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Old 02-05-2018, 11:39   #16
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Re: How to check fuel tank

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Originally Posted by Billnpr View Post
We just did a sail from Tarpon Springs to Key West. The motor stopped after running about 6 hours. We found out that Diesel grows bacteria even after having the fuel polished a year ago. In the marina at Key West, we had the fuel polished again. It seems the the bacteria as it grows will coagulate like snot which will clog the intake pick-up tube in the fuel tank even before it gets to the filters. The filters the professional used looked like a swimming pool filter with a fine membrane around it. The pump was high volume so that the return hose was used to rinse the inside of the tank.

I would recommend investing in the external pump and filter. Remove the the pick-up and sending unit and filter the fuel several times.
Who did you get to filter your fuel? I'm asking because I need this service.
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Old 02-05-2018, 12:42   #17
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Re: How to check fuel tank

The easiest way to pump water off the bottom is to use your used oil vacuum. Kinna obvious once you think about it, which is why I didn't figure it out until someone told me (). Clean it first if you want to see the condition of the fuel.

Free water separates. It's pretty obvious in a glass jar or drinking water bottle.

If you have water, there are 19 chances in 20 you have a filler cap leak. Try a new gasket. Condensation is very unlikely (and can't be more than a fraction of a tsp) and bad fuel from the station is rare in the US.
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Old 02-05-2018, 12:47   #18
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Re: How to check fuel tank

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Cetane booster is specifically for diesel, as Octane booster is for gasoline.
Thanks, useful to know as its not something I can recall people using this side of the pond for yacht engines which are really quite agricultural.
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Old 02-05-2018, 19:01   #19
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Re: How to check fuel tank

I wouldn't rely on a clean sediment bowl on the bottom of my fuel filter to determine if there's water or curd in the tank. If you have water in your tank below the fuel pickup it won't show up until you're motoring in heavy seas, just at the wrong time.
Also, just add a little diesel biocide each time that you fuel up and it will prevent bacteria. Water in the fuel is a big problem in the Bahamas. As we use very little fuel, we always fuel up with jerry cans and then siphon the fuel into a tank through a filter funner. It takes a little longer but eliminates the problem of fuel in the tanks.
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Old 02-05-2018, 19:25   #20
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Re: How to check fuel tank

After 50 years of operating both boats and airplanes I've never understood why boat fuel tanks don't have condensate drains like airplane fuel tanks? Simple to install, simple to maintain. Jet fuel is almost identical to diesel fuel and gasoline is also much lighter that water. It's standard procedure to drain a half a cup of fuel and hold it up to the light before every flight. This is because aviation fuel can become contaminated with water even before it is delivered to the airplane. Good check on your water-separator too.
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Old 03-05-2018, 03:45   #21
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Re: How to check fuel tank

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Thanks, useful to know as its not something I can recall people using this side of the pond for yacht engines which are really quite agricultural.
Yes I found this tip most useful too
Is it best to add Cetane to the tank at the end of the storage period or before?
I will be on the hard for approx 5 months each year.
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Old 05-05-2018, 20:33   #22
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Re: How to check fuel tank

summation:
Prevent by controlling condensation by keeping tank full.
Polish your own fuel with water separating fuel filter and electric pump.
Treat fuel before you store for winter, and while allowing air pressure
changes, limit air transfer by using a flexible bulb and "blocking" air exchange from the vent for winter. Empty the bulb of fuel as it will have water in it. Expansion and contraction from a small tank will be minimal. Some tanks flex enough. Know your situation. Think it through. Treat for the bacterial and algal growth. Test the fuel and restore your fuel and system before you use the boat. I have run engines on boats that recirculated 800 to 900 gallons of fuel ever 3 hours, and polished it using only the engine driven fuel pumps. That fuel became warm from engine heat in 4 or 5 hours. Dual water separating Racors did the trick. Tanks could be run separately or linked, and return fuel control was a science. Fuel system was a special one and required 3/4 inch fuel lines and valves. Not Yanmar engines. Cummins. Some of those engines are still made with bronze plates autographed by the crew that built them. Turbos the size of small truck tires. Not cheap, but a pleasure to run!
Any diesel engine needs clean relatively dry fuel and no water block or dirt to foul the injectors! Plenty of air and enough water to cool engine and exhaust... lubrication. A diesel engine is a thing of beauty! I love each and every one of them!
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