Well tank or hot water heater

Hey, I did some scrounging today and found that the recyclers in my area only buy scrap - they will not sell anything. So I decided to check out a transfer station and was able to score a hot water heater, and a cast iron skillet lid that may make a nice grate piece.

I got it home and started taking off the outer sheetmetal and was met with the 2 inches of expanded foam underneath. Ok, so this is not the first time I butchered a hot water heater, but I have to ask… what is the easiest/cleanest most expedient way to deal with the foam insulation surrounding most modern hot water heaters ?

My guess is to just look for a well tank or holding tank instead, but I’ll do that after I skin this one… any suggestions before I really mess up my yard with styro chips ?
Dont want the chickens to eat any of that stuff out of curiosity !

I would probably burn it off it will make alot of smoke but will keep the mess down.

We scrape it off with a scraper you’d use to scrape things off of a concrete floor. You can scrape it off in about 10 minutes.

I scraped mine off and then hit it with the torch .

Ha, I don’t know scrape it and gasoline/thinners seem to eat it, but i know my chickens love to eat that blue styrofoam and it does not seem to hurt them. Ha, just lay it down and let the chickens eat it clean.

only when the chickens finish eating it they will lay blue styrofoam eggs that you can sell to the crafts store. lol

Hi Gary, Thought I’d chime in with my power by armstrong removal procedure. I started by cutting the shell open and laying it flat. The flat bar is a good removal tool. I wire brushed the fines off. It took about a half hour or so and was easy to pick up and pack into a large leaf bag.

Hello Pepe,

Looks like you are making progress.

I have used a cutting torch to burn off some of the insulation that wants to be stubborn. A cutting torch along with compressed air might even do better.

Oh for the good old days when they used fiberglass insulation. I got a couple tanks like that, insulation literally fell off in my hands. It was clean black steel underneath too. Glass inside though – uggh. Watch out for that stuff.

I recently removed the styrofoam insulation using an air chisel with a flat spade bit. I ran down the tank lengthwise every 3 to 4 inches. The foam then came off easily by hand. And I had a trash can close to put the foam in as I removed it, saved a lot of bending over later.

Acetone dissolves styrofoam, not sure about the glue that holds it though. Depending on which part of your system the tank is going to be used for, you might want to save the metal jacket, then wrap the tank in fiberglass insulation and put the jacket back on it to trap the heat in it.

a lot of the tanks that I find they seem to use a plastic covering of some type to put on the tank and then they foamed it Guess I am just lucky