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Old 04-12-2008, 19:42   #1
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fuel in water tank

Hello All
Don't ask how but we got about 5 gallons of fuel in our 70 gallon water tank and are looking for ideas on how to get it out with out removing the tank or furniture. We have very limited access to the tank top but we would have to take furniture out to do it (hard job). The only thing I can think of is to pour a lot of dish detergent into the tank add water to suds it up and pump it all into a safe container. Any and all ideas will be appreciated
Thanks
Minisailor
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Old 04-12-2008, 19:49   #2
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bummer. I dont think you'll ever get the taste and smell out...
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Old 04-12-2008, 20:04   #3
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Is these metal, plastic, fiberglass, cardboard?
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Old 05-12-2008, 05:14   #4
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Remove the furniture.

You'll need to do it one day anyway - and this slip up makes that day today.

Good luck
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Old 05-12-2008, 05:16   #5
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water in fuel

Chuck
The tank is Stainless
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Old 05-12-2008, 05:55   #6
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Fuel floats and clings to surfaces. It will leave a taste at exceptionally low concentration levels. Aside from the foul taste it is also toxic. If you have pumped any of this through your fresh water lines all those are probably shot now. If not then don't even think about using your fresh water pump to remove it.

Steam cleaning could salvage the tank. It's going to require access ports into each area of the tank divided by any baffles. You might do this in place. You do need to treat and clean all surfaces in the tank as well as the pickup and replace the fill line and any hoses that have been contaminated.
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Old 05-12-2008, 05:56   #7
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You're lucky it's stainless and not plastic. Lots of detergent and hot water, boiling if you can. That will get it out till a point where it's probably safe to drink. As said before, you will probably never get the taste out.

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Old 05-12-2008, 06:56   #8
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Originally Posted by swagman View Post
Remove the furniture.
+1 on removing the furniture. You will want to do this one right, and not take any shortcuts with your fresh water storage/supply.

Take the time, remove it.
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Old 05-12-2008, 15:34   #9
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fuel in water tank

Hello All
Thanks for all the good advise it is greatly appreciated. I spent the entire day taking the furniture out and now have good access to the tank. I took the top inspection plate off and can clearly see each chamber and have access to them. All the oil and water is now out and disposed of. Tomorrow on to cleaning, I can reach all areas of the tank so it should come out clean using a lot of detergent and elbow grease. Also thinking I should give it a final wash with bleach to kill of any undesired bacteria.
Thanks again
Minisailor
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Old 05-12-2008, 15:54   #10
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Sounds like you are doing it right. This is no place for short cuts.
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Old 05-12-2008, 16:14   #11
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Minisailor,I had to read your post twice,because usually it is the other way around....water in fuel.I don't want to sound pessimistic but diesel fuel is a tough one.I don't think you will ever get rid of the taste or the odor.Good luck.JC.
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Old 05-12-2008, 16:24   #12
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I was extremely skeptical of the claims, but I broke down and tried Orange TKO. It works. It will emulsify gas and oil and allow you to get rid of the taste and smell.
TKO Industries Intl, Calgary, Alberta, Canada, From the US call 1-800-993-2463, or google it. See if you can reach the inside walls of the tank with this stuff on a soft brush.
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Old 05-12-2008, 16:30   #13
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I don't think you will ever get rid of the taste or the odor.
Should that prove to be the case then get a company in that provides professional tank cleaning services - they will get the tank pristine again.

(Not that I have had to use them on my own boat cos it is set up so that it is pretty much impossible to get fuel into our water tanks by accident or even by a saboteur ).
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Old 05-12-2008, 18:48   #14
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I would agree with Sandy about cleaning the SS tank, but if any hoses or water lines are contaminated they need to be removed. I would also replace the gaskets on the access ports to the tank too.
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Old 05-12-2008, 21:13   #15
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It happened to me too. And Sandy is right the orange TKO works well. If any diesel got in the system run a dozen gallons or so of TKO treated water through it and then rinse it with twice the amount of fresh water. A slight odor seemed to linger for awhile but it could have been my imagination.
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