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Old 13-11-2012, 12:56   #1
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Draining Tank and Fuel Line Questions?

Hello and thank you for any advise anyone may be able to help me with here.

I pretty much know the answers, though some more experienced brain might just save me extra frustration and time here.

So after finally getting my stove to work and create some heat it started to push water into the stove and seems as if the tank is filled with water or possibly enough to dilute the fuel to not ignite. I know,,,, drain tank and clean it.

I'm assuming I should also drain the fuel lines?

My main question (and I feel it's a pretty stupid one) What kind of detergent should I use when cleaning the tank?

And where can I get rid of what comes out?

The tank is about 60 gallons. When I am done, how much fuel should be enough to put back in. I'm not planning to take it anywhere during this winter and I'm wondering about more condensation in the tank. What might I be able to do to combat that? I'm in Portland Oregon, it's pretty moist here during the winter.

Again, thank you for any advise....
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Old 13-11-2012, 15:16   #2
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First off why drain it completely? First off find a few empty trash cans and place on the back deck or in the cockpit. Fill them with water the water and gunk in the fuel tank will migrate aft. Take the sender out of the tank. Take a vacuum pump used to change oil and attach a hose to it. Then find a 1/4 or 5/16 tube about 4' long attach it to the hose use it like a wand and suck the water and sludge out. Why copper it's soft and can be bent so it can get through the baffle holes.
Good Luck
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Old 13-11-2012, 20:51   #3
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Re: Draining Tank and Fuel Line Questions?

You probably have a bad seal on your tank fill deck fitting. Get a new seal as that is most likely where most water in your tank comes from. I don't know how old your boat is or when/if the fuel tank has ever been cleaned but I would recommend that you clean it thoroughly. Yes, drain the fuel lines and any filters in the lines. You can use something like simple green and an old credit card to clean the tank, wipe out with paper towels. The industrial type would be best. Make sure you don't leave any residue. Filter your fuel as you pump it our and back in through a filter that will remove the water. Suck out most of the water as BM says above before you pump out through a filter. Might be best to fill the tank after to prevent condensation (although I think that is over hyped).
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Old 13-11-2012, 21:18   #4
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Re: Draining Tank and Fuel Line Questions?

Saw a local old salt drain his fuel tank earlier this year. He filtered the diesel through a pair of tights into 5 gallon drums for reuse. Seemed to work out ok.
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Old 13-11-2012, 22:51   #5
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Re: Draining Tank and Fuel Line Questions?

Quote:
Originally Posted by rukh View Post

And where can I get rid of what comes out?
I have always disposed of the water/fuel mix in the used oil recycling tanks that are provided at some docks here in Canada

Quote:
Originally Posted by Barnhard_Marine View Post
First off why drain it completely? First off find a few empty trash cans and place on the back deck or in the cockpit. Fill them with water the water and gunk in the fuel tank will migrate aft. Take the sender out of the tank. Take a vacuum pump used to change oil and attach a hose to it. Then find a 1/4 or 5/16 tube about 4' long attach it to the hose use it like a wand and suck the water and sludge out. Why copper it's soft and can be bent so it can get through the baffle holes.
Good Luck
Thats a easy way, water and crap are always on the bottom

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Originally Posted by DeepFrz View Post
You probably have a bad seal on your tank fill deck fitting. Get a new seal as that is most likely where most water in your tank comes from. I don't know how old your boat is or when/if the fuel tank has ever been cleaned but I would recommend that you clean it thoroughly. Yes, drain the fuel lines and any filters in the lines. You can use something like simple green and an old credit card to clean the tank, wipe out with paper towels. The industrial type would be best. Make sure you don't leave any residue. Filter your fuel as you pump it our and back in through a filter that will remove the water. Suck out most of the water as BM says above before you pump out through a filter. Might be best to fill the tank after to prevent condensation (although I think that is over hyped).
Agree..... look for a source of water infiltration
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Old 13-11-2012, 23:14   #6
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Re: Draining Tank and Fuel Line Questions?

