still in service today, over 40 years later. Some lining companies even feel confident in offering a 15-year lining warranty.
Anodes are another form of corrosion prevention. Anodes, generally composed of magnesium, are simply a form of cathodic protection, preventing corrosion cells from forming on exposed areas of the tank substrate i.e. couplings, bushings, plugs and collars etc. In essence, anodes sacrifice themselves in a corrosive environment and eventually deplete. They should be replaced on a regular schedule set by your tank-lining specialist.
Tank Insurer's are becoming more and more aware of the benefits of hot water tank preventative maintenance, enforcing stricter regulations and maintenance guidelines. Regular tank inspections and preventative maintenance allow small problems to be resolved before larger ones result thus saving you thousands of dollars. Not many could argue with that.
For any more information regarding tank inspections, magnesium anode protection or relining with AlKrete visit: www.hydrastone.com
By Geoff Palmer / Industrial Tank Lining Specialist
Published in: GTAA-Building Blocks Magazine VOL. 3 NO. 6 June 2005. http://gtaaonline.com/bb_06_05.pdf