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Re: [TowerTalk] Tri-Ex Exterior Protection

To: Jeff Carter <>,
Subject: Re: [TowerTalk] Tri-Ex Exterior Protection
From: Tom Anderson <>
Date: Wed, 2 Apr 2008 22:35:10 -0700 (PDT)
List-post: <">>

I have a TriEx W51 that I've had for more than 15
years and what I do when I notice any corrosion is use
some steel wool, like 00 or 000 grade, and sand down
the corrosion lightly and then use a cold galvanizing
spray, available at Lowe's, Home Depot, and most
hardware stores like Ace, and put a couple coats on
it, letting each coat dry thoroughly.  Its always
worked for me, now and when I used to have a Rohn 25
tower up 40 feet. 

Steve, the towertalk list manager, I believe also
sells a brand of cold galvanizing spray if you can't
find any locally where you live. 

When I had the Rohn 25 in the 1980s my dad was CEO of
a holding company that owned several subsidiary
companies with plants in Fort Worth TX, Provo UT, and
Tulsa OK, that used a hot dip galvanizing process in
building pressure vessels and BIG high voltage
electric transmission towers. Each of those vats  were
a couple hundred feet long and woebeit to the employee
who didn't leave the steel in the first acid
"pickling" bath long enough to heat the steel up to
near the same temp. as the actual zinc galvanizing
vat.  The employees told me (I periodially shot photos
for the company's annual report and employee
newspaper)that too cold a steel put into the molten
zinc vat would cause an "explosion" of molten zinc dip
material to erupt all over the place.  I noticed that
the walls of the galvanizing area were covered with
big globs of galvanizing material.  

I could have taken the Rohn sections to the Fort Worth
plant if I wanted to and gotten the plant staff to
sand, prep, etc., and regalvanize the 10 ft. sections
for me, but the cold galvanizing spray was so much
easier to use and I seldom had to respray it, at least
in the 10 years I used the 40 ft of Rohn 25 (3
sections were used when I got them) before buying the
TriEx W51 new. Just make sure you thoroughy shake the
can so the paint pigment and the  "vehicle" (what the
pigment mixes with inside the can) are throroughly

Another one of our companies made natural gas
regulators, i.e. the big round section of a home or
industrial natural gas meter.  Those things had a
rubber or neoprene-like solid rubber gasket inside
that lowers the gas pressure from the "pounds per
square inch" in the supply line that runs in back or
front of one's home, down to "ounces" PSI for home

When I was a newspaper reporter for 20+ years I wrote
about several house fires where someone had taken a
radiator hose and bypassed the regulator that had been
removed or locked by the gas company for non payment
of their monthly bill, and fed natural gas at several
pounds "PSI" straight into their house where the
stove, hotwater heater, etc. were supposed to be
supplied with gas at only so many ounces pressure per
square inch.  I understand that the high pressure
flames coming out of a home cooking stove were often
several feet long.

I worked one summer while I was in college in the mid
1960s assembling gas regulators at one of our plants
near Dallas and vowed from then on to have an all
electric home hi hi.  I'd assemble several hundred of
those regulators a day and was never so glad when the
summer was over.  I asked the full time enployees in
the paint area what they used to paint them with and
they said it was a "type" of silver "galvanizing
paint" that was supposed to prevent rust and
corrosion.  The regulators were assembled from steel
and cast iron pieces.  Since I was the CEO's son I
always got the grimiest, dirtiest jobs in the plant,
like having to degrease hundreds of cast iron "T"
connectors, weighing 3-4 pounds a piece, used for the
inflow and outflow of the natural gas. They never gave
me any gloves or any other safety garments, so my
hands were always cracked and sore at the end of the
day since the degreasing chemicals took all the
natural oils out of my hands.   

My oldest son and daughter in law have lived in two
two houses that use natural gas for heating and their
home hot water heater and noticed that their gas
supply lines on the side of the house always seem to
get a layer of corrosion fairly fast.  So I showed my
son how to take some fine steel wool, smooth down the
corrosion and then cover it with a couple coats of
cold galvanizing spray.

A source of mine when I was a newspaper reporter for
20+ years in Fort Worth was the owner of a pipeline
corrosion prevention company that specialized in
preventing large, like 24 inches and bigger, natural
gas pipelines from corroding.  Besides the coating
wrap installed just before the pipe was placed in the
ditch, his employees would attach a "sacrificial
anode" to a section of pipe ever so many feet. The
chemicals and minerals naturally present in the ground
would then attack the anode rather than the pipe, or
so he told me.  Anytime I wrote a story about a
pipeline explosion or major leak I always called him
for some (I never quoted him or his son by name per
his request) expert advice, but just got him to
explain why the suspect line might have leaked and
caused the explosion.  Often times his company was the
one called in by OSHA, NTSB, or local fire
authorities, to determine why a pipe leaked or

Corrosion, he said, supposedly was nature's way of
trying to "return" the iron and steel pipe back to its
natural state as an iron ore.  My source is dead now,
but ironically his name/nickname was R. B. "Pipe"
Bender (really).  So our readers would understand what
he was talking about I always had to explain the
corrosion process as simply as possible.

So much for galvanizing, just get a good quality cold
galvanizing spray, smooth down any corrosion spots,
and use a couple coats and I don't think you'll have
any problems.  I'm sure there are members of the list
with much more experience at handling this type of
situation. The spray can of cold galvanizing spray for
"spot" treatments seems to work just fine. I always
keep a can of it around the garage and coat/seal any
corrosion spots on my 50 ft. crankup when I notice

If we ever move to a new QTH, my XYL Cheryl (WY5H) and
I hope to be able to buy either a 70+ or 80+ foot
crank up tower with an electric motor positive pull
up/down raising system.  At 60+ yoa, each of our
shoulders and arms are starting to develop arthritis.

Hope this helps, it may just be more confusion hi hi. 
If "Pipe" was still alive I would have called him
tonight before replying to your e-mail and got an
"expert" answer from him. 

Also you might call Carl Tashjian, who owns Tashjian
Towers (TriEx's successor company) and ask him.  Carl
was the staff professional engineer who wet stamped
all of TriEx's blueprints when I bought my W51 crank
up in 1992. Tashjian now calls the same tower the
WT-51 I velieve.

Tashjian's phone numbers are: Phone: 559-495-0307   
Fax: 559-495-0557, Mobile: 559-284-9707, according to
their website.

73 de Tom, WW5L
es Cheryl, WY5H

--- Jeff Carter <> wrote:

> Hi all,
> I have an old Tri-Ex tower that I'm told was
> protected from rust by
> dipping in some sort of gray solution.
> After 40 years or so, this has begun to fail a
> little bit and I notice
> small spots of oxidation.
> What to do?  My instinct is to grind the oxidation
> off and repaint,
> but with what?  What do you do?
> Thanks in advance,
> Jeff/KD4RBG
> _______________________________________________
> _______________________________________________
> TowerTalk mailing list


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