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Old 16-10-2013, 19:04   #16
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If I had a diesel pickup I would burn the old fuel from the boat every year. Empty the fuel from the boat, clean the tank and put in fresh fuel. As you don't know the age and condition of the current tank I would be tempted to do it now and again in the spring. Every spring after that. With that small a tank it should be a half day job and you won't be wasting the fuel.
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Old 16-10-2013, 21:50   #17
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Re: What to do with diesel in the tank over Winter?

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Originally Posted by eschlanser View Post
What do you all mean by "polish the fuel"?
Here's a good thread on the subject.>>> Diesel Fuel Polishing
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Old 16-10-2013, 22:08   #18
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Re: What to do with diesel in the tank over Winter?

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So, you pump it out, filter, then put it back in the tank? Or what? I'm a new boater and this is a new term to me. I have had a diesel pick up truck for many years and never heard about poishing the fuel.
Polishing is a service that companies provide, though it's true I've only heard of it in a marine context. They will come to your boat, pump the fuel out, filter it, put it back in, and then relieve you of some cash.
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Old 16-10-2013, 22:14   #19
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Re: What to do with diesel in the tank over Winter?

Companies with large fuel tanks for emergency power units also have their fuel polished on a regular basis.

http://www.asa-environmental.com/Cat...FQwSMwodAF0Aag
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Old 16-10-2013, 22:17   #20
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Re: What to do with diesel in the tank over Winter?

That's a big tank for that size of boat. My 31ft takes 20 gallons. Does she still float?
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Old 16-10-2013, 22:21   #21
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Re: What to do with diesel in the tank over Winter?

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I would add an additive that absorbs water back into the fuel and keeps from separating.
You do not want to do this. Any tiny water droplet that reaches your fuel injection system is going to cause damage. Its best to get all water out of the system.
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Old 16-10-2013, 22:23   #22
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Re: What to do with diesel in the tank over Winter?

If yall had a small petcock in the back bottom of your tank, ya could keep the condensation drained, and never have a problem! makes things a lot easier to keep the fuel clean if no standing water is allowed to stay in your tank! 20 bucks will go a long way to cureing the problem for ever! Just sayin some old ways are still good ways !
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Old 16-10-2013, 23:33   #23
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If yall had a small petcock in the back bottom of your tank, ya could keep the condensation drained, and never have a problem! makes things a lot easier to keep the fuel clean if no standing water is allowed to stay in your tank! 20 bucks will go a long way to cureing the problem for ever! Just sayin some old ways are still good ways !
Now you have me trying to remember where I learned that before. Thanks for the reminder.
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Old 16-10-2013, 23:53   #24
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There are two different questions here. One is - what do you do as a routine procedure in winter with good fuel and a clean tank. Second question: what do you do in your particular case and this year.

You will get different answers for 1. In my case - cold climate, good quality fuel, sail through the winter - nothing. YMMV.

For 2: with discolored fuel and sludge in your filters you've got a problem which cannot be fixed with a band aid. You've either got active fuel bug or a really bad load of fuel. The fuel needs to come out and the tank needs to be thoroughly cleaned. I would discard the fuel or use it for heating and start over again.

Diesel tanks need to be cleaned out every few years anyway. The consequences of not doing so can be very bad - you get caught out in bad weather, and at the moment when you really need your engine, the sludge at the bottom has been stirred up in the storm and your filters are totally clogged.

There should be no sludge in your filters and the fuel should be bright and clear. What you have is not a normal condition.
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Old 17-10-2013, 00:31   #25
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Re: What to do with diesel in the tank over Winter?

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Originally Posted by bobconnie View Post
If yall had a small petcock in the back bottom of your tank, ya could keep the condensation drained, and never have a problem! makes things a lot easier to keep the fuel clean if no standing water is allowed to stay in your tank! 20 bucks will go a long way to cureing the problem for ever! Just sayin some old ways are still good ways !
USCG reg's no longer allow valves at the bottom of fuel tanks now. A hard plug yes, but nothing that can be opened accidentally. All feeders and returns have to be in the top.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 33 CFR
ß 183.518Fuel tank openings.
Each opening into the fuel tank must be at or above the topmost surface of the tank.
Quote:
Originally Posted by 46CFR 58.50
(4) Openings for fill and vent pipes must be on the topmost surface of a tank. There must be no openings in the bottom, sides, or ends of a tank except as follows:
(i) The opening for the fuel supply piping is not restricted to the top of the tank.
(ii) An opening fitted with threaded plug or cap may be used on the bottom of the tank for tank cleaning purposes.
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Old 17-10-2013, 02:06   #26
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Re: What to do with diesel in the tank over Winter?

I'm not the first to say this, but you should really inspect your tank. If it doesn't have an inspection port, try to add one. Tanks can get coated in bacterial slime, especially if there is water in the tank (and there usually is a bit at the bottom). The fuel may look good, until you hit some rough water and the crud breaks free and fouls your filters.

