*Indian Tank Maintenance*
By: Jaden
19 May 2007

Thatís me, Indian Tank in action

At a grass or woods fire, the Indian Tank is my weapon of choice. A few years back we were toned out for a woods fire. Upon arrival we found it was a long ways off the road and the fire was in the tops of the trees. A half dozen of us geared up with tanks and walked in. We went right to the head of the fire and started fighting it. Shortly there after we had it knocked down. Fortunately there was a small brook nearby to refill in. Yup, 6 of these tanks knocked down a woods fire. That wouldnít have happened if they were in poor working condition.


Itís important to keep an Indian tank in good working condition. Once in awhile it doesnít hurt to tear them down and clean them up. I have my grampaís old tank and he or somebody greased the thing with automotive grease. It was quite hard to use the thing, auto grease is pretty thick stuff.

I stripped the pump part of it down about as far as it goes.

Loosen nut-----------------------------------Plunger comes out

In the end of the plunger there is a spring loaded ball check valve. It needs to function correctly. If itís stuck or doesnít press back against the hole, then the pump wonít work.


The pump handle will come off by removing the nozzle adapter.

The pump

The tube you see above slides inside of the handle tube that you hang on to. It needs to be greased with light waterproof grease. I used faucet stem lubricant (same stuff used on sink faucets).

To remove the old grease I sprayed it down with Carb, Choke and Throttle Body Cleaner... oh... good stuff, good stuff. I also sprayed out the inside of the plunger and handle. Lots of nasty black crap came out. When it was clean I lubricated the plunger and all threads. Now it works very easy.

In the end where the hose attaches is yet another ball check valve. To get to it, the hose adapter needs to be removed. I also sprayed it with cleaner.


Just having the right grease and a clean pump will increase efficiency and reduce the amount of work required to operate it.

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