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Old 26-03-2012, 23:23   #1
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How to Clean a Diesel Tank ???

I have my diesel tank out of my boat (Hunter 30-1989). There was water and sludge in it. There is something clinging to the sides of the tank. If I hear no better suggestion, I plan to use a lot of dawn dish soap and soak it a while, rinse it out and dry it out and put it back in the boat.
Suggestions please,
Thanks,
Steve
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Old 26-03-2012, 23:27   #2
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Re: How to clean a diesel tank???

High Pressure Steam cleaning is the preferred method,
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Old 27-03-2012, 01:09   #3
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Re: How to clean a diesel tank???

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Originally Posted by Nemo55 View Post
High Pressure Steam cleaning is the preferred method,
Can this be done in-situ? With the tank still on the boat but with the discharge drained to a waste container?
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Old 27-03-2012, 01:11   #4
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Re: How to clean a diesel tank???

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Originally Posted by Nemo55 View Post
High Pressure Steam cleaning is the preferred method,

I've seen a lot of tanks get cleaned, but I've never seen one get steam-cleaned! How exactly does that work?
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Old 27-03-2012, 01:18   #5
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Re: How to clean a diesel tank???

I used to do the fuel tanks on Buses and trucks in my apprentice days,,,many years ago,,,we had a wand with a jet which squirted the very hot water in all diirections,,,,they called it a steam cleaner,,but really it was just a Hot water power washer,,,in fact any power washer should be able to do the same thing...and yes,,you can do it in situ,,,,,but make sure you dry the tank with heat lamps or hot air dryer before using..
For leaky tanks you can purchase a liquid compound which you pour in and slowly rock the tank until all surfaces are coated,,then it is re-sealed,,,works like a charm.
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Old 27-03-2012, 03:04   #6
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Re: How to clean a diesel tank???

I recently had a tank cleaned by a guy who used diesel injector cleaner. He had a pump with a hose on it with a piece of copper tube for a nozzle that he could bend to get into hard-to-reach places. there was a suction (return) line in the tank that recirculated the fluid through a filter. All was done at a low pressure, it was more a matter of letting the cleaner flow over the crud to dissolve it, rather than trying to blast it with pressure. It got the tank spotlessly clean. Hope this helps.
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Old 27-03-2012, 04:52   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nemo55
I used to do the fuel tanks on Buses and trucks in my apprentice days,,,many years ago,,,we had a wand with a jet which squirted the very hot water in all diirections,,,,they called it a steam cleaner,,but really it was just a Hot water power washer,,,in fact any power washer should be able to do the same thing...and yes,,you can do it in situ,,,,,but make sure you dry the tank with heat lamps or hot air dryer before using..
For leaky tanks you can purchase a liquid compound which you pour in and slowly rock the tank until all surfaces are coated,,then it is re-sealed,,,works like a charm.
What's the product name?
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Old 27-03-2012, 04:53   #8
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Re: How to clean a diesel tank???

Epoxy Gas Tank Sealer - Restoration Aids - Caswell Inc
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Old 27-03-2012, 05:26   #9
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I have seen a similar product but when I questioned the dealer he said it was only good for petrol tanks. From the blurb you use it on petrol but it doesn't say anything about diesel. Have you used it on diesel tanks?
Coachbolt.
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Old 27-03-2012, 05:43   #10
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Re: How to clean a diesel tank???

I had problems with crud in the fuel on mutliple occasions. At the suggestion of a friend, I ran a brush down into the tank and brushed it around. After that I had a small fuel leak.

I pulled the tank, cut a hole and realized I had a baffle plate in the middle of the tank and there was no way I could have ever cleaned it without opening it up. The crud was sealing all the pin holes in the bottom of the tank.

I used a brush and Dawn dish soap and water, rinsed it, dried it. I then taped the pin holes closed from the bottom and poured epoxy in covering the bottom. I then put a layer of epoxy and glass on the bottom. I bought aluminum plate and riveted over the hole I had cut. Done, no leaks and no crud.

By the way I could have bought a new custom tank for $350 or so, I'm not sure cleaning was cost effective.

Dale
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Old 27-03-2012, 06:43   #11
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Re: How to clean a diesel tank???

Quote:
Originally Posted by steveebryant View Post
I have my diesel tank out of my boat (Hunter 30-1989). There was water and sludge in it. There is something clinging to the sides of the tank. If I hear no better suggestion, I plan to use a lot of dawn dish soap and soak it a while, rinse it out and dry it out and put it back in the boat.
Suggestions please,
Thanks,
Steve
OCBC
I had very good results with full strength Simple Green and some paper shop towels. Followed by some steam cleaning using a household steamer. You can see what I did at these posts:

THE BIANKA LOG BLOG: IN THE TANK: Part One, Scene of the grime!
THE BIANKA LOG BLOG: IN THE TANK: Part 2, Steaming Ahead!
THE BIANKA LOG BLOG: TOOLS OF A SAILOR: INSPECTION CAMERA
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