Varnish in Gas Tank

Discussion in 'Gas Engines' started by jakestevens7, Apr 19, 2011.

  1. jakestevens7
    Joined: Apr 2011
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    jakestevens7 New Member

    I have a 130gal tank(metal) that I've pumped down to about a 1.5" of fuel/muck/varnish in the bottom. If I dump a few gallons of acetone and let it sit for a couple days, then use a pressure washer to break it up. Can I pressurize the tank with an air compressor to push the remaining, broken up, sludge out?
    What does everyone think of this idea?
     
  2. gonzo
    Joined: Aug 2002
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    gonzo Senior Member

    The pressure won't get the sludge out, you need a pump. The pickup on the tank does not reach the bottom of the tank.
     
  3. Frosty

    Frosty Previous Member

    Get a positive displacement pump. connect a pipe to a stick and suck it all out like cleaning with a vacuum cleaner.
     
  4. CDK
    Joined: Aug 2007
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    CDK retired engineer

    I like Frosty's idea, but a pump that survives acetone may be hard to find.

    As an alternative you could pour in a bottle of detergent followed by lots of water, then stir and pump out the emulsion/suspension.
     
  5. Frosty

    Frosty Previous Member

    Well he has'nt put the acetone in yet. if you did swill it with water and soap you could use a wet vac
     
  6. hoytedow
    Joined: Sep 2009
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    hoytedow Wood Butcher

    Don't use a shop vac. You will have an explosive inferno.
     
  7. Frosty

    Frosty Previous Member

    Why is that, since when does soap and water explode?
     
  8. jakestevens7
    Joined: Apr 2011
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    jakestevens7 New Member

    So, dump some laundry detergent in the tank, stir it up, pump it out?
     
  9. hoytedow
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    hoytedow Wood Butcher

    It doesn't, but if the shop-vac isn't used with soap and water, and by that I mean water filled to the top until the fumes have all been displaced, the danger of explosion is great.
     
  10. El Sea
    Joined: Aug 2006
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    El Sea Junior Member

    We deal with this daily, I strongly recommend you find a local tank cleaning company. Don't let a guy with a couple of racor type filters show up, connect to your fuel line and tell you this is the way it is done!
     
  11. Frosty

    Frosty Previous Member

    If what you say were to be true , the source of ignition would be way outside the tank.

    Its deisel,-- ive welded diesel tanks with diesel still in it.

    If you want to be safe then run the vac for 5 minutes evacuating the air/ fumes first. Or run an engine (generator etc) near by and put the fumes in the tank. This is what you do to make petrol tanks safe before cutting in half with a grinder.
     
  12. hoytedow
    Joined: Sep 2009
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    hoytedow Wood Butcher

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_1000_Ways_to_Die_episodes

    episode 180
    Suck & Blown (a.k.a. Suck and Blow) August 24, 2007 Atlantic City, New Jersey Two men attempting to siphon gas from a car, pull out an industrial vacuum to ease their workload. When the electric fan in the vacuum creates a spark, the gas ignites, causing the vacuum to explode, killing the men instantly.
     
  13. Frosty

    Frosty Previous Member

    One minute gas --one minute diesel.

    Two different fuels Hoyt
     
  14. troy2000
    Joined: Nov 2009
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    troy2000 Senior Member

    So you've been lucky so far, and haven't blown yourself up with diesel fumes yet? Doesn't prove it can't happen....

    Here's an MSDS (material safety data sheet) for diesel.

    http://www.hess.com/ehs/msds/9909DieselFuelAllTypes.pdf

    If you read it, you'll notice the lower explosive limit for diesel fumes is 0.6% of atmosphere, and the upper explosive limit is 7.5%. If the concentration is anywhere between those two points, diesel fumes can explode.

    That's actually a wider range than gasoline. Gasoline's lower limit is about 1.4 or 1.5%, and its upper limit about the same as diesel. So diesel fumes will explode at a noticeably lower concentration.

    What makes diesel safer is that it has a higher flash point, which means it's less likely than gasoline to vaporize and create fumes to begin with -- but the fumes are no less dangerous.

    You go ahead and weld on diesel tanks all you want. But if I'm ever around while you're doing it, I'll be having a beer and watching from somewhere across the street.
     

  15. Frosty

    Frosty Previous Member

    Squark--squark--squark--thats the sound of a chicken --ha ha h ---please forgive my sense of humour.


    Yeah thats where most people are.

    If you exhaust carbon monoxide gases from the cars engine the tanks do not explode.

    These jobs are done, new tanks are not always purchased.

    There are shops that specialize in cutting open fuel tanks to clean.

    The cap and anything else you can do to open the tank is done --

    It also depends on how hot it is, if I was in Alaska or the Sahara desert.

    If they do blow its only a whooosh out of the cap, its a very poor combustion.
     
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