Plating tanks often need repair, especially if they are plastic. If you want to stay true to form and keep the original, here are a few steps to repairing a plastic tank using the process known as “plastic welding.”
Prepare the Surface
Whether it is a puncture or a shear, you’ll need to clean and buff the surrounding area near the wound with at least 60 grit sandpaper. You can also use a plastic welding iron to melt the plastic around the hole to fill it in if it is small enough.
Heat It Up
Next, you’ll want to get yourself a welding iron. If you can find this specific tool, sometimes a soldering iron will work just as well. Make sure you soften the area slowly without burning the plastic to a crisp. If you start to see bubbles or black smoke, you are going too far!
Blend the Material
Without staying in one area too long, smooth out the melted plastic areas with a scraper so that the material is evenly distributed. Keep in mind that if you don’t blend the material enough, it could crack and pull away from itself further down the road.
Reinforce the Area
While you might be tempted to call it a done job at this point, you will want to make sure and grab some wire mesh and melt it over the wound. You can also use fiberglass cloth, though it might be a little trickier to get it to stick while welding.
Just push the material into the plastic when it’s hot, as this will help seat it into the wounded area. This technique is especially helpful if the area in question is at a bend.
Now that you know how to plastic weld your tank, you’ll be able to save money and not buy a new one.