How to remove rust from inside a diesel fuel tank

You may notice inconsistency in the fuel flow inside the engine, even though the tank has adequate fuel inside. One major reason behind this inconsistency can be the rust inside the fuel tank.

Now that your engine isn't providing up to the mark performance, you need to change the tank. What if you don't want to get a new fuel tank, rather clean the older one?

To let the fuel tank function as it used to perform before, you only need to remove the rust inside. Although it seems a daunting task, it can turn easily when you know the right process.

We are here to cover everything you need to know about removing rust from inside a diesel fuel tank.

remove rust from inside a diesel fuel tank

What makes fuel tanks rust

It's not a new thing for fuel tanks to get rust both inside and outside. But what do you understand by rust? Basically, rust is a chemical reaction that happens between the metal part of the fuel tank and oxygen.

However, it doesn't happen naturally. Some harmful natural elements and less take care of the owner can ultimately cause the fuel tank to get rust.

  1. Tiny microbial bacteria are one of the main reasons.
  2. Improper water sealant can cause rust too.
  3. The extra moisture and salt are a reason for outside rust.
  4. Not cleaning the tank regularly.

Well, seeing the last point, you might be thinking if you clean the tank regularly, it's going to remain free from rust. Well, that's true a bit, but this isn't the entire truth to prevent rust.

A proper sealant is necessary to keep the fuel tank properly working for an extended period. If there isn’t any proper sealant, water condensation lets water enter the tank. Ultimately, it becomes prone to rust.

The outer surface of the fuel tank often seems to get rusty. We are not so serious about taking proper care of the tank, not even the engine. Even after cleaning, if moisture or salty vinegar remains on the surface, it will get rust.

The most common and appropriate reason for both inside and outside rusting of a fuel tank is microbial bacteria. Mostly, when the tank remains idle, microbial bacteria attack the outer surface.

Moreover, if there’s any leakage, they find the ideal way to get inside the tank and damage it gradually.

How to get rust out of diesel fuel tank?

As we already stated that it is a tough task getting the rust out of a diesel fuel tank. But further, we ensured an easier process when you know how to make the job done in the right way.

To get the rust out of a fuel tank, you need For Heavy Equipment Degreasers, dishwashing soap, vinegar, muriatic acid, water pipe hose, bucket, warm water, air hose, and denatured alcohol, etc. Start removing the rust following the below steps.

  1. Remove the fuel tank.
  2. Remove the dust and debris from the outer surface.
  3. Take a bucket and mix dishwashing soap with warm water.
  4. Wash the outer surface thoroughly with soapy water.
  5. Don’t waste time letting it dry.
  6. Pour dishwashing soapy water solution inside.
  7. Shake it and keep it for a while.
  8. Get the water out.
  9. Again, pour vinegar inside the tank.
  10. Use soapy water soon after removing vinegar.
  11. Now, pour muriatic acid in.
  12. Shake it and get it outside.
  13. Lastly, pour denatured alcohol inside using a funnel.
  14. Shake it well to clean it entirely.

Well, doesn’t the process seem hassle-free? Yes, it is indeed. But you need to know a few things while removing rust this way. You need to start with dishwashing soap and use it again before pouring vinegar and muriatic acid inside.

It is to enhance the cleaning process. Also, you don't have to wait for the fuel tank to get dry before moving on to the next step. The whole process is quick, but vinegar will take a bit of time to get sit up.

You need to use a water pipe hose to get the dishwashing soapy water inside the fuel tank. Moreover, you should keep the funnel to pour the denatured alcohol inside. But why do I need to use denatured alcohol?

Well, denatured alcohol is here to dry up the water inside. However, an air hose can do the same task, then why denatured alcohol? The thing is, we need to complete the task as quickly as possible.

Therefore, denatured alcohol provides the quickest drying option.

Safety measures to follow while removing the rust

Removing rust from inside a diesel fuel tank means you are working with chemicals. Therefore, ensuring safety is the first condition to get the job going. Whether you want to do this on your own or by a professional, both times safety comes first.

Here are the safety measures one needs to follow while removing the rust from a fuel tank.

  1. Put on safety goggles for eyes protection.
  2. Wear a safety mask to keep harmful air away.
  3. Safety gloves on both hands are mandatory.
  4. Do the entire job in an open and well-ventilated place.
  5. Follow the instruction manual while mixing chemicals.
  6. Stay away from flammable objects.
  7. Keep a hose nearby to prevent unwanted chemical reactions.

You need to put on a proper costume before starting the job. And a proper costume must include safety goggles, a face mask, and safety gloves. Due to the use of vinegar and muriatic acids, it will create vapor.

Well, it’s never a good one for the health. Therefore, working in a well-ventilated area can still provide you with fresh air for breathing. Moreover, never make any chemical solution without proper guidance.

At least read the instruction manual before mixing two chemical substances. Also, make sure that you stay away from heat and power resources while doing the work. Flammable objects are another risky thing here.

Effects of rust on the diesel fuel tank

A rusty diesel fuel tank can ultimately damage the whole engine’s performance gradually. It affects the fuel flow, which doesn’t provide a pleasant experience while turning on the engine and turning it off.

Here are the main effects of a rusty diesel fuel tank that one can experience in the engine.

  1. Inconsistency in the fuel flow.
  2. Instability while the engine is in idle mode.
  3. The fuel filter and lines get rusty.
  4. Less amount of fuel mixes in the engine.
  5. Rust gets inside the engine ultimately.

Well, the effects of rust inside a diesel fuel tank aren't something to be ignored. If you want to have an uninterrupted performance from the engine, you should take quick measures to remove the rust.

Final words

Summing up the things, one must clean the rust inside a fuel tank to maintain the engine’s performance. However, you are ready for the job when you have ensured proper safety. Here are the things you need to know about the removal.

  1. Wear goggles, gloves, and a face mask for safety.
  2. Use dishwashing soap, warm water, vinegar, and muriatic acid.
  3. Be careful while mixing chemicals.
  4. Take the help of a professional if you are not confident enough.
  5. Clean the tank’s outer surface for a better result.

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