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Thread: Draining fuel tank on PA18

  1. #1
    cubnut93's Avatar
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    Draining fuel tank on PA18

    I need to drain the left side fuel tank so I can replace the gaskets in the fuel gauge. Where is the best place to connect the grading cable to the airplane?
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    wireweinie's Avatar
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    The fuel tank itself. Clip one end of the cable to a tab or seam on the tank and the other end to the METAL barrel/bucket that the fuel is draining into. This will keep the two pieces at the same voltage so no sparks can jump. Some guys will also attach a second cable from the barrel to a cold water pipe or ground rod for the hanger.

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    I select the tank and drain through the strainer. Shorter hose, shorter bonding wire. I bond any good grounding point on the airplane to the metal fuel can I'm draining into. If I use a plastic container I make sure the drain hose is long enough to reach the bottom of the container and park my butt on fire watch until it's finished.

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    wireweinie's Avatar
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    Fire watch is aptly named. Once a fuel fire starts, all you can do is watch.

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    AkPA/18's Avatar
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    I carry this with me and disconnect the line from at the carburetor and screw this together And hopefully drain this into the belly tank if I've got Room. You can select left or right tank or both to drain if you want.
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    55-PA18A's Avatar
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    Do a search here for draining fuel and static electricity. There's a lot of good info. Above all, do it outside the hanger. I've always drained from the gascolator drain fitting.

    Jim

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    I use gascolator to drain as well

  8. #8

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    If you use a plastic container, or ANY collection container, choose one with a standard bung and wrap a rag around the bung-drain hose to keep fumes in the container. They’ll be too rich to ignite.
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    BC12D-4-85's Avatar
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    In summer I try to wet the ground around the plane and bucket/container if draining...unless it's on floats. Humidity tends to dissipate static was my thinking but maybe that's just a dream. Winter is drier and static sparks common.

    Gary
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  10. #10

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    OK so I have had a glass or two tonight, but just put the fuel selector on Right and go fly until the engine coughs then go to Left!! Problem solved! I use jiggle hose for fuel from tanker 185 on long flights but all the STOL guys drain from below cowl I use a simple wire to insure ground of fuel. Do not try to drain or add fuel in hanger!!!
    Denny
    Last edited by DENNY; 07-16-2021 at 01:56 AM.

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by AkPA/18 View Post
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    I carry this with me and disconnect the line from at the carburetor and screw this together And hopefully drain this into the belly tank if I've got Room. You can select left or right tank or both to drain if you want.
    This is the best way by far!!! DENNY
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  12. #12
    cubdriver2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stewartb View Post
    If you use a plastic container, or ANY collection container, choose one with a standard bung and wrap a rag around the bung-drain hose to keep fumes in the container. They’ll be too rich to ignite.
    Must be magic, where do they go when the can fills with gas?

    Glenn
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  13. #13

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    Well, Glenn, I’ll explain it for guys who may be interested in information more than cynicism. The greatest area of spark potential is where the drain line is near the container. Since that’s almost exclusively below the top of the filler it makes sense to keep the vapor concentration inside the container richer than ignition level while stabilizing the drain tube to prevent movement in the container neck. What vapors are pushed out through the rag will quickly dissipate in free air and with a rag isolating the tube from the container there’s almost zero spark potential above the rag.

    Have a nice day.
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  14. #14
    Gordon Misch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cubdriver2 View Post
    Must be magic, where do they go when the can fills with gas?

    Glenn
    And what's in the can as filling begins?
    Gordon

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    wireweinie's Avatar
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    Well, as entertaining as this is getting, lol, just remember that NO hanger operator allows fueling/defueling operations inside their hanger. This is true of military and most civilian operations. Them fumes is bad.

    Web
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