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Tool Talk Discussion Forum

soldering a leaking gas tank

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Author  [Modern View]
bison

05-23-2014 17:52:55
69.168.144.141



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not as dangerous as it is made out to be.

I had the gas tank on my JD lawn tractor develop a leak on a seam.

I drained the gas, took the tank off, left it sit overnight to let whatever gas was left in it evaporate.

This morning i blew it out for a couple minutes with the air gun.

Then i laid the tank outside under a heavy peace of metal to keep scrapnel from flying in case it exploded.

Then i lit a long stick with the tip soaked in gas and held it in front of the tank's fill neck,.....nothing happened, no bang no flame,...just nothing.

Then I soldered the leak in tank with no problem, case closed.

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mkirsch

05-28-2014 06:41:46
65.199.189.6



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 Re: soldering a leaking gas tank in reply to bison, 05-23-2014 17:52:55  
Quoting Removed, click Modern View to see

Hammering on a cold chisel can cause a spark...



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Bob

05-26-2014 20:39:21
75.234.110.22



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 Re: soldering a leaking gas tank in reply to bison, 05-23-2014 17:52:55  
The way time flies, it was probably about 60 years ago, the local blacksmith had a 500 gallon farm gas tank to repair.

He steamed it out for hours, then waited 'til all the help had left for the day so as to risk no one's life but his own.

He though he had all avenues covered, 'cept he forgot about a cantankerous old retired former employee who happened to stop by and figure out what was going on, and then smacked the other end of the tank with a sledgehammer while the blacksmith was welding, helmet down, unaware he had company.

Legend has it that caused a bit of swearing!

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bill b va

05-26-2014 02:38:51
76.1.130.118



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 Re: soldering a leaking gas tank in reply to bison, 05-23-2014 17:52:55  
what i do is connect a air hose to the outlet connection and put a vac hose in the filler opening. i am aware of the hazard of explosive vapors through a vac with a brush motor. with the volume of air flow there is no chance of a dangerous build up . i once had used fuel oil tank i wanted to cut to make bbq grill. i placed the tank on top of a pile of brush and scrap lumber in the back field and lit my fire and got way back . all it did was make a loud humm for a while . most of the paint got burned off so i felt safe top use a skill saw with a abrasive blade .

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Old Popper

05-25-2014 05:07:28
216.51.202.134



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 Re: soldering a leaking gas tank in reply to bison, 05-23-2014 17:52:55  
About 40 yrs ago I was working part time in a local shop, when a fellow came in with the tank off a mower. Wanted me to "weld" the leak. "Ok", I said "you hold it, I'll weld it". He left to go buy a new tank. Still laugh about that one once in a while.



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CAS

05-24-2014 21:37:30
67.240.133.144



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 Re: soldering a leaking gas tank in reply to bison, 05-23-2014 17:52:55  
When I was younger we had a radiator repair shop in town. He would rinse a gas tank out with water. He used some flexible exhaust pipe. Attached one end to his pickup and the other end went into to the gas or diesel tank to be repaired. He did die 2 yrears ago. It was a heart attack and he was in his late 80s



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Stephen Newell

05-24-2014 13:10:59
166.147.72.158



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 Re: soldering a leaking gas tank in reply to bison, 05-23-2014 17:52:55  
That's almost exactly the way I soldered a gas tank the first time. I don't worry about the gas anymore. If you don't have fumes confined all it will do is just burn. If you haven't already put the tank back on I would recommend putting in a gas tank liner while you are are at it.



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da.bees

05-24-2014 12:24:18
72.181.176.234



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 Re: soldering a leaking gas tank in reply to bison, 05-23-2014 17:52:55  
Everone deserves to choose his own demise. I will use epoxy or replace the tank. I find it interesting the bunch that preach about danger of used hi-way tires on old beater farm wagons would advise putting flame to gas tanks. Not a one of you said anything about the filter,sending unit or float that very well have gas in it after the enema. I'll pay $20 each on used tires instead of $150 for G rated tires to rot in the sun. I will spend the savings on a replacement tank, still have money in my pocket, my health and life taboot.

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bison

05-24-2014 23:07:52
69.168.144.137



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 Re: soldering a leaking gas tank in reply to da.bees, 05-24-2014 12:24:18  
Quoting Removed, click Modern View to seeJeez,..it was just a little 10 quart gas tank, i wasn't trying to weld a 500 gallon bulk tank with only a 2 inch bung hole!.

But then,..some people are worry farts by nature and i ain't one of them.;)



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teddy52food

05-24-2014 10:20:14
184.94.175.179



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 Re: soldering a leaking gas tank in reply to bison, 05-23-2014 17:52:55  
Use common sense, like keeping the flame away & use a soldering copper.



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smallercrawler

05-24-2014 17:55:42
166.82.254.181



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 Re: soldering a leaking gas tank in reply to teddy52food, 05-24-2014 10:20:14  
Exactly^!



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dr sportster

05-24-2014 09:36:44
68.192.200.103



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 Re: soldering a leaking gas tank in reply to bison, 05-23-2014 17:52:55  
I was adding a long piece of copper to repair a Chevy tank once. Once everything started to flow I uncovered an old nickle attached to the tank already from a previous repair. It is as dangerous as it is made out to be . Guys have exploded tanks with the naptha in the soap they used to wash out the tank with. One guy woke up on the other side of his shop with a broken arm from naptha in soap.



