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cleaning a fuel storage tank


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I purchased a used 2000 gallon diesel fuel tank and pump from the state. It had about 50 gallons of fuel in it ,so i thought i would drain it out and take a look inside. The fuel itself was dirty but the other gunk and debris that came out with it troubles me. There were several sticks, some leaves and even a rag along with a black substance about the consistency of soft butter. The tank was still in use when i bought it, so what is the best way to flush this thing out. I am thinking a steam cleaner,any better ideas?

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The black gunk is probably that algae, nasty stuff. Is the tank rusted at all? And is it round, square?

For the algae, they have that biocide fuel additive. Spendy, and don't get it on your skin! Works well though.

I ask about the shape & rust because what a buddy did with a 500 gallon tank that had been written off as too far gone... it was round - put 20 gallons of fuel in it and several shovel full of septic rock. Capped it off and had his kid roll it around with the skidsteer for a few hours. Got most of the rocks out, rinsed it best he could with another 20 gallons. Turned out quite well, using a 20 micron fuel filter off the pump and it hasn't been plugging up anymore. (First tankfull it had to be replace 2-3 times.)

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They rust out around the belly and from the inside out if water is left in them.  At least that is my understanding anyway.  Assuming there is no bottom drain I would turn it over or on the side and run the power washer in there.   Obviously get it good and dry afterwards.  I have a water block filter on my diesel tank and a large high volume filter on my gas tank.  I have never had any problems with either tank and have had them for many years. We keep our tanks under roof and use them all the time.

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