Inflating plug

Problem: When a valve on an open tank doesn't shut off, the entire inventory must be dumped to repair the problem. Can this expense be saved? Solution: Install an inflatable pipe plug.
By Staff September 1, 1998

Problem: When a valve on an open tank doesn’t shut off, the entire inventory must be dumped to repair the problem. Can this expense be saved?

Solution: Install an inflatable pipe plug. Select a piece of pipe just slightly smaller than the section to be plugged. Weld the end shut and drill a 1/4-in. hole in the side. Cut a piece of tire inner tube to fit over the outside pipe. Use wire to seal the ends of the rubber inner tube. From the top of the tank, insert the plug into the pipe opening. Apply about 5 psig of air to inflate the plug. The valve can be replaced without losing the contents.

Contributor: Ralph Dewey, Solvay Polymers, Deer Park, TX; 713-307-3784