Cleaning an Industrial Hydraulic Oil Tank

You may have heard the term ‘confined space’, but do you know exactly what it means?  And if you are unsure what a confined space looks like, then take a look at this photo:

In short, a confined space is:

  • large enough for a person to occupy
  • is difficult to get in and out of
  • is for short term work only

Just by the nature of our industrial cleaning work, we are frequently called on to perform cleaning jobs in confined spaces because industrial facility personnel often lack the skills and training to enter confined spaces.

Confined spaces are not designed for people, but people do enter them to perform certain jobs, such as cleaning the interiors, or repairing machinery that might be housed inside the confined space area.

Such was the case on the cleaning job pictured here.

We were asked by this particular industrial facility to perform an emergency cleaning of a tank containing hydraulic oil that operates a hydraulic press. The tank holds a clear oil that was causing problems as it flowed through a filter below the tank.

When Blackwell’s Inc. associates arrived on the site, maintenance workers were removing the guardrails in order to take the bolted hatches off the side of the tank. The tank is roughly 3 ft. X 3 ft. X 8 ft. and holds about 400 gallons of oil. The inside of the tank is divided into three sections by two walls that do not touch the bottom of the tank. Once emptied, the tank held about a half inch of brown oil and a black sediment on the bottom.

Once the Blackwell’s Inc. associate cleaned the oil and sediment from the tank, the tank hatches were left off so that the tank interior could dry, and so that it could be inspected the following day.


Blackwell’s Inc.

Specialized Industrial Cleaning, Concrete Coatings and Concrete Repair



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LaGrange, GA