Using aluminium fuel tank for water.

Submitted: Sunday, Nov 17, 2013 at 15:55
ThreadID: 105163 Views:2338 Replies:6 FollowUps:2
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Just bought slide on camper with an aluminium fuel tank in it. Holds about 100 litres. I already have a large fuel tank so was interested in using it for water. Can anyone advise me on whether an aluminium tank is ok for carrying water and can you use detergent or steam clean to get any diesel remnants out?
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Reply By: Ross M - Sunday, Nov 17, 2013 at 16:22

Sunday, Nov 17, 2013 at 16:22
I don't like your chances of using it as a water tank.
It will be very hard to get the Rudolf Diesel smell/taste out of it and aluminium isn't good for water anyway.
Any chemical which will remove the diesel will probably remove aluminium too and leave it free floating on the surface for human consumption.
I used to have a Brown/Davis aluminium water tank and it always tasted of aluminium strangely enough, and anything other than pure water has minerals and salts in the water which corrodes the aluminium and makes the internals all scummy and powdery when dry.

No one uses them much anymore for the water quality reason let alone residual Rudolf.
AnswerID: 521599

Reply By: Member - Beatit (QLD) - Sunday, Nov 17, 2013 at 18:21

Sunday, Nov 17, 2013 at 18:21
Like Ross I'm no fan of an aluminium water tank and particularly if it had diesel in it. Mind you that would be for drinking, now if you mean washing I might be ok with that. There has been way too much publicity of aluminium's effect on the brain and struth I can't afford to kill any more brain cells, so no cooking or drinking from aluminium for me.

Kind regards
AnswerID: 521606

Reply By: Hairy (NT) - Sunday, Nov 17, 2013 at 19:40

Sunday, Nov 17, 2013 at 19:40
It might be alright if you steam clean it and give it a coating of something. There are all sorts of epoxy's and rubberised coatings around these days.
AnswerID: 521614

Follow Up By: Ross M - Sunday, Nov 17, 2013 at 19:59

Sunday, Nov 17, 2013 at 19:59
I love the taste/smell of Napalm in the morning.
FollowupID: 802332

Reply By: The Bantam - Tuesday, Nov 19, 2013 at 09:50

Tuesday, Nov 19, 2013 at 09:50
Ask anybody who does a lot of welding in is far from impervious to oily solvents, diesel is one of the most penetrative oily solvents arround.

If this aluminium tank has had diesel in will not ever get it clean by any means short of melting it down.
Even then the amateur foundry boys tend to prefeer mag wheels and manafolds to engine parts that have been contaminated by oil for source metal.

Even doinf a diesel to petrol engine conversion and using the same tank is a matter fraught with frustration and fuel filter changes as the scumm and crud left behind by the diesel comes off in the petrol.

Of course you could try cleaning the tanka and relining it with some sort of goo.....yeh good luck with that.

Serioulsy you would be better of taking it out, sticking it in the classifieds here or on ebay or gumtree and buying ya self a good quality food grade polly tank to replace it.

AnswerID: 521704

Follow Up By: Member - Craig F (WA) - Tuesday, Nov 19, 2013 at 18:54

Tuesday, Nov 19, 2013 at 18:54
There is products that you can buy similar to paint that will do the job. First you will need to get the tank cleaned then pour the stuff in then add water as the tank fills the product floats on top and coats the walls top etc. I've used it on tank repairs on ships. The down side will be the cost. Would be alot cheaper to install a plastic water tank.

FollowupID: 802531

Reply By: Member - KeithB - Tuesday, Nov 19, 2013 at 19:50

Tuesday, Nov 19, 2013 at 19:50
I had two 400 litre water tanks on my boat and the water was always sweet, without any taint at all. But I don't like your chances of getting the diesel out, particularly if the welds don't have full penetration at the seams.
AnswerID: 521736

Reply By: Twinkles - Wednesday, Nov 20, 2013 at 08:15

Wednesday, Nov 20, 2013 at 08:15
Thanks everyone for your responses. I'll keep it as a backup fuel tank and get another tank for water. Maybe a bladder.
AnswerID: 521753

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