Cruisers Forum

Join CruisersForum Today

Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 16-02-2009, 16:07   #1
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: house-North Vancouver BC boat-barra de navidad
Boat: c&c landfall 43
Posts: 120
how long does diesel last

How many monthes or so does diesel last in your tank before you would get rid of it? also it is recomended that you leave your tanks full or empty during the off seasons eg. winter. is this very important or just good practice. ya i might have this problem. cheers

limmer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16-02-2009, 16:15   #2
Senior Cruiser
Vasco's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Toronto
Boat: CS36Merlin, "La Belle Aurore" Ben393 "Breathless"
Posts: 7,279
I keep mine for at least six months when I haul. Put some Stabil in it, no problem. I keep the tanks full.

Rick I
Toronto in summer, Bahamas in winter.
Vasco is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16-02-2009, 17:39   #3
Senior Cruiser
maxingout's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Fort Pierce, Phoenix
Boat: Privilege 39 Catamaran, Exit Only
Posts: 2,621
I have kept diesel fuel in full tanks for two years without a problem.
Dave -Sailing Vessel Exit Only
maxingout is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16-02-2009, 17:41   #4
Senior Cruiser
delmarrey's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Now in Blaine, WA
Boat: Modified Choate 40
Posts: 10,736
Images: 122
There has been many discussions on this and it all comes down to "dilution is the solution to pollution".

IAW-Do keep your tank(s) full during winter to prevent condensation or polish your fuel at the beginning of the season and add fresh fuel to it. Your motor will never know the difference.

How to make your Diesel last a long time.

diesel additives

Don't "get rid of it"!
Faithful are the Wounds of a Friend, but the Kisses of the Enemy are Deceitful! ........
A nation of sheep breeds a government of wolves!

Unprepared boaters, end up as floatsum!.......
delmarrey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16-02-2009, 18:58   #5
Registered User
S/V Illusion's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Lakewood Ranch, FLORIDA
Boat: Alden 50, Sarasota, Florida
Posts: 1,731
brought to you by your friendly refiner (BP):

