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cistern question  

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MSC
 MSC
(@MSC)
Advanced Member

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?

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Posted : November 10, 2017 5:50 pm
LiquidFluoride
(@LiquidFluoride)
Trusted Member

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

There was a [URL="http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/abinazir/2011/06/15/what-are-chances-you-would-be-born/"]1: 400,000,000,000,000[/URL] chance of you being born: what have you done with your miraculous life today?

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Posted : November 10, 2017 8:27 pm
Jumbie
(@ohiojumbie-2)
Trusted Member

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.

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Posted : November 10, 2017 9:41 pm
MSC
 MSC
(@MSC)
Advanced Member

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.

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Posted : November 10, 2017 9:57 pm
singlefin
(@singlefin)
Trusted Member

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.

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Posted : November 11, 2017 10:15 am
Jumbie
(@ohiojumbie-2)
Trusted Member

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:
http://www.clearwaterstx.com/

Here is Mfg’s web site:

Cistern Liners

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Posted : November 11, 2017 10:37 am
Jumbie
(@ohiojumbie-2)
Trusted Member

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.

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Posted : November 11, 2017 10:48 am
singlefin
(@singlefin)
Trusted Member

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

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Posted : November 11, 2017 5:02 pm
Gumbo
(@Gumbo)
Advanced Member

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.

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Posted : November 11, 2017 10:01 pm
vicanuck
(@vicanuck)
Trusted Member

We have thick vinyl liners in our cisterns.

They never leak!

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Posted : November 13, 2017 12:47 pm
Jumbie
(@ohiojumbie-2)
Trusted Member

We have thick vinyl liners in our cisterns.

They never leak!

EXACTLY MY POINT. Thanks vicanuck.

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Posted : November 13, 2017 1:11 pm
Gumbo
(@Gumbo)
Advanced Member

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.

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Posted : November 13, 2017 11:23 pm
MSC
 MSC
(@MSC)
Advanced Member

who installs vinyl on STX?

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Posted : November 14, 2017 12:54 am
Jumbie
(@ohiojumbie-2)
Trusted Member

MSC

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

http://www.clearwaterstx.com/

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Posted : November 14, 2017 2:09 am
MSC
 MSC
(@MSC)
Advanced Member

Ah, yes. Thanks!

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Posted : November 14, 2017 1:10 pm
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