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cistern question

MSC
November 10, 2017 02:50PM

Registered: 8 months ago
Posts: 8

Hi,

We are looking at a house on STX (from afar). I have been told that the cistern underneath the house has a crack in it. Being unfamiliar with living with a cistern I wondered if anyone with experience could tell me if this is a common problem and if it is usually an uncomplicated (read relatively inexpensive) fix?

Re: cistern question

LiquidFluoride
November 10, 2017 05:27PM

Registered: 4 years ago
Posts: 1,924

pretty common, depending on the crack it may be trivial to fix.

Re: cistern question

Jumbie
November 10, 2017 06:41PM

Registered: 8 years ago
Posts: 637

Having built a new home on St Croix & living in it for 8 yrs, I can assure you that your cistern will leak. Ours began to have slow leaks within the 18 months after construction.

My opinion on leaks— There are too many small earthquakes (most are never felt) that cause the re-bar reinforced cement filled cinder block walls to constantly shift & tiny cracks (hairline cracks) develop.

We solved our slow leaks with the installation of a custom made flexible cistern liner (like a big bladder) instead of constantly re-sealing the walls.

Re: cistern question

MSC
November 10, 2017 06:57PM

Registered: 8 months ago
Posts: 8

The bladder option sounds sensible. Is the material suitable for water used for drinking (using UV & filtering)? Would you mind sharing the approximate cost? This is a great forum!

I have also read that folks use fiberglass liners after repairing their cisterns.

Re: cistern question

singlefin
November 11, 2017 07:15AM

Registered: 3 years ago
Posts: 513

I've never had a problem like that with mine, however mine was, and i believe most today, are of poured cement construction. Meaning the walls of the cistern were formed out with wood during construction, rebar was then added inside, then cement was poured into the forms. No cinder blocks were used in the building of the cistern.

Re: cistern question

Jumbie
November 11, 2017 07:37AM

Registered: 8 years ago
Posts: 637

The cost of material & labor to install a cistern liner depends on the size (L-W-H) of the cistern. Yes the liner is approved by NSF for potable water. There is a company on St Croix (Kevin Moran-owner) that will measure your cistern, order the liner, materials, & install. He uses the same company that we used for our cistern liner.

Here is Kevin Moran’s website:
[www.clearwaterstx.com]

Here is Mfg’s web site:
[dlmplastics.com]



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 11/11/2017 07:45AM by Jumbie.

Re: cistern question

Jumbie
November 11, 2017 07:48AM

Registered: 8 years ago
Posts: 637

singlefin

Poured concrete cistern walls are a lot more expensive to do than doing cinder block walls. So my guess is the vast majority of cistern walls on STX are of cinder block construction.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 11/11/2017 07:58AM by Jumbie.

Re: cistern question

singlefin
November 11, 2017 02:02PM

Registered: 3 years ago
Posts: 513

I believe new construction codes require a poured cistern. I haven't seen any new construction with cinder block cisterns myself.

Re: cistern question

Gumbo
November 11, 2017 07:01PM

Registered: 3 years ago
Posts: 456

They still build them with block, but the fill the voids with a Zypex additive mixed in with the concrete. The Zypex pentetrates the porous block. Its supposed the work well. Much cheaper than solid poured walls.
My cistern is solid poured walls with cove at the bottom. It was poured in 1965 and had no sealant inside just bare concrete and didn't leak. I'm sure it hadnt even been cleaned for 25 years unil I cleaned and sealed it. I lucked out on that one.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/11/2017 07:07PM by Gumbo.

Re: cistern question

vicanuck
November 13, 2017 09:47AM

Registered: 7 years ago
Posts: 2,065

We have thick vinyl liners in our cisterns.

They never leak!

Re: cistern question

Jumbie
November 13, 2017 10:11AM

Registered: 8 years ago
Posts: 637

Quote
vicanuck
We have thick vinyl liners in our cisterns.

They never leak!

EXACTLY MY POINT. Thanks vicanuck.

Re: cistern question

Gumbo
November 13, 2017 08:23PM

Registered: 3 years ago
Posts: 456

Quote
Jumbie
Quote
vicanuck
We have thick vinyl liners in our cisterns.

They never leak!

EXACTLY MY POINT. Thanks vicanuck.

They should last forever too because the sun is the only thing that could limit their age I would think. I don't know of anyone installing them on STT. Seems like the way to go.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/13/2017 08:27PM by Gumbo.

Re: cistern question

MSC
November 13, 2017 09:54PM

Registered: 8 months ago
Posts: 8

who installs vinyl on STX?

Re: cistern question

Jumbie
November 13, 2017 11:09PM

Registered: 8 years ago
Posts: 637

MSC

Same as told you several days ago. Cistern liners are vinyl

[www.clearwaterstx.com]

Re: cistern question

MSC
November 14, 2017 10:10AM

Registered: 8 months ago
Posts: 8

Ah, yes. Thanks!

Re: cistern question

vicanuck
November 15, 2017 09:56AM

Registered: 7 years ago
Posts: 2,065

You can also call Lenn DePalma at AquaTek. Lenn is a very professional installer and can provide the 60 mil vinyl pool liners. He is in the process of building his retail location at Five Corners next to Car Zone. His number is 340-713-2782 or 340-642-0519. He installed my UV and triple filter water purification system and I was very impressed.

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