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hd6gtom

05-24-2014 06:32:51
63.153.192.131



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 Re: soldering a leaking gas tank in reply to bison, 05-23-2014 17:52:55  
Ya, fellow was cutting up some old storage tanks on abandoned railroad property here in town. Set fire to the grass, called the fire department to put out the grass fire. Hadn't been anything in the tanks for years. Killed him and 1 fireman, maimed several other people for life.



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Martin Caldwell

05-24-2014 05:33:33
97.122.198.171



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 Re: soldering a leaking gas tank in reply to bison, 05-23-2014 17:52:55  
Not every one has a death wish. You have lived one of Your Nine lives. There are safer ways. Try fiber glass



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Bret4207

05-24-2014 05:09:47
64.19.90.196



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 Re: soldering a leaking gas tank in reply to bison, 05-23-2014 17:52:55  
I've soldered a lot of tanks. Always cleaned them out good. Never had any issues. Always felt better using a 5lb soldering iron though. Wonder what I ever did with that thing?....



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NCWayne

05-23-2014 22:31:11
173.188.169.54



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 Re: soldering a leaking gas tank in reply to bison, 05-23-2014 17:52:55  
Best thing you can do is to put a few pieces of dry ice in the tank. Since the carbon dioxide displaces all the air, and it doesn't support combustion, there is absolutely zero chance of any type of big bang. Done if myself on quite a few tanks after Dad watched some buys do it to a large underground gas tank they were cutting up for scrap, and told me about it.



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Dusty MI

05-24-2014 03:30:12
76.250.62.134



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 Re: soldering a leaking gas tank in reply to NCWayne, 05-23-2014 22:31:11  
Stick the exhaust pipe from a gas engine in the tank and let the engine run until the tank gets very warm.



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Stick welding

05-23-2014 21:42:34
96.53.210.246



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 Re: soldering a leaking gas tank in reply to bison, 05-23-2014 17:52:55  
I think it makes the most sense to take the necessary precautions. Steaming the tank would be the best option. Better to be safe than sorry.



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mattwillson

05-23-2014 18:36:51
76.65.3.177



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 Re: soldering a leaking gas tank in reply to bison, 05-23-2014 17:52:55  
i leave the gas in them, I put a wet rag in the filler neck with a hose from the CO2 from mig welder. Wait a few minutes and weld/braze/solder away. I haven"t met my maker yet.



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Pops1532

05-23-2014 18:17:00
98.227.133.60



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 Re: soldering a leaking gas tank in reply to bison, 05-23-2014 17:52:55  
I've always filled the tank with water, then held a torch at the filler tube, drain the water (without moving the torch), then solder or weld on the tank. That system normally works fine.

I did have a problem once....

a gas vapor bubble got trapped when I drained the tank. Eventually the vapor escaped....torch ignited the vapor.....BIG bang....scope of the project changed from filling in a small hole to patching a large jagged hole.

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Goose

05-23-2014 18:23:24
70.198.4.82



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 Re: soldering a leaking gas tank in reply to Pops1532, 05-23-2014 18:17:00  
I did that once and it blew. The tank was a flat piece of tin, and I landed back inside my shop on the hood of a stock car.

Given a choice, I'd just a soon not do that again.



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Steve@Advance

05-23-2014 20:42:16
107.203.134.67



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 Re: soldering a leaking gas tank in reply to Goose, 05-23-2014 18:23:24  
Knew of a man, had a nice lake house, wife, kids, etc.

One day a barrel washed up on the beach. He took the torch to it, guess he didn't take out the plugs or do any investigation as to what was in it.

It blew, left him near death, permanent brain damage, wife left, took kids...

Life ruined in quest for a free trash barrel.



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Dr. Walt

05-27-2014 12:40:10
12.2.223.79



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 Re: soldering a leaking gas tank in reply to Steve@Advance, 05-23-2014 20:42:16  

This is the SAFEST WAY to cut open a barrel or drum.


Doc



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bison

05-27-2014 14:59:37
69.168.144.136



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 Re: soldering a leaking gas tank in reply to Dr. Walt, 05-27-2014 12:40:10  
Quoting Removed, click Modern View to see

Hammer and a sharp cold chisel right next to the barrel edge does the trick just as safe and fast without spending money .;)



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Dr. Walt

05-28-2014 13:16:38
12.2.223.79



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 Re: soldering a leaking gas tank in reply to bison, 05-27-2014 14:59:37  
Bison:

Too much chance for a spark if explosive vapors are present. Drum Deheaders are non-sparking, the cutter blade is usually made from Monel Metal which is a non-sparking alloy.

Doc



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bison

05-28-2014 14:16:06
69.168.144.142



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 Re: soldering a leaking gas tank in reply to Dr. Walt, 05-28-2014 13:16:38  
Quoting Removed, click Modern View to seeOK,, use a brass hammer then.



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soundguy

05-23-2014 18:03:06
207.30.46.70



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 Re: soldering a leaking gas tank in reply to bison, 05-23-2014 17:52:55  
my VAC tank had a leak.. I drained it, dumped in some purple stuff degreaser soap. hit it with a couple quarts water. sloshed. drained, rinsed with water.. flipped it over fluxed and soldered away. -0- issues.

took 15 minutes start to finish...


took longer to take the tank straps and line off than to fix it



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ypop

05-23-2014 18:01:19
24.141.176.236



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 Re: soldering a leaking gas tank in reply to bison, 05-23-2014 17:52:55  
I did some what the same on friends gas tank for a hotrod and when I soldered it he made me do it in the middle of a field. FYI nothing happened!!



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