safest process to cut/drill into a gas tank? (1 Viewer)

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so, I am going to drop my metal auxillary gas tank in my 40 and have it cleaned and lined and decided to also put a sending unit in it while I have it out and before I have it lined.

as it apears to have no hole for a sending unit due to age, what is the safest way to do this without blowing yourself up? :doh:

any safe rule of thumb for how many days to let it sit until fumes are surely gone after I drain? what about sparks and residual combustible fuel/sludge on walls when you drill? any way to suggest (or facilitate) airing/drying it out or before I cut the hole using what one would have in a home shop?

any previous experience and plan of action for doing this safely would be much appreciated.
 
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Hawke said:
The safest way is to have it commercially steamed at a shop that repairs tanks. They will also have a meter to check for residual gas fumes.

Truely the only way to do it is professionally done. I have heard to many bad stories.
 
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peesalot said:
fill with water before drilling and leave full while drilling.

now that seems reasonable.... just curious, have you done this method yourself?
 

pbgbottle

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its only the bit your not throwing the whole drill in the water , or if ya are scared use a cordless , only fry your battery then ??? HA! go for it sounds like a good idea to me fill it with water first , i would probably try this method . but thats me even if it did short wouldn't it just blow the breaker ??

trainrech said:
Something just doesn't sound right about drilling into a tank full of water with an electric-powered tool...
 

krzyabncanuck

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I have used the water method myself with good results. I have also heard of hooking an air line to the inlet with air going in and forcing the fumes out thru the outlet. After ofcourse it has been properly drained and had water run thru it. This is just for the remaining fumes.
 

pbgbottle

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or how about an air drill

trainrech said:
Something just doesn't sound right about drilling into a tank full of water with an electric-powered tool...
 
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I've use the water method on a 500 gallon tank before. I was also using a hot wrench with no issues.
 
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you can fill the tank with co2 this will displace the gass fumes
 
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Take your shopvac hose and attach it to your exhaust and fill the tank with it.
Same as the CO2 thing, but maybe cheaper.
 
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Degnol said:
Take your shopvac hose and attach it to your exhaust and fill the tank with it.
Same as the CO2 thing, but maybe cheaper.

now that is a sweet idea. seeing as how I do not have C02 sitting around (unless I use like 200 of my 60 gram cartrdiges for my bike pump)... thanks for that tip.
 
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Degnol said:
Take your shopvac hose and attach it to your exhaust and fill the tank with it.
Same as the CO2 thing, but maybe cheaper.


I hope for you that the exhust gases hav a high enuff % of co2 to remove all the o2 or else BOOOM.... i think if i didn't have co2 i would use water
 
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rogersfj401969 said:
I hope for you that the exhust gases hav a high enuff % of co2 to remove all the o2 or else BOOOM.... i think if i didn't have co2 i would use water

I was under the impression that would be a final fumigation step in the process... down the list to be safe... but maybe not.

something like this was my thought process:
  1. drain
  2. let sit several days (maybe run fan at the inlet hose hole)
  3. water clean a few times
  4. let sit several days
  5. C02 trick???????
  6. plug & fill with water & use hole saw to drill 1.5" hole
  7. take to radi shop to have pro cleaned and lined

(maybe I will skip #5 as I do not know my C02 level)
 
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pbgbottle

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doesn't exhaust have CO not CO2 ?
 

pbgbottle

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how long would the fumes actualy stay in the tank once it was left open a few days ?? i would think a couple of days should be good to go , no?
 
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I have no idea on either question, which is why I asked for others with real wolrd experience as there is no 'do over' if you mess this one up. maybe a few days is good for fumes as you say.... but I would think there is other sludge and flamibles in that tank on the walls I would not want to spark up so you would no only want to fumigate for fumes.. but diluate and saturate the wall funk (with water and such) to the point they will not spark.
 
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I welded

closed the fuel sender opening on my used, auxiliary tank.

I'd bought it from a fellow who used a hole saw to cut the sending unit opening, in what turned out to be the wrong place, as the sending unit couldn't function properly due to contact with the internal baffles.

It leaked, so I wanted to weld a 1/8" plate over th hole and re-use it.

I rinsed it thoroughly with water, including filling it completely full to displace any fumes.

I then let it dry thoroughly, in the hot sun, upside down on my white trailer. I believe the gas fumes are heavier than air, so I wanted them to have an easy escape path out of the tank. Three hours of this, then I ground off the paint, and welded on the patch. I couldn't smell any gas odor at all, before welding, and lived to write this little story.
 
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Desertdave said:
I'd bought it from a fellow who used a hole saw to cut the sending unit opening, in what turned out to be the wrong place, as the sending unit couldn't function properly due to contact with the internal baffles

funny, in another thread about man-a-fre tanks I have going I asked about this very question to Steve-O... the man-a-fre guy. My tank is an older version and I was concerned about this very issue of where to drill the hole and if there are even any baffles in this older model. I would hate to do all this and drill my hole right down on top of a baffel so that the sending unit arm could not actuate. this is a whole nother issue I need to solve.
 

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