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Old 17-10-2016, 10:37   #31
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Re: diesel at the pump vs. diesel at the marina

if you use street diesel you'll have to add an algaecide as the problem is it WILL grow algae whilst sitting and the cost of cleaning up that problem is way more than the price difference of the two sources. as far a bio, it doesn't have to get that cold to gel and I'm not sure if separation in the tank will be reversed once brought back to temp. Maybe others have had experience with the cold and bio-diesel.
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Old 17-10-2016, 11:03   #32
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Re: diesel at the pump vs. diesel at the marina

If it's cold enough to form wax not a problem ,it will disapate when the temp rises. Way more important is the condensate in a breathing not full tank. IN a damp climate like BC the condensate lying in the bottom corner of a steel tank is not good even if you don't suck it into the system. My 2 250 lt steel tanks vented up to the day tank which vented out and ran the stove. Had an easily accessable water trap and I was glad to drain it there before it got to the main tanks .That black crud in the filters needed moisture in the fuel to grow
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Old 17-10-2016, 11:30   #33
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Re: diesel at the pump vs. diesel at the marina

The amount of condensate? Yup a gram or so per season, depending on the climate, size of tank, and location (deck vs. bilge). If there is a measurable layer you have a cap leak or a badly designed breather (waves are splashing in--it happens).

But in my experience (a bunch of lab and real-world testing outlines in the link below), diesel saturated with a gram of water is different from dry diesel. There are differences in conductivity, corrosion, and bio growth. A vent silica gel filter prevents this and can actually slightly dry the fuel.

(the center jar had the silica gel filter--less corrosion, less sludge formation)


Personally, I see it as cheap insurance. It helps with diesel and it REALLY helps with e-10 gasoline (with gasoline it also reduces volitiles loss and gum formation).

Sail Delmarva: Silica Gel Vent Filters--Dry Diesel and Gasoline Makes for a Happy Engine

This year, after 5 years in service, I finally had to regenerate the filter. A 20 minute bake-out while I was doing other boat stuff. Surprisingly, to me, there was very little odor; it seems that once the silica gel is saturated with water, there it little room for hydrocarbon fumes.

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Old 17-10-2016, 11:39   #34
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Re: diesel at the pump vs. diesel at the marina

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Yes, but you're making a few assumptions. The first is that the air in the tank is static, unmoving, unchanged. Someone else proposed using one change/24 hours, which would coincide with heat/cool/condensing cycles. Thus, over the course of a season (200 days?), under this assumption you might have 200x as much, or 100g of water.
So you are saying that the fuel inside the tank would expand to fill the tank and then contract to suck in that whole volume of air? Rediculous. There would be a very small, if any, exchange of air on a daily basis. Make sure your tank filler cap's o-ring is in good shape and the cap is on tight. Also, make sure water can't blow in through the tank ventilation system and you wont experience any problem at all.
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Old 17-10-2016, 11:49   #35
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Re: diesel at the pump vs. diesel at the marina

If you find yourself in an area that has a lot of farms, you can get non-taxed diesel from the local pump station. Its also dyed. You can usually find it in the Chesapeake area. We did this once but for the time and gas you spend going back and forth from the station, its just not worth it.
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Old 17-10-2016, 18:10   #36
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Re: diesel at the pump vs. diesel at the marina

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Originally Posted by jbinbi View Post
I can't find a correct answer. I need to add some fuel to my tanks for winterizing. The boat is not able to get to a marina for fuel. So I was going to bring in some 5 gallon containers of diesel.

Can I just get it from a regular gas station or do I need to go a fuel dock? I know the gas stations have bio diesel, not sure if that is different from what is at the marinas?

Oh yeah, assuming I can use my gasoline 5 gallon, emptied, rinsed with water, and let dry. Thinking the ratio of diesel to whatever is in there is like 1000:1
We get heating fuel. Much cheaper and is suitable for marine use. Just empty your 5 gallon containers, do not worry about rinsing them. A drop of gas or water will not affect anything. Any residue not fit for diesel will be going to the filters anyway, before the injectors or the pump. We do not even worry about condensation. We have 250 gallons on each side and we never have problems. No additives, no stabyl nothing added. We run twin Isusu 370 hp. Every daily check only includes visual checking the water separator. We drain the water maybe once a month (a table spoon).
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Old 17-10-2016, 20:41   #37
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Re: diesel at the pump vs. diesel at the marina

There is a difference check out ValvTech diesel.
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Old 17-10-2016, 23:38   #38
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Re: diesel at the pump vs. diesel at the marina

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Originally Posted by DeepFrz View Post
So you are saying that the fuel inside the tank would expand to fill the tank and then contract to suck in that whole volume of air? Rediculous. There would be a very small, if any, exchange of air on a daily basis. Make sure your tank filler cap's o-ring is in good shape and the cap is on tight. Also, make sure water can't blow in through the tank ventilation system and you wont experience any problem at all.
No, the air will expand and contract. Technically the fuel does also but so little as to be irrelevant to the calculations.

Since it's difficult to say exactly how much it will expand and contract over a day, we can say it will be less than 100% and even then it's an infinitesimal amount. In reality, it depends on the temperature and pressure changes over the day and the tank may not exactly mirror the outside air temps. It will likely be well under 50%.

We do agree if you are picking up enough water to be able to detect it, it's far more likely that you have a leak of some sort introducing water.

PS: Gasoline with E10, is even less of an issue for condensation assuming you turn over the fuel the next year. Until you reach the saturation point, it absorbs it and passes it thru the engine harmlessly. Only if you reach the saturation point and get phase separation does it become an issue. In fact, the old solution for water in gasoline was to add some "dry gas" which was essentially ethanol to absorb the moisture.
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Old 18-10-2016, 04:42   #39
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Re: diesel at the pump vs. diesel at the marina

We usually only have 15-25 gallons of fuel in our 50 gallon tank at year end.
I dose it with biobor and forget about it. Also we use diesel from gas stations. No issues as it is an old-school Westerbeke 40 and can run on just about anything. We do have a nice racor filter, and a two year old fuel tank. The Racor has a clear bowl where you can look in and see if there is water collected, and if so, a handy little petcock in the bottom to drain that off.
We are in Toledo in the great lakes. Our biggest issue is in the spring. Cold nights keep the hull, engine block, and all other masses (like the fuel in your tank) very cool, and in the bright morning sun, a small breeze comes up as the moisture evaporates from the ground. You will see moisture condensing anywhere there is something cold. Parts of the outside of the hull, outside of your tank, your engine block, etc. Luckily, your tank breathes through a length of small-diameter tubing, so there is not much air movement.

THAT SAID, I stopped the practice of topping off fuel tanks (gas and diesel) about 15 years ago, because I have never had condensation issues. And I hate the weight and the $$$ sitting in a boat that is layed up for the winter.

On Bio-Diesel: Avoid it at all costs. It is not commonly available where I am, but where I work, they had some big problems with some of the boats when using biodiesel in that the filters would plug up. Funny thing is it was at the molecular level. You could not see with your naked eye what was clogging them, but they were certainly clogged. Also they had to install a fuel pre-heater for cold weather. I understand this is common when switching from Regular to Bio, where years of deposits can come loose or get broken down.
Note: Modern high-efficiency, common-rail diesels with computer-controlled injectors must have good fuel, because at low speeds they may skip cycles (take a cylinder off line for 2 revolutions) to save fuel and reduce heat. In this case a small amount of gasoline will greatly reduce lubricity and many who accidentally fuel a modern diesel car with even a small amount of gasoline can suffer major engine issues.
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