Cleaning fuel tanks

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  #1  
Old 09-06-17, 07:24 AM
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Cleaning fuel tanks

I aquired a Husky brand generator with a 3 gallon fuel tank. It has been stored for 4 years with gasoline in it. I drained it of course but it left a film of gardened residue in the bottom of the tank. I think I got most of it, but wanted to check with you guys about a better cleaner or process to make sure I got it all before i put it back together. I obviously can't see inside the tank in the far corners as it is pretty flatly constructed.
 
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  #2  
Old 09-06-17, 07:34 AM
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I've cleaned gas tanks with a mixture of white vinegar and baking soda. You need to plug off the outlet and be ready to close up the filler tube. It fizzes up and does a decent job of removing dried gas and crud. Once done, rinse with water and then with a solvent [to displace/remove the water]
 
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Old 09-06-17, 08:36 AM
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For varnish deposits I use a aggressive thinner like acetone, MEK or lacquer thinner.
 
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Old 09-06-17, 08:55 AM
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I've been following the advice of my small engine repair guy: by removing the fuel tank, and emptying and drying it;; then putting several marble sized pebbles (not smooth but rough) inside; and then shaking the tank vigorously, especially with the pebbles rattling around down in the area where bulk of the deposits have accumulated. This seems to get rid of the bulk of the hardened fuel additive deposits, and better prepare the tank for the cleaning solvents that the other guys have mentioned.

(Remember to remove the pebbles and deposit dust !)
 
  #5  
Old 09-06-17, 10:59 AM
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I have had real good results using a couple of lengths of sash chain with cleaning solvent. Sash chain edges are pretty abrasive when shaken vigorously in the tank. The size of the tank dictates how much chain you should use, it varies.
 
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Old 09-06-17, 01:51 PM
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I too have had good luck using a handful of small gravel shaking the heck out of it and rinsing in plain water and letting air dry. Have a good one. Geo
 
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Old 09-06-17, 01:54 PM
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IMO the problem with gravel is getting them back out of the tank. There always seems to be 1 or 2 that do there best to avoid the fill opening
 
  #8  
Old 09-06-17, 02:51 PM
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IMO the problem with gravel is getting them back out of the tank.
Thus the sash chain recommendation, easy to remove and no gravel to mess with.
 
  #9  
Old 09-07-17, 07:10 AM
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Cleaning fuel tanks

I like the acetone idea and the vinegar and soda. Is "Sash Chain" a common hardware item? That one is new to me.
 
  #10  
Old 09-07-17, 08:49 AM
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Sash Chain

post deleted.............................
 
  #11  
Old 09-07-17, 10:11 AM
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Should be able to get it at most hardware or big box stores. It looks like this.
 
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Old 09-07-17, 02:48 PM
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Trying to figure out how

Insert image did not work

Please verify that existing instructions are correct. Thanks.
 
  #13  
Old 09-07-17, 04:14 PM
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Should be able to get it at most hardware or big box stores. It looks like this.


 
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Old 09-07-17, 04:17 PM
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Please verify that existing instructions are correct. Thanks.
You need a link to an image not a web page, if you view an image on a web site, right click on it and see if there is an option to "view image" choose that then copy the url and paste in the image box when prompted.
 
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Old 09-07-17, 05:45 PM
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Marksr, the 1-2 that are left are the guardians of the tank and slowly move around and keep additional crud from accumulating, at least that is what it tell people..lol. Have a good one. Geo
 
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Old 09-08-17, 03:15 AM
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You have to use discretion when choosing stones to clean the deposits off the inside walls of a fuel tank. The size of the tank plays a role, and what might be considered just a "pebble" for a large tank may be considered a "boulder" for a small tank.

SIZE matters, and must be considered in planning your Exit Strategy . . . . and as we now know from military venture,, those who fail to define their exit strategy are destined to make matters worse, failure, and an eternity of pain.,

I guess there's a lot to learn from cleaning these little fuel tanks, and the analogy of the "guardians of the tank" for those token contingents left behind isn't lost on me either.

Size matters.
 
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Old 09-08-17, 07:54 AM
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Cleaning fuel tank

I found the chain at my uptown hardware, and since the filters in the valves and carb on this generator are very small, I do not plan to drop any rocks in the tank. Is the mix ratio on the vinegar and soda critical?
 
  #18  
Old 09-08-17, 12:17 PM
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Pebbles or chain . . . . the hardest part for most people is removing the tank for serious cleaning; and that's why it often isn't done.
 
  #19  
Old 09-08-17, 12:46 PM
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Cleaning Fuel Tanks

I got lucky there. Tank is right on top and comes off with 4 bolts and a hose clamp The shame is on me for not doing it years ago, but if you shared my recent life you might understand. Thanks for all the good info!
 
  #20  
Old 09-08-17, 12:54 PM
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Is the mix ratio on the vinegar and soda critical?
I don't know I've only done it a few times on automotive/tractor type tanks. I used 1 gallon of vinegar and 1 box of baking soda along with enough water to fill the tank at least half way. I had to do one twice so maybe I wasn't using enough.
 
  #21  
Old 09-08-17, 01:01 PM
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Cleaning Fuel tanks

OK that gives me a starting point. will use half gallon of vinegar and half a box of soda for a 3 gallon tank. THAT should scare anything that isn't supposed to be in there (except the new chain I just bought!
 
  #22  
Old 09-10-17, 07:27 AM
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Cleaning fuel tank

After numerous flushings I got a LOT of stuff out of there. After soaking it in your mixture of baking soda and vinegar. I still have a chunk of something rattling around but I will get that out today. I might soak it again as I have the time.

Thanks for the tips!
 
  #23  
Old 09-13-17, 10:09 AM
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Cleaning Fuel tanks

I am treating the tank again, as I noticed I could not keep the engine running after the fuel bowl filled up and then emptied. (more trash in the tank) I have determined from a recent experience that float inlet valve rubber seats do not like to sit in varnish either. This one is no exception. The first one that I had do this fell right out, but this one is stuck in there pretty well. What procedure do you guys like to use to safely remove these valve seats? this is a Briggs Model 150212 0115- B8 I have a new one on the way.
 
  #24  
Old 09-13-17, 11:29 AM
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I use a small drill bit to twist into the rubber seat then pull it out.
 
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Old 09-13-17, 11:39 AM
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Removing Rubber valve seats

The small drill bit makes sense, great idea!

Thanks!
 
  #26  
Old 09-13-17, 03:20 PM
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You can also use the butt end of a slightly bigger bit to install the new one.
 
  #27  
Old 09-15-17, 07:16 AM
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Installing rubber valve seat

I like that idea too! Thanks
 
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