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Old 19-03-2012, 18:40   #16
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Re: What happened to my diesel fuel??

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Originally Posted by delmarrey View Post
Are you running Biodiesel by any chance. If biodiesel sits too long or is in subfreezing temps it tends to separate.
But in IMHO it looks like water has been introduced.
That's what I was thinking... looks like iron and water...

Maybe I'm missing something, but ... how would that happen? Heavy weather thru a vent fitting, loose fill cap allowing a few drops in....
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Old 19-03-2012, 18:58   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheechako
That's what I was thinking... looks like iron and water...

Maybe I'm missing something, but ... how would that happen? Heavy weather thru a vent fitting, loose fill cap allowing a few drops in....
More like she went down at the docks due to a failed bilge pump. That was before My command. I cleaned her up, went over most of her wiring. Drained all the oil from the pickled engine. New starter. New alternator. All that's left is to change two filters and sort out the fuel tank. I've been working non stop for the last few weekends. This is the last mechanical thing she should need. Can't wait to get the sails back and head out :-)
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Old 19-03-2012, 19:00   #18
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Originally Posted by Dan_78
How about steam cleaning the inside of the tank?
An interesting idea, I was thinking of steaming. I could rent one, but wouldn't that just throw more water into the tank?
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Old 19-03-2012, 19:12   #19
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Re: What happened to my diesel fuel??

Your fuel fill is in an extremely bad place. Almost impossible to keep water from getting in the tank when the fuel fill is in the bottom of the cockpit.

Interesting you didn't mention that she had gone down. Water of course would have got in the vent and filled the tank, maybe even displacing most of the fuel.
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Old 19-03-2012, 19:23   #20
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Absolutelyhave it cleaned professionally.. I spent countless hours trying to get my Universal going after 7 years of neglect by the PO. When I hiref a.pro to clean the tank I was surprised at all the crap in that tank... It wad the best $250 I ever spent on her. Now I dont worry about the engine quiting at the wrong time...
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Old 19-03-2012, 19:28   #21
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Re: What happened to my diesel fuel??

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Absolutelyhave it cleaned professionally.. I spent countless hours trying to get my Universal going after 7 years of neglect by the PO. When I hiref a.pro to clean the tank I was surprised at all the crap in that tank... It wad the best $250 I ever spent on her. Now I dont worry about the engine quiting at the wrong time...
+1 Yep, had it done on two boats and was never sorry after seeing the work involved and the muck that came out. There are worse ways to spend your money.
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Old 19-03-2012, 19:33   #22
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Re: What happened to my diesel fuel??

Soul sailor I think you did a good job listening to the voice in your head. I find that when I need to start yelling at the voice in my head it is a good idea to put on one of those bluetooth headsets. You don't look as funny that way.:-) After looking at everything that you have done I would seriously consider the following:

Replace Fuel lines. I know that this can be a PITA but the problem is that if this "diesel" in your tank is in your fuel lines it could easily clog the injection pump and then things get expensive fast.

Think about replacing your fuel shutoff valves. If that is too hard run a pipe cleaner thru them and see if you get any grunge coming off. If you do then find a way to replace them.

Cut an access hole in the fuel tank. I have installed a grand total of five of these now on two different boats. Seabuilt - Access Plate Systems They work really well and allow access into your tanks.

Clean the tank out with a puddy knife, green scrub pad and simple green or some other all purpose cleaner. Make sure you have lots of paper towels. Here is a link to the 20 year old tank that I cleaned. https://picasaweb.google.com/1100267...NDps4Gl1ZeflwE

I know that what I am recommending is a PITA but it is also a pain when your engine quits in a critical situation.

If you are going to put diesel in the tank to clean it out I would recommend that you find a source for biodiesel. It is much better at cleaning out the tank then regular diesel. It will want to sit in your tank for awhile after the rocking. Good luck and keep us posted.
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Old 19-03-2012, 19:43   #23
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Re: What happened to my diesel fuel??

Since I run the engineering department for one of the country's larger fuel and oil recyclers (we did much of the Gulf spill oil) I think I know a few things.

a. Most all of the suggestions are possible: rust, water, bacteria. I suspect it is all of them, from the appearance.

b. This post on biocides and tank cleaning might help.
Sail Delmarva: Diesel and Biocides
Whether you hire it done depends on your DIY abilities and resources.

c. Because of the extent of the infestation, I would use 2x the recommended amount. It's going to need to penetrate some thickness. Overdoseing to this extent is harmless. No, biocide CANNOT cause precipitate. However, because all of the bacteria they kill will fall off the walls, it will seem that way. Unless you clean ALL of the tubes and ALL of the tank surfaces, you will get more solids for the first few weeks. They hide in every crack.

d. Which type is best? Depends on the bugs. The post I listed above lists proven choices.

e. Move the fill, as suggested. I had a boat with one in that location and it was a continuous problem.

f. Follow up with some maintenance treatment. You won't get them all the first time.

