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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 02-11-2006, 23:07   #31
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I have been watching this one with great interest seeing as I'm going down the stinkboat path, this was always one of the things that scared the s..t out of me and I put inspection ports above every pickup point on my 8 seperate tanks.

What about adding additives to your tank every time you fill. Aren't they supposed to take care of some of the problems?

And those Baja filters , can you get anything like them than can handle the flow from the fuel dock pump ?

And are a lot of the problems caused by not using the fuel quick enough?

Too many questions, brain overloading, stop now.

Dave
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Old 02-11-2006, 23:43   #32
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Additives!! Hmmm. OK, firstly, don't get hooked into the "performance enhancing" additives. But yes a fuel additive can be a good thing to use. You don't have to use it every tankfull. An initial hard dose and then every third tank is usually all that is needed. Additives do not stop water, they only stop growth, but that is if the additive hss a biocide in it. So read the label. I also am sceptical about the additives that claim you can burn the water off. But that is only because I have not ahd that proven to me and I tend to be one that has to have hard evedince. Form everything I have been taught in Diesel engineering, Water and injectors don't like each other.
Using fuel quick enough?? well yes and no. It used to be simple. Diesel was Diesel, a relatively simple light fuel oil. Over the years more and more additives have been added to it's makeup for Ctane ratings and cleaning properties and temperture ranges and so on. But the biggest issue we face now, is that Ethanol is being added to some Diesels. Ethanol is very happy at taking moisture out of the air, so long term, it is possible for it to draw moisture into the fuel. However, this is still actually speculation. There has been no actual industry tests done (at least as far as I am currently aware) to say the this is indeed a problem. Most of the accusations are just tales. So the best way to stop condesation from forming in a tank is to fill it. It is stil the industry standard method today. When you return from your trip, you fill the tank so as the least amount of air can be present in the tank. If you are going to be very long periods like 6 months or longer, it may be prudent to drain your tanks and keep them totaly empty. But that depends greatly on what type of fuel you are receiving. I have used stored Diesel that is well over a year old with no issues of performance.

Talbot! maybe your friend Nigel could comment on this for us. In regards to longevity of Diesel in storage.
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Old 03-11-2006, 14:05   #33
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Check the O ring on your diesel filler cap and make sure it is capable of sealing properly. Also make sure your filler cap is tight. Those fill caps that are flush to the deck could let in a lot of water during those long rainy winter storms if they are not sealing properly.

Deep
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Old 03-11-2006, 14:46   #34
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Just goes to show how hard it is to know what's right - especially when others do seem to know what they are talking about.

I've always been taught like Talbot, that one should keep diesel tanks topped up through winter months to prevent condensation forming in the void and that settling down to the bottom of the tank. I know that condensation happens, as I've cleaned that water out of my tanks before when I left them near empty.

But the responder above certainly seems to know what he's talking about....so now I'm in a quandry.........did that water come from condensation or from elsewhere????

So for the future, do I top up my tanks next winter as I've always done .......... or take the above advice and drain them down .........

Bugger. Should not have read this thread.

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Old 07-11-2006, 02:11   #35
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it's enough to give you nightmares!
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Old 30-08-2007, 10:20   #36
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My tank is stainless or monel... not sure... but it has no access port for cleaning. I added a pair of Racors with a manifold so I can switch from one to the other if it get clogged without having to bleed the fuel delivery system. I am sure that these filters will catch any and all contaminants. I keep the tanks topped off if possible and fill up when I am down 10 gallons. I change the primary fuel filter each year.

Having a port is not a bad idea. Bit installing one might be a bummer. Same with the water tanks.

21 years so far so good.

jef
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Old 03-09-2007, 01:32   #37
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Quote:
But the responder above certainly seems to know what he's talking about....so now I'm in a quandry.........did that water come from condensation or from elsewhere????
It really doesn't matter who is right or wrong in this event. The main point is that water does get in somehow. How and where it gets in is not the issue. The fact is, water does get in, no matter what you do, you will always have it. But if water does get in, it is not a panic situation. As long as you have a good water trap and a good filter system, then it isn't so much an issue. Dose the tank once a year or more to protect from bug. Keep the water trap on the maintenance check list and make sure it is emptied regularly.
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Old 03-09-2007, 14:40   #38
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I plan to put an air dryer in the fuel tank vent line. Every night when the air in your tank contracts (unless the tank is always full) the water in the moisture-laden cool night air will condense into your fuel. With the water come bacteria and algae, which need water to survive.
There are many drying agents available, and they are not expensive. If they have an indicator, you can tell by the color if they are full of moisture and need to be replaced (or recharged). The volume of desiccant needed would depend on the volume of your fuel tank, how full you keep your tanks, and the ambient air temperature changes and humidity (and of course how often you want to deal with the desiccant). The desiccant would be placed in a clear “plastic” cylinder, high up in the vent line. The plastic needs to be resistant to the fuel. I would like 0.5 to 1 liter (one pint to one quart) volume.

