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  • vpt
    replied
    Some say that boiling/steaming out tanks doesn't get all the gas out of the seams.

    How do you check for leaks in a tank after welding? Then if there is a hole what do you do?

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  • aribert
    replied
    Several posters mentioned steam cleaning or boil out. I took my car gas tank to a radiator shop and had them "kill" it (their term). I am guessing that it was boiled out. When I got the tank back there was no gasoline smell. COst was about $25 about 15 years ago with a day or so turn around.

    "There are only two methods that I know of to make the tanks safe: One is to do a complete hot boil out. The other is to completely purge the tank with an inert gas--in both cases a test should be made to verify the results."

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  • Carm
    replied
    "ex·ci·mer


    /ˈeksəmər/


    noun
    Chemistry

    noun: excimer; plural noun: excimers


    Excimer

    an unstable molecule that is formed in an excited state by the combination of two smaller molecules or atoms and rapidly dissociates with emission of radiation. Such species are utilized in some kinds of lasers.

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  • macona
    replied
    Originally posted by vpt View Post
    Yes, argon, don't know where it comes from or how they collect it but I use it to weld. They say it is inert.
    It is collected from fractional distillation of air, the same way they get liquid oxygen and liquid nitrogen. About 1% of the atmosphere is argon. It IS inert, it is one of the noble gases and only in extreme conditions will it bond with anything and then for only a very short term, an excimer.

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  • jdunmyer
    replied
    Let's remember that the OP was wondering about working on a motorcycle tank. This is inherently less dangerous than an automobile tank, which is inherently less dangerous than a fuel storage tank, whether it's 300 gallons or 3000 gallons. Making the tank safe uses the same procedures, but consequences of an "incomplete" job is quite different. Also, doing a "complete" job is much easier on a M/C tank. Some of us are trained and experienced enough to tackle the large job, most of us aren't. However, if one follows the advice given here, you can safely weld/solder/braze a small tank.

    Leave a comment:


  • GNM109
    replied
    Originally posted by Carm View Post
    Yes, sometimes I qualify as an idiot, to this day even.
    But never did I spout off about "safe and easy". Idiot or no, you do what it takes to be safe, and that might not be "easy", meaning that time and procedures are adhered to regardless of anyone's financial bottom line.

    As GNM said, "Welding or cutting on fuel tanks often causes serious injuries and fatalities. It is inherently unsafe."

    An inarguable statement. If it is your employment, and you wish to live another day, you do what must be done.

    "Driving a two ton vehicle at 70 MPH on a highway full of other two ton vehicles moving at different speeds often causes serious injuries and fatalities. It is inherently unsafe."

    The analogy being nobody drives a car without prior knowledge and degree of control. Drivers are always at risk. Sometimes the hazard is other drivers.

    Hot work in a professional setting doesn't have "other drivers".

    Working in your own shop shouldn't have "other drivers" either. It is your responsibility to police the area, safe off, and verify conditions that lead to safety. Many a building burned down from cutting/welding, no fuel tanks involved.
    +5!!!!!!..........

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  • vpt
    replied
    Originally posted by Magicniner View Post
    The tank should either be steamed clean or have an inert gas piped in whilst working to maintain a non flammable mixture, a very easy way to achieve the second is to pipe the exhaust from an internal combustion engine into the tank, clean breathing air for the welder should be a consideration ;-)
    Filling with water and just leaving the area to be welded unfilled doesn't make a tank safe, it confines the potential explosion with an incompressible liquid - very un-smart and well documented bad practice for tank welding!

    - Nick

    Exhaust gasses from a gas engine are not always inert.

    I always have and always will use water. Yes I have had gasses ignite inside of the tanks while welding in the void where the water isn't, the most you ever get is a little "blurp"...

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  • Magicniner
    replied
    The tank should either be steamed clean or have an inert gas piped in whilst working to maintain a non flammable mixture, a very easy way to achieve the second is to pipe the exhaust from an internal combustion engine into the tank, clean breathing air for the welder should be a consideration ;-)
    Filling with water and just leaving the area to be welded unfilled doesn't make a tank safe, it confines the potential explosion with an incompressible liquid - very un-smart and well documented bad practice for tank welding!

    - Nick

    Leave a comment:


  • Carm
    replied
    Originally posted by LKeithR View Post
    (snip) Every idiot who ever cut or welded a live tank and "got away with it" spouts off about how safe and easy it was to do the job with their particular form of witchcraft or voodoo. This only misleads other, less experienced people, giving them a false sense of security and opening the door for them to injure or kill themselves or others.

