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Old 26-05-2017, 21:27   #1
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Wink Jerry can leak?

I just found my best plastic jerry can leaking on deck. I poured out what was left of the fuel into another but would LOVE to fix the really tiny crack in the plastic. It's so small it took us 10 minutes to find the crack. Not a hole and no abrasions to the plastic, it's like it just decided to leak fuel for no reason.

I know I could go out and just buy another can but I'm on Bonaire where things aren't the cheapest and figure some one out there must have a solution. Considered using JB Weld but don't know if it would work since the plastic flexes.

Any one have any suggestions? Love to hear them.
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Old 26-05-2017, 21:45   #2
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Re: Jerry can leak?

I've had about 50 50 success with water jugs. Take an object like an old fashioned beer can opener to make a V Groove where the crack is. Either take a plane or coarse file and make shavings off of someplace else on the jug or cut the top 3/16 of an inch of the plastic where the cap screws on. Use a torch to warm up the groove that you just made and then melt either the shavings or the plastic that was cut off, being careful not to let the repair melt too much making the situation worse. But you have nothing to lose except a little time. The real trick is getting the plastic hot enough so the plastic bonds but not so hot that you have ruined The Jug
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Old 26-05-2017, 21:56   #3
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Re: Jerry can leak?

FWIW there are some tips on bonding epoxy to plastic on the WEST System website.
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Old 27-05-2017, 01:29   #4
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Re: Jerry can leak?

We had one let go in the same manner two weeks ago along the seam. At €18 it's not worth the effort or chance of a repeat leak and clean up situation. Chuck it and get a new one, otherwise it won't be long before the faulty plastic lets you down somewhere else on the same jug.
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Old 27-05-2017, 01:49   #5
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Re: Jerry can leak?

Plastic welding is a good skill to have.

You cannot use this for a container that has stored flammable liquid and I am not sure it wold be worth the trouble for a jerry can anyway, but this great video is worth watching. There are plenty of potential applications on a cruising yacht.


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Old 27-05-2017, 01:54   #6
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Re: Jerry can leak?

Yes, but in this case the plastic jerry can has already proven itself to be faulty in it's ability to contain a fammable liquid, I see it more akin to trying to glue together two pieces of wood full of dry rot. The bond might be awesome, but it's holding together junk.
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Old 27-05-2017, 03:23   #7
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Re: Jerry can leak?

When you first purchase a new plastic container that will be exposed to UV, lightly clean it with a mild solvent like chemical sandpaper, allow to air dry then remove any solvent residue with soap and water, again allow to air dry then paint with light color exterior latex paint. Aside from normal abrasion it will last much, much longer.
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Old 27-05-2017, 05:30   #8
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Re: Jerry can leak?

If the crack is small, drill a hole through it and screw in a self-tapping screw. Make a gasket out of sheet rubber for the screw before you screw it in. A garage mechanic fixed the gasoline tank on my car that way many years ago when a piece of road debris flew up and made a slight puncture in it.
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Old 16-06-2017, 19:55   #9
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Re: Jerry can leak?

Thanks for everyones input. I pulled out an electric line cutter(like a wide bladed soldering iron) and after running an old "church key" down the tiny crack to widen it just a bit and make a trough, I ran the cutter over the slot heating the plastic till it flowed into the trough and then used the end of a zip tie by melting it with the hot knife and ran it over and into the slot as well. Now the tank sit's on my back deck nicely full of fuel all over again.
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Old 16-06-2017, 20:18   #10
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Re: Jerry can leak?

I don't know if this will work on a plastic jug, but I used a product I think was called Red Hat or similar name. It's a polymer thick liquid you pour into a gas or diesel fuel tank and roll it around to coat the inside of the tank with a uniformly thin coat, then pour out any extra and let it set up for a couple of days till the solvent smell is gone.
I used this stuff on my Kabota diesel generator fuel tank 2 years ago and it's still holding up and no more leaks. The Kabota dealer wanted $1400. bucks for a new tank. I was going to weld up a new tank but wanted to try this stuff. It dries really tough like a flexible plastic liner.
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Old 17-06-2017, 03:33   #11
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Re: Jerry can leak?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mestrezat View Post
Thanks for everyones input. I pulled out an electric line cutter(like a wide bladed soldering iron) and after running an old "church key" down the tiny crack to widen it just a bit and make a trough, I ran the cutter over the slot heating the plastic till it flowed into the trough and then used the end of a zip tie by melting it with the hot knife and ran it over and into the slot as well. Now the tank sit's on my back deck nicely full of fuel all over again.
Good on ya, mate, ya fixed it! Congrats!

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Old 18-06-2017, 14:14   #12
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Re: Jerry can leak?

Plastic jerry cans are "mystery meat". You rarely know what you've actually got. The better makers actually use a different plastic for gasoline versus diesel versus water cans, even though they all look alike. The cheap suppliers...who knows?

So unless this is a very good jerry can, the crack might be saying the plastic just isn't up to the UV or fuel requirements. It may have gotten brittle over time. I'd also side with replacing it, and I generally prefer to keep the old things.

Some epoxies like West System G are designed to bond to a wide range of plastics. Some of the hardware-store epoxies also bond to PVC, ABS, other "impossible" plastics that are used in lawn furniture and such. You have to read the label or call the maker. And of course the plastic welding kits work on polyethylene, which might be similar to what your jerry can is as well.

But since most of us have absolutely no way to be sure what a jerry can was made from...make a test patch on some other part of the can. Or, really, consider a new can. Which might be cheaper than the cost of the fuel you'd lose if it leaks again! (Motivation.)
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Old 18-06-2017, 14:24   #13
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Re: Jerry can leak?

Quote "Not a hole and no abrasions to the plastic, it's like it just decided to leak fuel for no reason."

Old and sited on deck the "No reason" is most probably UV degradation of the material. The repair is now probably the strongest part of said fuel can.
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Old 18-06-2017, 14:33   #14
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Re: Jerry can leak?

Given that the problem is solved and that further comments are of no benefit, this now seems appropriate:

Quote:
Jerry can leak?
It depends, how many beers did Jerry have?

~OR~

I don't know, shoot him again and let's find out!
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Old 18-06-2017, 15:18   #15
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Re: Jerry can leak?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mestrezat View Post
Thanks for everyones input. I pulled out an electric line cutter(like a wide bladed soldering iron) and after running an old "church key" down the tiny crack to widen it just a bit and make a trough, I ran the cutter over the slot heating the plastic till it flowed into the trough and then used the end of a zip tie by melting it with the hot knife and ran it over and into the slot as well. Now the tank sit's on my back deck nicely full of fuel all over again.
I was going to say a soldering iron would be safer than a torch, but you beat me to it. You can buy a "Plastic Welding" tool, but it's basically a soldering iron with a wide tip. It's how they repair plastic kayaks and small boats.
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