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Cistern lining

Hey Guys
We have an 1880's little farmhouse in MI, with an underground cistern on the south side. It was probably put in at the same time as the house, because the basement wall is right next to the cistern. Basement is poured cement, cistern is a brick cylinder lined with plaster. I have cleaned it out and would like to repair/recover the lining. It's generally in pretty good shape, with some cracks (largest about 1/2in) and a couple of places where the plaster fell off the bricks (largest patch about basketball size). What sort of plaster can/should I use ? It needs to hold water obviously. I've looked at lining it with plastic/vinyl type stuff, but that will cost >$450. We'll use the water for household stuff when the power is out and the garden. Any suggestions/advice is welcomed.

Re: Cistern lining

If most of the plaster is in good shape, I think I would just patch & repair what is there. I know my neighbors pool is plaster lined, so it's still a valid material to use to hold water. If done DIY in think the material cost would be low. If a contractor does it the labor would add a lot.

As far as what type of plaster to use, I only know of the white finish coat and the brown/scratch coat used to build up thickness. Can you tell what was applied where the plaster fell off? Maybe a local pool contractor could give some advice.

How big is the cistern? I would be tempted to to re-line the whole thing if it isn't too big a project. One issue would be prepping the existing plaster to receive the new as well as applying the proper thickness.

Re: Cistern lining

Use a cement and sand mixture for patching.
Than check on the following products:
Tamms Hey"D1 K-11 Cement based Crystalline Waterproofing system.
This product is for reservoirs, swimming pools and waste treatment plants.
Also look at Xypex Concentrate For reservoirs, Underground vaults Tunnels and Subways
There is also a product Vandex.
I have used Tamms & Xypex.

Re: Cistern lining

You want to use a material that cures, not one that dries. A curing plaster or cement is waterproof; a drying "plaster" (i.e., premix drywall joint compound) will dissolve in water.

Timothy Miller
Re: Cistern lining

Howdy there is a sealer shown on Renovation Nation for just this. But try as i have i cannot locate it. The sealer is brushed on an has a green tint as i remember.

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