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Old 02-01-2012, 08:56   #1
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Sediment in Diesel Jerry Jugs

Hello all,

About 2 months ago I tied some jerry jugs full of diesel on deck. Now when I open them I see a lot of sediment in the bottom which I don't think was there when I filled them 2 months ago.

I'm wondering if anyone else has had a similar experience?

Is this sediment a fungus/bacteria that grows in the diesel due to the heat on deck?

Or was it likely there all along and I just missed it?

Appreciate any advice
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Old 02-01-2012, 09:09   #2
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Re: Sediment in Diesel Jerry Jugs

It is very common to find sediment in a storage container. Just another reason to filter fuel when filling your tanks. The sediment is junk that is picked up along the way from hoses, fittings, pumps,etc., and settle out while the fuel sits in the container. It is also more visible when you store it in a plstic,yellow diesel jug.
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Old 02-01-2012, 09:09   #3
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Re: Sediment in Diesel Jerry Jugs

CC,

Being in the business of cleaning fuel tanks, we see ALL sorts of bottom sediment. We tend to see more black sediment left in the bottoms of plastic jerry can. If you are concern about transferring sediment from fuel pumps to jerry can to fuel tank, you should be. While servicing a Blackfin sportfishing with all fiberglass tanks we removed stainless welding tigs, washers and screws from his tanks. Items that were transferred during a bulk refueling unknowingly.

I would recommendcleaning out the jerry cans and storing them upside down so they drain completely.
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Old 02-01-2012, 09:25   #4
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Re: Sediment in Diesel Jerry Jugs

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Originally Posted by Cruisin Cat View Post
Hello all,
About 2 months ago I tied some jerry jugs full of diesel on deck. Now when I open them I see a lot of sediment in the bottom which I don't think was there when I filled them 2 months ago.
This is normal as diesel is a dirty fuel. I use a paint filter in my funnel when I refuel from a can. You can rinse your cans out with a little dish detergent and water with an added kerosene rinse (less than a cup).
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Old 03-01-2012, 11:22   #5
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Re: Sediment in Diesel Jerry Jugs

Thanks for the comments everyone

I assume from what you all said that you don't think there is a problem storing diesel in jerry jugs on deck for several months?
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Old 03-01-2012, 12:09   #6
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Re: Sediment in Diesel Jerry Jugs

Having a smallish main fuel tank (40 gals), I've stored diesel fuel in 5 plastic jerry jugs during many of the 22 years I've owned my present boat. Sometimes, the fuel in those jugs is upwards of a year or 18 months old before being used.

Few problems have arisen. I do, of course, see the dark sediment in the bottom of the jugs, and clean them out with a little fuel whenever possible. BTW, diesel is not a dirty fuel...it's a cleanser, and is often used as such.

The problem with storage in jugs is the same as in your tank: you've got to avoid water and fungus / bacterial growth insofar as possible. I add a little Startron treatment to each jug when filling.

For moving fuel from the jugs to the main tank, I have an onboard filtration system, and simply put the suction hose/wand into the jug and suck the fuel into the main tank, passing thru a big Racor 2-micron filter. I leave the last little bit of fuel and, hopefully, the dark sediment if any, in the bottom of the jugs to be cleaned out at first opportunity.

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Old 03-01-2012, 12:37   #7
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Re: Sediment in Diesel Jerry Jugs

Cat, it could be sediment that came in with the diesel (always use a "baja" filter when filling) or crud that grew in the diesel, which apparently is a great environment for crud to grow in.

If you're really curious I suppose you could always filter some out and borrow access to an inexpensive microscope to see what it is. But diesel+sunlight=crud, unless you've got opaque tanks with zero moisture content and a healthy dose of biocide, some crud will always find a way to grow.

No big deal, just use the baja filter again before you pour it over from the jug.
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Old 03-01-2012, 15:38   #8
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Re: Sediment in Diesel Jerry Jugs

One way of looking at the situation: if the crud is in large enough lumps to be visible, then a very simple filter will remove it. The single stage funnel filter commonly available (for WAY less money than a proper Baja filter) will do just fine, and get much of the water as well.

This hi-tech methodology served us well for the many years we cruised in Insatiable-one , a vessel that was challenged tankage-wise, and where we occasionally used deck storage in jugs.

Cheers,

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Old 03-01-2012, 15:46   #9
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Re: Sediment in Diesel Jerry Jugs

I keep an extra 5-gal can of fuel but I don't store it out in the sunlight. I added it to my main tank at the end of this year as the fuel in the can was over 1.5 years old and i figure the best time to add it to the tank is when the main tank is full. But there wasn't any sediment or anything in the bottom of the can.
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Old 03-01-2012, 16:09   #10
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Re: Sediment in Diesel Jerry Jugs

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cruisin Cat View Post
Hello all,

About 2 months ago I tied some jerry jugs full of diesel on deck. Now when I open them I see a lot of sediment in the bottom which I don't think was there when I filled them 2 months ago.
I'm wondering if anyone else has had a similar experience?
Is this sediment a fungus/bacteria that grows in the diesel due to the heat on deck? Or was it likely there all along and I just missed it?

Appreciate any advice
I think if you ever look in your fuel tank you'd be even more surprised at what you find. I looked in mine last year and found a tar like substance stuck to the bottom:
THE BIANKA LOG BLOG: IN THE TANK: Part One, Scene of the grime!
If what you see in the jugs is still in solution I think any filtering you can do would help and certainly would not hurt. Though the stuff that accumulates in the fuel tank could be more troublesome if it gets stirred up. I used some full strength Simple Green and paper towels to clean the tank but, a dish detergent like Dawn may help clean the jugs as long as you rinse well and dry them out before filling them again with diesel.
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Old 03-01-2012, 16:24   #11
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Re: Sediment in Diesel Jerry Jugs

Great comments,

Thanks guys
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Old 03-01-2012, 18:00   #12
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Re: Sediment in Diesel Jerry Jugs

I have a Baha filter (do a google search); nothing goes into my tanks with out first passing through this filter.

OK, almost every thing, but when you need to buy diesel in remote areas and it is brought to you in the nearest handy container you may find this item useful.


Prolly available on ebay<$100.
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Old 03-01-2012, 21:41   #13
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Re: Sediment in Diesel Jerry Jugs

"Prolly available on ebay<$100. "
Some coffee cans, some scrunge pads, onceuponatime they were all home made anyhow. You can also buy very nice tight stainless steel filter screens from a number of sources.

I suppose a UV-C water purification lamp would work equally well in a diesel tank.<G>
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