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Old 06-14-2017, 05:19 PM   #1
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USCG fuel tank regulation for pressure testing

I have older 1970 Monel metal fuel tanks which are installed in an Egg Harbor.

Does anyone know if the USCG tank pressure test has changed significantly since 1970? Did they even have one? I imagine they did. I emailed and called USCG today to ask them.

Would the tank maker, "Seafarer" have been required to meet such a pressure test in 1970?

I have in mind a max working pressure of 1 to 1.5 psi.
The USCG test is at 3 psi.

http://www.uscgboating.org/assets/1/...YC.1002.01.pdf
From the fuel systems PDF page 107

The tank should be empty for this test. Testing pressure can be supplied by pressurized air or compressed inert gas. The tank's rated testing pressure is marked on the tank, but in no case will it be below 3psig. During the test, the sides, top and bottom of the tank should be accessible. All openings except the one used to admit the pressure should be sealed.
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Old 06-15-2017, 05:58 AM   #2
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The usual is to install a tall fill hose where the fuel height can be measured.

The tank can bend buckle and look like crap, but if it dies not leak its fine.

Why on earth would you need a test , going to carry passengers under Sub. T?

If the tank is not yet installed , water can be used for the test , with different column heights for specific pressures.
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Old 06-15-2017, 06:13 AM   #3
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For a simple leak test, 1-1.5psi is a good idea. There's no need to add the extra stress of 3psi. Bring up the pressure and let it sit and see if it holds. What I usually do is just take off the vent hose and put the gauge and air adapter there. This way it also checks your fill.

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Old 06-15-2017, 07:14 AM   #4
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Our new tanks were tested at 3 psi under 33 CFR 183.510(a), built in accordance with ABYC & NMMA regulations, and meet ISO 10088 specifications, according to the manufacturer.


When we were specifying the tanks, some manufacturers quoted a smaller testing PSI.

I think since we are an uninspected vessel, there were no specific USCG additional regulations.

Why are you testing your tanks?
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Old 06-15-2017, 07:30 AM   #5
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It looks like the 3 psi is a standard but I could be wrong. Understanding the rules is difficult at best. This came from a USCG Compliance Guideline. The same ones you referenced but a different section.

183.510 Fuel tanks.

(a) Each fuel tank in a boat must have been tested by its manufacturer under Sec. 183.580 and not leak when subjected to the pressure marked on the tank label under Sec. 183.514(b) (5).

Each fuel tank must be tested to see if it leaks. This leakage test includes all fittings supplied as part of the tank.

TEST PRESSURE

The test pressure must be the greater of 3 Pounds per square inch gauge (psig) or 1-1/2 times the pressure created at the lowest point in the fuel system when the fill or vent line, whichever is lower in height, is filled to its top with fuel, as indicated in 183.542. A 3 psig test will cover installations whose height from the lowest point in the fuel system is 6.4 feet to the lower of the fill or vent. See Figure 5 for height covered by various pressures. These heights refer to a head of gasoline and take into account the one and one-half times the head. The determined pressure is the minimum pressure that must appear on the fuel tank label. For the test procedure, refer to 183.580. Normally, the test is conducted by the tank manufacturer who applies the tank label. The boat manufacturer is responsible for determining that this test has been performed on the tank, in addition to the fuel system pressure test required by 183.542.
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Old 06-15-2017, 08:49 AM   #6
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Yes, today the static test pressure is 3 psi, without leaking.
Back then in 1970, I just don't know I email and called USCG to ask, do they respond?

I am replacing the old fuel fills to the newer vented Perko fuel fills that have the vent coming back to the fill not going over the side.

And since they are gasoline tanks, and with this lousy E10 fuel, I was thinking to use a vopr style EPA emissions cap, which I think will help preserve the fuel better than with the old style 5/8 wide open vent which is wide open all the time to air.

