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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm thinking of using Electrolysis to remove the rust in my gas tank. I was curious if anyone else has tried it. If so maybe you have some tips to make the job run smooth for a first timer?
 

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It works but depending on the amount of rust it may take some time. I did one that was really, really bad just to try it, had been sitting with water in it for years. Took 2 weeks but it did come clean.
 

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I did mine last year, works but does take some time. Mine ran for about a week, then I finished it up using THE WORKS toilet bowl cleaner (muratic acid?) ...that worked great!!!

One thing on electrlysis, make sure you use a manual battery charger, the kind that will not automatially shut off.....and the cleaner you keep the electrode the faster itll work. Good luck!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the input. I have the tank emptied and the petcock removed. I'm going to use a 12v 6amp charger with an old spare battery I have. I'm using a 3ft piece of 1/4" welding steel as my sacrificial anode. I don't have a shop to do this in so I'm at the mercy of the weather. I'll get started after these storms pass. I was wondering if anyone knew what I could use the clean the sending unit? It's in pretty bad shape. I didn't know if using electrolysis on it would damage it. I'm thinking of just scrubbing it down with some sand paper and P.B. Blaster. Any input on that?
 

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Electrolysis will also clean the sending unit if you have it in place with the anode in the filler opening.
 

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If your using a car battery or deep cycle for power I usually install some type of resistor to control the power also. I've removed rust from lots of stuff with Electrolysis and it works great, but I never hook the battery direct without controlling the power.

A light works well. Using a tail light bulb or such, the bulb limits the amount of power to the tank. If say the bulb is 36watt that would be 3amps at 12V. If you want 6amps use a larger bulb, or 2 36watt side by side.
I forget the watts on the bulbs now, and I had some other types I used.

You can also use normal incandescent house light bulbs, a 60 watt at 12v should give you about 5amps to the parts tank.

Using a charger on the battery, adjust charge amps to the tank amps, and it should maintain a full charge on the battery, so say set both to 6amps.

You know with a good heavy battery and cable you can make a stick welder using a direct short at the rod! I don't want that in my tanks if somehow my cathode and anodes touch. With smaller wire you can make an electric heater, until the wire burns in 2 LOL
One of the reasons I control power from the battery as well as other reasons.

Also keep an eye on your water level and vent well. Basically your doing the same thing as making a hydrogen gas unit, breaking down water to oxygen and hydrogen gases is done the same way.

I was using 35 and 55 gal barrels for stuff for awhile. It was fun to make a little hot air balloon and vent the gasses to it, then after awhile watch it just lift up and float away as it filled with hydrogen. LOL
 

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I used it to clean my tank during my rebuild last winter. Instead of a battery charger (Did not want to waste a good charger in case of a short), I got an old cell phone charger rated @ 6VAC @ 2A. I Attached alligator clips and used it on my de-rusting tank and my gas tank. Took a piece of steel rod that I got from Lowes and put it through a rattle can top. Taped it on the gas tank opening and took the sending unit out for venting the gasses. Let it sit for 3 days occasionally cleaning the sacrificial anode steel rod. (Get's pretty nasty). Make sure the anode is NOT touching ANY PART of the tank during the process. Mine cleaned up nice. Used some POR-15 Marine cleaner afterwards and then sealed it with POR-15 Tank sealer. Worked great for me. Good Luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Well the lack of a shop and the weather have forced me to abandon the electrolysis for now. I was getting good results too. I rinsed the tank with clean water after about 3 8-12 hour sessions and the amount of rust that came out was pretty impressive. I just filled it up with apple cider vinegar. It is supposed to rain tonight and tomorrow. So I figure I'll drain the vinegar tomorrow night to check on it and go from there.
 

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Well the lack of a shop and the weather have forced me to abandon the electrolysis for now. I was getting good results too. I rinsed the tank with clean water after about 3 8-12 hour sessions and the amount of rust that came out was pretty impressive. I just filled it up with apple cider vinegar. It is supposed to rain tonight and tomorrow. So I figure I'll drain the vinegar tomorrow night to check on it and go from there.
Just remember that electrolysis supposedly only removes oxides (rust).

Vinegar however is an acid and will remove metal from your tank as it removes the rust.
 
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