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  #1  
Old 04-06-2021, 06:44 PM
MacCool's Avatar
MacCool MacCool is offline
 
Join Date: Aug 2020
Location: central Minnesota
Posts: 529
Default Drain fuel tanks for w/b...how to do?

Maybe it's as simple as it sounds, but....maybe not. I'm new at this.

New EFIS, and the fuel tank calibration is TU. The constant "check fuel" warnings are annoying. I need to re-calibrate the tanks, looks like in two-gallon increments. Additionally, I want empty tanks so I can get a new weight/balance. AND...two of my three Saf-Air Cav 110 drains have the drips and got minor squawks from my AP/IA on my recent CI.

My plan....fly the tanks as empty as I dare, then remove the gascolator drain and empty the tanks into a couple of 5-gallon cans. Do the w/b, install new Saf-Air drains, then refill the tanks two gallons at a time each and re-calibrate.

Tips? Tricks? I want to be efficient, but mostly don't want to screw this up.
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  #2  
Old 04-06-2021, 06:49 PM
blaplante blaplante is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Southern California
Posts: 186
Default yup

Yeah, that's pretty much the drill. Only thing I can add is connect a jumper from your fuel can to the airplane before draining. Talk about a place you don't want a spark...
Only difference - I'd pull the tank drain instead of the gascolator drain.
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Last edited by blaplante : 04-06-2021 at 06:50 PM. Reason: more info
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  #3  
Old 04-06-2021, 06:49 PM
rocketman1988 rocketman1988 is offline
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Sunman, IN
Posts: 2,435
Default Drain

I calibrated my EFIS 3 times. I just removed the CAV110 and let them drain into a large funnel in a gas can. You will be surprised how fast the tanks will drain...
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  #4  
Old 04-06-2021, 06:58 PM
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Carl Froehlich Carl Froehlich is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Dogwood Airpark (VA42)
Posts: 2,947
Default

Take the cowl off. Disconnect the fuel line at the firewall and connect a short piece of 3/8 aluminum tubing, flared for the AN fitting. Connect a 3/8 ID tygon hose to the aluminum tube, then a cheap clear plastic (Walmart) in line fuel filter to 5 gal jugs. Use your boost pump to pump the tanks dry.

Carl
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  #5  
Old 04-06-2021, 06:59 PM
BobTurner BobTurner is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Livermore, CA
Posts: 7,356
Default

+1 on the previous posts. Also, although the fuel drains are not too expensive, you may find that a simple O ring is all they need.
When adding 2 gal at a time, rap on the inboard rib a few times before each measurement, to make sure the float isnt stuck. (In flight, engine vibration seems to be enough to keep them free).
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  #6  
Old 04-06-2021, 07:19 PM
BillL BillL is offline
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Central IL
Posts: 5,890
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Surprised no one used a valve. I wanted to calibrate both tanks with the same fuel so metered out from one and poured into the other. A nipple and valve with some hose facilitated that.

I chased a different height vs gallons for the tanks, and it drove me crazy. Then found that it was due to tilt as the wing got heavy. Jacks to level the wings and keep them there would be perfect.
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  #7  
Old 04-06-2021, 07:23 PM
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MacCool MacCool is offline
 
Join Date: Aug 2020
Location: central Minnesota
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by blaplante View Post
Yeah, that's pretty much the drill. Only thing I can add is connect a jumper from your fuel can to the airplane before draining. Talk about a place you don't want a spark...
Only difference - I'd pull the tank drain instead of the gascolator drain.
Great tips...thank you all.

The ground wire is smart for sure. I would have grounded the plane, but in this context it does make more sense to wire the plastic gas cans to the plane. I want to zero the potential between tank and gas can, not plane and ground.

As to the gascolator....I admit that I'm not clear on the way my RV-9A is fuel-plumbed (if anyone has the plans diagram, I'd appreciate a link). I was assuming that draining through the gascolator would make the most sense since it's the lowest point in the fuel system, but I have to pull the wing drains anyway (leaking). I realize that I can just replace the O-rings but I already bought some new CAV110's so...

As to disconnecting and draining from the main fuel line....great idea! Let my new $1000 fuel pump do some of the work...
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  #8  
Old 04-06-2021, 07:34 PM
Kyle Boatright Kyle Boatright is offline
 
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Location: Atlanta, GA
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Whatever you do, do it outside, not in a hangar.
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  #9  
Old 04-06-2021, 07:36 PM
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Vern Vern is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Peachtree City, Ga
Posts: 1,061
Exclamation Caution

A new RV-7 burned up in my hangar because a little fuel spill and low humidity sparked just right

Take it outside

No dry days which produce static

Ground wires everywhere

Multiple fire bottles and a helper
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  #10  
Old 04-06-2021, 08:15 PM
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wcalvert wcalvert is offline
 
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Location: Anacortes Wa
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Default

Your Fire Marshall will go bananas if he sees you doing the draining into PLASTIC fuel tanks.

They're almost impossible to ground properly and collect a lot of static charge from moving fluids.

If you can find metal cans, all the better!
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