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Old 01-08-2013, 05:55   #1
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Old Diesel

Any one out there do anything to expunge aged diesel from their tanks? If so, why and after how long?
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Old 01-08-2013, 10:27   #2
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Re: Old Diesel

Depends on how old it is. The problem with old diesel is any water in the tank will support microbial growth.

You might have someone polish the fuel, which will remove the water and bio-burden from the fuel. Then have the tank cleaned to remove any growth on the sides of the tank(s)
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Old 02-08-2013, 21:12   #3
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Re: Old Diesel

If the tanks can be removed easily I would remove them after taking out as much old fuel as possible. Then take them to someone with a steam cleaner and have them blast and blast until it looked like new inside. Insure the tanks are VERY Dry before reinstalling. This would be a good time to check your fill, vent, supply and return hoses. If the are old, replace them while it is a little easier to run new hoses and add NEW hose clamps.... Old fuel as SC34 said will allow the growth of BLACK Death and the water that is in the tanks will encourage them to rust, or corrode.......
If you have inspection ports on your tanks you can reach inside and scrub and clean them yourself. Use a degreaser and scotchbrite pads to scour the insides and corners and then flush and drain, and then dry. Some boats have these inspection ports. Hopefully yours does.
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Old 02-08-2013, 22:19   #4
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Re: Old Diesel

A friend of mine had the fuel in her tank polished. It did nothing for the sludge laying on the bottom of the tank. That sludge got sucked up when the boats motion in rough seas broke it loose. She lost her boat on the rocks because she counted on her "polished" fuel.

I agree with brutb. Cheap insurance.

In my case, the tank was not coming out with the engine in place. When I repowered, I pulled it. Hope yours is less radical than mine.
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Old 03-08-2013, 03:00   #5
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Re: Old Diesel

My best friend was having fuel problems on his 30 yr old omega with a Yanmar. After replacing a faulty fuel pump the yard mechanic withdrew sample from the bottom of each tank... water and some sort of growth. YUCK. He's having the yard clean the tanks and perhaps replace or polish the fuel.

My single tank has been mostly kept topped up... never going below half full. I've never had fuel problems but I am not thinking I need to be prophylactic and examine the bottom of the tank and possibly remove the fuel and do a clean up. There is no inspection port. I'd have to remove the one of the fuel pick ups and use a tube to reach down and with draw the sample.

But I also assume the fuel pick up itself is pretty much at the bottom or very close. It doesn't seem to pick up any contamination and so if it's there it would seem to be BELOW the pickup. The filters don't see to be clogged or show water... so perhaps there is little to no contamination. But this tank is almost 28 yrs old (stainless).

Should I open this can of worms?
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Old 03-08-2013, 05:19   #6
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Re: Old Diesel

Clean filters may not necessarily help your diagnosis - the algae can form in large clumps that can clog the outlet without getting sucked into it. Then you have clean filters but no fuel getting out. This is especially the case on smaller installations where the outlet is small and easliy blocked.

Go on, ask me how I know this.......

lockie
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Old 03-08-2013, 05:34   #7
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Re: Old Diesel

I tried to post earlier but my post got lost.

Chuck out all old and dubious fuel. Read some here:

http://www.bp.com/liveassets/bp_inte...torage_ADF.pdf

I have just removed old fuel (and filters, and some very expensive PUMPS) from an installation. The diesel was old and (possibly) some additive had its play in the drama too.

If the fuel looks odd, if it gives signs of being old, dispose of it and use clean, fresh diesel in your engine.

It is not only about combustion. Remember some fine engine parts are LUBRICATED by diesel. If the diesel is gummy, you will ()up your engine.

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Old 03-08-2013, 05:42   #8
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Re: Old Diesel

I burn any old diesel in my home heating system.
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Old 03-08-2013, 22:16   #9
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Re: Old Diesel

Put a drain in the lowest place in your fuel tank, drain weekly till ya get clean fuel! ya will never have a fuel problem ! Just a old cheap cruisers idea!
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Old 04-08-2013, 07:55   #10
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Re: Old Diesel

bobconnie has hit the nail right on the head ! I was castigated on here because I pointed out that folks were spending thousands of dollars fitting unnecessary Racor fuel polishing systems which do NOT clean the sludge. It may be a bit of hassle to clean the tank and fit a drain valve but read minngats post above to see what happens when you don't.
The difference between a professional and an amateur is the attention to detail.
I rest my case.
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Old 04-08-2013, 08:20   #11
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Re: Old Diesel

Quote:
Originally Posted by Irish rambler View Post
... The difference between a professional and an amateur is the attention to detail.
I rest my case.
+1 on your post.

but I disagree... the difference is to understand the solution and knowing what you are doing.
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Old 04-08-2013, 08:37   #12
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Re: Old Diesel

It's still critical to have an excellent fuel filtration system. The dual Racor system allows you to switch filters in seconds, before your boat washes up on the beach because you were futzing around below deck manually changing out the filter and then trying to get the fuel system primed.
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Old 04-08-2013, 10:13   #13
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Re: Old Diesel

Old Diesel - Great name for a men's cologne.
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Old 04-08-2013, 10:14   #14
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Re: Old Diesel

Quote:
Originally Posted by bobconnie View Post
Put a drain in the lowest place in your fuel tank, drain weekly till ya get clean fuel! ya will never have a fuel problem ! Just a old cheap cruisers idea!

Unfortunately not possible on my tank. Fortunately it was impossible to install an access port.
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Old 04-08-2013, 11:10   #15
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Re: Old Diesel

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rakuflames View Post
Unfortunately not possible on my tank. Fortunately it was impossible to install an access port.
Now that's a mind boggler...

Would you care to expand upon that idea Raku?

Jim
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