Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 20-06-2018, 04:41   #1
Registered User
 
MollyJo's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Western Australia
Boat: Viking 30
Posts: 45
A problem or not?

I have a perplexing problem or may be no problem at all.

The diesel fuel line developed a leak in the final section (there are three) to the engine.
I replaced that section and happily no more obvious leak. Next sailing trip, with a good heel on I could smell diesel, but could find no leak. This happened a couple of times before stopping and I assumed that some fuel had pooled under the cabinets from the original leak and drained out while heeled. The carpeted sole needed replacing, no big deal.
Although I can not smell diesel anymore, I can see the new carpet has soaked up some more.
Could it be I have a leak in the return fuel line? If so I would expect to smell fuel.
Does old diesel lose its scent?, thereby perhaps it all relates to the original leak.
Can I trouble shoot this somehow?
Your thoughts?
__________________

MollyJo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20-06-2018, 08:40   #2
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Australia
Boat: Island Packet 40
Posts: 2,031
Images: 7
Re: A problem or not?

Old diesel tends to smell less than new as the more volatile components evaporate off the old. If the leaking appears after the boat has been heeled when sailing a leak somewhere in the fuel tank appears the most probable cause.
__________________

RaymondR is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20-06-2018, 09:48   #3
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Southern Calif.
Posts: 457
Re: A problem or not?

Diesel stinks and it soaks into anything it touches, so any wood or fiberglass under that carpet may also stink. Diesel probably got into some nooks and crannies and will seep out for a while
Best practice probably to trace every inch of fuel lines by hand with a clean white rag looking for signs of fuel and do again after running a bit.
Calif.Ted is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20-06-2018, 15:24   #4
Senior Cruiser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: May 2013
Location: Oregon to Alaska
Boat: Wheeler Shipyard 83' ex USCG
Posts: 2,144
Re: A problem or not?

Diesel only has an odor if it's present. If you smell diesel it's still there. Anywhere the fuel leaked, everything it touched needs to be well cleaned with soap and then rinsed. I use a strong dish soap. Something that cuts oil. Usually it takes some brushing or wiping with the soap solution. If the fuel was on bare wood, sometimes wiping with acetone helps. There are bilge cleaners with enzymes that digest fuel.
Lepke is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20-06-2018, 16:45   #5
Registered User
 
flyingfin's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: Cape Haze,FL
Boat: Carver,Cobia,Nacra
Posts: 302
Re: A problem or not?

How old are the fuel lines? Why did you replace only one and not all three?
flyingfin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-06-2018, 05:54   #6
Registered User
 
Suijin's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Annapolis MD; currently in New England
Boat: Valiant 40
Posts: 4,150
Re: A problem or not?

Itís possible you have a water leak somewhere; it floated any fuel in bilge, you cleaned it out, and now itís just water, still leaking.

Itís important when diagnosing stuff like this that you never discount simultaneous but unrelated problems that appear to be connected.
__________________
"Having a yacht is reason for being more cheerful than most." -Kurt Vonnegut
Suijin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-06-2018, 10:44   #7
Registered User
 
S/V Alchemy's Avatar

Join Date: May 2008
Location: Toronto
Boat: Custom 41' Steel Pilothouse Cutter
Posts: 4,836
Re: A problem or not?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Suijin View Post
Itís possible you have a water leak somewhere; it floated any fuel in bilge, you cleaned it out, and now itís just water, still leaking.

Itís important when diagnosing stuff like this that you never discount simultaneous but unrelated problems that appear to be connected.

Sad, but realistic. Many sailors have found new problems trying to solve old problems that were, in fact, previously solved.
__________________
Can't sleep? Read www.alchemy2009.blogspot.com for fast relief. Can't read? Avoid www.volumesofsalt.blogspot.com, because it's just personal reviews of sea books.
S/V Alchemy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-06-2018, 14:05   #8
Registered User

Join Date: May 2015
Location: NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA
Boat: 1973 GULFSTAR 41 CENTER COCKPIT
Posts: 68
Re: A problem or not?

What kind of diesel engine do you have?

I had a similar problem on a Perkins 4-108.

I could never find the leak....until I inspected the engine with a small bright light while it was running. I found a very slow drip from the shaft of the injector pump. Replacement of the o rings on the shaft solved the problem and made the engine far easier to start.
CHRIS V CLEMENT is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-06-2018, 17:06   #9
Registered User
 
Capt Gill's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Horseshoe Cove Sausalito/Currently in La Paz,BCS,Mex.
Boat: Ron Holland 43 Semi-custom Sloop
Posts: 187
Re: A problem or not?

S/V Alchemy
"Sad, but realistic. Many sailors have found new problems trying to solve old problems that were, in fact, previously solved."
Ain't that the truth ! So often it happens that I now put a positive spin on it when going to solve a problem, i.e., here's my chance to discover some other heretofore unknown issue.
__________________
Jack
Capt Gill is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-06-2018, 19:07   #10
Registered User

Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Auckland, NZ
Boat: Compass 790 , 7.9 metres or 26 ft
Posts: 549
Re: A problem or not?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MollyJo View Post
I have a perplexing problem or may be no problem at all.

