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Welding a fuel tank

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  • CalM
    replied
    Some folks are just so safe, one has to wonder if they will ever die.

    Wouldn't that be nice ;-)

    Leave a comment:


  • ironmonger
    replied
    Originally posted by vpt View Post
    The only way I would ever weld any fuel/gas tank is if it is filled with water. I can physically see water, see that the tank is full, know it is safe. You can keep your magic gasses
    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?

    Leave a comment:


  • vpt
    replied
    The only way I would ever weld any fuel/gas tank is if it is filled with water. I can physically see water, see that the tank is full, know it is safe. You can keep your invisible magical gasses.

    Leave a comment:


  • Carm
    replied
    "Personally the the thing that scares me the most about handling fuel is static discharge in the presence of vapors, I've personally witnessed a number of fatalities associated with this phenomena that is generally not recognized. "

    Willy
    U.S. fuel industry began enforcing drain up/transfer procedures related to that around 1985. No plastic in contact, ground clips etc.
    Easy to facilitate, savvy contractors had no problem, especially considering incinerated employees/lawsuits.
    "There are NO accidents" may sound harsh or unattainable but causes thereof are usually related to ignorance (unknowing) and sometimes ego.

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  • ironmonger
    replied
    Originally posted by jdunmyer View Post
    Most of the mentioned methods of "safeing" the tank are well-tested and accepted for preventing explosions, it's not "this might work". My personal favorite is using the mig welding gas, either argon or argon/CO2. It doesn't have to be blasting away, especially in a M/C tank, just put the hose in there and let it bleed in for a few minutes, then go to work.
    +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...

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  • Old School
    replied
    Back in the day !!! we soldered gas tanks on many cars. We never used a torch or welder but used a soldering iron instead. Of course the area had to be cleaned really good and of course the iron needed to be heated but was done away from the tank. This always seemed to work out well without the problem of the BIG BANG. Years ago I remember a few auto repair shops up in smoke because of welding fuel tanks.

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  • Willy
    replied
    Welding a vessel that has previously contained a product that can produce an explosive mixture of vapors and air should never be a "you never know" situation.
    If one doubts his ability to ascertain his capacity to do the job safely or to assess the situation then he is wise in turning the job down. Trouble occurs when ignorance of the process is allowed to take charge, and unfortunately it does happen all too often. Such is the cost of a free society.

    Can I safely weld a 2-5 thousand gallon tank that has previously contained gasoline or diesel for example? NO!
    I'm simply not equipped to perform such a job, I'll walk away from that one thanks. After spending about a quarter century in the fuel, oil, and chemical distribution world I have been given enough exposure to a wealth of training and experience to at least assess the validity of such an attempt. I've safely handled many millions of gallons of the stuff without incident to know it's characteristics and safe handling guidelines very well.

    Although there are a number of different ways to repair/weld a small fuel tank safely, knowledge is always the key ingredient to a safe repair. Knowing what is required to initiate an explosion and how to control those factors is the first step in being safe.

    As an example, take the common brush type fuel pump motor in millions of fuel tanks. Although most times the motor is completely submerged in fuel, the motor does produce sparks inside the pumps motor when it is running out of fuel.
    The reason this is an uneventful occurrence is that the air/fuel ratio is simply too rich to burn.
    Personally the the thing that scares me the most about handling fuel is static discharge in the presence of vapors, I've personally witnessed a number of fatalities associated with this phenomena that is generally not recognized.

    Leave a comment:


  • jdunmyer
    replied
    Most of the mentioned methods of "safeing" the tank are well-tested and accepted for preventing explosions, it's not "this might work". My personal favorite is using the mig welding gas, either argon or argon/CO2. It doesn't have to be blasting away, especially in a M/C tank, just put the hose in there and let it bleed in for a few minutes, then go to work.

    Leave a comment:


  • Carm
    replied
    Mysticism sounds intriguing, but that wasn't my intent.
    "Believing" implies, at least to me, an act of faith.
    No, I specifically meant fact based knowledge.

    Leave a comment:


  • GNM109
    replied
    Originally posted by Carm View Post
    Respectfully disagree.
    There are times in life when "you never know".
    Welding, or any hot work in a potentially flammable situation, requires knowing.
    Nothing to do with the vagaries of fate.
    Your answer is rather mystical but I get the idea that you are believe that you are capable of welding a fuel tank, any fuel tank, with no fear of there being an explosion.

    God speed.

    Leave a comment:


  • Carm
    replied
    Originally posted by GNM109 View Post
    All of the above methods for stopping explosions might work and they might not. When welding a fuel tank, you never know.
    Respectfully disagree.
    There are times in life when "you never know".
    Welding, or any hot work in a potentially flammable situation, requires knowing.
    Nothing to do with the vagaries of fate.

    Leave a comment:


  • GNM109
    replied
    All of the above methods for stopping explosions might work and they might not. When welding a fuel tank, you never know.

    Leave a comment:


  • Magicniner
    replied
    Part fill a petrol tank with an incompressible liquid to weld it, in the event of a flammable gas explosion that's a smart move how?

    - Nick

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  • Carm
    replied
    Gas tank empty 5 years, childhood fears, mmm.
    Brief review of fire triangle:
    Fuel
    Oxygen (remember, breathable air has ~around 21%)
    Ignition source (flame, spark, heat)

    Remove one leg, ya got nada. IMO, your tank at this time has less fuel than a beer fart.
    Nothing wrong with safety. Mix up some vinegar and baking soda either in the tank or tube the gas into it.
    Weld away.

    Leave a comment:


  • CalM
    replied
    Just purge the tank with a constant flow of compressed air while you do the hot work.

    Ultra Lean mixes won't ignite. I've done it dozens of times.

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