smelly air tank

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  #1  
Old 08-07-04, 12:06 AM
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smelly air tank

Hi all,

I have a problem with a 180 (or so) gallon ASME tank. It's an older tank but seems solid. I did a very unwise thing while the tank was sitting around, and that was to spray zinc chromate into it (or whatever that stuff that turns rust into black primer). There was apparently compressor oil in the tank from the previous pump that failed, and the two mixed together smell pretty bad. I've dumped TSP into it followed by power washing and the smell is faint, but still there. There are 2 - 2" openings, 3 - 3/4" openings, and 2 - 1/2" openings, no hand-hole.

Any suggestions on how to clean this tank would be greatly appreciated.

TIA,

-Steve
 
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  #2  
Old 08-07-04, 04:43 AM
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Steve,

Need to know EXACTLY what you put in there.

Zinc Chromate is a primer that is often a greenish color but not necessarily so.
A phosphoric based, acid type rust remover will turn rust black.

Read the container because if you put TSP on top of acid you have a toxic combination there.
 
  #3  
Old 08-07-04, 02:41 PM
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Hi,

The stuff contains the following (don't know where I got the idea that it was zinc chromate). I'm not sure what the numbers after the chems are.

acetone (67-64-1)
dimethyl ether propellant (115-10-6)
methyl ethyl ketone (78-93-3)
acrylic resin
water
ethylene glycol monobutyl ether (111-76-2)

Thanks,

-Steve G
 

Last edited by steve_gro; 08-07-04 at 03:47 PM.
  #4  
Old 08-07-04, 06:29 PM
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I guess it smells, with acetone and methyl ethyl keytone in the mix!

An interesting mix of chemicals but what does the label on the can say it is?
There should be something that tells what the product is.

I have some information on some industrial chemicals but I still need to know what it is.

Without knowing what the product is, there is no way to figure out what to do with it.
A safe bet would be to fill the tank with hot tap water, let it sit, drain it and then use a pressure washer with a bent wand that can reach every every surface.
 
  #5  
Old 08-07-04, 08:23 PM
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When I sprayed the stuff into the tank, I used the entire can then threw it away. I went to the auto parts store today to copy the ingredients off the can, which says: "turns rust into black primer". I don't remember the brand, but can go back there & find it if that would be helpful.

In looking over the ingredients, it looks like the methyl ethyl ketone is probably the culprit as most of the other stuff is inert or would evaporate. I have tried hot water, but I don't think it's possible to fill it since I only have a 40 gallon water heater. I'm tempted to try to burn if off with a torch (no oxygen) but will google methyl ethyl ketone in the meanwhile to se what turns up.

Thanks again,

-Steve G
 
  #6  
Old 08-07-04, 11:05 PM
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Well, when choosing a chemical that will remove a substance you have to be carefull that what you use does not form a reaction.
I have to be careful with what I say because I'm not a chemist but what you have appears to be an primer of sorts.

One thing I'm not sure of is that when rust is treated with phosphoric acid, the rust oxidizes to convert surface rust into a black inert inert substace that protects the surface from rusting and acts as a bonding agent for paint.
So, when what you have says it "turns rust into black primer", I'm lead to believe what you have is acid based, but this doesn't show up in the ingredients.

Before you do any more you should get a can of the same material you used and we can take it from there.

"Burning it off" may not be such a good idea because some of the solvent can be dissolved in the oil, to be released when you heat the cylinder.

What are the physical dimensions of the tank?
 
  #7  
Old 08-08-04, 04:54 PM
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The stuff is 'Mar-Hyde One Step' made by the Bondo Corp; "Turns Rust into Black Primer". The tank is 30" in diameter and about 48" high with curved top & bottom.

I've looked inside carefully and the only remaining junk is near the 2" openings (it's very hard to get to). I have to admit that I'm getting discouraged & pretty close to giving up on this tank. The mechanical part of putting together this compressor was fun, trying to clean the inside of a tank isn't. As your salutation says: it's better to have tried...

Thanks for taking some time with this.

-Steve G
 
  #8  
Old 08-08-04, 08:06 PM
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steve,

It sounds like a type of primer that is probably just sticking to things as a form of sludge.

If you can rig up a spray wand for your pressure washer that is curved and can reach all spots inside the tank you should be able to get most of it loose.
I think if you get most of it, the smell will eventually dissappear.

Don't be discouraged, you will have learned a lot by the time your done, as well as the satisfaction of having accomplished something.
 
  #9  
Old 08-09-04, 07:37 AM
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180 gal. That's a monster! I'm working on an old 80 gal compressor but I think I'll leave the tank alone.
 
