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Old 12-06-2012, 11:10 AM   #1
burgie
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Default Removing rust in air compressor tanks??

Greetings...

OK...so I bought a used Saylor-Beall compressor (80 gallon vertical tank, 2HP motor w/ Model 703 pump) from Craigslist. After removing all the plugs, including the 2-1/2" one close to the bottom, I inspected the inside of the tank (what I could see anyhow) and it looked pretty good. The tank is strong and solid and holds pressure perfectly.

However, it got me thinking about a rust removal liquid of some sort that I could pour in the tank and let sit for a period of time to clean up (dissolve) some of the light scale rust on the bottom of the tank? (Being a vertical tank only that bottom 3" - 4" has some light scale...the sides look great...).

I have heard about muratic acid, vinegar, a product called "Evapo-Rust", etc...but have no experience using any or these.

Any suggestions?

(PS...I am not looking for a rust converter like POR-15 or other similar product...just something I could pour in, let it do it's magic and then drain).

Thanks much...

Burgie
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Old 12-06-2012, 11:17 AM   #2
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Default Re: Removing rust in air compressor tanks??

goe to lowes or depo and buy about 4 bottles of jasco rust converter,comes in a white bottle with red and blue lettering,works great.then drain it,gonna be fun rolling that tank around.
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Old 12-06-2012, 11:33 AM   #3
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Default Re: Removing rust in air compressor tanks??

Most rust converters contain the same type of phosphoric acid in them. The biggest problem you will have is the scale part of the rust needs to be wire brushed away in order for it to be the most effective. You want something that will convert the rust to a black material.
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Old 12-06-2012, 11:50 AM   #4
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Default Re: Removing rust in air compressor tanks??

the biggest problem you will have with anything that contains an acid is that you will not be able to fully remove it thus ensuring that when you begin using the compressor you will also produce a fine mist of acid fumes from the exhaust of any tools you use. Not good for the tools not good for your lungs or eyes and not good for anything else. Note you need cartridges rated for "acids" in respirators the regular cartridge will not protect you
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Old 12-06-2012, 08:11 PM   #5
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Default Re: Removing rust in air compressor tanks??

Quote:
The biggest problem you will have is the scale part of the rust needs to be wire brushed away in order for it to be the most effective
I've heard of people putting a length of heavy chain in the compressor tank and rolling it around to knock off the scale.
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Old 12-06-2012, 08:50 PM   #6
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Default Re: Removing rust in air compressor tanks??

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Originally Posted by ndoran View Post
the biggest problem you will have with anything that contains an acid is that you will not be able to fully remove it thus ensuring that when you begin using the compressor you will also produce a fine mist of acid fumes from the exhaust of any tools you use. Not good for the tools not good for your lungs or eyes and not good for anything else. Note you need cartridges rated for "acids" in respirators the regular cartridge will not protect you
Have you ever used phosphoric acid to neutralize rust? I disagree with your assessment. It will dry completely and evaporate leaving only the converted rust behind.

Not to mention phosphoric acid is in Coca-Cola...it's not really that harmful...heck you could always just pour Coke down into your compressor...
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Old 12-06-2012, 09:04 PM   #7
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Default Re: Removing rust in air compressor tanks??

Not to mention phosphoric acid is in Coca-Cola...it's not really that harmful...heck you could always just pour Coke down into your compressor...[/QUOTE]

thats not a half-bad idea- the Coca Cola, that is. I sure many of us remember that experiment way back in grade school, where we put a tooth in a bottle of coke, came back in a day, and the tooth was gone! Dissolved.
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Old 12-06-2012, 09:09 PM   #8
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Default Re: Removing rust in air compressor tanks??

Evapo-Rust has no acid and works very well.
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Old 12-06-2012, 10:46 PM   #9
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Default Re: Removing rust in air compressor tanks??

Put a couple of hundred 1" ball bearings in it, put the plugs back in, and pick it up and shake it really hard for 20 minutes or so.

