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Author Topic:   Pate Fuel Tank
randysr posted 08-14-2000 05:30 PM ET (US)   Profile for randysr   Send Email to randysr  
I have a 15 gallon, red, Pate underseat fuel tank which came with a poorly modified 1985, 15', Center Console Whaler that I am restoring. The tank had a small quantity of very yellow, gummy fuel which I removed. I cleaned the tank with mineral spirits, acetone (a quick wash out), and finally soapy water followed by alcohol to remove the water. The alcohol came transparent, but still with a yellowish color.

At this point I am wondering if the tank is safe to use. My neighbor who owned a 13' Whaler with the same tank said the gasoline dissolved something from his tank interior turning the gas red and ultimately causing damage to his engine. Has anyone else ever heard of this? Should I be concerned about putting the tank back into service? When I called Pate I was told they never have had any problems, and they suggested the use of the acetone and soapy water to clean the tank interior as described above.

I would be very interested to hear about any other experiences with this tank.

triblet posted 08-14-2000 11:55 PM ET (US)     Profile for triblet  Send Email to triblet     
I suspect the yellow gum is a concentrate
of the various additives in the gas. The
gas itself has long since evaporated away.

If it looks like the yellow gum is gone,
I'd repeat the process one more time,
and see if it comes out clean.

I'd also pull the pickup tube and give it
a nice long soak in acetone. It's probably
partially clogged with the same stuff.
Do this before you clean the tank again.

Chuck Tribolet

Sam Collins posted 08-15-2000 08:16 PM ET (US)     Profile for Sam Collins  Send Email to Sam Collins     
Look on E-bay at the (14.5 gal fuel tank )
Item # 406828311 Perhaps it would work for you.
Eric posted 08-15-2000 11:01 PM ET (US)     Profile for Eric  Send Email to Eric     
I have a tank that needs cleaning if my boat ever gets out of boatyard hell. What do you do with the toxic cocktail when you're done cleaning the tank?
randysr posted 08-16-2000 04:31 PM ET (US)     Profile for randysr  Send Email to randysr     
I appreciate the responses concerning the Pate fiberglass fuel tank. Apparently, no one has heard of a particular problem with these tanks so I will probably put it back in service

What to do with the contaminated fuel is indeed a problem. Mine is still in a couple of 5 gallon storage cans. I called the State of Georgia EPD residential disposal hotline with little success. I was told that while old engine oil is collected at many places, gasoline is not. Small quantity disposal of gasoline is expensive since it is not commercially feasible until it reaches large volume. Further, I was told that the State is encouraging and helping each city to establish a collection facility so as to gather adequate quantities to make it feasible. Since my city has not yet setup a program, it was suggested that I simply evaporate small quantities in a flat container until the total is gone.

The idea of open pans of gasoline evaporating in my yard just hasn't held a lot of appeal for me so I still have it. Realistically, I guess I will eventually have to try evaporating a little at a time in a deep pan at a distance from the house. When the gasoline is all gone, the remaining oil can be disposed of as used oil. That is the problem with a lot of the environmental regulations - they establish requirements without any practical solution for the small guy. Government and large corporate organizations can usually fund procedures, but it's practically impossible for the individual.

If you find a better way, please post it!

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