1. #1
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Question Testing the tank on the rig.

    We have a tanker abiut 26 years old and the tank has rusted through in the bottom sump. ( a few pin holes) It has a big tank with a hatch on top. We got it patched but now we would like to get the whole thing tested. The inside of it is coated with slime, rusty crap. I was thinking of sending it to a welding shop and getting them to get inside it and sand blast it off to check it out. Is there another way?

  2. #2
    Jim M.
    Firehouse.com Guest


    I'd be concerned with sand residue (and other mysterious stuff) getting into the pump with the sand blast approach. You could probably get it just as clean with a pressure washer. You'd still have the risk from the mystery gunk already in the tank but you wouldn't be introducing sand.

    But my question is, what are you "testing" for? We fill a truck with water and wait to see if it leaks.

  3. #3
    Firehouse.com Guest


    We want to know what the rest of the tank is like. This truck soon will need some other work on it but if the side of the tank is about to fall apart that changes things!
    thanks for the reply.

  4. #4
    Firehouse.com Guest


    First of all - having had first hand experience with a tanker built in 1972 (OREN w/ GMC Chassis - which by the way is still in active front line use) I would like to offer the following information/opinions.

    Jim M. - Not sure how familiar you are with the construction of the older trucks, so if I come across as having an "attitude" I do not mean to so please forgive me. But . . .

    A lot of the older "custom" trucks that have (had) steel tanks were built in such a fashion that the tank walls are/were an integral part of the apparatus body (which was the case with our truck).

    Assuming that the truck in question isn't a "milk truck" type setup, this is probably why GPM is concerned over the integrity of the walls. (No sense refurbing a truck body that may well collapse from the inside out)

    GPM - I don't know if any fabricating or Welding shop has a better way to test the metal other than to visually inspect it, but it never hurts to ask them.

    Our tanker actually had some holes/leaks in the bottom of the tank which we had repaired before we passed it on to our new out post station. They took the entire top off the tank and got inside and patched it somehow. A lot of the problem with this will depend on the baffle system (if it has one, how close they are, are they removable, etc.). Unfortunately unless you can contact the original builder you probably won't be able to find any of this out until you are already in the tank.

    I do agree with Jim in that I would be concerned with residue and gunk from the process getting into the pump. If you decide to proceed with either pressure washing or sand blasting - I'd recommend disconnecting all the plumbing from the tank till you are done & the tank has been thoroughly flushed.

    Also - if this is a "custom" style tanker - you also have the option of having the old tank cut out and replaced with Structural members and a poly tank. (We looked into this but the cost & the fact that we would go from 1000 Gal to between 800 & 750 we decided not to pursue it).

    I hope this information has helped and that I have not offended anyone (it was not my intent to).

    Take Care - Stay Safe

    [This message has been edited by N2DFire (edited 04-26-2001).]

  5. #5
    Firehouse.com Guest


    I myself would not go in tank and remove rust scale by either sand blasting or pressure washer. the rust scale is probably helping it from not leaking. We had ours cleaned out several years back and the person that made the tank said it was the worst thing that we could do, unless we were looking for troubles. only my opinion from past. stay safe

  6. #6
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Send it in. If they find a problem when they blast it out, you can then get an idea about replacing it. They can probably refab one custom for you also. IF there arent any problems found then the sandblasting leaves the tank ready to be coated. There are some good epoxy resin coatings that can be put on and dont forget to put in anodes. If you dont have it inspected properly and the whole bottom goes out when it is full of water and on the way to a call, what have you saved?

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