Whats the best way to clean out rust fron an oil tank

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I have a 100 gal oil tank that I want to store gasoline in. It's solid and well painted on the outside but has rusty sludge inside. I've washed out most of it but there is still rusty condensation dripping out of the drain plug hole 2 weeks later. Any suggestions?

-- Zeda (rickster@n-jcenter.com), November 09, 1999


Is this a steel tank? If so, it's integrity is compromised, and corrosion is likely to continue. That's how groundwater gets contaminated. Get rid of the tank. Go for a new one or fiberglas.

-- Brooks (brooksbie@hotmail.com), November 09, 1999.

There exists a "paint" that is specific for old tanks. You pour it in, roll the tank around to coat all surfaces, pour out the excess, and then let dry several days.

I can't remember the product name or where you can order it from (really helpful ain't I?). It covers rust and seals pinhole leaks. You do need to get rid of that sludge first though. Ask your fuel delivery person for advice, I'm sure he's "seen it all".

-- Ken Seger (kenseger@earthlink.net), November 09, 1999.

you cannot literally clean the rust from the tank. it is a natural process that steel undergoes when exposed to moisture/air. i have a similar situation with a 280 gallon tank. it was used years ago and i feel it is still structurally sound. that is the primary concern... a leak that requires immediate action to save your expensive fuel. if you are SURE it is sound ... the normal procedure for getting the fuel from the tank requires a pump. the pickup on the pump is always intended to be a few inches from the bottom of the tank. the tank should also be elevated on one end a couple of inches whereby any water in the fuel will run to one end. hopefully you will have the pump on the elevated end to lower your chances of getting water in the fuel you retrieve from the tank. additionally, nearly all pumps have a quality filter to eliminate particulate matter such as rust. if you must syphon the fuel it will necessitate your being careful to avoid any water in the tank which is a natural occurrence stemming from condensation. if the tank has a drain on the bottom, (which i suspect in your description) you should try to retrieve fuel from the top of the tank via pumping of syphoning. storage tanks are normally static and the rust on the bottom seldom poses a problem until age eventually allows the rusting process to hazard the tank integrity. the fiberglass tanks etc. ARE better but i assume $$$$$$$$$$ are a factor.

-- clayton (ratchetass@hotmail.com), November 09, 1999.

The paint is a liner for rusty gas tanks. It is available at JC Whitney. I would expect it would take a couple of sets to coat a 250 gal tank. The set usually comes with a chemical that etches the inner surface - cleaning it then you add the sealer/paint to protect it.

-- ExCop (yinadral@juno.com), November 10, 1999.

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