I set the cap pressure to 0.85 psi, the standard for both Perko and Attwood is 1 psi before they vent tank pressure to atmosphere. the idea is simply less air exposure to the fuel as these type caps are normally closed.-sealed from the outside air, only opening when the pressure changes beyond say that 1 psi set point for pressure. They offer no restriction to fuel pulled from the tank.
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Old 06-15-2017, 09:00 AM   #7
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Sounds like a good plan and also nice on the gold standard for tanks.

It's too bad you can't get non-ethanol fuel. Why do some states have it and others don't?
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Old 06-15-2017, 09:00 AM   #8
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Monel tanks - Bravo!

Mid 20th Century Eggs were built with quality in mind...
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Old 06-15-2017, 09:39 AM   #9
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Yes, nice 145 gallon monel tanks made from sheet metal.

The sheets have no square corners, they are rounded over like a tube then are joined in a long continuous weld the entire tank length. On end it looks squarish in profile with rounded large radiused corners. Around 8 foot long, 18 by 18 inches, but this is a guess.

The welded edges on the ends and side look like they are done by a machine process, very nice looking, perhaps the sheet was folded, and welded electrically.
And I can see where it has welded internal baffles every 15 inches or so.

The monel is thick enough you can not press on it and notice any movement.

The bronze fill pipe threads into tank top.
I cut it lower to accommodate an adapter I made since the new fuel fill hose is 1.5 inch. The adapter will fit between tank and fill.
I also used a Perko inlet check valve inline in the hose, available for diesel or gas.
http://www.perko.com/catalog/categor...s/product/154/
That prevents fuel from flowing back up the fill pipe.

And putting an Attwood fuel demand valve on the tank pickup, blocks fuel flow out the tank unless demanded by fuel pump.
http://www.attwoodmarine.com/store/p...l-demand-valve
A cool thing really, no fuel can flow even if tank is under pressure.


some pics
https://photos.google.com/share/AF1Q...hIUDBOWmdfNFd3

Cutting the old fill pipe lower. And stuffed in a wet sock so fumes cant ignite from the saw.
https://photos.google.com/share/AF1Q...JlZGtiV21HYnVn

Here is a video explaining the new style VOPR pressure system. You can either use charcoal cannister or the VOPR system.
The FLVV and grade valve are only useful for helping prevent an over filled tank as they want ullage space in the tank now.

I modified the VOPR valve to set it to 0.85 psi open PSI. The standard is 1 psi.
My one concern is stressing the tank, I could set it lower to 0.5 psi.
With a VOPR emissions style cap, cap is normally shut unless pressure exceeds the set point, then it vents to atmosphere. So it ought to help keep moist air away from the gas versus having a 5/8 hose wide open all the time.

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Old 06-15-2017, 12:40 PM   #10
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Monel tanks - Bravo!

With the current price of new boats it is criminal that ALL are not equipped with real fuel tanks.
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Old 06-15-2017, 01:03 PM   #11
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Monel tanks - Bravo!

With the current price of new boats it is criminal that ALL are not equipped with real fuel tanks.
Agreed
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Old 06-15-2017, 01:43 PM   #12
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Monel tanks are only as good as their design, install and fabrication. Building integral tanks on Fe, Al or FRP hulls is quite suitable and much more cost effective than using a Ni Cu alloy set of tanks specially made to fit a hull form.
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Old 06-15-2017, 04:11 PM   #13
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Monel tanks are only as good as their design, install and fabrication. Building integral tanks on Fe, Al or FRP hulls is quite suitable and much more cost effective than using a Ni Cu alloy set of tanks specially made to fit a hull form.
Back in 1970, Monel metal was likely cheaper than today. I had read using monel metal today is cost prohibitive.

I hope someday day we will have much cheaper titanium metal. Titanium is super abundant, and durable.
Quote:
Titanium is the ninth most abundant element in the earth's crust and is primarily found in the minerals rutile (TiO2), ilmenite (FeTiO3) and sphene (CaTiSiO5). Titanium makes up about 0.57% of the earth's crust. Titanium is a strong, light metal.
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Old 06-15-2017, 04:13 PM   #14
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Monel tanks are only as good as their design, install and fabrication. Building integral tanks on Fe, Al or FRP hulls is quite suitable and much more cost effective than using a Ni Cu alloy set of tanks specially made to fit a hull form.
However... Unless I am incorrect... Monel material tanks will outlast all other gasoline/diesel tanks.