    Let's be clear...welding or cutting on a tank that has held flammable liquids of any kind is not safe. There are only two methods that I know of to make the tanks safe: One is to do a complete hot boil out. The other is to completely purge the tank with an inert gas--in both cases a test should be made to verify the results. Anything else is a gamble. If you want to kill or injure yourself--as long as you do it on your dime--I guess that's OK; but please don't spread your BS about unsafe methods and put other people at risk.
    Yes, sometimes I qualify as an idiot, to this day even.
    But never did I spout off about "safe and easy". Idiot or no, you do what it takes to be safe, and that might not be "easy", meaning that time and procedures are adhered to regardless of anyone's financial bottom line.

    As GNM said, "Welding or cutting on fuel tanks often causes serious injuries and fatalities. It is inherently unsafe."

    An inarguable statement. If it is your employment, and you wish to live another day, you do what must be done.

    "Driving a two ton vehicle at 70 MPH on a highway full of other two ton vehicles moving at different speeds often causes serious injuries and fatalities. It is inherently unsafe."

    The analogy being nobody drives a car without prior knowledge and degree of control. Drivers are always at risk. Sometimes the hazard is other drivers.

    Hot work in a professional setting doesn't have "other drivers".

    Working in your own shop shouldn't have "other drivers" either. It is your responsibility to police the area, safe off, and verify conditions that lead to safety. Many a building burned down from cutting/welding, no fuel tanks involved.

    Leave a comment:


  • vpt
    replied
    Originally posted by ironmonger View Post
    Did you use magic gasses to weld that?
    If you leave residual hydrocarbons in the tank what are you going to use to dry the tank? You may need the magic gasses to dry it.
    Remember our previous thread about welding gas lines... would you fill those with water as well?

    Yes, argon, don't know where it comes from or how they collect it but I use it to weld. They say it is inert.

    Gas tanks get a wash of gas/diesel after welding to get rid of any residue water.

    I faintly remember the gas line talk. That is a different deal, there is no oxygen in a live line so there should be no risk of a 4th of july show.

    Leave a comment:


  • LKeithR
    replied
    Originally posted by ironmonger View Post
    +1
    This is the only response that makes any sense whatsoever. Steam, soap, water, time or monkey poo won't solve the problem. Without measuring the O2 levels, any other method is witchcraft.

    Displacing the oxygen will absolutely prevent any explosions. If you don't know how to test for O2 content or whether the argon or CO2/argon mix has filled the tank, prudence would preclude you from proceeding...
    Now you're talking! I find these threads--on welding or cutting fuel tanks--to be both sad and frustrating. Every idiot who ever cut or welded a live tank and "got away with it" spouts off about how safe and easy it was to do the job with their particular form of witchcraft or voodoo. This only misleads other, less experienced people, giving them a false sense of security and opening the door for them to injure or kill themselves or others.

    Let's be clear...welding or cutting on a tank that has held flammable liquids of any kind is not safe. There are only two methods that I know of to make the tanks safe: One is to do a complete hot boil out. The other is to completely purge the tank with an inert gas--in both cases a test should be made to verify the results. Anything else is a gamble. If you want to kill or injure yourself--as long as you do it on your dime--I guess that's OK; but please don't spread your BS about unsafe methods and put other people at risk.

    I've been welding since 1969 and I've seen my share of "bad endings"--one resulting in death and a couple that left people badly injured and burned. Even had a couple close calls myself--back when I was young and dumb--so I know how easy it is to be influenced by what someone else says or does...

    Leave a comment:


  • GNM109
    replied
    Originally posted by CalM View Post
    ambiguity is it's own reward ;-)
    +1.............

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  • CalM
    replied
    ambiguity is it's own reward ;-)

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  • Carm
    replied
    Originally posted by CalM View Post
    Some folks are just so safe, one has to wonder if they will ever die.

    Wouldn't that be nice ;-)
    Not sure how to read that.
    1. It would be nice to never die
    2. It would be nice if folk who think they are so safe die.

    Gonna guess #1, since so far nobody got there.

    As to the OP, there are people who weld on flammable containing tanks, pipes and vessels every day. There are safe ways to do it. If they didn't you wouldn't be able to drive a car, truck, heat your home without chopping wood, lube your lathe, fly anywhere, have the military defend you, solder your pipes, grill your dinner or in some places, have an electrical supply.

    Leave a comment:


  • GNM109
    replied
    Welding or cutting on fuel tanks often causes serious injuries and fatalities. It is inherently unsafe.

    https://www.osha.gov/pls/imis/Accide...eyword_list=on

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