How to repair cracked Rubbermaid stocktanks?

catherinet(5 IN)March 2, 2007

Hi all,

Now that some of the ice has melted, I think I can assume that all 3 of my 100 gallon Rubbermaid stocktanks have cracked from the ice expansion. There's the huge block of ice, and then there's about 2" space around it, but no sign of any water in it. Don't you think that means its seeped out the bottom? The ground area around one of them looks wet, but not the othersm but there's no water at the bottom, around the block of ice.

I'm thinking they are made of something like fiberglass?? Any ideas on how I could seal those cracks, and it would be okay for plantlife and frogs and minnows? Thanks.

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I would contact Rubbermaid and ask them.
I went to their site but could not find exactly what material they are.

If they are fiberglass it would be alot easier than if they are polyethylene. Nothing sticks( for very long) to polyethylene!

    Bookmark   March 2, 2007 at 11:05PM
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watergal(z6/7 Westminster, MD)

catherine, I'm so sorry your tanks are suffering. I don't know what they're made of either, but it doesn't feel like any fiberglass I've ever seen.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2007 at 11:15PM
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catherine, wait until the ice melts and then look at the cracks to see how bad they are. I don't know if they can be repaired or not.

You had an expensive learning experience which was "Never leave water in raised rubbermaid stock tanks during the winter." I bet you don't do that again?

Frankly I am surprised that they would break? After all they are made for cows and horses to drink out of and are supose to be used in the open.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2007 at 8:32AM
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catherine, the site below says that they are not supose to crack.

Maybe the water has been leaking out of the drain?

Have you actually seen any cracks?

Here is a link that might be useful: Stock Tanks

    Bookmark   March 3, 2007 at 8:45AM
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Catherine they will crack on the bottom after a number of years of exposure. But I would guess that the cheap bulkhead fitting on the bottom of the side has broken due to ice and that is what is leaking but the ice could have cracked the bottom. If the bottom has cracked than they are scrap. You can try repairing them but it won't last.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2007 at 9:46AM
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catherinet(5 IN)

Thanks everyone,
Yes, this was definitely a learning experience! I have left these 3 tanks out for several years now, but its never been this cold for so long, after rains filled the tanks. It would be great if its just the drain plug that needs replacing......but considering the tanks were raised about 4" off the ground from the bulging bottom, I'm suspecting that the bottoms are cracked. There's still a huge block of ice in each tank, so I won't be able to see the actual bottom for awhile.
What makes me think they ARE cracked is that the block of ice in each one has shrunken away from all the sides, all the way to the bottom, and there is no water. I don't think the water would have evaporated that quickly.
I'm so mad at myself. I thought the ice would just bulge up at the top. But I think what happens is that ice forms at the top of the water first, and the freezing works down from there. After awhile, the last to freeze is at the bottom, and the weight of the top ice just can't be moved upwards. I guess the stocktank tank material is softer than the ice?? Anyhow......I'm getting a bit obsessive-compulsive about thinking it over, since there's nothing to do about it until the big thaw comes. There's still probably 6-700 pounds of ice in there, and they are solid as a huge rock.
I'm trying to think of ways to work around these potentially non-water-holding tanks. I suppose I could line them, or turn them into raised veggie beds. Maybe I'll get lucky and the cracks will go back together, and there will only a very slow leak, that I possibly could keep ahead of by adding water every few days???
Any other nutty ideas??? :)
Thanks for your input.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2007 at 12:52PM
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Catherine, this winter has been much colder than normal all over the country.

This is the coldest winter we have had here in Colorado in over 10 years.

I normally don't bother to use my stock tank heater since the ice melts within a few days, at least around the edges. This year the ice just held on for weeks and weeks until I got concerned and put my stock tank heater in.

So what normally works didn't work this year. It has been a learning experience for us all!

Now whatever happened to Global Warming?

    Bookmark   March 3, 2007 at 7:58PM
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sleeplessinftwayne(z4-5 IND)

I suppose you could patch with liquid latex and fan the edges out or you could line them with EPDM. I'm wondering the same thing about mine. If the crack isn't too bad, you could always use them as bogs. Sandy

    Bookmark   March 5, 2007 at 1:47PM
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lefd05(z5/6 westCO)

I seriously doubt that you could get any kind of patch to hold. We've had a couple of them crack that we used for the horses. My one mare thinks its great to stand in them with her front feet and kick and stomp. She cracked one and then we had another one crack because of ice freezing. My husband won't even mess with trying to fix them, he will use them to feed out of or just haul them to the dump. We use stock tank heaters during the winter in both the horses tanks and my lily tanks.
I feel really bad for you that your tanks froze.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2007 at 5:27PM
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Are they under warranty? Does it exclude cracking? Just wondering.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2007 at 8:56PM
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sheepco(MN z4)

My thoughts exactly CT. Rubbermaid usually warranties everything well. Dunno about other brands, but certainly worth looking into. Even if you don't have sales reciepts a picture is worth a thousand words (especially if you mention how many hundreds of ponders you've told about their wonderful products when you write that letter to the Rubbermaid company :)


    Bookmark   March 5, 2007 at 10:56PM
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I found your posting while trying to find out how to repair a stock tank that I backed into with a tractor.

These tanks are fabricated from LDPE or LDPP you can not fix them with a slovent type adhesive. However, you can weld this material. I did sucessfully repair severe cracks on both sides of my tank including patching a hole with material that I scavenged from a piece of 1" dia. LDPE tubing.

I was able to borrow plastic welding equipment from a plastic supplier/fabricator in my area.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2007 at 10:36PM
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