It's not the new or a decade or even the two decades old boat owners who have real need to worry about fuel tank failure. IMO - It is the hundreds of thousands of three, four, five decades and beyond that age boat owners who should have the security that monel offers.

Our good condition, 40 yr. old, Tollycraft has its original aluminum tanks. I do my best to keep them free of water contact inside and out. They still seem to be in good condition... how much longer is a guess?? If they were monel I'd feel considerably more confident that decades of leak free usefulness still remained.

#1 importance is that through hulls remain leak free... #2 of importance is that fuel tanks remain leak free too!
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Old 06-15-2017, 04:19 PM   #15
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Back in 1970, Monel metal was likely cheaper than today. I had read using monel metal today is cost prohibitive.

I hope someday day we will have much cheaper titanium metal. Titanium is super abundant, and durable.
Back in the 60's/70's monel was considered expensive.

Titanium a good material for fuel tanks that could last as long as monel?
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Old 06-15-2017, 05:17 PM   #16
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When I was a kid I had a summer job at a Reynolds Aluminum warehouse. Next door was an outfit that pressure tested, cleaned and did weld repairs on tanker trucks. One day there was an enormous whooomp ! We all went outside to see what had happened. The entire roof of the building had lifted up and landed back on the walls slightly askew. There was a 3' diameter hole in the roof and we found a foot in our parking lot.

These guys supposedly were the experts. Amateur pressure testing a gasoline tank ..... unadvised.
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Old 06-15-2017, 05:23 PM   #17
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When I was a kid I had a summer job at a Reynolds Aluminum warehouse. Next door was an outfit that pressure tested, cleaned and did weld repairs on tanker trucks. One day there was an enormous whooomp ! We all went outside to see what had happened. The entire roof of the building had lifted up and landed back on the walls slightly askew. There was a 3' diameter hole in the roof and we found a foot in our parking lot.

These guys supposedly were the experts. Amateur pressure testing a gasoline tank ..... unadvised.
Now - There is a lesson in words!

Thanks for sharing.
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Old 06-15-2017, 05:51 PM   #18
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However... Unless I am incorrect... Monel material tanks will outlast all other gasoline/diesel tanks. !
Again, integral tanks was my point. This type of construction is not new, just becoming more popular as a space saving, stability improver and cost containment design technique. Using Monel as part of integrated hull tank design would be unusual

Even though Monel has some decided advantages, not always enough to cause high end builders utilizing non integral stand alone tanks to switch from FRP, Al or Fe.
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Old 06-20-2017, 05:31 PM   #19
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Back in the 60's/70's monel was considered expensive.

Titanium a good material for fuel tanks that could last as long as monel?
I believe Titanium will experience less corrosion than monel. Monel will corrode, but not significantly.
It may be that not all interior parts of a monel tank are monel.
I had to change out my pickup tubes. They were entirely eaten away, they were made of brass.
I drilled out the 1 inch brass NPT threaded tank fitting and soldered or silver brazed 3/8 soft copper tubing as new pickup tubes. I flared out the lower end and set them to within about 3/8 inch of the tank bottom.

Corrosion resistance properties of Monel alloy 400
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Old 06-20-2017, 07:04 PM   #20
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I believe Titanium will experience less corrosion than monel. Monel will corrode, but not significantly.
It may be that not all interior parts of a monel tank are monel.
I had to change out my pickup tubes. They were entirely eaten away, they were made of brass.
I drilled out the 1 inch brass NPT threaded tank fitting and soldered or silver brazed 3/8 soft copper tubing as new pickup tubes. I flared out the lower end and set them to within about 3/8 inch of the tank bottom.

Corrosion resistance properties of Monel alloy 400
TY!
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