Fuel Tank Cleaning – An Important Part of Storage Tank Care
Fuel tank cleaning is one of the most important things an owner or operator of an underground or above ground fuel storage tank can do to keep their fuel performing properly. Over time, fuel storage tanks can accumulate particulates and moisture from repeated filling.
Dangers of Dirty Fuel Tanks
Sediments and moisture can significantly impact the performance of your fuel and your fleets engines. In addition, fuel residue increases the chance of fire or tank explosion. In addition, water accumulation can rust steel fuel tanks from the inside out, causing leakage and seepage. Fuel tank cleaning should be done after long periods of use or before disposal.
Fuel Tank Cleaning Frequency
The frequency of fuel tank cleaning is dependent upon the amount of use and filling and dispensing of fuel. Fuel tanks which are used frequently will build up particulates, sediment, and fuel residue more quickly than tanks which are used more infrequently.
Steps in Fuel Tank Cleaning
Certain steps must be taken to ensure proper and complete fuel tank cleaning to preserve fuel integrity and fleet engine health. A properly cleaned fuel tank will keep your fuel clean and in top performance shape.
- Drain the Tank – Before cleaning can begin, the tank must be drained to remove all residual gas, moisture, and other liquids. If the tank has not been cleaned in some time, a special liquid may have to be sprayed on the interior of the tank to render thick sludge pump-able for extraction hoses.
- Scrub the Tank – Once most or all of the gasoline and sludge has been removed from the tank, the inside is “scrubbed”. Usually this is done through the use of an industrial cleaner specifically designed for fuel tank cleaning. Scrubbing ensures that no residual sludge, organic matter, water, or other impurities remain on the interior tank walls.
- Rinse – After all water, sludge, fuel residue, and other matter is removed from the tank, it should be rinsed thoroughly with water and allowed to dry. At this point in the fuel tank cleaning process, fuel may be stored in the tank again. Be absolutely sure, however, that the tank is completely dry before adding fuel.
Fuel storage tanks are the life blood of any business. Without fuel, businesses cannot deliver products, parts, or workers. That is why it is so important to maintain tanks with proper fuel tank cleaning methods and procedures. A clean fuel storage tank ensures that clean fuel is ready for company vehicles which reduces costs and downtime associated with engine breakdown and repairs.
So remember to inspect your tanks regularly and keep them clean. Fuel tank cleaning is a necessary component to fuel storage tank management.