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Old 29-07-2013, 00:35   #1
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Diesel Fuel

Just some thoughts on deisel. My fuel is starting to get old? Although it does not show any signs of getting old its been in the tank a few yrs. (3-4) Boat starts fine, runs fine, no smoke. But am thinking i'm pushing my luck. I use additives (fuel stabelizers, biocides etc). filters changed, I also put in a gallon or two of new fuel from time to time to freshen it up. Just can't seem to use it all up day sailing. Was considering Starting it up in the slip put it under a little load and just let it run dry to try and get all the old fuel out.

Is that a good idea or a really bad one. May end up sucking up all the crud at the bottom of the tank if there is any.
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Old 29-07-2013, 00:59   #2
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When I got my boat I thought I would clean the fuel tanks. I got a 12 v fuel pump. On the intake I put a fuel hose long enough to go into the inspection cap on the tank and reach the base of the tank.
I ran the outlet hose into a fuel can. I basically vacuumed the tank.
I dispossed of the fuel and the sludge that I sucked up and refilled tank with new fuel and a biocide.

I have seen where a fuel filter is added into the outlet hose so you can filter the fuel and reuse. In my case I was happy to ditch the fuel as I had no idea how long it had been since PO had done any fuel cleaning or added biocide and there was a good amount of sludge on the bottom of the tank.

Scott
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Old 29-07-2013, 01:19   #3
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Amendment to previous post. Fuel filter on intake before pump.

Checkout www.thecoastalpassage.com/diesel

Scott
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Old 29-07-2013, 01:24   #4
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Re: Deisel fuel ?

Discard Diesel fuel if older than a year, and if it has been in contact with Zinc or a Copper/Brass storage tank. Sediments formed will clog your filters and will starve your engine. Chemical reactions with the above metals will speed up your fuel's degradation; rendering it unusable.

Mauritz
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Old 30-07-2013, 23:30   #5
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re: Diesel Fuel

Well seems my suspicions were correct. Went out today engine started loosing power got back ok just eased off the throttle. Checked the primary filter (a Racor) and drained about a cup and a half of water out of the drain plug on the bottom. Hmm I wonder how much more water is in the tank ?
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Old 31-07-2013, 03:39   #6
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re: Diesel Fuel

Probably quite a bit diesel floats on water so from the outlet down is probably dodgy may be time for a complete tank drain and clean just for peace of mind.
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Old 31-07-2013, 04:03   #7
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re: Diesel Fuel

Perhaps I am lucky. I have never polished my fuel or cleaned my fuel tank in 28 yrs. I do regular maintence and have had dual Recors... but removed one when it began to leak. I run the motor a fair bit because I have engine drive refer.... I use engine power in the harbor... and I do motor sail occasionally to get where I am going sooner. My fuel consumption is probably about a tankful or two per sailing season these days... more when I was living aboard full time. I've never had problems with water in the fuel... but have with loose connections and air locks. The Volco keeps chugging along approaching 5,000 hrs. Knock wood.
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Old 20-08-2013, 22:40   #8
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re: Diesel Fuel

Update:
well I just had my tank cleaned out. The technician said it wasn't worth polishing. So we added fresh fuel.

He told me something interesting, He said if I can, try to get the fuel from a road service station instead of the Marina. Something about it being better quality then offroad fuel from the Marina.

Wonder if there is any truth to that? Any thoughts anyone ?
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Old 21-08-2013, 00:51   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flanza4
Update:
well I just had my tank cleaned out. The technician said it wasn't worth polishing. So we added fresh fuel.

He told me something interesting, He said if I can, try to get the fuel from a road service station instead of the Marina. Something about it being better quality then offroad fuel from the Marina.

Wonder if there is any truth to that? Any thoughts anyone ?
Depends on where you live. In the UK, road diesel by law has a certain amount of biodiesel in it, which is a recipe for disaster in a boat. It also costs 1.5x more.
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Old 21-08-2013, 00:52   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Teknav
Discard Diesel fuel if older than a year, and if it has been in contact with Zinc or a Copper/Brass storage tank. Sediments formed will clog your filters and will starve your engine. Chemical reactions with the above metals will speed up your fuel's degradation; rendering it unusable.

Mauritz
As far as I know, clean, well-stored, pure mineral (no bio) diesel fuel lasts a lot longer than a year.
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Old 21-08-2013, 01:15   #11
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Thumbs up re: Diesel Fuel

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
As far as I know, clean, well-stored, pure mineral (no bio) diesel fuel lasts a lot longer than a year.
Yup, your spot on DIESEL will last for yonks.
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Old 21-08-2013, 03:10   #12
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re: Diesel Fuel

Diesel fuel storage is an old gripe on here by many. My company stores and delivers all kinds of bulk chemicals including diesel. Diesel fuel contains fine sediment which will settle out over time (like fine wine) and some are 'wet' i.e. have a high moisture content. Virtually no tank is insulated so depending on your location you will get condensation inside the tank. All tanks should have a sump and drain cock, some people say there is no drain cock and make the excuse they can't access the fuel tank to remove it, if a man put it in there, a man can take it out again, to clean the tank and fit a drain cock.
Expensive filtration systems like Raccor are a total waste of money because, when a diesel engine runs it returns unused filtered fuel back to the tank, so it is constantly filtering (cleaning) fuel when the engine is running. During normal safety checks before leaving port, or when checking oil/fluid levels on the engine, if the drain cock on the fuel tank is gently opened until clean fuel runs out, all sediment and water will be removed. Diesel bug lives and breeds at the interface of water and fuel, ergo if there is no water in the tank there will be no diesel bug. I hope this explanation is clear, if not contact me for clarification.
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Old 21-08-2013, 04:56   #13
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re: Diesel Fuel

I have just emptied my diesel tank under instructions from my mechanic, I must say I am more confident now because I cleaned 20+years of gunk and grime built up on the bottom of the tank
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Old 21-08-2013, 05:09   #14
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Re: Deisel Fuel

The sooner sailors realize that Diesel is NOT a clean fuel, the better.

Mauritz
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Old 21-08-2013, 05:13   #15
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Re: Diesel Fuel

Quote:
Originally Posted by Flanza4 View Post
Update:
well I just had my tank cleaned out. The technician said it wasn't worth polishing. So we added fresh fuel.

He told me something interesting, He said if I can, try to get the fuel from a road service station instead of the Marina. Something about it being better quality then offroad fuel from the Marina.

Wonder if there is any truth to that? Any thoughts anyone ?

It's illegal. Over-the-ground diesel is taxed differently than marine diesel. They're different colors, and if you get busted on it, I think it's a fairly big find.

Unless you have a small fuel tank or a big truck full of gerrycans it would be a bother,

I'd do it if I were in some out of the way place that had no marine diesel, but that would be the only reason I would do it, and I'd get a written statement from the seller that there is no marine diesel available in the area.
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