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Installing new fresh water tanks in a houseboat

by Mo
(San Antonio, TX USA)

Measure Twice before ordering those new Water Tanks

Measure Twice before ordering those new Water Tanks

Installing new fresh water tanks in a houseboat can be an intimidating experience. This was definitely a scary moment. One of the two 58 gal water tanks I had ordered to go under the floor, looked like it wasn't going to fit through the floor hatch.

It turned out that I had a half inch to spare, and one inch to spare under the floor. Boy, that was close!

Question, how many gallons of fresh water does say a 40' houseboat normally carry? Thanks, Mo.

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Reply - Answer
Well Mo, congratulations on your fresh new water tanks, and good thing that you measured twice. One inch to spare, now that's what I call an accurate measurement.

Again Mo, thank you for sending in such a good clear photo of your water tank installation. They say a picture is worth a 1000 words, and your photo reminds exactly of one of the water tank replacement projects that I had to do, and I also had to wiggle mine in :)

Are you going to use the new quick connect plastic fittings or the older "hose barb fittings - hose clamps" on the water lines. The reason I mention,
is once I started using those new quick connect hose fittings, they are the best invention since "sliced bread".

I would never go back to using barb fittings and hose clamps on water lines. I got tired of all those leaking and dripping water lines.

Now back to your question as to how many gallons does a 40 foot houseboat carry on average in reference to fresh water?

Well from my experience, most of them have anywhere from 25-50 gallons of fresh water. From my measurements, on average, a small family will go through @ 10 gallons of water a day, if they are careful and not leaving the taps running for nothing.

For anyone contemplating changing or replacing their fresh, grey, or holding tanks, you will find the following articles on our site of interest.

Replacement Houseboat Water Tank

Water and Holding Tanks for Houseboats

Lastly, hopefully some of our readers will share and post comments about their houseboat tank replacing or installation experiences. Feel free to use the "Click here to post comments." link found near the bottom of this page.

Thanks again for sharing, IAN from all-about-houseboats

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Comments for Installing new fresh water tanks in a houseboat

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Tank Replacement
by: Partnership

I have a 47' Harbor Master with a small leak in the 80 gallon aluminum fresh water tank. The tank is 7' long and I don't think it's coming out the hatch. Really hate to cut out the floor.

Installing those Water Tanks
by: Anonymous

Thank you Ian for the tip. Those quick connect fittings look pretty nifty, but I'm having an RV guy doing the pipes and he is using half inch pvc pipes like you use on RVs.

Tip, here is a company where you can get any size water tank you want:

I need to find a good supplier of gas tanks. Which is better, plastic or aluminum? Thanks, Mo.

Reply - Answer
Well Mo, good question, which is better, plastic or aluminum gas tanks?

I have had both, and I like them both, and both of those materials seem to have a good service life. I think you're decision will be based more on the size and space that you have available for installation.

Now if we could only have the houseboat manufacturers installed so that we could easily removed them one day. Many that I have seen would be a nightmare to remove should a major problem arise.

IAN - from

GRP Water Tanks
by: Anonymous

Hi guys, just thought I would drop you a line, the company I work for manufacturers GRP Storage Tanks, and recently we have done a few for Hoo Marina for some boats down there.

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