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Old 16-03-2015, 06:06   #1
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Fuel tank cleaning

I would like save the expense of paying someone to clean the diesel tank on my baby. Therefore not sure if anyone knew of a technique that is used to do it? I figure less than 20-30 gallons. The tank is under the cockpit sole hatch off to a side and verrrry unreachable to me.

So i want to know how to remove any debris that could cause a flow blockage to my line into the racor filter and potentially creating my yanmar 2gm20f to sputter and die.


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Old 16-03-2015, 06:26   #2
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Re: Fuel tank cleaning

Try to find someone that does fuel polishing. What they do is come to your boat, insert a hose into your fuel tank and then pump out your fuel and run it through a series of filters and then return it to the tank. This process can take a number of passes through the fuel polishing unit until your fuel is clean. The filters do on a large scale what your Racor does and the result is clean fuel back into the tank. After you have clean fuel, be sure to use a good diesel stabilizer and biocide in your fuel. Someone in your Marina should know a contact for this service.


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Old 16-03-2015, 09:26   #3
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Re: Fuel tank cleaning

We had a similar problem with one of our tanks. A new big 50gal tank. We could not get anyone to polish the fuel but did find someone who emptied the tank and washed it out. We tried to filter all the fuel first and then pumped it out and they used a little camera on a long prob and found the bottom was really bad.
So they washed it out with water. Took 3 or 4 flushes to get all the crud out.
We use and enzyme that they recommend and hope it works. Find out in a couple of months when we take off again.
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Old 16-03-2015, 09:54   #4
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Re: Fuel tank cleaning

Do you have a current fuel problem? If not, then it's my opinion that fuel polishing won't do much, it cleans the fuel, not necessarily the tank
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Old 16-03-2015, 10:12   #5
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Re: Fuel tank cleaning

Well i don't want to clean the fuel...i want the tank cleaned first in case there is sediment or large solids. i assume it would be a more concerning problem


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Old 16-03-2015, 10:25   #6
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Re: Fuel tank cleaning

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Originally Posted by Subway Sailor View Post
So i want to know how to remove any debris that could cause a flow blockage to my line into the racor filter and potentially creating my yanmar 2gm20f to sputter and die.
This is unlikely to happen. What is more common is for crud to become dislodged from the bottom of the tanks in a seaway and overwhelm and clog the filter. One way to prepare for this and deal with it is to have dual filters, in parallel, that you can switch with a three-way valve. This way you can replace one filter element while the engine running, handy in difficult situations.

To clean out the tanks the best way is though an inspection plate which you may have or you can make.

How old is boat? Do you have reason to believe the tanks are dirty?
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Old 16-03-2015, 11:11   #7
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Re: Fuel tank cleaning

OK theres a pretty simple trick to seeing if theres crud in the bottom.

Get your oil pump you suck your engine oil out.
Remove the fuel feed pipe into the bottom of your tank.
Insert the oil pump pick up line right to the bottom into a corner. Suck up the fuel. Check for debris. if it blocks with gunk on the bottom tip of the tube you have chunky stuff.

If no debris you dont need to clean the tank.


If you wish to clean the tank buy/borrow a fuel pump and suck all your fuel out. Put in a few gallons of clean fuel and suck again paying particular attention to the corners.

Refill with nice clean fuel.

Use old fuel to make Molotov cocktails for your next terror attack.

I paid a guy with fuel pumping kit. he was better able than me to get all the gunk out. He was worth the money and when he polished the fuel the price got to be very low because of the fuel recovery.


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Old 20-03-2015, 01:39   #8
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Re: Fuel tank cleaning

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OK theres a pretty simple trick to seeing if theres crud in the bottom.



Get your oil pump you suck your engine oil out.

Remove the fuel feed pipe into the bottom of your tank.

Insert the oil pump pick up line right to the bottom into a corner. Suck up the fuel. Check for debris. if it blocks with gunk on the bottom tip of the tube you have chunky stuff.



If no debris you dont need to clean the tank.





If you wish to clean the tank buy/borrow a fuel pump and suck all your fuel out. Put in a few gallons of clean fuel and suck again paying particular attention to the corners.



Refill with nice clean fuel.



Use old fuel to make Molotov cocktails for your next terror attack.



I paid a guy with fuel pumping kit. he was better able than me to get all the gunk out. He was worth the money and when he polished the fuel the price got to be very low because of the fuel recovery.





Mark

I find that most likely to be the answer that im looking for...except im not clear on what goes where...

i wonder...if I'm putting the fuel pump hose down into the deck filler or if I'm putting it in the area that drains the tank to my racor, which seems crazy?

Now, i have a steel tank, i believe, i don't think its aluminum but lets say it had rust... Could it flake off huge rust flakes that could block the filter feeding line? If i cant tilt the tank or remove it...what else can i do to check this?


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Old 20-03-2015, 12:51   #9
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Re: Fuel tank cleaning

Have you read any of the other 500 fuel tank cleaning threads on the forum? Look down at the bottom of this page and you should see a number of links to some of them.
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Old 20-03-2015, 13:55   #10
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Re: Fuel tank cleaning

Quote:
Originally Posted by Subway Sailor View Post
I would like save the expense of paying someone to clean the diesel tank on my baby. Therefore not sure if anyone knew of a technique that is used to do it? I figure less than 20-30 gallons. The tank is under the cockpit sole hatch off to a side and verrrry unreachable to me.

So i want to know how to remove any debris that could cause a flow blockage to my line into the racor filter and potentially creating my yanmar 2gm20f to sputter and die.


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You don't want to pay a pro but have you considered how much it will cost to buy the equipment to clean your fuel tank yourself? Have you considered that since you have no experience, you might not do a good job on it?

With any luck, this is something that will only need to be done once so why not just pay to have it done right this one time?
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Old 20-03-2015, 14:04   #11
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Re: Fuel tank cleaning

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Originally Posted by DeepFrz View Post
Have you read any of the other 500 fuel tank cleaning threads on the forum? Look down at the bottom of this page and you should see a number of links to some of them.

Thanks... :-/


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