Cleaning Gas Tank -- What Did I Miss?

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Bill Hudson
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Cleaning Gas Tank -- What Did I Miss?

Postby Bill Hudson » Tue Aug 30, 2016 6:51 pm

Folks,

I've cleaned a gas tank with muriatic acid and have a problem:
    - flushed the tank with water
    - partially filled the tank with water and put in 2 quarts of muriatic acid and completed the fill with water
    - closed the tank and let set overnight
    - emptied the tank and flushed with water
    - partially filled the tank with water and put 2 quarts of muriatic acid and completed the fill with water
    - closed the tank and let set in the sun for ~6 hours
    - emptied the tank and flushed with water to clear the residue
    - the tank is clean
    - put in a quart of acetone and thoroughly rotated the tank to get the acetone in all parts of the tank
    - emptied the tank of the acetone/water mix
    - still a bit of dampness in the tank, but a strong aroma of acetone coming from the tank
    - moved the tank inside to keep it out of the potential dew
    - left the tank open to allow the acetone to evaporate
    - ready for sealing in the morning
    - two hours later the tank is bone dry with flash rust everywhere

What did I miss? My frustration meter is off the chart! :?

Bill
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Re: Cleaning Gas Tank -- What Did I Miss?

Postby Rob in NH » Tue Aug 30, 2016 6:58 pm

sounds like you still had moisture in the tank to me
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Re: Cleaning Gas Tank -- What Did I Miss?

Postby ricky racer » Tue Aug 30, 2016 7:09 pm

Bill, been there done that. If I were to do it again, I'd oil it once I was done. WD40 would be a good choice since it will disperse water. I think it will neutralize the acid too.
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Re: Cleaning Gas Tank -- What Did I Miss?

Postby Rob in NH » Tue Aug 30, 2016 7:16 pm

if you plan to seal the tank i wouldn't use WD, the sealer won't stick. i would definitely use it if you don't use the sealer.
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Re: Cleaning Gas Tank -- What Did I Miss?

Postby Bob McCarty » Tue Aug 30, 2016 7:35 pm

Bill, If you move to Colorado you don't have to worry about rust. :D

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Re: Cleaning Gas Tank -- What Did I Miss?

Postby Eugene » Tue Aug 30, 2016 7:46 pm

Tank cleaned and supper duper hot outside, set tank on saw horses in sun for several hours. If the tank burns your hand when touching, good to go. Don't wait, install the sealant.

Winter. I have cleaned the tank then put the shop vacuum blowing exhaust into the tank for several hours to completely dry the tank. Again, don't wait, install the sealant.

Basically, once tank is dry, hot/moderately hot, install the sealant. This time of year in Missouri the humidity level is 90+ percent. Once the tank cools it will take in moist air.
I have an excuse. CRS.

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Re: Cleaning Gas Tank -- What Did I Miss?

Postby tst » Tue Aug 30, 2016 8:58 pm

Hi Bill,I do this a lot, after using the acid you need to neutralize the acid with baking soda/flush or it will keep rusting, even then it needs to dry quickly or it will rust, I stick my heat gun in the filler to make it dry and the shoot some penetrating oil in it and slosh it around so it does not rust any more
Tim

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Re: Cleaning Gas Tank -- What Did I Miss?

Postby schmibm » Wed Aug 31, 2016 10:39 pm

I will use the muratic acid to strip the many years of gunk and rust. I then follow it up with a soak and slosh of phosphoric acid to coat and prevent rusting. Once this is flushed and neutralized, I put in a gallon of E-85 gas (much cheaper than acetone) and slosh around to soak up the water. Then heat and blow dry the tank as others have said and get to work quickly with the sealer.
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Re: Cleaning Gas Tank -- What Did I Miss?

Postby Clip » Thu Sep 01, 2016 9:04 am

Please remember to be careful when trying to dry out acetone or E-85 or any other flammable liquid in the tank with heat and forced air.

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Re: Cleaning Gas Tank -- What Did I Miss?

Postby Jeff Silvey » Fri Sep 02, 2016 5:49 pm

Always remember Safety first. Wear a mask, rubber gloves & eye wear. A to W. Never W to A. What I mean add acid to water - never water to acid. Results wont be good.

Stay Safe.
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Bill Hudson
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Re: Cleaning Gas Tank -- What Did I Miss?

Postby Bill Hudson » Fri Sep 02, 2016 7:22 pm

Folks,

Thanks for all of your excellent input. The symptom of the problem was the tank rusted after cleaning. The problem is:
I'm going to clean it again and neutralize the acid and then dry it out and Red Kote it, all in one day. No more "Daddy Do," Grampa Do," or "Honey Do" projects to interfere with the process. I physically can't do as much as I used to and sometimes fail to take that into consideration.

Just trying to pack too much into one day.

Bill
"The probability of life originating from accident is comparable to the probability of the unabridged dictionary resulting from an explosion in a printing shop." Edwin Conklin, biologist


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