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  1. #1
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    Default DIY steel water tank relining?

    I was wondering if any of the vehicle gurus on here might be able to help with this before I start going through the usual channels.

    I have 2 engines that will need to have their tanks dealt with before too long. Both are 20+ years old, and have only had water from static sources on board. Obviously rust is becoming a concern, but my budget won't allow for a professional relining or poly tank replacement for the near future. Does anyone know of any good user-appliable tank relining solutions? or at least something that does a good job of "stopping the clock"?

    Thanks in advance.


  2. #2
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    Bitumastic.

    It is smelly and messy but will do the job unless you wish to transport potable water. The biggest job will be properly cleaning the metal prior to application. The metal must be properly cleaned or you will just be wasting your time.

  3. #3
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    Hmm, that would be tough to clean through the tank hatch. Perhaps there's a good substance to soak in the tank first and then flush via gravity?

  4. #4
    Forum Member DeputyMarshal's Avatar
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    Two 20+ y/o engines with tanks about to rot out and your budget can't even replace the tanks? I'd be thinking about trying to get a grant for a new engine(s) before investing too heavily in the old ones...
    "Nemo Plus Voluptatis Quam Nos Habant"

    The Code is more what you'd call "guidelines" than actual rules.

  5. #5
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    The vehicles themselves are fine. The tanks are STARTING to rust, not rotting out, pond water will do that. That's why I'd like to explore the DIY option for keeping these tanks going. I'd like to keep them from getting worse at the very least.

    I'd love to try to get a grant for new engines, but I need a new station that will fit them first! Hence my quandry...

    Any tank replacement opportunity would be at least a year or two down the road.
    Last edited by mtngael; 06-27-2012 at 03:06 PM.

  6. #6
    Forum Member Lewiston2FF's Avatar
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    Mtngael,
    Have you considered sacrificial anodes? I know its old technology but it will help keep the tank from rotting out.
    Shawn M. Cecula
    Firefighter
    IACOJ Division of Fire and EMS

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeputyMarshal View Post
    Two 20+ y/o engines with tanks about to rot out and your budget can't even replace the tanks? I'd be thinking about trying to get a grant for a new engine(s) before investing too heavily in the old ones...
    I think DM's on the money here. It's going to be awful hard to clean out a rusted tank enough to get some kind of material or treatment to work halfway reliably. Time to get the community to pony up for fire protection.

  8. #8
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    Can you find some one local the can sand blast the inside of the tanks? I would then use a metal etch primer and paint it with a epoxy paint. You may need to remove the hose bed and cut a new service prt into the tank. The paint should only be 300 bucks for both trucks,rattle can paint.. Do any of the volunteers has metal fab skills?

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    If you are going to spend the time and money , you need full access to the tank, there is no sense in recoating a tank that the welds on the baffles have broken and or rusted.
    ?

  10. #10
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    Red face

    The project you are talking about is going to be a large job, you first need to remove the top of the hose bed, then cut open the top of the tank , for a acess panel, the tank must be free of rust & water, then you can find a two part epoxy coating that can be brushed on or sprayed onto the steel tank , then a few days drying time for curing. I would save up some money over the next two or three years and find a late model used pumper with a " poly tank " and start fresh or replace one tank at a time over the next few years !

  11. #11
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    From painful expierence; do not try cold patch stuff for flat roofs. Came lose during a fire streams class. If it had not cost this poor fire department so much money it would have been very funny. Had to tear down the pump and completely replumb.

    Lining the tank with fiberglass chop was worse yet, junk jammed the impellars and took out the apparatus transmission as well

  12. #12
    Forum Member FIREMECH1's Avatar
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    I've done this twice, and with great rewards. However, the price was a bit high.

    Remove the tank, and find a local chemical stripper that has, or will make a tub big enough for the tank. Have it chemically dipped to get rid of, an loosen the rust inside the tank per the stripper and washed out well. Then have them coat the tank externally and internally.

    This works out well, but as said, very pricey. If I remember right, with a local that could do it straight up, it was $4,500. They had a tub that the tank could fit into.

    FM1
    I'm the one Fire and Rescue calls, when they need to be Rescued.

    Quote Originally Posted by EastKyFF
    "Firemens gets antsies. Theys wants to goes to fires. Sometimeses they haves to waits."

  13. #13
    Forum Member EastKyFF's Avatar
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    We replaced a really bad steel tank in 2002. A large local welding & fab company built us one out of aluminum. They did a very nice job and actually created a large compartment on the rear end that was just wasted space before.

    Only downside is they aren't fire truck guys, so the new tank-to-pump line they installed was too small and snaky to permit adequate flow, but we're getting by. You would obviously just want to spell that out beforehand.

    I think we spent about $4,000 for a 750-gallon tank, installation and all.
    "Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everybody you meet.Ē
    --General James Mattis, USMC


  14. #14
    Forum Member Rescue101's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtngael View Post
    I was wondering if any of the vehicle gurus on here might be able to help with this before I start going through the usual channels.

    I have 2 engines that will need to have their tanks dealt with before too long. Both are 20+ years old, and have only had water from static sources on board. Obviously rust is becoming a concern, but my budget won't allow for a professional relining or poly tank replacement for the near future. Does anyone know of any good user-appliable tank relining solutions? or at least something that does a good job of "stopping the clock"?

    Thanks in advance.
    REWORK your budget and drop in a UPF. LASTING solution,coating,patching is stopgap at best

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