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Old 15-08-2014, 09:43   #16
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Re: To Polish and Clean Diesel Tank or Not?

If you only have a few gals. then you are probably best to just get rid of it. I was thinking that you had about 25 gals, which would make it worthwhile buying a pump and filtering the fuel.

You can test the grunge to see if its biological or tar precipitates. Take a blob and put a few drops of household bleach on it. If it turns whitish it is biological. It may well be a combination of both.
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Old 15-08-2014, 09:45   #17
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Re: To Polish and Clean Diesel Tank or Not?

Clean the tank, get new fuel, and add a biocide with every fuel fill to prevent this problem in the future.
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Old 15-08-2014, 09:47   #18
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Re: To Polish and Clean Diesel Tank or Not?

This discussion has been very helpful. I pumped out 2 gallons yesterday, which still looks pretty cloudy. I'm going to bite the bullet and pump out the rest (about 4 more gallons) and scrub/clean the tank. I'll start with clean fuel, run, bleed the system, and figure out how to clean, polish or dispose of the old fuel. 6 gallons is $30 of fuel - hardly worth spending a lot of money to clean.

Off to the boat - I hope I don't mess this up!
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Old 15-08-2014, 09:53   #19
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Re: To Polish and Clean Diesel Tank or Not?

I suggest you stop for a box of Nitrile industrial gloves.
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Old 15-08-2014, 17:16   #20
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Re: To Polish and Clean Diesel Tank or Not?

Taking everyone's advice, I jumped right in and cleaned out the tank. This is probably one of those borderline cases where it might have been fine, but I'm glad I cleaned the tank!

In my case, the process was very simple - open two inspection ports, pump out total of 5 gallons of fuel, using paper towels and clean rags, mop-up the sediment. Very little was stuck to the sides and in general, it came up remarkably easy.

Here's an after photo,

I'm still undecided what to do with the old 5 gallons of fuel. It doesn't look too bad. I'm going to let it settle for a few days, call around and see if there's any way to dispose of or an inexpensive way to filter. Anybody with a portable filter in Long Beach??

Anyway, thanks again for all the comments and encouragement to tackle this project. It was very easy to do and I encourage folks to inspect their tanks - you'll be surprised by what's in there!

Thanks
Don
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Old 15-08-2014, 17:51   #21
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Re: To Polish and Clean Diesel Tank or Not?

After seeing what came out of mine when I had it done couple times... don't leave home without it! You don't want fuel issues when you get offshore.
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Old 15-08-2014, 17:57   #22
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Re: To Polish and Clean Diesel Tank or Not?

Don, re disposal: if there are any commercial trawlers, etc, nearby they will be glad to take your old fuel. Most of those guys will burn anything... many will put used engine oil into their fuel on a regular basis.

Cheers,

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Old 15-08-2014, 21:53   #23
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To Polish and Clean Diesel Tank or Not?

Diesel is just oil. Ask your local auto parts store if you can dispose in their recycle tank.
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Old 08-12-2014, 21:16   #24
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Re: To Polish and Clean Diesel Tank or Not?

I know I saw plans for fuel scrubbing rig somewhere on this site but I can't find it. I think it was just two Ricor's and a 12 volt fuel pump. I'm thinking I might use the paper towel filter for the primary filter since it's cheaper and that is the one that will get dirty fastest. I have two tanks that have two to three year old fuel and the tanks are questionable. I'm thinking to flush the 15 gallons back and forth a few times and then set the filters up so I can bypass each if necessary. I'm also not opposed to the idea of running out of a day tank...since I'm mainly only going to be doing coastal cruising. I'm glad the Op's clean system is working out.
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Old 09-12-2014, 04:00   #25
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Re: To Polish and Clean Diesel Tank or Not?

I put it on craigslist free section, waste veggie oil guys are happy to come pick it up. Goes quick.
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Old 09-12-2014, 04:43   #26
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Re: To Polish and Clean Diesel Tank or Not?

Rather than using paper towels in the funnel I'm going to use funnel filters range in size from 5 to 30 microns and up. If the few gallons that I remove from the bottom of the tank is too crudy then I would just dispose of it rather that polishing. Those filters can be found at www.mcmaster.com/#standard-filter-bags/
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Old 09-12-2014, 05:35   #27
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Re: To Polish and Clean Diesel Tank or Not?

Quote:
Originally Posted by sanibel sailor View Post
I put it on craigslist free section, waste veggie oil guys are happy to come pick it up. Goes quick.
That's exactly what I was going to say... Any hippie with a frenchfrymobile would love to have it...
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Old 09-12-2014, 08:26   #28
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Re: To Polish and Clean Diesel Tank or Not?

I wouldn't pay for polishing for that tank - it will cost you more than it's worth. I would remove the fuel and wipe the interior with rags until it is clean again. I am not a fan of recirculating polishing pumps as this is only filtering out the sloughing components of sludge and does nothing to get rid of bio-film (the crap growing on the walls of your tank)
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Old 09-12-2014, 08:29   #29
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Re: To Polish and Clean Diesel Tank or Not?

This guy can probably help you with an easy solution

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Old 08-02-2015, 12:47   #30
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Re: To Polish and Clean Diesel Tank or Not?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DeepFrz View Post
If you only have a few gals. then you are probably best to just get rid of it. I was thinking that you had about 25 gals, which would make it worthwhile buying a pump and filtering the fuel.

You can test the grunge to see if its biological or tar precipitates. Take a blob and put a few drops of household bleach on it. If it turns whitish it is biological. It may well be a combination of both.
I like this plan. I have about 15 gals of old fuel so dumping it is no problem...and there is an diesel engine/gen close by. I'm not sure if I can get into the tanks or not. If not, is there something I should dump into the tanks to knock out the biologicals/tars before/after I dump the old fuel??
I see the McMaster Carr filters recommended (Thank You) and I likely want one or more in order to filter fuel during purchases. What material and micron size would you recommend? I know I can drain the tanks from the fuel bung in the bottom so I can at least see what kind of crap is in the bottom. I'm not opposed to running out of a "day tank" for awhile also...should it be necessary. Thoughts?
ed
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