The diesel fuel line developed a leak in the final section (there are three) to the engine.
I replaced that section and happily no more obvious leak. Next sailing trip, with a good heel on I could smell diesel, but could find no leak. This happened a couple of times before stopping and I assumed that some fuel had pooled under the cabinets from the original leak and drained out while heeled. The carpeted sole needed replacing, no big deal.
Although I can not smell diesel anymore, I can see the new carpet has soaked up some more.
Could it be I have a leak in the return fuel line? If so I would expect to smell fuel.
Does old diesel lose its scent?, thereby perhaps it all relates to the original leak.
Can I trouble shoot this somehow?
Your thoughts?
I agree with posters that said you may have multiple leaks. Our single cylinder diesel shakes so much that we had multiple leaks, kept thinking that I'd solved it but then found another one. What worked good as a diagnostic tool was toilet paper wrapped around each of the joints, or maybe paper towels if dunny paper offends yr sensibilities Pity I didnt think of that earlier in the process as it took a while to chase them all down.
Compass790 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22-06-2018, 01:14   #11
Registered User
 
MollyJo's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Western Australia
Boat: Viking 30
Posts: 45
Re: A problem or not?

Grate ideas so far, thank you, but I think no cigars.
The first stages of fuel line are 99% visible and appear to be in good shape, not leaking, so I figured not worth changing at the same time. The replaced section disappeared under the ice box. I rerouted the new section. Engine is new, 120 hours. Have tried the paper towel trick which eliminated connectors etc. hole in the fuel tank? A horrible thought but as the affected carpet is near the icebox and that near the fuel tank is all good, I trust itís not that. I have a sail drive setup so the boat is dry, so a leak isnít the culprit. As there is no defining smell, Iím thinking itís old fuel caught under the icebox. Maybe soaked into insulation??
Anyway, thanks for your thoughts. An answer exists, I just havenít found it yet
MollyJo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22-06-2018, 01:47   #12
Registered User

Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Auckland, NZ
Boat: Compass 790 , 7.9 metres or 26 ft
Posts: 549
Re: A problem or not?

Ok, bummer u haven't found te smoking gun but please educate us if you do. Insulation soaking is a real possibility. You may have a good nose. Heard nose/taste related & people who do food testing say that only 1 in a thousand have taste worth their time. Took a long time for diesel in our multiple leaks case to find it's way to the bilge. ( maybe 6mths but memory not great)
Good luck with yr search
Compass790 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22-06-2018, 06:44   #13
Registered User
 
Suijin's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Annapolis MD; currently in New England
Boat: Valiant 40
Posts: 4,150
A problem or not?

Fuel smells like fuel and never stops smelling like fuel. If it does not smell it ainít fuel. Next step would be to determine if itís freshwater or saltwater (or coolant, or ATF etc.). Honestly I would taste it on my fingertip (and spit, obviously lol).

Leaks can be devilish to track down because they can run unseen longitudinally from the source. I had one very small saltwater leak that took me five years to find after I bought my current boat.
__________________
"Having a yacht is reason for being more cheerful than most." -Kurt Vonnegut
Suijin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22-06-2018, 20:01   #14
Registered User
 
MollyJo's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Western Australia
Boat: Viking 30
Posts: 45
Re: A problem or not?

A taste test, hadnít thought of that, might help eliminate some possibilities. Hanging the carpet over the lifelines in the rain to try and wash out, I can see a green tinge in the liquid that drips out. I do use green coolant but have never had a spill. I have placed oil absorbent cloth sheets around the cabinet bases, which has picked up some of the contaminate, but really itís only dampness, not so much that you could ring it out.
BTW Suijin, what does diesel taste like?🤪
MollyJo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23-06-2018, 00:30   #15
Registered User

Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Auckland, NZ
Boat: Compass 790 , 7.9 metres or 26 ft
Posts: 549
Re: A problem or not?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MollyJo View Post
A taste test, hadnít thought of that, might help eliminate some possibilities. Hanging the carpet over the lifelines in the rain to try and wash out, I can see a green tinge in the liquid that drips out. I do use green coolant but have never had a spill. I have placed oil absorbent cloth sheets around the cabinet bases, which has picked up some of the contaminate, but really itís only dampness, not so much that you could ring it out.
BTW Suijin, what does diesel taste like?🤪
No no, I didn't recommend a taste test, just sayn taste & smell are related. I couldn't smell diesel when it kept appearing in our bilge water, but avoid tasting it! I'm just saying good u can sniff it out. Must admit I did taste bilge water coz I'm an idiot, but using yr nose is far better. Good using absortion material.A better way is to chek if film is on top of bilge water. I tasted it to see if it was diesel or engine oil BTW. Diesel tastes like diesel smells FWIW but it's nasty
p.s. I was a temp sandgroper :-)
__________________

Compass790 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Marine air passport control problem or not? Capt.Alex Plumbing Systems and Fixtures 0 03-09-2013 14:54
Ever Changing listing problem, list will not go away Ksoulant Powered Boats 14 17-12-2012 19:48
Xantrex Monitor Problem OR Battery bank problem? svstrider Electrical: Batteries, Generators & Solar 4 26-12-2011 21:08
Battery-Charging Regulator Problem ? MasterVolt Problem ? RJV Electrical: Batteries, Generators & Solar 18 06-11-2011 23:53
Posts Not Being Marked Read - Probably Not a Problem w/CF . . . dacust Forum Tech Support & Site Help 2 02-10-2010 08:53



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 07:16.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.