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frequently asked questions
Plate Access System Demo

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Phone: 509-933-3110
Fax: 509-463-4331
Hours: M-F 8:00am - 4:30pm PST
7020 Manastash Rd.
Ellensburg, WA 98926

Patent No. 5,481,790

Frequently Asked Questions

Why do I need an Access Plate System on my tank?
The majority of tanks are manufactured and installed with no access; therefore no ability to be cleaned and maintained. Note: The Access Plate System is for use on water and diesel fuel tanks - never install it on a gasoline tank or other tanks containing highly flammable liquids or gasses.

How many Access Plate Systems do I need for my tank?
The number of plates is influenced by the size of the tank and the quantity of baffles. Typically one plate per baffled section of tank. Note: Some baffles have holes large enough to clean adjacent sections.

Is it safe to install an Access Plate System below the fluid line on the side of the tank?
Yes, this is fine.

How large of an Access Plate System do I need?
We recommend that you install the largest plate that your install situation will allow. The larger the hole, the easier it will be to access and maintain the tank in the future.

Do I need to drain the tank completely before I install the Access Plate System?
No, but be aware that the process of cutting and drilling on the tank will allow minor bits of debris to fall into the tank. It is best to drain the tank and clean it out completely before you finish the installation.

What do I use to cut the hole with?
Most tanks can be cut with a saber saw and the appropriate metal cutting blade. Have a couple of extra blades handy in case you wear out or break one.

What keeps the backing rings from falling in?
The outer gasket has a tight fit over the studs and prevents the backing rings from falling into the tank - even when mounted overhead.

Should I use a gasket sealer?
No, do not use any type of third party gasket sealer. It is unnecessary and may work against the gasket properties to seal.

How tight should I torque the assembly fasteners?
Tighten the nuts until the outer gasket is compressed and swells slightly from the edge of the front plate. Do not over-tighten and severely distort the gasket. Do not use gasket compound. Make sure all surfaces are clean and dry during installation.

Why are there extra fasteners that come with the SeaBuilt Access Plate System?
We at SeaBuilt NW know how frustrating it can be to loose something during an improvement or maintenance project on your boat. This is our small way of supporting you in your endeavor.

Is the Access Plate System Coast Guard approved?
Coast Guard approval is not available for our type of product. Please see the response below from the USCG:

"The Coast Guard has different regulatory requirements for fuel, water and holding tanks based on service of the vessel and size. We do not "approve" fuel, water, or holding tanks and therefore would not "approve" clean-out/inspection ports for them.

We do not "approve" tanks. However, we have regulatory requirements for some types of tanks on some types of vessels. Requirements for recreational boats are in 33 CFR Part 183, for uninspected commercial vessels you need to look at 46 CFR Subchapter C, for inspected small passenger vessels 46 CFR Part 182. The larger commercial vessels have more requirements which are in their applicable subchapters. For inspected vessels the Coast Guard Officer In Charge, Marine Inspection (OCMI) will want to verify that the tanks to be installed are in compliance with the regulations."

You can look up all of these regulations on-line for free at:

CDR David Grant McClellan
Commandant (CG-5213) Systems Engineering