At work, I have a 900 gal diesel storage tank mounted 8' up in a pipe rack, for gravity feed to a pair of Detroit Diesel v-16 powered pumps. The tank has developed some rust pinholes high on the tank. Every once in a while th e fuel vendor fills the tank past these pinholes and diesel leaks out. I am looking for an easy way to patch these pinholes. Been thinking about a pee l and stick patch material I think I remember seeing years ago but cannot f ind it now. Welding the tank up or replacing it is not an option right now because I need to run the engines/pumps almost every day. Rubber patch/band clamps will not work because of the location of the leaks in relation to t he supporting structure. Any ideas? Epoxy/sheet metal? Fiberglass resin/clo th? Tank is out in the weather, as well, so it is exposed to rain and sun
If it has rust pinholes up high, presumably from condensation, I'd be really worried about what is on the bottom of the tank where water settles and may only have sludge holding back a complete loss of all the fuel. Do you have secondary containment under the tank, or are you risking a major environmental cleanup.
I would forget about trying to patch the current tank, and get a complete new tank, stand and secondary containment in ASAP, transfer fuel and fuel connections over and get rid of the old high risk tank.
The easiest repair is with the puttylike epoxies. Some are made for gas-tank repairs. Knead the two halves into a blended color and stick rounds over the holes, pushing some through the small hole to keep it locked in.
Carefully (if not, you could potentially cave-in areas) wirebrush it first, then clean it with fast-evaporating solvent. Acetone, naphtha, or lacquer thinner would remove the oily diesel residues.
If you really wanted to save the tank, drain it, clean it, then borrow someone's crane to rotate it, coating the inside with a rubbery protective coating.
Lots of these. I've seen a couple antique car gas tanks and motorcycle tanks repaired with this kind of stuff and it works well.
REPLACE the tank. You can run the pumps off temporary / portable tanks untill the old tanks are replaced. You are looking at the possibility of serious environmental damage and charges if the leak gets worse.
For hard to obtain, rare, and expensive tanks it makes sense - but for a generic bulk fuel tank????? No way..ANY repair will be temporary at best, and the tank has definitely passed it's "best before date". The "slosh" will cost as much as the tank.
In many "commercial" applications the tank must be replaced after X # of years, or be inspected and certified. NO repair will pass the certification.
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Clare, he's not going to do that. If he were interested in the environmental hazard OR the hazards of fire or damage to his property, he'd have already replaced it.
In the meantime... just ream or drill out the pinholes large enough to take some fine-pitch self-tapping screws with some diesel-resistant resiliant head washers, and drive 'em in. (you might want to surface clean the area first, so the washers seal.
Chewing gum isn't going to do it. Do it right (replace) or do it well enough to seal it up for another season. Or not .
k, for gravity feed to a pair of Detroit Diesel v-16 powered pumps. The tan k has developed some rust pinholes high on the tank. Every once in a while the fuel vendor fills the tank past these pinholes and diesel leaks out. I am looking for an easy way to patch these pinholes. Been thinking about a p eel and stick patch material I think I remember seeing years ago but cannot find it now. Welding the tank up or replacing it is not an option right no w because I need to run the engines/pumps almost every day. Rubber patch/ba nd clamps will not work because of the location of the leaks in relation to the supporting structure. Any ideas? Epoxy/sheet metal? Fiberglass resin/c loth? Tank is out in the weather, as well, so it is exposed to rain and sun
At this point replacing the tank is not an option. It may be in a month or two, but not now. Temp tank would have to be elevated in order to allow gra vity feed, but there is no place to put it. Also presently no containment. Dumb design, I know. These are problems I can tackle at a later date. I nee d to keep running until I can schedule a shutdown. Looking for a temporary repair that can last for a few months. Holes may be too big to use sheetmet al screws/rubber washer. When I start removing the rust bubbles I will know for sure what I am facing. I don't want to do anything until I have a temp repair in hand because once I start there's no turning back. Just buying t ime until I can get a replacement to install
Well, when TWO 16-cyl Diesels are running, they probably go through a LOT of fuel in short order, so this tank maybe isn't just sitting there for years, slowly rotting. (On the other hand, if this is all for emergency backup, and rarely run, you could be right.)
Jon Elson fired this volley in news:beGdnbH1dbApzGnMnZ2dnUVZ email@example.com:
Jon, We could run two 12V71s for five continuous hours at 70% power on 540 gallons.
If the tank has pinholes above the normal fill line, it's likely from condensation forming above the static fuel level. It would have to stay pretty much full all the time for the problem to be isolated to just that area.
Oh, WELL, if you only need it to hold for a few MONTHS, then the screws and glop will certainly work! Just clean the area around the hole, drill a small hole with a cordless drill and glop around the hole with PC7, JB Weld, or even gasket sealer like form-a-gasket, then run a sheet metal screw into the hole and don't tighten very hard. Then, smooth the extruded sealer over the screw head.
The thing that worries me is, *all* the large engines I know of have a feeder fuel pump plumbed in before the injection pump - they can't lift fuel out of an underground tank, but every one I've seen runs just fine lifting the fuel 3 to 5 feet from an under-engine fuel tank often built into the trailer or generator skid frame, or a separate Day Tank sitting on the floor next to the generator.
They have a separate electric lift pump from the main underground tank into the day tank. And for hospitals, they also have a hand-cranked lift pump that an engineer can stand there and Organ Grind fuel from the underground to the Day Tank, while the rest of the crew is frantically figuring out what is wrong with the supply pump. (Probably a bad float switch, but you never know.)
And that includes the 1MW Surge / 750KW continuous monster they had at the Verizon Granada Hills Switchroom, and dozens of 20KW to 500KW generators around the area.
Check with your mechanics, if yours has a lift pump like that (and it should) you can get a portable tank and set it next to the pump engines, and run off that while you drain and replace the gravity tank.
Or buy a permanent above-ground double-wall portable tank and switch over to it. Trust me, the Fire Department will be a lot happier, a diesel tank up on a tripod is a spill waiting to happen.
For the temporary leak fix, they do make various sizes of sheetmetal screws with a bonded steel and rubber washer under the head, meant for galvanized sheet roofing. But they'll work on those pinholes too.
They come up to #14 size, clean the surface with a wire wheel and add a schmear of Silicone or Form-A-Gasket #2 to be sure.
And if the hole is really big, make your own even bigger. I've seen the Emergency Oil Pan Plugs that have self-thread-rolling tips into the 5/8" and 3/4" range, and you use an oversized gasket and the Form-A-Gasket #2. They also make the emergency pan plugs with a toggle-bolt fitting and a machine screw - they snap in place and have a big gasket.
(You don't want the expanding Boat Plug style, because those require a clean round hole in the tank wall, and I don't know if you want to drill holes and chance that crap getting past the fuel filters and sucked into the injection pump, which will kill it right now. If they don't have the fuel filters plumbed in right, that could be Real Bad.)
Check at NAPA where farmers do odd stuff like that to get through the planting or harvest season - when they need that equipment to keep running 20+ hours a day for the next month, then they have 3 to 6 months to fix it properly at their leisure.