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Can I weld leg on bracket connected to full oil tank

Post in 'DIY and General non-hearth advice' started by ScottF, Nov 21, 2008.

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  1. ScottF

    ScottF New Member

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    I was moving my oil tank last night and the leg broke off of the bracket that is welded to the oil tank. What I want to know is can you safely weld the leg back onto the bracket or will I go BOOM. I am not welding directly to the tank but to the L shaped bracket that is already welded to the tank. Can the heat transfer cause the tank and me to go boom or is this safe? I have made a crude drawing to illustrate what I am talking up.

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  2. Jay H

    Jay H New Member

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    Not a welder but if you can connect something metallic, like a metal clamp or anything that conducts heat well above the weld in your diagram, it should direct some of the heat from your welding tool away from the tank with the oil.... basically use the metal clamp as a heat sink....

    Jay
  3. steam man

    steam man Minister of Fire

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    I deal with large fo tank repairs on an industrial scale. Each repair is evaluated and very specific procedures are then used to keep a high safety standard. Generally tanks are emptied and certified gas free to be able to work on or near them. That said, I don't think a homeowner has the resources to do this kind of repair. I would be concerned about something like blowing a hole in the the thin sheet steel. You would then really have a problem. Unless you can do a cold mechanical repair you may end up with a Darwin Award.

    Mike
  4. Adios Pantalones

    Adios Pantalones Minister of Fire

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    LOL- I'd shove a folded up napkin under there to level 'er out.

    Seriously- I'd be thinking about a cement block or jackstand type fix.
  5. ScottF

    ScottF New Member

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    I could not blow a hole in the sheet metal because like I said above I am only welding the bracket that holds the leg and not the tank itself.


    My sentiments exactly. Great minds think alike. That is exactly what I did and how it shall remain. A cement block it shall stay for many a day.
  6. bobfeather

    bobfeather Member

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    i have done a ton of welding & a ton of un-safe stuff but i think i would back off this one
    know how many times i have gone to strike an arc & accidently stuck the rod somewhere i didn't want it ?
    be safe & find something to block it up the same height as the leg
    bob
  7. madrone

    madrone Minister of Fire

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    Diesel needs to be vaporized to burn well, so I don't think explosion is a risk, but fire and leaks are. In some ways, I almost think a full tank would be safer than the residue on the inside of an empty tank, which could ignite, or at least smoke, more easily. In the end you made the right choice. Why take a chance if you don't have to.
  8. PaulRicklefs

    PaulRicklefs New Member

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    Happy to hear you are playing it safe. As a firefighter I have seen crazy things come out of simple things. We had a fire where a man emptied his semi-hot ashes from his stove in a pit in the backyard where it smouldered for 3-4 days before igniting some leaves which burned to his house under the snow and caught the siding on fire. Just amazing what can happen when you least expect it. Kudos on playing it safe. Burns are forever.
  9. Cazimere

    Cazimere Member

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    Have an insured professional do it. You don't want to end up lookin like your avatar.
  10. bayshorecs

    bayshorecs New Member

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    Don't know about you, bu I read about people blowing up welding on fuel tanks all the time. Usually same story. The tank was empty but not purged of gases correctly. Guy starts welding and boom.

    Ever been on the back side of a piece of metal when someone is welding? Depending on the thichness, you can see the weld make the back side cherry red when someone is welding a bracket on the piece of flat. I don't think I would be putting that much heat that close to a tank of fuel right next to my head.
  11. raybonz

    raybonz Minister of Fire

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    I would never weld a tank without a proven safe atmosphere... By heating the tank you'd be creating vapors and superheating them.. Essentially you're creating a huge bomb.. I suggest you create a steel cradle that you can slip under your tank that maybe goes at least half way up the sides.. Additionally line it with neoprene or similar where it contacts the steel to protect the tank and prevent any electrolytic action.. Does this make sense to you?

    Just my Thoughts,
    Ray
  12. pelletfan

    pelletfan Member

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    that is a definite no go in welding!!!!!
    have worked in shipyards, and never seen anyone attempting to weld right on a full fuel tank.
    There is just too much that can go wrong.
  13. Elderthewelder

    Elderthewelder Minister of Fire

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    if you look at the guy's diagram, he was not planning to weld directly onto the tank, but onto a bracket that is hanging down below the tank, this could be very feasible to do depending on how far below the tank the bracket hangs down, the thickness of the bracket as well as the thickness of the tank, the skill of the person welding and what welding process the person is using

    I have been a professional welder for over 25 years, I know the hazards of welding on tanks that contain/ed flamables, I would not rule out welding the leg back on, but I would have to do some serious evaluation of the situation before I ever struck the arc , remember it is not the liquid that ignites, it's the fumes, so if given a choice top off the tank with oil, that way less fumes

    If the bracket hanging below the tank extends a inch or so and is somewhat thick, (.125" or >) you could probobly get away with welding it if you are competent in the welding process you are using, in this case I assume SMAW (stick) or GMAW (MIG).
    However if you are just a weekend (hobby) welder I would shy away from this project, not worth the risk
  14. Valhalla

    Valhalla Minister of Fire

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    No arc, spark or heat is permitted on or around a fuel oil storage tank!

    A mechanical attached or supported leg repair only, until the tank could be made safely inert for any welding or applied heat.

    Safety first and foremost!
  15. brad068

    brad068 Feeling the Heat

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    I guess I'm a welder too. Could you get a piece of angle iron and drill a few holes through the angle iron and angle bracket and then weld a coupling to the angle iron and bolt the setup to the tank bracket. With the coupling you would have adjustment with the leg then. Just don't drill through the tank though.
  16. Elderthewelder

    Elderthewelder Minister of Fire

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    ok, so I decide I want to do a mechanical attached repair, At the homeowner level I will be needing to do some drilling with either a electric or battery powerd drill, I now have heat from friction and sparks from the drill motor

    As I said above, the situation needs to be evaluated
  17. brad068

    brad068 Feeling the Heat

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    Well it ain't going to be an instant 6000*F and sparks a flyin' though.

    Take your time, use a pilot bit, and lubrication and it should work out just fine.
  18. bfunk13

    bfunk13 Minister of Fire

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    Without seeing it i would also say dont try it.
    I have welded for over 20 years and have seen and done some crazy things like this.
    A friend of mine works in a refinery and tells me they often do a "hot patch" which is welding
    on a pipe with gasoline running through it. :ahhh: as long as you dont burn through its all good.
    Ha, not me my friend.

    Brad
  19. bayshorecs

    bayshorecs New Member

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    Makes me think of a test an old friend told me about once...

    I was trying to track down which fitting on my natural gas piping had a small leak due to a bad seal. Not real bad, I would just get a whiff of gas smell once a month or so. He said to take a lighter (which has a yellow flame when lit) and run the flame around each of the joints. When the flame turns blue, there is the leak. When asked about blowing myself up he said that since there is no air in the pipe and gas is leaking out, there is no chance for it to blow up on me.

    I don't know if that is true or not I don't have the "junk" to try it even if he is right.

    I called a heating/air guy to come out and find/fix/seal the pipe. Money well spent in my book.
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