My questions or concerns are:

Are fuel tank vent line air dryers already commercially available?
Normally, you would recharge the desiccant by heating it, but with exposure to fuel vapor, this may not be prudent.
If you had an accidental overflow, and the desiccant was exposed to the fuel, would it damage the fuel? I think the commonly used desiccants are fairly inert to diesel and gasoline, but am not sure. Silica gel should be a good desiccant for this purpose.
I don’t know of a source for clear polycarbonate or lexan cylinders, or jars which could have threaded caps screwed on.
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Old 03-09-2007, 17:16   #39
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Quote:
Are fuel tank vent line air dryers already commercially available?
Probably not the biggest problem you face. Modern crude oil cracking processes now make the lifespan of diesel in the tank shorter than before. Investing in a vent line drying system seems like more trouble than matters to me. Number one - don't let fuel sit in the tank too long. A decent filter will trap moisture well enough that trapping the moisture before it can condense seems foolish. If you could trap all the moisture perfectly you can still have problems with moisture in the tank growing algae OR the fuel can start to go bad all on it's own.

I would agree moisture in the tank is a bad thing and the vent line is the number one source (short of a leaky deck fill). There is a bigger picture however. Moisture can come from the tank you bought the fuel at or where it was stored before that. Old fuel is a liability and you can't store fuel forever. If fuel is in the tank more than 9 months you have a potential problem you can not fix. Just use it up and fill the tank. Boats on the hard have it FAR worse than boats in the water. I've pulled a full quart out of a boat on the hard over the winter. I was lucky enough to drain it out of the Racor filter before it hit the high pressure pump. The idea of drying the air before it hits the tank isn't wrong but overly considered in terms of the bigger picture. You still can't solve the problems of just plain old fuel and water cpomes from a lot of sources you can't control.
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Old 05-09-2007, 09:11   #40
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I've got an old plastic tank that I'm afraid to add a cleanout to. I assume most of the nasty stuff is down at the bottom of the tank. Has anyone tried adding a layer of gas to the tank, letting it sit, and then pumping it out? That would seem like it would dissolve most of the gunk down there. There would be some left over gas in the tank but if I leave it open at the sender hole, it should evaporate pretty quick.

Bad idea?
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Old 08-09-2007, 05:33   #41
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I've decided that i'm going to cut out and re seal my inspection ports on my underfloor epoxy tanks that are acually part of the boats structure.

I'll just let a couple of Racor 500 MA or FG series do their thing and have a box of filters on standby.

Dave
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Old 08-09-2007, 13:37   #42
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Dave, I was in a situation that I hope never to repeat. The gunk never got to the filter. It clogged the fuel line. I don't think your idea is a good one based on my experience. However, even if it does get to and clogs the filter, it could be at a time that is exactly when you don't want it to happen.

drh 1965, explosive idea. Let us know how it works out, if you can...<gr>
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Old 26-10-2007, 21:25   #43
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I have opened up the access ports and gotten in there and cleaned the tanks...nasty job.

I don't worry too much about water or algae. The algae is taken care of by a sulfur based biocide fuel additive. Any water in the tanks is trapped by the primary fuel filter which has an alarm that warns me the minute any water gets in there. There is also a vacuum gauge which tells me just how clogged the filters are getting. The filters are dual Racor's meaning there are two filters, only one of which is used at any given time. I just turn a handle to switch over to the other filter if the filter gets clogged or is getting close to becoming clogged. No priming is necessary which can be a real pain in the ass in adverse conditions.

The diesel additive that supposedly takes care of water is nothing more than alcohol which is soluble with water. I would rather have the water get trapped in the Racor's than risk it going through my injectors as a water/alcohol mixture.

Having a little petcock at the bottom of your fuel filters with an end cap that is threaded on only hand tight in case the petcock leaks, is very helpful in detecting how much and getting rid of the trapped water in your primary filters.

Water will always find its way into your tanks no matter what kind of gizmos or chemicals you use...just get yourself a good set of dual filters.

Personally, I don't think a desiccant is going to do much of anything because it holds such little moisture compared to the amount of moisture that typically can get in there.

A good fuel filter will have a decent sized water trap at the bottom and a water alarm and a way of switching over to the reserve filter in a couple seconds without having to prime the engine.
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Old 27-10-2007, 07:36   #44
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Do Algae-X things really work? I have two installed by the PO and I have always been a bit sceptical about the claims made by this system. So far I have had no fuel related problems I keep the fuel topped up to reduce condensation and use a storage additive, proper filtering system, etc. Last season I only used 100 gals of fuel out of a 225 gal tank. How long can fuel really be kept?
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Old 27-10-2007, 11:34   #45
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fuel tanks

if you can rig a fuel line from your fuel tank outter line with a y valve to a electric 12 volt pump with a filter and to your excess line return with a tee fitting to the tank, it can clean your fuel and tank. turn on every month for svc. its cheep o add additive for alergee.
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