I don't think rocking and flushing is worth the effort. You need to MT the tank and really clean it with a power washer (several times). Painful, but the full cure.
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Old 19-03-2012, 19:43   #24
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Re: What happened to my diesel fuel??

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Originally Posted by SailingwithSoul View Post
Hi Belize, the tank is metal, either stainless or aluminum. I too thought the color was add. It didn't look like at rust I ever saw. The water intrusion may have led to bacteria that exploded inside the tank. Unfortunately, taking the tank out may require cutting the cockpit. I'll try multiple flushes ill keep a ready supply of Primary fuel filters. Anyone every deal with growth this bad without removing the tank? One can hire a fuel polisher?
I would try a fuel polishing service -- they are set-up much better for this than you are likely to jury rig on your own. And for sail boat quantities of fuel they are not very expensive (at least the ones I have used).

Of course, they can only clean what they can get too. Inspection hatches on your tanks?
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Old 20-03-2012, 11:47   #25
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Re: What happened to my diesel fuel??

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I would try a fuel polishing service --

Of course, they can only clean what they can get too. Inspection hatches on your tanks?
Unfortunately, there are no inspection hatches. The seabuilt ones look interesting, albeit a bit expensive. I'll try to find a polishing service near me.


I also appreciate everyone's advice and recommendations. I do have quite a bit of research and a few decisions over the week. I'll keep everyone posted and will update this thread till the job is done
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Old 20-03-2012, 15:30   #26
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Re: What happened to my diesel fuel??

The problem with fuel polishing services is that the results are inconsistent. If the growth and dirt are mostly suspnded, they can filter it out. If you've got hard deposits, no amount of circulation and low pressure pumping is going to do it.

Additionally, there are limits. The stuff you pulled is NOT reclaimable. Polishing can make sense for minor, incipient problems on big tanks.

Cleaning a tank with poor access is not easy DIY work and it can take quite a few tools.
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Old 05-05-2012, 07:18   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daddle
Use the biocide only as directed. Or less. It seems to precipitate solids if used at high (shock) strengths.

You really need to open the tank and scrub it out by hand. It's not the worst job on a boat, but it's close.
I just wanted to comment on the precipitate

If high levels of biocides are used, the biomass infection will actually fight off the biocides through splitting of the bacteria at a rate greater than the biocides can kill them off. This results not in a precipitate but a larger biomass than what you were originally trying to eliminate. This can be a bigger problem than what you started with. Most people believe that biocides work to get rid of infections when in fact they only kill bacteria which are needed to form biomass in the first place.

Biocides are also burned up in the process so they do not remain behind for any long term effectiveness. Biocides are really designed to kill fungi which is a much different than a bacteria problem.

There is better technology out there that has only been available to the industrial market that is far more effective than any biocide. I use filming amines in my boat and have not had any problems since. I had sludge in my tank and Fuel Right dissolved the sludge and my filter has not required any changes. I am impressed.
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Old 08-05-2012, 18:04   #28
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Re: What happened to my diesel fuel??

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If high levels of biocides are used, the biomass infection will actually fight off the biocides through splitting of the bacteria at a rate greater than the biocides can kill them off. This results not in a precipitate but a larger biomass than what you were originally trying to eliminate. This can be a bigger problem than what you started with. Most people believe that biocides work to get rid of infections when in fact they only kill bacteria which are needed to form biomass in the first place.

Biocides are also burned up in the process so they do not remain behind for any long term effectiveness. Biocides are really designed to kill fungi which is a much different than a bacteria problem.

There is better technology out there that has only been available to the industrial market that is far more effective than any biocide. I use filming amines in my boat and have not had any problems since. I had sludge in my tank and Fuel Right dissolved the sludge and my filter has not required any changes. I am impressed.


Please read the "biodcide" tab on my blog:

a. As stated, "bicodes" can take many forms. Within those distributed to recreational boaters there are several groups, giving very different activities to different organisms. So, we should neither paint all biocides with the same brush nor assume that the "popular" brand is what you need; it's like picking an antibiotic.

b. They can only market the biocides that are registered with the EPA for fuel use. The filming amines I am aware of are for non-fuel uses. However, if you have a particular recommendation that is REGISTERED for fuel use, please share.
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Old 08-05-2012, 18:54   #29
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Old 08-05-2012, 19:47   #30
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Re: What happened to my diesel fuel??

It looks like someone added a can of frozen orange juice!
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