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bues0022

Broken skimmer body - fix suggestions

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I thought I was doing good things with maintenance tonight. Water change, trim cheato, clean entire skimmer (not just the cup). I even used a power head and filter sock to clean settled gunk in my sump (wife was out - so I had time to play). 

 

My skimmer has sprung a leak. The seam of the body split apparently while I was cleaning it. I don’t know how as I didn’t drop it or manhandle it, but alas it doesn’t hold water. What’s the best method to fix this? I’m thinking the thin Weldon might go in the crack nicely? I don’t have any though. I have silicone, and could goop it on the outside. It’s ugly and may not last either. 

 

Thoughts?

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Weld-on 16 is the thicker version. Hard to tell the gap? You could also use a thin piece of acrylic to cover the gap. I have use both methods with good results. 

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The gap is pretty thin - I’m not sure if 16 would penetrate the crack much. What’s the number of the thin stuff? Is it 4 or 3? It’s been years since I’ve used weld-on so I forget the viscosities of them and how it’ll flow or not flow into that crack

Edited by bues0022

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if you can slip a bit of emery cloth in the crack to clean it out first, you might have better luck with the Weldon-3 and then some sort of band clamp.

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The crack is too thin to get empty cloth inside. I let’s not completely split top to bottom - only the middle few inches. 

 

I emailed Bubble Magus last night (couldn’t believe they responded at 10 pm on a Saturday!) it’s out of warranty, but they suggested to either have them fix it for me, or use Weldon 28. That looks more like an epoxy than a solvent glue, and it’s expensive $60 - that’s half the price of this little skimmer! 16 is only $6 or so for the small tube. I wish I still had a lab like my last job - we had every flavor of UV cure adhesive imaginable to glue anything. 5 minutes and I’d be all set 😔

 

I’m thinking that I may see if I can try to clean the crack with some sandpaper, try to force some Weldon 16 into the crack and band clamp it. Sound like a decent idea? I suppose if it doesn’t work I could take them up on fixing it for me...

Edited by bues0022

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The cloth that Origami suggested is fabric backed sandpaper.  He was suggesting you rough it up a bit to clean it and to give lots more surface for the Weldon to stick. Sounds like what you were planning, and I think it would work fine.  Just slather it on both sides, inside and out and let it dry.

 

You might try emailing Avast Marine to see if you could buy a tube of Weldon from them might be cheaper.  They use it to put the CS1 kit together, which starts as a flat piece of plastic that you glue the seam yourself on, so I know their glue would work to fix your crack.

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I should have clarified a bit with pushing Emory cloth aside. I’m familiar with it - I even have some in the garage. The Emory cloth I have and have used is a good bit thicker than just regular sandpaper. All that is splitting hairs - I agree with the idea to rough up the crack edge and I’ll see which product actually proves most effective. 

 

I got a clairifiaction email email this morning from Bubble Magus (again I’m surprised at their continued support and customer service a) on a product well outside the warranty, and b) on a Sunday morning!). He told me the wrong product. He meant 16, not 28. 16 is about $6 on amazon - prime gets it here on Tuesday. I’ll let you guys know how the fix goes. 

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Weldon-16 is medium bodied and is good when the task calls for filling a gap or imperfections. It won't flow into the crack very well if it's tight. The best that you'll do is paint it onto the surface of the crack and create a surface weld. But, if the crack is opened up a bit, it has the ability to get in there and do the job. If the crack is tight (and it sounds like it is because it's still sealed at the ends, even Weldon-3 will have difficulty getting in.

 

Cleaning any grime that might be stuck in the crack will be an important part of getting it to seal up completely. If you're just treating the surface, then it's less important, of course. Either way, it sounds like you've got that covered.

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I'm going to be double checking for goop in the crack. I don't think there is, because it wasn't leaking before I took it out of my sump to clean it. After I cleaned it, then it sprung a leak. Also, while gluing it, I plan on using a scraper to force glue down into the crack instead of relying of natural wicking/gravity to have the glue penetrate.

 

It reminds me of a story about my uncle - back when he was in his late teens he bought a used/cheap Volkswagen Beetle. He thought it'd be a good idea to give it a good cleaning with a pressure washer. Not only did the back quarter panel basically fall off (previous guy "fixed" a dent with plaster of paris instead of Bondo), but after cleaning all the grease from the engine compartment - it never ran again. The gaskets were shot, and the grime had built up an "external gasket" on everything. "Cleaning" his car ruined it.

Edited by bues0022

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26 minutes ago, bues0022 said:

I'm going to be double checking for goop in the crack. I don't think there is, because it wasn't leaking before I took it out of my sump to clean it. After I cleaned it, then it sprung a leak. Also, while gluing it, I plan on using a scraper to force glue down into the crack instead of relying of natural wicking/gravity to have the glue penetrate.

 

It reminds me of a story about my uncle - back when he was in his late teens he bought a used/cheap Volkswagen Beetle. He thought it'd be a good idea to give it a good cleaning with a pressure washer. Not only did the back quarter panel basically fall off (previous guy "fixed" a dent with plaster of paris instead of Bondo), but after cleaning all the grease from the engine compartment - it never ran again. The gaskets were shot, and the grime had built up an "external gasket" on everything. "Cleaning" his car ruined it.

 

Ah, the days before the internet, when you had to learn things the hard way!

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On 2/10/2019 at 3:48 PM, bues0022 said:

I should have clarified a bit with pushing Emory cloth aside. I’m familiar with it - I even have some in the garage. The Emory cloth I have and have used is a good bit thicker than just regular sandpaper. All that is splitting hairs - I agree with the idea to rough up the crack edge and I’ll see which product actually proves most effective. 

 

I got a clairifiaction email email this morning from Bubble Magus (again I’m surprised at their continued support and customer service a) on a product well outside the warranty, and b) on a Sunday morning!). He told me the wrong product. He meant 16, not 28. 16 is about $6 on amazon - prime gets it here on Tuesday. I’ll let you guys know how the fix goes. 

 

Well having just read this thread, I am now curious of how the repair turned out. 

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I would apply weldon #4 first and let it seep into the crack through capillary action and then apply a bead of weldon #16 along the gap.  I did this to an acrylic tank that had a concussion crack in the bottom and pressed it together with #4 first and then when that dried to the touch I added a bead of #16 on all of the seams and along the edges of the crack (I only waited about 10 minutes as my goal was that if it separated at all the gap would draw in the #16 and provide a better overall seal).  Worked great and I would recommend the same to you (clamping is always good as you mentioned but I would think that clamping might pose some issues for the seam at the top and bottom of the cylinder as well so am thinking that you should just leave it be.

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I fixed it with Weldon 16. I pushed a razor blade into the crack to open it slightly, folded a piece of 400 grit sandpaper and pushed it as far up/down the crack as I could a couple times. With the razor blade still in holding the crack open, I put a bead of 16 down on top, and used my finger to work it into the crack until I could see the glue “squeeze out” on the inside of the skimmer body. I removed the razor blade, pushed more 16 into the remainder of the crack and “clamped” using masking tape pulled tight across the seam. It’s been running great for about 5 days now. 

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