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Old 23-09-2015, 05:47   #31
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Re: What is this Diesel Fuel contamination thing?

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Originally Posted by capt ric View Post
I have worked in aviation for about 40yrs and we drain the water out of the fuel cells daily ....very common to get gallons out of an airbus 330...jet fuel or diesel absorb water like crazy then when it cant absorb it any longer it goes to the bottom of the tank ...be nice to have a drain valve on the bottom of the tank..then you could get the water out however not so practical on a boat i guess ...seems like amsterdan has alot of water in there fuel...when the aircraft is at altitude the fuel cant take the water so it ends up at the bottom of the tank thats why there are stand offs in the cells....just my 2 cents worth...
Nigel Calder advocates just such a drain location for fuel tanks; my son and daughter-in-law wouldn't think of taking off before checking the fuel in their Cessna 172.

Of course, on a boat, that means having the tank bottom high enough that you can reach it. You could accommodate that process by using a day tank with a transfer pump...
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Old 23-09-2015, 06:12   #32
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Re: What is this Diesel Fuel contamination thing?

JS

We've all been through the same dance! Once you take care of it, and have just a bit of due diligence, you can avoid this problem from forever happening again... ***caveat*** ON THIS BOAT! (this truly isn't your last one is it? )

As mentioned...
1. you gotta physically scrub
2. you can save most of your fuel, you'll know what to throw out just by looking at it...
3. polish what ya pump...




Quote:
Originally Posted by JSSailem View Post
You guys are spot on about the fungi and critters growing in my diesel. Fuel from the filter change went from clear pink to black as the filter emptied in the bucket.
You can not see into the bottom section of the bowel.
Freudian slip?

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Originally Posted by GrahamHO View Post
Thanks for that Greg. I'll seek and find. I can think of lots of uses, though I'll leave colonoscopy to the doctors. I've got a foot in both IOS and Android camps and I have a USB OTG adapter. I don't argue which OS is better.
Graham, they are cheap and work great... I have several... Get one with a long cord (i.e. 10m?), I've used it to recover stuff off the bottom in the slip, prop inspection etc....

Quote:
Originally Posted by CarinaPDX View Post
When adding biocide to a contaminated tank, the dead algae/bacteria tend to end up in a layer at the bottom of the tank below the fuel but above any water. Sucking this into the fuel pickup can readily plug the filters. So while using biocide as a preventative measure seems like a good idea, when using it to treat a problem it is best to be tied up at a dock and prepared to remove the results, and not underway. Also, the dead organisms are corrosive and can damage an aluminum tank, so don't leave them in the tank after treatment (for all sorts of reasons).
EXXXACKTLY!
I have been using Startron, which is not a biocide but instead an enzyme which breaks down the little buggers and dissolves them into the fuel - no bodies to dispose of. It seems to work.

BTW the algae problem is brought to you by Big Oil. It gets into the fuel far up the distribution chain (or at least did so initially) and is distributed with the oil. It could, and should, be fixed there. (Hint: your boat doesn't get algae by lying alongside a boat with algae.)

Greg
I finally have some peace of mind knowing my boat did not actually contract an STD (slip transmitted dirtyalgeafuel) from the stinkpotter next to her...
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Old 23-09-2015, 06:32   #33
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Re: What is this Diesel Fuel contamination thing?

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I have been using dual Racors for many years. This is two filters in parallel. If and when one filter starts to clog, you turn the handle and switch over to the next filter. You can do this while the engine is running. No air enters your fuel system. You can tell when the filter is starting to clog by reading a vacuum gauge. You can also get them with a water sensor indicator. If and when the Water in Fuel alarm sounds, you switch filters.

Having a traditional system where you have a single primary filter and secondary filter in series still means that if one clogs you have to shut down the engine, introduce air into your fuel system and then bleed the air back out of your system. You don't want to have to do this while underway.

Using this dual Racor system and the biocide that already comes with the Diesel that I purchase, my fuel system stays polished.

When using this type of filter is it a bad idea to use an emulsifier like stabil? My thinking is that stabil breaks down water and suspends it in the fuel so it can be burned very slowly through the engine. Would that make it harder for this filter to seperate water out of the fuel? I use stabil religiously with phenomenal results on everything I own that uses fuel.
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Old 23-09-2015, 06:32   #34
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Re: What is this Diesel Fuel contamination thing?

Install a proper fuel polishing system along with a double Racor filter system, and solve your problem one and for all. Never worry about it again.

If you check my profile page, I did a complete write up on our Reverso system about a year ago. After a thorough cleaning of the tanks two years ago, we now polish our fuel several times per week.
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Old 23-09-2015, 06:36   #35
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Re: What is this Diesel Fuel contamination thing?

Usually most tanks have an extra bung meant for generator installs, if not you can remove the main engine dip tube, and using a plastic tube and an outboard squeeze bulb in a piece of fuel line, use that to move around the bottom of the tank and vacuum out any water or at least find out how bad your "bug" problem is. Usually as long as they are alive and well, they are the consistency of mucus. Now once they are killed they can take on a different consistency, when I bought my boat the PO had obviously been fighting bugs as there was some dead ones in the tank, looked for all the world like tofu. But once I got that out I have had no problem since, but I treat all fuel when added even though the fuel I buy is supposed to have a biocide in it.
I cannot remove my tank without major surgery to the boat and cannot install a "manhole" in it without major surgery either, so that is not always an option.
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Old 23-09-2015, 06:50   #36
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Re: What is this Diesel Fuel contamination thing?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenomac View Post
Install a proper fuel polishing system along with a double Racor filter system, and solve your problem one and for all. Never worry about it again.