Issued : February 7, 2002 ADF1402
Supersedes : February 14, 2000 Page 1 of 3
BP Australia Limited
A.C.N. 004 085 616
Marketing Technical Services
Under normal storage conditions diesel fuel can be expected to stay in a usable condition for:
• 12 months or longer at an ambient of 20C.
• 6-12 months at an ambient temperature higher than 30C.
As diesel gets older a fine sediment and gum forms in the diesel brought about by the reaction of diesel components with oxygen from the air. The fine sediment and gum will block fuel filters, leading to fuel starvation and the engine stopping. Frequent filter changes are then required to keep the engine going. The gums and sediments do not burn in the engine very well and can lead to carbon and soot deposits on injectors and other combustion surfaces.
The expected life of a diesel fuel is indicated by the oxidation stability test ASTM D2276. The test measures how much gum and sediment will be deposited after keeping the fuel at 120C in the presence of oxygen for 16 hours. It roughly corresponds to one year storage at 25C. A result of less than 20mg/L of sediment and gum after the test is considered acceptable for normal diesel.
The aging process can be accelerated by the following conditions:-
• Contact with zinc, copper or metal alloys containing them. These metals will quickly react with diesel fuel to form unstable compounds.
• The presence of water. Water allows the growth of fungus and bacteria, these produce natural by-products such as organic acids which make the fuel unstable.
• Exposure to high temperatures.
• Exposure to dust and dirt which contain trace elements that can destabilise the fuel, such as copper and zinc.
• Fuel composition. Some components in diesel fuel naturally age quickly.
Prolonging the storage life is achieved by removing or controlling the conditions described in the previous section. Important measures to take are as follows:
Issued : February 7, 2002 ADF1402
Supersedes : February 14, 2000 Page 2 of 3
BP Australia Limited
A.C.N. 004 085 616
Marketing Technical Services
• Ensure that the fuel is not in contact with any surfaces containing zinc or copper or compounds containing those metals (eg. brass). If those metals are present then a metal deactivator additive may help.
• Establish a regular fuel maintenance program to ensure that water and dirt is removed from storage tanks. This will also remove any chance for fungus to grow.
• Water should be drained from the storage tanks weekly. The frequency can be extended if the tank shows no tendency to collect water but should be done at least monthly.
• Tanks should be kept full to reduce the space for water to condense, maintaining tanks half full increases the water build up and promotes corrosion in the top half of the tank. Most water will come from condensation as the tank breathes, the rate at which water collects will depend on local climate and will be higher in hot humid coastal areas.
• Tanks should have a well defined low point where water will collect and can be drained. For example, cone down bottoms.
• Establish a system for filtering the contents of the main storage tank through a recirculating filter system. This can be made automatic and will reduce the potential for problems by removing sediment and gums. The filters should be checked and changed at regular intervals. When the filter change interval reaches a certain frequency then the fuel should be changed over.
• Tanks should be emptied and cleaned at least once every 10 years, or more frequently if there is a major contamination.
• Ensure that the fuel supplied conforms to a recognised specification, in Australia that would be AS3570, and ensure the fuel matches the winter cloud point for the area to avoid filter blocking by wax drop out in cold weather. .
• Always purchase fuel to replenish stocks in the winter season April - August. This will ensure that the fuel will not cause wax problems whatever season it is used.
• Obtain assurances from the supplier that all components are fully refined to promote stability.
• Establish a monitoring program whereby samples are taken at regular intervals to monitor the condition of the fuel. The samples can be examined at the site visually for evidence of haziness, sediment, darkening or sent to a laboratory for testing.
• Regularly turn the fuel over. If possible, plan the fuel usage so that it will all be used within 1-5 years and replaced with fresh fuel.
The following additives can improve fuel storage life:
Issued : February 7, 2002 ADF1402
Supersedes : February 14, 2000 Page 3 of 3
BP Australia Limited
A.C.N. 004 085 616
Marketing Technical Services
• Metal deactivators. These work by stopping copper, zinc and other reactive metals from reacting with the fuel.
• Fungicides/Biocides. These work by stopping fungus and bacteria from growing in the fuel and so prolong the life of the fuel. They are only effective on fungus and bacteria and will not stop other oxidation reactions from taking place. They are normally active at the water fuel interface where the fungus and bacteria grow. If fungus is present then a kill dose is required. Otherwise a maintenance dose is used to stop fungus growing. The disadvantages of biocides are:
• handling and mixing is hazardous because they are poisons.
• for a kill dose, killing the fungus can lead to a build up of dead matter which will block filters and also cause the fuel to oxidise.
• ideally, the fungus should be killed and then the tank emptied and drained out.
• maintenance doses are effective but no more so than regular water draining.
• disposal of water bottoms requires special handling with due regard to the environment.
• Anti-Oxidants. These work by stopping the oxidation processes from taking place. They prevent the fuel oxidising and reduce the formation of sediment and gum.
• Fuel Stability Foam. FuelKleenik is a stability foam which is suspended in the diesel fuel in the tank. It has been developed and tested by Department of Defence and is claimed to keep the fuel stable for up to 10 years. The disadvantages are:
• it does not work where fungus and water are present which is why it is suspended in the fuel.
• its size is 2100mm x 200mm x 200mm so it has to be dropped in through a hatch.
After 15 years it has to be disposed of to landfill.
FuelKleenik is available from a company called FuelTreat ph 1800 034442 .
S/V Illusion is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16-02-2009, 19:08   #6
Senior Cruiser
S/V Antares's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Annapolis, Bahamas
Boat: 1983 Gulfstar 36
Posts: 1,251
Images: 1
I recently helped a friend get his diesel going after 6 years down. It would not start on the old tank diesel after the work up. (Valve job, head gasket, piston rings) bought a few gallons of new diesel and it started up after clearing the old fuel.

Just a thought, and observation.... no message here
Will & Muffin
Lucy the dog

"Yes, well.. perhaps some more wine" (Julia Child)
S/V Antares is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16-02-2009, 19:21   #7

Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: No longer post here
Boat: Catalac Catamaran
Posts: 2,462
Here in Florida, I begin having problems after the fuel's been in the tanks 4 months. I treat the fuel when I fill the tanks with both stabilizer and biocide. I have twin diesels and twin fuel tanks in my catamaran.

The first sign of trouble is the fuel filters clogging. When I change them it's instantly discernible whether it's bugs or fuel decomposition. In my case 90% of the time it's the fuel breaking down.
Tropic Cat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16-02-2009, 21:56   #8
Registered User

Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Central Coast NSW
Boat: motorsailer 17.7oa The Road
Posts: 24
Hi Posted a similar question in relation to 1800 ltrs of diesel that had been stored (full tanks) with inhibitors added for six years aboard the ketch I purchased. After much worry I had a sample tested at Intertek Labs in Adelaide cost $380 - result was the summary was it was in surprisingly good condition. Just used that same fuel during the 1100 Nm delivery of the boat from Adelaide to Sydney. No troubles took several spare filters but only changed once

neilrob is offline   Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
So how long is long enough Reluctantsailor Sailor Logs & Cruising Plans 30 19-01-2014 16:42
BMW diesel and black steel diesel fuel tanks johnpair Engines and Propulsion Systems 12 08-01-2009 14:30
fg how long ksmith Construction, Maintenance & Refit 13 08-08-2008 12:23
How to make your Diesel last a long time. Duckhead Engines and Propulsion Systems 46 29-08-2007 10:42
Diesel Fuel system-long Boomer Engines and Propulsion Systems 2 08-06-2006 14:55

Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 15:05.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.