Fuel polishing may not scrub the tank adequately -- in a bad case you need to drain the tank and and clean it by hand. I do this every few years as a precaution.

One thing I've seen, and plan to do with my tanks, is to install a sampling tube at the top of the tank. The tube runs down to the lowest point of the tank and allows you to pump out a bit of fuel for testing. If there is any water in the tank you will pump that out as well. Of course the sample tube needs a cap or a valve on top.

Using a biocide helps too, but it's best to start with a clean tank. Carry lots of spare filters and learn how to change them (and how to bleed the fuel lines if necessary).
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Old 17-10-2013, 02:34   #27
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Re: What to do with diesel in the tank over Winter?

Chenago and perhaps darylat8750 came the closest to my recommendation. I recommend draining the tank. Give the fuel to those who do run diesel engines whether in their vehicles or for home heating. They will thank you for it. If the fuel is suspected as contaminated then run it through a heating furnace.

The OP says he is new owner which I take as never having inspected the tank. It is good to know for a new owner to know the condition of the tank. Maybe it's just me but I wouldn't take even the previous owner's statement as a guarantee. Tank inspection and running the engine at least to operating temp (with electrical load) is ideal.

This shouldn't be about price. The price of the fuel would be eaten up quickly by multiple filters and perhaps clogged injectors. And still the tank hasn't been inspected. Tank inspection should be a regular mx item, whether every one year, every other yr or once in 5 yrs but certainly at new ownership.
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Old 17-10-2013, 09:44   #28
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Re: What to do with diesel in the tank over Winter?

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Originally Posted by DeepFrz View Post
You do not want to do this. Any tiny water droplet that reaches your fuel injection system is going to cause damage. Its best to get all water out of the system.
15 years I been adding additive that absorbs water/moisture back into the fuel, with no probable. Its alcohol base. Also if there is no water/moisture there is no algae/bugs. If you have algae/bugs then you also have moisture/water, so killing/filtering the bugs is not really fixing the cause. The Eagles three 400 gallons tanks have never been inspected/opened.

As mentioned before old diesel is more of a problem for larger power boats with large tanks. Having the fuel polish one time may not fix the problem, but done over a period of time it will keep the fuel and tank clean. So itís becomes part of my month maintenance. Turn the pump on for a 2 to 4 of hours. There have been times I forgot and its ran for days. The last 10+ years there have been no signs of algae, bugs, dirt, or water.
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Old 17-10-2013, 09:56   #29
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Re: What to do with diesel in the tank over Winter?

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Originally Posted by Richard5 View Post
Chenago and perhaps darylat8750 came the closest to my recommendation. I recommend draining the tank. Give the fuel to those who do run diesel engines whether in their vehicles or for home heating. They will thank you for it. If the fuel is suspected as contaminated then run it through a heating furnace.

The OP says he is new owner which I take as never having inspected the tank. It is good to know for a new owner to know the condition of the tank. Maybe it's just me but I wouldn't take even the previous owner's statement as a guarantee. Tank inspection and running the engine at least to operating temp (with electrical load) is ideal.

This shouldn't be about price. The price of the fuel would be eaten up quickly by multiple filters and perhaps clogged injectors. And still the tank hasn't been inspected. Tank inspection should be a regular mx item, whether every one year, every other yr or once in 5 yrs but certainly at new ownership.
Yep, avoid one tow in after a failure and you're money ahead. Clean fuel tank is an oft overlooked item on an old boat. If you are keeping the boat, start out with a nice clean tank.
It's amazing how often you hear of people who have worked on their boat for a couple years or more for an offshore voyage, then as soon as they hit the "rough stuff" the filters clog up terribly.... the tank is out of sight out of mind....
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Old 17-10-2013, 10:46   #30
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Re: What to do with diesel in the tank over Winter?

As someone said, ask 10 sailors a question and you'll get 11 answers. Here's my version as a RR trained multi fuel engineer. If the boat is new to you, (and sound advice if it's not) pump out the diesel fuel into containers, clean the tank spotless, if it hasn't got a drain tap, fit one, once re-installed drain a cupful every month to remove any sediment/water, rinse with paraffin to flush any moisture out, having let the old fuel stand for a minimum of 24 hrs filter it back into the tank through what you guys call a disposable diaper/or several layers of a folded ladies nylon stocking. Diesel oil will fire an engine even if it's up to 10 years old. Fit new filters,prime the system and start the engine. I would recommend filling the tank in the Autumn(fall) to eliminate condensation over the winter period. Having done this it is unnecessary to 'polish' fuel, polishing fuel is futile if the tank is dirty to begin with and if your supplies of fuel require cleaning, change your supplier. Bio fuel is not a problem if you are aware that it also has the effect of cleaning the tank interior which often means more filter changes as it slowly cleans out any crud, this usually gives rise to the comment that the fuel is dirty which is not the truth. Some people swear by fitting expensive fuel polishing systems, my personal view is that they are a complete waste of money. KISS.
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