How to Fix a Hole in a Galvanized Steel Water Tank

Although tough by nature and made to stand up to the abuse of constant moisture and the rough play of livestock, sometimes punctures can occur in galvanized water tanks.
Small holes in steel are not always irreparable.Small holes in steel are not always irreparable.
Large holes and gashes may be impossible to repair and require complete replacement of the tank, but smaller punctures and gouges may be repaired. Repairs are usually futile in the presence of heavy rusting; discard and replace the tank rather than attempting a repair.

Step 1

Drain the tank of water to below the level of the hole to make patching the hole easier.

Step 2

Select a toggle bolt that is slightly larger than the hole in the water tank. Toggle bolts are machined screws with wings that spread open once the bolt is inserted. These wings act as an anchoring system. Toggle bolts are most often used to bear heavy loads when hanging things.

Step 3

Select a drill bit this is slightly larger than the bolt.

Step 4

Drill out the hole in the tank so it is uniformly round and smooth on the edges.

Step 5

Slip a metal washer onto the bolt, sliding it up to the head of the screw.

Step 6

Slip a larger rubber washer onto the bolt, fitting it against the metal washer.

Step 7

Insert the toggle bolt into the hole in the tank so the washers are pressed firmly against the tank side on the outside of the tank wall.

Step 8

Screw the bolt securely into place, but not so tight that you break the wings on the toggle. The objective is to firmly press the rubber washer against the edges of the hole, sealing the hole against water leakage.

Things You Will Need

  • Drill
  • Toggle bolt
  • Metal washer
  • Rubber washer
  • Rubber plugs

Tip

  • A variety of rubber plugs are available that may serve the purpose of plugging a hole in a water tank. Trial and error is all that will tell you if it may work in your situation.

Warning

  • Beware of any sharp protrusions created by bolting a patch in tanks used to water livestock. Keeping water levels well above the patched area can prevent injuries to the face and eyes of drinking animals. A hacksaw may also be used to shorten the bolt so that no more than necessary is sticking out from the tank's side.

About the Author

Angela Baird has been writing professionally since 1995. She has a wide range of life experiences from work with abused animals with the Humane Society, to more than 20 years of hands-on experience in the culinary arts. In addition, she keeps horses and does her own home improvements and home gardening.