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View Poll Results: how do you clean your tanks
scrub and clean out 19 30.16%
Cant get to it do nothing 6 9.52%
let the filters do their work 32 50.79%
clean from the filling nossel 6 9.52%
Voters: 63. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 25-10-2006, 09:24   #16
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Talbot can you explain to me what is a smart funel and where to find one. You never can be to carefull about your fuel.prevention is very cheap.JC.
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Old 25-10-2006, 15:12   #17
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Thanks Richhh. Your explaination of how condensation forms in the tank makes sense. I can understand now how not having a full tank produces no more condensation (in fact less) than a full tank could.
Certainly the opposite of what I was always told.
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Old 25-10-2006, 16:38   #18
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seafox, All of the info as to what happens inside your tank is great but the bottom line and answer to your question is, if you use the boat then a thorough cleaning every 3 to 5 years is certainly needed and if you don't use the boat much then the time frame is even shorter. Cars and vehicles seldom sit as long as boats do and if they do they too will have fuel problems. That engine will shut down just when you need it the most.
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Old 26-10-2006, 02:42   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richhh
Diesel fuel as well as other fuels is produced at such high temperatures that all the moisture is driven off during the cracking /refining process. etc. etc. etc.
My immediate reaction to this was - what a load of dis-information (might have used a different word)

However, I am not an expert in this field so I sent Richhh's post to somebody who is, and this is his reply:

I have 2 words ...... Mis-leading ***** ! Or put nicely - a property of Hydrocarbon fuels taken completely out of context and applied to a situation of a fuel tank where Joe Blog's measures are too late - probably about 2 - 3 months too late !

Right ..... cracking crude and tapping of the different fuels at differing points on the cracker etc. Yes they come out as basically Dry Fuels .... but the characteristic changes rapidly as transfer to "Run-Down" tanks occurs. Storage is NOT under any inert blanket in cases of Diesels etc. and often with fixed canopy tank roofs. That means an air space is always present above the fuel. (Lighter fuels and some storage areas use floating roofs ... or in case of particularly volatile aromatic fuels - there may be a nitrogen blanket. But Nitrogen blankets are usually reserved for Hygroscopic products - Gasoil is not such - such as Glycols / Methanols etc.)
Now in the life a ton of Diesel - Gasoil we call it .... it transfers from air topped storage tanks to rail-cars or pipelines ... then to shipment storage terminals again with air topped storage tanks. Imagine the life of this fuel .... turbulent, churned up with air throughout its life of transport to ships loading point. It gets pumped into ships that can be of Inerted atmosphere ( that is WATER scrubbed Funnel exhaust gas !!) or in case of gasoil only ship - non inerted air containing tanks.
On measurement of ships tanks to determine quantity loaded - free-water is deducted from overall figures to determine cargo tonnage. I say that again ..... FREE water .....

During analysis to determine quality of cargo loaded - we test specifically for suspended / "absorbed" water after removal of free water ....

Where this guy got all this bunkum from I don't know .... and to quote BP is quoting a SELLER of product .... and BP is no different to any other fuel co. - they buy from same base stock.

I have no problem if you cut and paste my words here .... you can even direct him to me if you wish !! Humbug and wasted effort - honest.

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I reckon this guy qualifies as an expert!

Furthermore, a lot of the marine fuel stations actually store their fuel in a tank floating on top of water, and then use a centrifuge to extract water as they pump it to your tank.

The smart funnel is http://www.force4.co.uk/ProductDetai...2-552e89372d1f but I dont have anaddress in USA
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Old 26-10-2006, 03:46   #20
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Practical Sailors report on Deck-Fill Fuel Filters concludes:
... So, is it worth the hassle of filtering fuel at deck level? The tests strongly indicate that as a routine safeguard, the answer is a resounding "Yes," and the filter of choice is the West Marine Model WM-F8C.
Goto: http://www.practical-sailor.com/sample/Fuelfilter.html
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Old 26-10-2006, 03:54   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GordMay
Appears to be exactly the same thing!
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Old 26-10-2006, 06:14   #22
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When I read this series of posts I suddenly missed my 24ft boat with its 8 hp outboard auxiliary engine. I just used to fill up the tank at the local petrol station before a weekend away and that was that. Now it appears I have to have a masters in petro-chemical processes before I leave the marina!

As with any complex subject there are always differing and often contrary views which, in this case anyway, confuse the life out of me. I can see the merit in cleaning the fuel tank and changing the filters at regular intervals and so this was a good reminder to me to note it down as a job this winter. I'm sure that if my engine dies at a critical point I will wish that I had thought more deeply about what has been written here.

