An oil tank leak, if not detected and left untreated, can become a costly problem. The leak can be fixed by welding the tank at the leak or applying an epoxy sealant in the tank. Both the methods are used, but an epoxy sealant repair is preferred as it is easy and can be quickly done. Unlike welding, the epoxy sealant does not leave any marks on the tank. The sealant works on metal as well as plastic tanks and is readily available in the market. The repair is simple and can be done at home.
Lay a drop cloth on the floor to avoid staining of the surface or the work place by the epoxy sealant.
Put acetone in the tank and rotate the tank to remove all traces of oil. The amount of acetone used should be such that it covers the entire surface of the tank. Remove the contaminated acetone solution from the tank.
Put some screws in the tank and shake it vigorously to remove any rust particles sticking to the tank's inner surface. This will also make the surface rough for better adhesion. Remove the screws. Rinse the tank with acetone and leave for about 15 minutes to dry. Alternately use an air blower to dry quickly.
Identify the leaks and secure a duct tape on the leak holes or seams. Duct tape will prevent the epoxy sealant from coming out of the tank during the application and help setting it on the leak. Apply putty on the oil outlet opening of the tank and close it. Ensure no opening is left uncovered except the oil filler hole.
Mix the epoxy hardener and the adhesive in equal amounts in the plastic container with the stick. Mixing for 2 minutes is advised to make an effective epoxy sealant.
Transfer the prepared sealant into the tank from the filler hole. Seal the hole with plastic wrapping and rubber bands.
Swirl the tank slowly in all directions to ensure the epoxy sealant covers the entire inner surface of the tank. Rotating for at least 3 minutes is recommended to obtain a sufficiently thick layer of sealant inside the tank.
Remove the wrap and drain the excess sealant left in the tank. Place the tank upside down for a few minutes to ensure that all sealant is poured out.
Chafe off any extra epoxy layer found on the filler hole after at least 45 minutes of the application.
Leave the tank overnight. Best results can be achieved by securing the tank at 120 degrees Fahrenheit for 24 hours.