Or not . . .

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Old 12-06-2012, 11:43 PM   #10
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Default Re: Removing rust in air compressor tanks??

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Originally Posted by Steevo View Post
Put a couple of hundred 1" ball bearings in it, put the plugs back in, and pick it up and shake it really hard for 20 minutes or so.

Or not . . .

Or not....
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Old 12-07-2012, 01:21 AM   #11
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Default Re: Removing rust in air compressor tanks??

A handful of small ball bearings and long narrow enough piece of tubing to reach in and give some air pressure to stir them up might take the surface rust off. Maybe get all that out, blow out as much debris as you can, then a dose of evaporust.

Once thats done what would you put in to prevent rust? Rustoleum paint?
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Old 12-07-2012, 04:35 AM   #12
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Default Re: Removing rust in air compressor tanks??

or,you might want to look into a gas tank repair kit,they make them for motor cycle tanks and it has everything you need to solve the entire problem.preps the inside,and coats the inside.no more rust ever.
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Old 12-07-2012, 04:36 AM   #13
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Default Re: Removing rust in air compressor tanks??

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Originally Posted by Danglerb View Post
A handful of small ball bearings and long narrow enough piece of tubing to reach in and give some air pressure to stir them up might take the surface rust off. Maybe get all that out, blow out as much debris as you can, then a dose of evaporust.

Once thats done what would you put in to prevent rust? Rustoleum paint?
bag of pea gravel from home depo will work great also,has sharp/rough edges and it's cheap.
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Old 12-07-2012, 06:34 AM   #14
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Default Re: Removing rust in air compressor tanks??

You could also use electrolysis.
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Old 12-07-2012, 02:14 PM   #15
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Default Re: Removing rust in air compressor tanks??

I'm interested to see how others have tried to fix rust inside a compressor as well. I also picked up a compressor from CL and it works fine, but if I can somehow slow down the rust inside, that would be awesome.

I've used phosphoric acid from home depot and it works great, but how are you going to rinse it out? if it stays in the compressor, I think it would eat away the metal over time?
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Old 12-07-2012, 08:12 PM   #16
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Default Re: Removing rust in air compressor tanks??

or just leave it...
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Old 12-07-2012, 08:22 PM   #17
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Default Re: Removing rust in air compressor tanks??

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or just leave it...
That.
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Old 12-07-2012, 08:22 PM   #18
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Default Re: Removing rust in air compressor tanks??

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steevo View Post
Put a couple of hundred 1" ball bearings in it, put the plugs back in, and pick it up and shake it really hard for 20 minutes or so.

Or not . . .


Good idea, wrong product. Use drywall screws. They're cheap and extremely sharp.
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Old 12-07-2012, 08:34 PM   #19
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Default Re: Removing rust in air compressor tanks??

if you have the big plug off the side of it, just use a garden hose and a sprayer and spray it with the most penetrating spray position. what falls off will come out the bottom drain and what stays is solid enough to pour a hardener over.

if I have my way, pour like a few gallons of motor oil in the bottom of the tank and let it sit for a few days and drain it. debris will come out with it and the motor oil that stays in is a natural water repellent. water will not interfere with the metal because of the oil coating
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Old 12-08-2012, 02:27 AM   #20
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Default Re: Removing rust in air compressor tanks??

Quote:
Originally Posted by fordbroncodave View Post
if you have the big plug off the side of it, just use a garden hose and a sprayer and spray it with the most penetrating spray position. what falls off will come out the bottom drain and what stays is solid enough to pour a hardener over.

if I have my way, pour like a few gallons of motor oil in the bottom of the tank and let it sit for a few days and drain it. debris will come out with it and the motor oil that stays in is a natural water repellent. water will not interfere with the metal because of the oil coating
hey fordbronco - I have a plug on the side. What's the easiest way to break those open? They are pretty tight. I've tried with a breaker bar and long bar at the end and couldn't break it lose.
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