Meanwhile I wonder if Eric Hiscock and his ilk knew how complicated a process the storage of fuel was!
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Old 26-10-2006, 12:31   #23
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Thanks Talbot, I am glad you waded in there and please send my regards to your friend for his help. I too was shocked at the mis-information given. But there tends to be an aweful lot of it in the fule industry and MOST ALL of it tends to come from Additive manufacturers.
From a chemistry point of view, Diesel does not have any "free" atoms that want to attrach water molicules to the chains. Ethanol does and any Ethanol added to Diesel will absorb water. As Nigel Luther has stated, much of the transportation of Fuels around the world uses water and even the storage tank beneath your bowser is sometimes "balasted" with water. We have some places here in NZ that if the underground tanks are not filled with water as the fuel is removed, the tank will float out of the ground due to the high water table. Many bulk storage facilities use water to "float" the fuel. It replaces the fuel so as the tank does not collapse, it reduces the airspace in the tank and it can mean fuel is run by gravity and not pumped. Our Fule transport ship uses this same technegue to remove it's fuel from the ships hold to the dock storage facilities.
Don't be fooled Darryl, Condenstaion on the inside of a warm fuel tank is the No1 enemy to producing water in your tank. And any fuel system that uses "return to tank" systems are suseptable to this issue. It promote that you return to fuel line and not tank. Although that can not be done with the very modern high pressure high flow rate engines.
By the way, a dissicant will not remove enough moisture from the air to warrant it's use. It would need to be heated and dried daily or even more to remove the water itself absorbs.
Fuel does not degrade "into" something else and acumulate on tank walls needing to be cleaned every 5-6yrs. That is purely contamination external to the fuel itself. "Old" fuels are subject to the Aromatics and solvents evaporating and causing the fuel to become "unbalanced". That is a major factor in Petrol(Gasoline). But in Diesel, the "raw fuel" is still oil and most Diesels will burn raw oil. Just maybe not efficinetly nor cleanly.
What does accur in todays "modern" fuels, is what the additives do. Once again Additives like Methanol are the biggest issues. But we now have another problem in todays "modern" fuel. The reduction and removal of Sulfur. The "process" reduction of Sulfur also removes many of the Aromatics in Diesel. This is causing some big problems and in some(only a small few) instances, Oil companies are re-balancing Aromatics to re-establish the correct make up of the fuel. But in many instances this is not happening and we get a very "dry"(not water but chemical) fuel that causes issues with O-rings and seals.
The biggest single issue with fuel storage is Bacteria and algae. They will ONLY grow in the presence of water. Remove the water and you have no Growth. Dose the fuel tank periodicaly and you also reduce the chance of growth in the tank. and finaly, A GOOD FILTER/WATER TRAP is a MUST.
P.S Talbot, I stand to be corrected by your friend Mr Luther if I have anything wrong above. I would enjoy the "honing" of my knowledge.
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Old 26-10-2006, 14:44   #24
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If anyone has any further doubts, get hold of the Sept. 2006 PassageMaker magazine. There is an article with pictures about a professional tank cleaning.

You will no longer have doubts about cleaning your fuel tanks after teading that article.

As I meantioned earlier I have had personal experience with the crud actually plugging the fuel line before it even had a chance to get to the filter.

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Old 26-10-2006, 16:07   #25
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The great thing about boating is as you tick off the to do lists there is always another job to think/worry and wonder about!
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Old 26-10-2006, 16:08   #26
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another opinion on condensation in tanks:
http://www.yachtsurvey.com/myth_of_c...fuel_tanks.htm

Mark
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Old 31-10-2006, 21:04   #27
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Beware the ripoff charlatans

If you choose to have your fuel "polished" it is much more than just tieing into your supply line and pumping it back to the return line or fuel fill. This does not clean the tank. No matter what they say. Tanks have baffles in some cases that preclude proper cleaning unless they have access ports.
I have seen people ripped off for hundred and hundreds of dollars with simple fuel filtering. Keep in mind that if your diesel has supply and retun lines, you are always polishing you fuel.
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Old 01-11-2006, 18:26   #28
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On the yachtsurvey.com site the writer states that condensation is not a path for water to enter the fuel tank. What about this scenario...

After a nice warm and clear day the sun sets and the air cools. The air and tank walls cool faster than the fuel. Now a few drops of moisture condense on the inside of the tank and drip down the side into the fuel. Since it is heavier than the fuel it sinks to the bottom where it cannot evaporate later. As the air cools and expands, the tank breathes and draws in more moisture for the next cycle. Granted this may only be a drop or two or three a cycle. But, repeat this over several days, weeks or months and you now have a significant amount of water in the tank.
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Old 02-11-2006, 00:38   #29
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Exposure, that is exactly how it works. I haven't read the yachtsurvey report, but if they suggest anything contrary, they are plain and simple wrong.
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Old 02-11-2006, 03:59   #30
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Yes, water does condense as noted above. I have drained a quart of water from a 30 gallon tank left half full from September to April when the boat was hauled. In the water the condensation is almost nil. The water came out clear and was captured by the racor. So yes, you can get water in the tank from the air condensation but it won't always create a problem. Water does settle to the bottom and a racor removes it. You do need to empty the racor however. When sludge mixes with the water is can allow stuff to grow and eventually make a nasty mess.

Fuel polishing is a rip off for small amounts of fuel. Just pump the fuel and dispose of it properly. It's cheaper. If you have 500 gallons then it's a bit different. Most marinas that need heat in the winter use a waste oil heater as they get a lot of waste oil from commercial boats. They cost about $5000 but they get a $2500 tax credit for two years. So this a real deal for them plus waste oil gets burned and not dumped.

These furnaces can burn waste oil products completely. They also use small amounts of fuel to thin down the waste oil in the winter. So you can usually get them to take small amounts of that as well. You don't want it dumped some place.

There is not real reason to polish a small supply of fuel when the cost to replace it is more than the fuel is worth. As also noted it won't clean the tank.
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