  #10  
Old 08-10-04, 10:43 AM
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Thumbs up

It is a monster, way more than any normal human needs, but I found it at a garage sale (along with a rewound 5 hp motor & control) & it didn't cost too much. I never run out of air or worry about air requirements for any tool.

I think that I've gotten most of the stink out, and I've made a custom wand out of copper pipe that I think'll get the rest. I'm traveling for the next 2 weeks so I won't get a chance to try it for a while.

Thanks for the input.

-Steve G
 
  #11  
Old 08-10-04, 11:22 AM
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Glad it's under control.

Maybe you have invented a new super-rust treatment.
 
  #12  
Old 08-29-04, 10:17 AM
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got it


Just thought I'd finish up this thread by announcing that I did manage to get all of the stink out of the tank. I bought a gallon of concentrated household cleaner + a gallon of Lysol concentrated cleaner + a gallon of dishwashing liquid. Poured them all in and added all the hot water I could (about 40 gallons). Rolled the tank all around for half an hour or so, then rinsed with a power washer. All the bad odor is completely gone; I finished up the day with a coat of rustoleum.

Thanks to all that posted.

-Steve G
 
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Old 08-29-04, 04:17 PM
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Thanks for the feed back.

I sure hope the Rustoleum is on the outside.
 
  #14  
Old 08-30-04, 09:24 PM
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Uh...yes.

I've learned my lesson about putting stuff inside of tanks.

The rustoleum (on the outside) does look good though. I'll put it all back together this weekend.

Cheers,

-Steve G
 
  #15  
Old 09-04-04, 08:15 PM
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the tank, she don't smell

This is the last post, I promise. I spent the afternoon reassembling the pump & motor onto a tank that smells at least as good as any toothpaste commercial. I feel like a proud father. It's just sooooo pretty; have a look:

http://www.5p5.net/compressor/

Cheers,

-Steve G
 

Last edited by GregH; 09-06-04 at 04:50 PM. Reason: Tried to make the image appear here but it's too big.
  #16  
Old 09-04-04, 09:36 PM
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SWEEEET! I just fired off my old Kellogg American tonight. I got a set of decals for mine at my local compressor place. They have the maintenence schedules and warnings and ought to look pretty cool. I'll post some pics tomorrow. Harbour Freight has an automatic drain valve for $16. I put one on mine and it seems like it's gonna work pretty well.
I put new bearings, seals, rings and valves in mine. I'm sort of in love with it for the moment until I move on to the next project...
Nice job on yours! I hope you got it where you want it because I had to disassemble mine to move it to it's home behind the shop.
 
  #17  
Old 09-05-04, 08:18 AM
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Thumbs up Excellent job, and a picture is really worth a thousand words!

Steve,

This is what DIY is all about.
Not just trying to save a buck but really enjoying the ride.

You've picked the same color I paint a lot of my creations.
I have a new in the box, two cylinder V compressor that looks like the same make as yours, waiting to get installed. Would love to put in a three cylinder but I'm trying to spread around the 60 amps in my electrically heated shop as far as it will go.

If I might, I could make a couple of suggestions:
If you find that the heads get very hot during extended running, you might want to increase the compressor discharge line by one size.
If you use a couple of black iron street elbows coming out of the top of the tank you will get away from the inlet filters.
Also, it is customary to use soft drawn copper tubing as a discharge line because hard drawn plumbing pipe ( if that's what it is ) and soldered fittings can get case-hardened from vibration in a fairly sort time and crack.
I've actually seen some commercial units come out with what looks to be hydraulic hose as a discharge line.

One thing that may help you in the battle against moisture is if the air connection at the tank had a drip leg before the air line connection.
A valve, a tee and a couple of nipples would give you a place to drain and if you suspended the hose above the connection for a bit, it would allow some moisture to drain back.

So, be proud and enjoy.
 
  #18  
Old 10-06-04, 10:02 PM
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Thanks for the kind words & suggestions. I actually did up-size the line from the pump to the tank. It came with 3/4" MIP x 5/8" flare adaptors from the factory, and I ran 3/4" hard L copper with silver-soldered fittings. I didn't want to spring for a roll of 3/4" soft, and couldn't find anyone to sell me a couple of feet (the local compressor place was out of it at the time). I do drain the tank fairly regularly, but I like the drip idea at the outlet, and will probably pop that in there in the near future.

So far though, I haven't run out of air, and am no longer annoyed by the loud buzzbox (that did run out of air) that I was using. It probably annoyed my neighbors too.

Cheers,

-Steve G
 
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