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Old 22-07-2011, 09:51   #1
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Do Not Use Biocide

All,
I posted last month about my brand new fuel tank, new fuel lines, and new Yanmar engine failing due to an algae clogged check ball in my Racor water seperator/fuel assembly.
I stated how ironic it was my old engine of 30 years never had a fuel system failure despite never using a biocide and multi-year intervals between fuel filter replacements.
I just read my new Yanmar manual and see that they say "DO NOT USE BIOCIDE", the implication being you void the Warranty.
At this point I am glad I did not take my mechanics recommendation to treat the tank with biocide. And have decided to continue to run the boat with a careful eye on the Racor bowel for signs of algae (at this time there is none).
Any Comments? Why would anyone use a biocide with the top engine mfg says not to.

Thanks,
Ed
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Old 22-07-2011, 10:03   #2
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Re: Do not use biocide

I have used Biobor Jr in my old Yanmar for more than 15 years. Last summer I installed a new Yanmar 4JH5E and I am using Biobor JR in it too. I see the statement in the fuel portion of the manual about not using biocide but I choose to ignore it. My engines have not ever had an algae problem. Maybe yours wouldn't have had the problem if you had been using a biocide?
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Old 22-07-2011, 10:05   #3
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Re: Do not use biocide

Has anyone called Yanmar to ask why? It is nice when a manufacturer provides an explanation as to why not to do something that so many people already do.
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Old 22-07-2011, 10:13   #4
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I use racor conditioner plus it does not specifically say it's a biocide if you are using low sulphur fuels adding a lube is usually recommended. Like to tankard reasoning
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Old 22-07-2011, 10:29   #5
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Re: Do Not Use Biocide

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Originally Posted by Journeyman View Post
All,
I posted last month about my brand new fuel tank, new fuel lines, and new Yanmar engine failing due to an algae clogged check ball in my Racor water seperator/fuel assembly...
Biocides are used to kill Bacteria in diesel, not algae.
See also ➥ Yanmar and Biocide
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Old 22-07-2011, 10:53   #6
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Re: Do Not Use Biocide

The reason your engine quit after adding Biocide is probably because all the water and gunk in the fuel bowl clogged the check valve. It was the failure to use a biocide and water in the tank that did you in. The Biocide was only coincidental. Those organisms that have been living in and eating your diesel for all these years were killed by the Biocide but they wouldn't have been there at all with regular Biocide use. Sounds like you weren't checking your filter regularly for water and it filled with water and the auto shut off feature for a 'full of water filter' failed because of long neglect.

The Racor filter should be disassembled occasionally and the filter bowl completely cleaned. The bowl on mine was so gunkfilled that you couldn't tell if it had water in it. Opening the water drain produced a dribble of what I mistakenly thought was fuel. Doubt that the filter had been cleaned out since the engine was installed a decade ago. The stuff in the bowl, that I hesitate to call fuel, was opaque and practially the consistency of pudding. Don't rely on a mechanic to figure this out. A mechanic had just changed the filter when he was working on the engine because of a cooling problem. He didn't mention anything about the condition of the filter bowl. I, being a numb nuts, never thought to question why I couldn't see through the bowl till the engine lost power. Couldn't believe how crudded up the inside of the filter was. Wasted a tooth brush scrubbing out all the junk inside. Just changing the filter, doesn't clean out the bottom of a Racor 500.

In short, you didn't have a Biobor problem, you had a bad fuel problem from years of low engine hours. Maybe an investment in a fuel scrub operation might be in order. In the tropics, not using a Biocide can be fatal especially on a boat that gets limited engine use. The little buggers multiply like crazy in the heat and eventually clog up the system. Not as much of a problem on a power boat that cycles fuel through regularly but still a good idea to use a Biocide.

As far as other additives, probably can't hurt but check with your engine manufacturer. AFAIK, the low sulphur fuel issue was mostly with way older engines with a certain kind of injector pump. That kind of pump needs the lubrication of the sulphur.

As far as Yanmar's anti Biocide reccomendation, they need to explain themselves and give us tropic dwellers an alternative.
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Old 22-07-2011, 11:14   #7
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Re: Do Not Use Biocide

I think the answer to why the manufacturer disallows addatives is pretty simple.
They know that their motor will run perfectly on good clean fuel.
They don't know what you are going to add to the fuel, for your own purpose. But they do know that they will be asked to provide a solution to your problem. So they duck and cover.
Kind of like the sign on a folding ladder that tells you not to stand on the top step.
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Old 22-07-2011, 11:20   #8
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The point is that biocide use must be preventative...