DeepFrz, I would beg to differ with you on a couple of points. #1) I would be more inclined to just use clean fuel to wash out any junk residue in the tank. Of course depending on the level of gunk. You could run the contaminated fuel through one of those water knock out funnel filter units and remove the water and junk and keep the good fuel. #2) I would keep the tank as full as possible, leaving enough room for expansion due to temperature changes to prevent out flow through the vents, and to minimize the amount of moisture generated by condensation.
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Old 14-11-2012, 03:18   #7
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Re: Draining Tank and Fuel Line Questions?

In most cases unless you have gross contamination one will end up with between 1 to 5 gallons of dregs. If your marina doesn't have a waste fuel dump. Pour or pump it in to a bucket add kitty litter or oilsorb cap the bucket then take it to your counties hazardous waste disposal site. Please Don't contaminate the waste oil disposal at your marina with fuel and water. You could be looking for another place to birth your boat, subject to a fine or have to pay to have the tank pumped if your caught.
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Old 14-11-2012, 17:07   #8
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Re: Draining Tank and Fuel Line Questions?

Thank you for all the advise.

So for the temporary fix (which is not my favorite but warm) I kept wondering about how much water might be in the tank? So out of curiosity and stubborness I decided to let the galley stove pump keep pumping it out. It was close to 5 gallons. I stopped when I saw a clear line forming on top of the water. Presto,,,,back in business.

Now I need to mess with the meter guage. It was working fine now it seems to be working on basically on or off. I'm thinking the problem is the spring gadget in the center of the meter gauge. It seems tricky to get in the right stop and not stick down. Is that normal?

The opening for the tank is inside the boat. Unless the tank is leaking the problem must be condensation?

There is (fortunately an inspection door on the top of the tank. I will be cleaning them in the spring. Till then or until something else happens I'm planning to just use that tank for the stove and use my rear cockpit tank for the engine. That should be ok? Not the best way to go, I know But it's what I can afford for now.

Thank you for all your help.
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Old 14-11-2012, 17:09   #9
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Re: Draining Tank and Fuel Line Questions?

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Originally Posted by centaur View Post
Saw a local old salt drain his fuel tank earlier this year. He filtered the diesel through a pair of tights into 5 gallon drums for reuse. Seemed to work out ok.


Whats an old Sea Dog doing with tights???
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Old 14-11-2012, 17:57   #10
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Re: Draining Tank and Fuel Line Questions?

Don't ask, don't tell!
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Old 14-11-2012, 18:59   #11
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Re: Draining Tank and Fuel Line Questions?

FYI rukh
5 gallons of water in a 60 gallon tank is an enormous amount
You need to insure you have a filter c/w water drain and check it often
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Old 14-11-2012, 19:06   #12
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Re: Draining Tank and Fuel Line Questions?

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FYI rukh
5 gallons of water in a 60 gallon tank is an enormous amount
You need to insure you have a filter c/w water drain and check it often

What is a c/w?
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Old 14-11-2012, 19:12   #13
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Re: Draining Tank and Fuel Line Questions?

C/w = complete with
To drain the water that collects in the bottom of the sediment bowl

BTW I suspect that water was put into the tank by mistake
As usual around here I have to guess as I don't have enough information from your original post
Like how long you have owned your boat,type etc etc
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Old 14-11-2012, 19:17   #14
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Re: Draining Tank and Fuel Line Questions?

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C/w = complete with
To drain the water that collects in the bottom of the sediment bowl

BTW I suspect that water was put into the tank by mistake
As usual around here I have to guess as I don't have enough information from your original post
Like how long you have owned your boat,type etc etc
I've owned it for a year but have only used the extra tank that someone added.
I thought the same thing as well, so far I'm thankful they didn't fill the whole tank.
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Old 14-11-2012, 19:20   #15
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Re: Draining Tank and Fuel Line Questions?

Is that tank only hooked up to the stove?
I ask as some stoves run on kerosene,rather than diesel
What make/model of stove
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