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Old 02-26-2020, 08:21 PM
Spencer Spencer is offline
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Default Welding On A Used Metal Gas Tank

I did a search but basically came up empty. If there is a relevant thread on this already, please feel free to direct me there.

I have a 15-gallon Blitz brand fuel tank, very similar to the one in the attached picture.

I've had this tank for at least 10 and probably 15 years and each time I've brought it to the gas station to get it filled I've wished the manufacturer had had the foresight to add an additional anchor point, so that I could more safely lift it using a hoist.

This tank just has the center handle and then the angled bracket on the right-hand side. I assume that angled bracket is somehow designed to protect the gas cap.

I'd like to weld some sort of anchor point to the left-hand side of the top of the tank and then use that new anchor point along with that angled bracket on the right side to lift this tank with a hoist.

The tank is almost empty, so if the weather is decent I'd like to do this work this weekend. I would of course remove the fitting, valve, and hose from the bottom of the tank. I would of course then flush the tank many times with water.

I assume it would be safest to weld the tank while it is full of water, but I thought I'd check in with the experts here. I have a couple of tanks of Argon, so if it makes sense to have some Argon flowing inside the tank somehow I should be able to make that happen.

Any thoughts would be appreciated.
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  #2  
Old 02-26-2020, 08:40 PM
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JWS JWS is offline
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Make a sling from ratchet strap or tow strap. Loops and placement. Don't weld on it please.
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Old 02-26-2020, 08:55 PM
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I would not weld on it or cut on it what so ever! Your life is more valuable than what that tank is!
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Old 02-26-2020, 09:03 PM
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MetalWolf MetalWolf is offline
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There is more prep that goes into it than just fill with water or argon I do weld fuel tanks and have welded a few but it is not suggested for the novice and i don't mean that to be in a rude sense by any means just if you never have done it or have seen it done rule of thumb is "don't do it"
just my 2 cents
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Old 02-26-2020, 09:17 PM
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toprecycler toprecycler is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MetalWolf View Post
There is more prep that goes into it than just fill with water or argon I do weld fuel tanks and have welded a few but it is not suggested for the novice and i don't mean that to be in a rude sense by any means just if you never have done it or have seen it done rule of thumb is "don't do it"

just my 2 cents


+1. I have done welding on fuel tanks before, and while it seems simple to explain and in theory, it is not to be taken lightly.

The most dangerous part are the fumes. Remember that you need three things for fire. Air, Fuel, and ignition source.


If you were to fill the tank up with water, what you are doing is removing the air portion of the triangle. Same with filling with argon, or exhaust from an engine.

Not knowing the welder you have available, is it capable of getting the weld hot enough if you have it full of water, which will be acting like a huge heat sink?

And do you have a “will” done just in case. Kinda joking here, but would hate to read about you in the papers. If you are not the least bit scared to do this, then you probably shouldn’t attempt it.

At least you are asking for advice.
Most will say it’s not worth it though.



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Old 02-27-2020, 05:36 AM
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Gadgeteer Gadgeteer is offline
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JWS
"Make a sling from ratchet strap or tow strap. Loops and placement. Don't weld on it please."

Get a heavy duty tow strap at HF, and make a dedicated lifting harness around the tank.

I know of an industrial arts instructor, who never recovered from injuries, resulting from an exploding gas tank he tried to weld.
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Old 02-27-2020, 10:37 AM
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digger doug digger doug is offline
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A leetle story, maybe some info can be gleaned from it.

about 30 years ago, was hanging out at a garage, the owner, about 74 years old, had a farm skid tank he wanted to cut open.

He had done plenty of welding and cutting thru his life, and did not take risks.

He brought the tank down to the shop from the farm, it had gas in it prior.
He said he left it empty and open for maybe 10 years, but didn't trust it.
Sniff testing didn't show any fumes (our noses, not a 4 gas monitor)

So we filled it up to the very top, left the hose running (pouring out the top bung).

Using a stick welder to cut it, I struck the arc, and proceeded to safely cut the top off.
Why not a torch ? Well, the water started coming out the cut line, but the welder just plowed on thru, the torch wouldn't like that at all.

However, as the water lever came down about 12" (where the cut line was)
we found a rainbow slick of gas floating on the top of the water, that had "come out of the pores" as we heated the metal. It didn't ignite, but after all these years, was still in there.
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Old 02-27-2020, 10:38 AM
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MetalWolf MetalWolf is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toprecycler View Post
+1. I have done welding on fuel tanks before, and while it seems simple to explain and in theory, it is not to be taken lightly.

The most dangerous part are the fumes. Remember that you need three things for fire. Air, Fuel, and ignition source.


If you were to fill the tank up with water, what you are doing is removing the air portion of the triangle. Same with filling with argon, or exhaust from an engine.

Not knowing the welder you have available, is it capable of getting the weld hot enough if you have it full of water, which will be acting like a huge heat sink?

And do you have a “will” done just in case. Kinda joking here, but would hate to read about you in the papers. If you are not the least bit scared to do this, then you probably shouldn’t attempt it.

At least you are asking for advice.
Most will say it’s not worth it though.

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+1 Very well said... Thank you!
I am always nervous when I weld on a fuel tank cause even the experience has ended up in the morning papers.
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  #9  
Old 02-27-2020, 10:42 AM
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MetalWolf MetalWolf is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by digger doug View Post
A leetle story, maybe some info can be gleaned from it.

about 30 years ago, was hanging out at a garage, the owner, about 74 years old, had a farm skid tank he wanted to cut open.

He had done plenty of welding and cutting thru his life, and did not take risks.

He brought the tank down to the shop from the farm, it had gas in it prior.
He said he left it empty and open for maybe 10 years, but didn't trust it.
Sniff testing didn't show any fumes (our noses, not a 4 gas monitor)

So we filled it up to the very top, left the hose running (pouring out the top bung).

Using a stick welder to cut it, I struck the arc, and proceeded to safely cut the top off.
Why not a torch ? Well, the water started coming out the cut line, but the welder just plowed on thru, the torch wouldn't like that at all.

However, as the water lever came down about 12" (where the cut line was)
we found a rainbow slick of gas floating on the top of the water, that had "come out of the pores" as we heated the metal. It didn't ignite, but after all these years, was still in there.
Very good story DD it doesn't matter how safe you are, or how old the fuel tank is there is always residual and it too can be the problem and most of the exploded tanks being welded on were aged so you make a very good informational point here.
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  #10  
Old 02-27-2020, 11:26 AM
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Ironman Ironman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by digger doug View Post

However, as the water lever came down about 12" (where the cut line was)
we found a rainbow slick of gas floating on the top of the water, that had "come out of the pores" as we heated the metal. It didn't ignite, but after all these years, was still in there.
Yep, same as the propane stink, it goes into the pores.

Which is why I prefer to either flush with enough air to lower the concentration below the explosive range, or my preferred method, which is engine exhaust to remove the air from the triangle.
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