Nalgene 5 Gal tank - cracked!

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Postby JPXman » Sun Oct 14, 2007 3:51 pm

I went to the field to check on my plane and found my gas tank nearly empty when i left it almost full. after a brief search, i found a crack in EACH of the two Nalgene tanks i use on the 2-seater (Cross fed).

i've had gas in these tanks for probably 5 years and i tried to seal them with JB Waterweld, but it didn't quite seal properly. i also pressed with my thumb on the area of the crack and it cracked even further - the material was quite brittle.

so nalgener's, check the corners of your tanks for hairline cracks forming, as there are a bunch all over my tanks, and one went through.

Tyler
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Postby JPXman » Sun Oct 14, 2007 7:13 pm

it is the level 5 tank - the other difference between the two is that one is 5gal and the other is 6gal.

i bought these tanks way back when i was doing my rebuild and the tanks have always had gas in them (my plane sat for a while when i moved, probably 8 months with the same gas in the tank).

either way, it was a bit unnerving to discover. as such, i have ordered a 12gal red-style tank for my 2-seater - we shall see how it holds up.

Tyler
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Postby JPXman » Sun Oct 14, 2007 9:05 pm

uh yah, it dissolved my fibreglass enclosure - yah that's it!

don't worry, i'll see about restitution on monday. it doesn't say on the website that it is designed for gas, says everything but.

Tyler
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Postby JPXman » Mon Oct 15, 2007 11:35 pm

no pictures, i didn't have the camera the field, and won't get there again for a few days at least. here is what US Plastics says:

Hello

We do not suggest storing gasoline in any tank besides the cross linked fuel tanks such as the ones on the link provided below.

http://www.usplastic.com/catalog/produc ... 5Fid=19330

Mindy
United States Plastic Corp
Technical Services
(800) 537-9724 phone
(800) 854-5498 fax

i don't know if the link works, but she only recommends the cross-link PE tanks.

Tyler
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Postby JPXman » Tue Oct 16, 2007 1:19 pm

so i called US Plastics (the distributor i went through) and they himmed and hawwed saying "we're just the distributor". they offered the nalgene company tech support number, so i called them.

talked to a nice guy named Tom, and he said that the ratings on the tanks are based on a 30-day test at room temperature and then they measure degradation with exposure to certain chemicals. he said that the rating on the jerricans we have (we as lazairheads) only guarantees the tank against gas for 30 days, after that degradation will occur. i would concur with this, because i was beginning to get remnants of plastic in my fuel lines that the filter was picking up, and then became visible in the line itself. this was after the tank had gas in it for about 5 years and exposed to temperatures as low as -40C. i think the gas peeled the fluorination right off the inside of the tank, and then the gas made the remaining plastic brittle to the point of cracking.

so Tom is sending me a new tank at no charge, but he said he can offer no guarantee the same thing won't happen. so i'll take the new tank, but will search for another kind now.

Tyer
Nalgene customer support - (800) 625-4327
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Postby lazairiii » Tue Oct 16, 2007 5:51 pm

Personally, now that I know this newly discovered information, I will just do a visual inspection and change out the tank every few years before it has a chance to do any damage. That is until a suitable alternative is found.

Good info Tyler.
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Postby JPXman » Thu Oct 18, 2007 12:01 am

well kudos to nalgene, a UPS guy knocked on my door and delivered a brand new tank at no charge! unbelievable that you can still get satisfactory service some places!
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