... not reactive. It is possible to cause fuel starvation and other damage if the user waits until he has a problem, dumps in a bunch to kill the bugs, and then lets the sloughing carcases pass through the system. At the very least, when a system is infested it must be carefuly cleaned FIRST and then disinfected. Careful cleaning is more than most will do, and Yanmar knows that.

Sail Delmarva: Diesel and Biocides

Some other additives can have "accidental" biocide properties, so you can geta die-off and clogging with non-biocide treatments too (see tables in the post).

Best? Keep a clean fuel system.
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Old 22-07-2011, 12:17   #9
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Re: Do Not Use Biocide

My recollection is that Yanmar is concerned about biocide additives because they can change the "lubricity" of the diesel fuel, leading to abnormal engine wear. Apparently the FPPF Killem is formulated in a way to avoid that problem, which is why Yanmar approves it's use.
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Old 22-07-2011, 12:29   #10
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Re: Do Not Use Biocide

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Originally Posted by GordMay View Post
Biocides are used to kill Bacteria in diesel, not algae.
See also ➥ Yanmar and Biocide
Yup, algae uses photosynthesis to get its energy.
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Old 22-07-2011, 12:36   #11
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Re: Do Not Use Biocide

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Originally Posted by Hud3 View Post
My recollection is that Yanmar is concerned about biocide additives because they can change the "lubricity" of the diesel fuel, leading to abnormal engine wear. Apparently the FPPF Killem is formulated in a way to avoid that problem, which is why Yanmar approves it's use.
A. I suspect that is baloney (not your statement--Yanmar's) for 2 reasons: the dose rates are very low and because another product, Biobor, is used in our jet airplane fleet. However, if there is a link, please share it. I'm interested.

B. The product is a pestocide registered by Ako-Nobel/Alco and simply relabeled and resold under the following labels:
Aquatreat DM-30
Pri-Ocide
Valvtec Bio-gard
Star Brite4 Biodiesel
Because of the manner in which pesticides are registered, they must be marketed without modification unless a new registration is filed. The registration information is available on-line (EPA).

This was discussed in a Practical Sailor article (July 2009, vol 35, number 7).
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Old 22-07-2011, 13:34   #12
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Re: Do Not Use Biocide

I admit 1) I may be on the list of top offenders for not using Biobor as often as recommended & 2) I usually look for the longest route from point "A" to point "B".

About 10 years ago I installed an Algex, electric fuel pump (at the tank), three 3 way ball valves and two Racor 500 fuel filters. Each of two ball valves are located by a Racor filter to control fuel access to that filter. The third ball valve is located at the engine ahead of the mechanical pump.


Only one Racor filter is used at a time. If for any reason it gets clogged (Murphay's Law @ worst time possible), instead of the time required to change the filter... all you need to do is change the fuel path to the other filter. You can then change the filter at a later time at your convience.


The third ball valve is used to control fuel path, either to the engine or return to the fuel tank. With the use of the electric fuel pump you are able to route the fuel thru the (in my case the Algex), the Racor fuel filter & back to the tank. I am able to polish my fuel myself on a regular basis.


I am also able to utilize the fuel pump when I do change filters to control fuel/air level in each filter... Also if I need to bleed the system.


Just another tool for the tool box. It may sound complex. But it is quite simple & can save a lot of time & expense in the long run. Hope it helps, Cal
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Old 22-07-2011, 13:46   #13
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The Alage-X is pure snake oil

I don't mean to pick on anyone, but magnets for arthritis and bacteria, and copper bracelets both fit in the same hopper. There is no validated 3rd party work and only huge marketing lies keep it afloat.

Algae-X has been tested by independent 3rd parties and IT DOES NOTHING. Common sense, really.

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Old 22-07-2011, 13:46   #14
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Re: Do Not Use Biocide

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, CoCoKnots.

What thinwater said.
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Old 22-07-2011, 13:57   #15
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Re: Do Not Use Biocide

I think the point may have been missed here... Alge-X may or may not be a valid product... ??? However, the importance of clean fuel is valid & here is a simple way of preforming the task where ever you happen to be. If the Algex doesnt do anything... Ok. It's just there in case.
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