Signs Your Water Cistern Tank Needs Repairs (or Replacing!)

Understanding when to repair or replace your water cistern tank can ensure a reliable and efficient water storage system for years to come.

A water cistern is crucial for residential and commercial properties, providing a reliable water storage solution. However, like any other system, cistern tanks require regular maintenance and occasional repairs to ensure their longevity and functionality. In this article, we’ll explore the signs that your water cistern tank might need repairs or even replacement and provide guidance on what to do next.

Signs Your Water Cistern Tank Needs Repairs (or Replacing!)

How Long Should a Water Cistern Last?

The lifespan of a cistern tank typically ranges from 20 to 30 years, depending on the materials used in its construction and how well it is maintained. Regular maintenance is key to extending its life, so be sure to check your warranty and follow any recommended upkeep procedures.

Signs of a Failing Tank

  1. Poor Water Quality: If the water coming from your cistern tank has an unusual taste, odor, or appearance, it might be contaminated. This could be due to cracks or leaks allowing debris or contaminants to enter the tank.
  2. Reduced Water Pressure: A noticeable drop in water pressure can indicate sediment buildup or blockages within the tank or its connecting pipes.
  3. Sediment Build-Up: Over time, sediment can accumulate at the bottom of the tank, reducing its capacity and potentially causing blockages.
  4. Leaks: Visible leaks or damp areas around the cistern are clear indicators that repairs are needed. Leaks can lead to water loss and damage to the surrounding area.
  5. Animals and Insects: If you notice animals or insects near your cistern, it could mean that the tank is not properly sealed. This can lead to contamination and further damage.
  6. Brown or Yellow Water Colour: Discoloured water often indicates rust or other contaminants entering the tank, possibly through cracks or corrosion.

Replace or Repair? Key Considerations

Do You Need the Water?

If there is a strong need for water near the existing cistern, investing in repairs might be worthwhile. For example, using a cistern for irrigation or flushing toilets can significantly reduce water costs. On an industrial level, repairing a damaged cistern can add thousands to millions of gallons of storage space. Weigh the need for a steady water supply against the cost of repairs when making your decision.

Is the Tank Stable?

Assess the extent of the damage to determine if repairs are feasible. Major structural damage, such as cracked pads, bent or collapsed frames, broken weld seams, or deep rust, often costs more to fix than the cistern is worth. For in-ground structures, check for soil movement or erosion around the edges, soil voids, and extensively cracked concrete or steel reinforcements. While small cracks can be patched and covered with a new liner, significant structural instability typically necessitates replacement or retirement of the cistern.

Are the Materials Meant to Hold Potable Water?

Older cisterns constructed from materials not ideal for water storage, such as stacked stone, unreinforced concrete, or aluminum, may need to be replaced. Newer models offer better water control and fewer leaching issues, making them a more reliable choice.

Need a Consultation?

If you suspect that your water cistern tank needs repairs or replacement, don’t hesitate to contact us at Plumbing Dunn Right. As excavation experts, we can provide you with a thorough assessment and professional advice on the best course of action for your water cistern tank.