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Posted: Tue Aug 24, 2010 5:17pm

Post Subject: How to remove plastic item dropped into water tank?

We have a small dutch barge 41' x 10' on The Thames. We are generally very practical boaters, but this has stumped us. We refil the water tank every week or so. Last time it was raining and we were in a hurry. We were lent a hose but the plastic nozzle fell off into the water tank, through the opening (about 1 3/4 inches diameter). Now when the boat is rocked by another vessel passing, the nozzle bashes against the side of the tank, right behind the bulkhead at the pillow end of the cabin. This makes going to sleep stressful and noisy. I am mortified at my inadvertant blunder, especially as I checked the nozzle first. For sure I have learned a lesson, but in the meantime, here are my queries: *What would you recommend to get this out of the tank? The tank is stainless steel, non-removable, about 50cm deep by 180cm wide, capacity 100 gallons. *My initial idea would be to almost drain it then to insert some sort of telescopic grabber to get it out. Do these exist? Where would one get/ hire one? (Suction wouldn't work as the nozzle would most likely get stuck sideways.) *Would we also need an 'endoscope' type device and monitor to see where to grab? If so, where to get one... Any help gladly received.


Posted: Tue Aug 24, 2010 5:30pm

Post Subject: How to remove plastic item dropped into water tank?

I sent caroline the following reply because she also emaild me directly but if any other readers can offer suggetsions or help PLEASE respond here. ANSWER:- Dear Caroline I think you will have a problem because unless the tank has an inspection hatch on it that you can unbolt even when you drain the tank it will in all probability be impossible to see the offending article. If the bottom of the tank is shaped so you know the thing should be in a low spot it may make it a little easier. Have a look at this:- aw-pick-up-tool I am sure you can get them at many other places and I think I have seen them in both Pound type shops and Screwfix. When you push the button on the end three or four spring steel hooks come out of the end and open up so you could grab the thing's side. I suspect with extreme patience and lots of bent wire you might fish the thing to be underneath the filling and then use the tool above to grab it. I also expect an endoscope type thing would help locate it, but with only a 3/4" hole it will be hard. Maplin are currently listing such a tool in their "special offer" papers at (I think) about £39 but check. Having located the thing with an endoscope you will still have to hook it back to below the filler and then grab it. Now, I am sure the tank is removable, its just that it may involve so much work you would rather not investigate it. I fear the best way forward may be to find a local welder who is good with stainless steel and get him to cut a trap in the top and weld in a stainless re-enforcing ring and then tap the ring with threads to accept an inspection hatch which I would also suggest you get him to make. Depending upon what is around the tank he may even be able to do it in situ. I suspect the welder is how it will have to go so do not spend too much money on equipment to locate the article but certainly spend some time fishing about the empty tank - you may get lucky and your time costs you nothing. Best of luck Tony Brooks

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