Telstra bush bits-why is it so

Submitted: Tuesday, Apr 21, 2009 at 22:38
ThreadID: 68087 Views:2489 Replies:3 FollowUps:3
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Some time back I talked about a mate who was looking at buying a 2004 ex Telsta Nissan Patrol with a tub on the back.

He picked it up on Monday, and today I had a chance to look it over.

It has a Telstra hot water system in the tub designed for hand washing. The water tank is located behind the passenger side rear wheel, and has a sign stating:

‘Not suitable for drinking’.

Does anyone know the reason for this? At a guess, the tank holds 30 – 40Lts and could be aluminium.


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Reply By: Geoff (Newcastle, NSW) - Tuesday, Apr 21, 2009 at 22:43

Tuesday, Apr 21, 2009 at 22:43
Hi Kim,

I'd guess duty of care come OH&S.

Telstra has declared the safest or lowest level of water quality could be in the tank.

Your mate could clean it first and then declare it whatever he requires.


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AnswerID: 360791

Follow Up By: Kim and Damn Dog - Tuesday, Apr 21, 2009 at 22:51

Tuesday, Apr 21, 2009 at 22:51

That idea occurred to me also, but we want to make sure there is no other reason, such as chemicals.


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Follow Up By: Member - DAZA (QLD) - Wednesday, Apr 22, 2009 at 08:24

Wednesday, Apr 22, 2009 at 08:24
G/Day Kim

Being in the plumbing game I have seen this quite often, Telstra were just covering them selves re OH&S, they don't recommend drinking water out of a Hot Water System, of any kind, they are concerned about the long term effect from the Copper Heating Element and stale storage water in the tank, if it isn.t used to often, I can see where they might have concerns about this, on the other hand I install a lot of Lunch Room hot water boilers on various Federal Govt sites, like the Zip Auto Boilers and the Rheem Laser Boilers, they have a mixture of Copper or Stainless Tanks, but still have the Copper Elements, even at home I tell the Cook not to fill the jug from the hot water tap, it goes back to the old days when they used to be sealed or joined with Lead Solder ect.
FollowupID: 628569

Follow Up By: Kim and Damn Dog - Wednesday, Apr 22, 2009 at 14:25

Wednesday, Apr 22, 2009 at 14:25
Thanks Daza

On Mark’s advice I rang Rosco body works who appear to be the builders. However, they normally install a black plastic tank, and couldn’t give a reason why Telstra places a warning sign on the tank.

We put a magnet on the tank and came to the conclusion it’s either Aluminium or stainless.

I think your right. I’ll throw a bit of Bi-Carb in it, but tell the mate to only use the water for washing dishes etc.


FollowupID: 628618

Reply By: mowing - Tuesday, Apr 21, 2009 at 23:10

Tuesday, Apr 21, 2009 at 23:10
Hi Kim, The trade bodies that have the "poly" tank don't seem to have the sticker saying that the water is not suitable for drinking. The trade body on your mate's vehicle would be the one that has the split halves on the drivers side (roadside) ie hinges from the top and the bottom. The "Rosco" trade body has the poly tank and the drivers side door folds and then goes up. Both of course are designed not to protrude on the road. Given that the poly tank doesn't have the sticker, I would think that the metal material used is not safe for drinking water.



PS. Shame the hot water heater doesn't hold more.
AnswerID: 360794

Reply By: Flywest - Wednesday, Apr 22, 2009 at 23:23

Wednesday, Apr 22, 2009 at 23:23
Depends on what the tanks made out of.

If it is aluminium - then, probably better not to drink out of it - as you know it corrodes/oxidises in air to form a protective layer, but when under water its a different story where electrolysis can occurr when in contact with dissimilar metals (copper hot water element, brass tap etc etc)and you might be injesting things better not drunk.

If it is stainless steel probably not a worry.

If it is aluminium - then throwing bi carb of soda in it might not be the best idea.

I think from memory Bi Carb of Soda is "basic"...just like caustic soda is.

I seem to remember form high school science that when you add aluminium to a caustic / basic solution - the aluminium is rapidly eaten away and hydrogen gas given off (we used to put aluminium can ring pullsinto a beer bottlewith water and caustoc soda flakes, pop a baloon overt the neck and watch it inflate with hydrogen gas, to then go release it and watch it fly up into the air.

There was seldom anything left of the aluminium after 5 mins in the caustic solution.

I'd hate to see the tank dissolve and the ute float away or worse explode into a ball of flame like the hindenberg!

AnswerID: 360993

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