removing gasoline and vapors

I have a 31 aluminum work boat with an under deck fuel tank which must be
leaking. The aluminum deck is welded in place. The tank is a 100 gallon
aluminum tank. The boat is only 1 year old. I removed the drain plug from
the back of the boat and about 2 gallons of gas came out, this leads me to
believe that the crack must be on the top of the tank because the tank is
almost full and this is the only time I ever opened the drain plug. Before I
do any work I want to make sure I don't have an explosion. If I fill the
bilge area with dishsoap and water and then drain it will this remove all
dangerous vapours? Any other ideas?
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On Tue, 06 Apr 2004 22:11:56 GMT, "habbi" brought forth from the murky depths:
No, but it will reduce them.
With the shop vac on the deck, connect the hose to the output, then shov it down below to blow out the vapors. (Don't suck the explosive vapors through an arcing motor!)
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Reply to
Larry Jaques
once you identify the leak Marine Tex will seal it. Worked for me ( a fatigue crack about six inched long in a welded aluminum gas tank. Regards. Ken.
Reply to
Ken Davey
Ho-leeee SHIT!
That thing hasn't already blown up? Install a bilge fan and a vapor detector. Then get with someone that knows what he is doing. Trial and error don't make it with that sort of death trap.
I wouldn't touch that thing in a blizzard, and certainly wouldn't want it in the same marina with me.
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On Tue, 06 Apr 2004 22:11:56 GMT, "habbi" vaguely proposed a theory ......and in reply I say!: remove ns from my header address to reply via email
For metalwork content. Touch a 31" boat 1 year old and you are a twit IMO.
Unless you can ID the _reason_ for this leak (ie something you did to the boat, either handling or work, that was not what the boat was intended for), you should try to get the builder to take responsibility, or be made very aware of it.
The builder should be made aware of the trouble, and the actions you are going to take _in writing_. They should declare their intentions in the matter _in writing_. You touch that boat and you risk any warranty.
If you repair the problem, but there is a weakness somewhere, you (and maybe others) could have a rocket-powered ride sometime.
I also think this should be left to a boatbuilding yard for three reasons. - One is safety. - Next is is, you go in there _stating_ that you want this investigated for problems by a pro. The pros do the work, not you. No claims of your having caused the problem. - if there is a design or building flaw, this needs finding by somebody who knows what to look for.
If there is serious work involved here, and not just a loose pipe (whcih still should not happen) I think there are two ways. The legal way or the "noise" way. I think that a 31' boat is enough to justify the builder's becoming actively involved if it's only a year old. If legal actions don;t work. Start to threaten noise.
**************************************************** I went on a guided tour not long ago.The guide got us lost. He was a non-compass mentor.........sorry I'm not.
Reply to
Old Nick
It sounds like you?re gonna be doing some cutting to get to it and you don?t want to go pop. First thing to remember is that gasoline does NOT burn (or explode) it?s the vapor, so adequate ventilation is appropriate.
I would guess you might want to try the same procedure you use when welding a gas tank. Just fill the compartment with engine exhaust. I?ve done it for gas tanks and it does work. Of course you?ll need to get some fresh air for yourself so keep that in mind.
And yes, welding a gas tank does spook the hell out of you at first. Even, better you get to use a torch when you do it.
As far as removing the remaining gas in the compartment, you might want to let the exhaust flow through for a while and let it all evaporate, a nice hot day will help.
Lastly, your idea to flush it out with dish soap (Dawn) and let it fill up and soak for a while should help rid the remaining smell.
Reply to
Industrial Hobbies
Hey Habbi,
Do a Google on "Pro-Seal". It comes in a lot of versions, so look for something for the type of fuel you are using. I've seen it used to seal "wet-wings" fuel tanks on airplanes, which was done while the wings were being built, but I recall that there is a version that can be applied "later".
Take care.
Brian Lawson, Bothwell, Ontario. XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
Reply to
Brian Lawson
I performed a tank repair last week. Here is how I dealt with the fumes.
This is a steel 110 gallon tank that I have in the bed of my truck. I use it to haul av gas to the airplane from the bulk storage tank at home. The bottom (external) was rusted badly. There were deep pits and I suspected a slight leak. I was replacing the entire bottom of the tank with a new 10 guage steel sheet.
First the rank was drained. Then set outside for a day. Then air from a blower was pumped into the tank overnight. At first there were fumes exiting the tank and later the fumes all were diluted. Then I heated the tank while pumping air in. When no odor was detected I finally poured in a gallon of liquid nitrogen. Then I went at it with the plasma cutter and cut off the bottom.
These measures may have been a bit overkill, but I wanted to be doublely safe. After all you on't get a second chance to get it right if it were to explode.
For you with the new boat. Take it back. Let them deal with it.
Reply to
I heard a "boom" that shook the windows, one day. Poked my head out and saw a speck of something floating in the air above a junk yard 3 miles away.
The news paper said a gas tank blew up. The thing must have gone up like a rocket to still be that high by the time the noise got to me.
No one was hurt.
Damage to shorts was not mentioned.
Reply to
Hi Habbi,
Haven't seen that name since! I am assuming that you are the manufacturer, since my first stop would be them....
Otherwise, you need to have the tank defueled by whatever means necessary. Some fuel trucks will de-fuel and some hazardous materials people will com on-site to defuel. You could, using the appropriate equipment defuel on site in appropriate containers for refilling the tank(s) after repair.
Once "de-fueled" you have reached the truly dangerous stage. If there is no way into this area, you need to ventilate any area containing liquid and/or fumes until there are no more fumes.... should only take what will seem like forever. NO SPARKS.... you have tanks full of GASOLINE VAPORS.... you have a BIG BOMB. Exercise extreme caution and if you don't feel competent to do this seek local competent help.
Once ALL of the flammables are removed and there are NO more vapors, you may want to try your water trick... soap suds aren't necessary... or if appropriate, flood the area with a heavy inert gas like nitrogen. Using a guide to achieve a workmanlike cut.... use a pneumatic (toothed) saw to cut the offending panel out.
This is not a project forgiving of any errors. Considerable property damage and death are the most likely result of any mistake... no matter how minor.
Keep us apprised of the leak that you locate. A slosh might be more appropriate to seal than a weld....
Reply to
Gene Kearns
Just a side not. I was welding a trailing arm for my offroad car awhile back I had a board across an empty (so I thought) trash can with the trailing arm on it. I was welding for a few seconds and then Boooom!!. There was a large flash It was like it was in slow motion. The garbage can (plastic) swelled funny the boom followed by my trailing arm flying across the shop (it weighs about 26#) And a fireball creeping up the front of me and feeling the heat. I was wearing my gloves leather long sleeved welding apron and my helmet.
Come to find out someone working on a car outside had just thrown there old fuel filter away a few minutes before I was welding on it. Scared the crap out of me and my dad. It was such a small amount of gas that had so much power.......
Reply to
I have built boats but this one is one I had custom made. The manufacturer is going to take care of all costs and they want me to get a local shop to do it, they are a 1000 miles away. Anyway the local shop wants to have the tank and bilge steam cleaned by a local petroleum company who frequently does this to repair steel gasoline storage tanks, then we are going to cut open the deck and see what the problem is. I'll post the results.
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