Today’s TSP Amazon Item of the day is the JB Weld WaterWeld Underwater Epoxy Putty. I personally think this is an item that everyone should have a few tubes of at all times. Let’s start out with why to choose underwater epoxy paste?
Simple really, WaterWeld will work on wet surfaces, IF USED PROPERLY and it will also work on dry surfaces. I am a person that likes to standardize, it makes everything easier. So instead of go grab me a tube of X epoxy putty, it is just epoxy putty that does all jobs such a putty can do wet or dry.
And it usually ends up being that when something needs fixing it ends up being wet! Even if it is something that isn’t usually wet. Translation stuff tends to break when it rains and snows! So by choosing an underwater product it always works, every time.
Let’s talk a bit about proper use, if you read the reviews you will see a lot of very happy people, they used it right and you will see a lot of “doesn’t work at all, doesn’t stick to anything, does not work in water” etc. Those people used it wrong.
First this stuff comes in a tube, it is two parts and if you look at the end you will see it has a light color and a dark color with one on the outside and one on the inside. You cut as much off the tube as you need and mix it. And you have to mix it fully, it should all be one color when done and it should smell like stale pee. Yep, stale urine smell is a good thing here, I am serious.
Next if fully cures in about 20-30 minutes but it begins to set in about 7-10. So if you are fixing an active leak or applying it under water, you have to hold it in place with pressure for about 10 minutes until it starts to cure. Then it will hold and fully cure. If you just stick it on something wet and leave it alone it will likely fail, may be even fall off.
Also the surface needs to be cleaned, no oil, no grease. And if it is a smooth surface, a bit of roughing up isn’t always needed but it is always helpful. In the end though this stuff can save your bacon in so many ways. One of the most labor saving uses of this stuff I have ever had was a conversion to one of my aquatic systems. My top tank was plumbed to my bottom tank with 3/4 inch pipe, it was a constant point of failure for many reasons but mostly because the return pipe at 3/4th of an inch was too small.
The solution was to install a 2 inch bulkhead in to the tank and plumb in a 2 inch return line. Problem was this left a 3/4 inch line that could end up draining the tank and over flowing the lower one. To fix that both tanks would need to be dug up as the factory bulkheads were on the bottom, the pipe fittings removed and then plugs installed. This meant a lot of work and draining the tanks, not good.
Solution was simple, I mixed up some WaterWeld, formed a plug and plugged the hole with it in the top tank. I then made a flat disc with the rest of the putty and capped it on top of the plug that was pushed into the pipe. I held this in place for about 10 minutes, done. Problem solved and the new system is running. So about 5 dollars in epoxy saved me about 6 hours of work and draining tanks that were full of fish! Just one example of how great this stuff is.
There are a few options when buying it on Amazon, first you can get a single tube or you can choose various muti packs as you see fit. I think this is a good prep so having a few tubes around is not a bad idea. I keep one in each vehicle kit and some around the house and shop at all times.
It will last damn near forever if you don’t mix it and keep it sealed up. So you can stock up a bit on this stuff and always have it on hand.
Remember you can always find all of our reviews at TspAz.com
P.S. – Pro tip while you can make it stick to wet stock, dry is better and this leads to something. When forming it onto stock it wants to stick to your fingers. Make your fingers damp and it will stick to the stock and not to you.
P.S.S. – I wanted to let you guys know about the latest use I had for this item. This was a big problem and took two full tubes to do. I have some large tanks made of fiberglass that I use for various aquatic projects. In a recent install one had a crack about 8 inches long along the side and wrapping to the bottom. When leak tested the water seeped rapidly along the entire crack and the pressure (about 250 gallons, 2,000 lbs) made it visibly weak at the spot when near full.
It was the last one I had so I tried a Hail Mary pass. I took two tubes and fully mixed both. Made a snake out of them and one on the inside and one on the outside pressed them over the crack. I then thinned out the epoxy like working bondo on a car. Going about 2 inches on all sides of the crack. I set the tank against the fence and gave it a day to cure.
It is now in one of my systems and has held perfectly for about a year now. It isn’t magic, it won’t do everything but for 6 bucks a tube it can seem like magic at times. One tip if you are going to mix up more than a pinch I would consider wearing some sort of toss away gloves. I ended up having to clean my hands with gasoline after making this repair.