Changes in the status quo

Today we got the crud cleaned out of the squat 40 gallon hot water heater tank I got to use as our hot water solar conditioner. The tank went through the big flood our area experienced last year.

If you have to clean the inside of a cylindrical tank, a gallon of crushed rock (a variety of sizes) with about the same amount of water works really well. The largest piece of crushed should fit easily through the largest hole in the tank. Don’t bother to plug the holes. The water pouring out while you are rolling the tank is carrying away the crud and rust. Add additional water between rolls and sloshes to replace what comes out. Stand the tank on each end and slosh to clean the inside of the top and bottom. With sufficient movement, the gravel/water scours the inside clean of loose rust and sediment. Our tank has two big holes on the side (heating element holes) and three smaller holes in the top (water supply and pressure relief valves). I think we had the whole thing clean in under half an hour. If I were doing a tall 40 gallon tank, I would have used more gravel/water.

This tank also had a disconnected tubular gizmo stuck inside, but I got that out as well using a bent coat hanger and a little patience.

To get the gravel out we hung the tank from the tractor bucket with a girdling strap around its middle and the heating element holes facing down. I stuck a garden hose in one of the water supply holes on the end (the top when it’s upright) to help keep the rocks moving and slowly see sawed it from end to end until all the rocks slid out the holes on the bottom side. Terry was a bit stressed thinking once we got the gravel in, we wouldn’t be able to get it out. Not so. Except for a few bigger pieces, it sloshed right out. The bigger pieces were reoriented with a finger and slid right out.
Terry’s seen another one of the same size/shape that’s gone through a fire . . . he was on the motorcycle and couldn’t snag it, but the next time he heads that way with his pickup, he’ll check to see if it’s still there and usable.

And in other news . . . I’ve got a call in to our horse shoer. Milly’s about due for a trim and I have a bit that needs some judicious pounding, so it’s time to get him to stop by. While he’s here I’m going to ask him to make me a mounting plate to mate the end of our gearbox shaft with the mower blade. The blade currently has two small auxiliary holes which sit on pins to keep the blade from rotating on the mower shaft. These will not be sufficient for making slurry so I’ll drill out the holes to accept 3/8″ hardened bolts and will drill and thread the mounting plate to accommodate the threads. The plan is to bolt the blade to the mounting plate and bolt through the blade and mounting plate onto the shaft. I may get him to make me two so I can quickly switch blades if I have a problem. I’ll let you know how it goes.

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