If you check my profile page, I did a complete write up on our Reverso system about a year ago. After a thorough cleaning of the tanks two years ago, we now polish our fuel several times per week.
This quote doesn't seem to include the picture, but it's pretty close in the thread so folks likely will know what I'm talking about.

Two things spring to mind.

First is the lack of the flame shield which makes a filter body marine (or, at least, was when I was trying to buy another to make my homegrown under-way changer). The SS tray under likely would suffice, but it's not very close to the plastic bowls

Second is the presence of a drain valve on the one on the right, essential to removal of contaminated fuel. My cans on my home-made polisher have valves so that I can drain a bit from the can before removal, thus minimizing spill potential.

Making a polisher for those engines which have a huge differential from pumped to burned is automatic, in that every bit is filtered many times. But it involves more frequent changes, the Racors being tiny compared to my whole-house-sized filters; those I change pre-emptively (though, being as large as they are, it's very infrequent) based on vacuum reading, and my engine (Perkins 4-154) doesn't have a massive return flow as some others do, so doesn't clog up my Racor (active, one in reserve) filter.

I've never figured out why Racor didn't include drains on their housings. Capturing junk and water is pretty much useless if you can't get it out readily, IMHO.
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Old 23-09-2015, 06:57   #37
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Re: What is this Diesel Fuel contamination thing?

Happy MdRSailor

Freudian - possibly. Bad pun - maybe. Poor typing - likely. Or just auto spelling having a little fun. Scary

Great to meet someone who reads with care.
LOL....

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Old 25-09-2015, 20:27   #38
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Re: What is this Diesel Fuel contamination thing?

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Originally Posted by skipgundlach View Post
I've never figured out why Racor didn't include drains on their housings. Capturing junk and water is pretty much useless if you can't get it out readily, IMHO.
The non-Marine UL versions used to have brass petcocks. The petcocks dripped diesel (personal experience), and they were replaced with black plastic valves - turn the knob and the bowl will drain out the hose barb. I doubt the plastic drain would be considered fire resistant. The Marine UL version has a metal heat shield to protect the plastic bowl from heat, and the drain is a brass plug. While it is a nuisance to use, it will resist a fire longer and shouldn't drip.

The Marine UL filters are required on "inspected vessels", but recently surveyors have been getting picky about the rest of us and begun noting non-UL filters on surveys. Personally I don't see that much of an advantage - YMMV. In any event it is easy enough to either replace the assembly at the bottom of the bowl on the UL unit with the plastic valve, or replace the plug (1/8"?) with a petcock (one that doesn't drip). It just won't meet UL standards, but unless you are a commercial vessel (or have an engine room fire) it shouldn't matter.

Greg
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Old 11-10-2015, 16:02   #39
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Re: What is this Diesel Fuel contamination thing?

If you want to see into your tank and don't have a cleanout or access hatch, you can use a USB endoscope to put it down the filler hose and use the display of your laptop to see what's down there. Amazon.com has several endoscopes (a USB cable with a 3-5 meter long cable and a brass fitting holding a small camera and a few LEDs) The camera and cables are waterproof and should be fuel proof for short immersions. They cost from $15-$20 and let you see into / behind / under stuff you can't move.

I would advise picking one with good recommendations that is fulfilled by amazon, since it would be quicker to ship, since some others come from China via post.

Stu
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Old 13-10-2015, 11:49   #40
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Re: What is this Diesel Fuel contamination thing?

Thanks Stu
I have a 1.5 inch hole in tank for the fuel gauge. I can see some of the tank and think I can get a wand through the hole to spray pressurized fuel from a filter polishing system. Nothing like the 6 inch reach your arm inside the tank access plates described by other forum posters. With the starboard tank nearly full of month old fuel, and the port tank 2/3 rds full of questionable date old fuel (tanks are 80 gallons each) I'm not sure I want to tackle the full drain/clean task just just yet. I'm leaning towards a filter polishing project. Rigging a couple of tandem fuel filters to a pump on a box and running them till they cycle the fuel a few times. I see this as a stop gap till I can lower the level of the fuel in the tanks so that I can swap the fuel from one tank to the other and clean the empty one.

One question. Is there an analyzer service that can check the quality of the fuel? It would be worth knowing the status of the fuel from my port tank.

I am also looking for O rings to fit on my fuel intake caps. On opening the caps this past weekend I found no O ring or sealing gasket. Suspect this is a access source for water infiltration.
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Old 13-10-2015, 12:50   #41
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Re: What is this Diesel Fuel contamination thing?

I'm sure an oil company can check it for you. Maybe before and after?
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Old 13-10-2015, 13:41   #42
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Re: What is this Diesel Fuel contamination thing?

Just noticed your O ring question. There is an O ring specialty company not far from where I live. It's in a light engineering district. There might be one near you or just general engineering supplies. I have a box of assorted O rings from engineering supplies. Also you can buy O ring section in a length. Cut it and super glue the ends if you can't find the right size. Or shorten a larger one of the correct section. Best of course one of the right size. I put Vaseline on my filler O ring which is slightly too fat in section but seals well.

My filler cap is on the cockpit floor and raised up 1,1/2". I put a Tupperware bowl upside down over the filler when I leave the boat or if it's raining while sailing. Our sailing doesn't involve waves filling the cockpit very often but it should be OK if that happens. I was considering fitting a plumbing inspection port over the filler but haven't found a suitable one yet. I don't like the way some boats have a fuel filler on the side deck, especially yachts which might have the deck awash.
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Old 13-10-2015, 14:25   #43
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Re: What is this Diesel Fuel contamination thing?

You can buy an a box full of o-rings from harbor freight for under 20 bucks. It'll have the right size, and about 100 more.

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