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Old 29-10-2019, 10:37   #16
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Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Charlotte, NC
Boat: Beneteau 411
Posts: 39
Re: Diesel in my bilge after filling tank?

We used to have an Ď82 Catalina 30. The fuel fill hose had a low spot before the tank so fuel always sat there and finally rotted the hose. Depending how long your hose etc it can seem like a lot of fuel. Good luck getting it figured out.
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Old 29-10-2019, 10:40   #17
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Boat: Chris Craft 38 Commander 1965
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Re: Diesel in my bilge after filling tank?

Tanks filled to "the Top" are actually over filled. Typically the filler pipe opening is the highest part of the system and the vent/overflow is somewhat lower. If filled too fast the main filler hose/pipe can fill and the vent lag behind and not overflow in time to show the excess fuel coming out. But when you stop pumping the fuel in the hose will seep down until the vent has let all the excess fuel above it run out into the water over the side. The fuel is left standing in the filler hose below that mark. Any loose hose clamps or cracks in the hose will leak under the pressure of the vertical column of fuel.
Also this puts pressure on every connection on the top of the tank - fuel pickup, fuel return, fuel gauge sender, clean-out, etc.
If your fuel level is not still going down at least you know it is not a leak at the bottom of the tank. Try and gauge exactly how much you really have in the bilge. Doesn't take much to look and smell bad. If less than a gallon then not likely the tank. some other connection. Check the tank level several times at different intervals to be sure.
Also a loose return fuel line fitting can dump fuel into the bilge with the engine running.
Additionally a leak in a hose can create a siphon that keeps feeding the fuel loss that doesn't stop. Shut off tanks when laying up.
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Old 29-10-2019, 14:46   #18
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Re: Diesel in my bilge after filling tank?

[QUOTE=NYSail;3005378]Not good to fill till it overflows (sure you didnít do on purpose)..... . Also when I put my boat up for winter even though I try to get tank below 1/4 I close fuel valve at tank.

most experts recommend leaving the tank full for the winter as air in the tank eventually condenses leaving moisture and then water in the bottom of the fuel tank.
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Old 29-10-2019, 16:00   #19
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Location: Daytona Beach, Florida
Boat: 1988 Wilbur 34
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Re: Diesel in my bilge after filling tank?

I've had this experience. In my situation the leak was traced to a bad vent hose that leaked fuel when the tank was full. The hose had actually disintegrated and the hose/tank connection was impossible to access. Luckily, I found a plug at the opposite end of the tank where I was able to install a barb fitting and connect a new hose. I was able to plug the old connection on the inside of the tank by means of access provided by a removable panel.

Good luck with resolving your problem.
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Old 29-10-2019, 19:12   #20
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Location: Ranieri/Bari, S. Italy
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Re: Diesel in my bilge after filling tank?

Paul, I have a Jeanneau 43ds and hv found the same problem if the fuel is filled right up to the filler cap. You might hv same prblm as me whereby the fuel that is then left in the filler tube above the tank then leaks out near the connection between the tube and the tank. I am going to fix this connection this winter but meanwhile i never totally fill my tank.

I have an electronic sensor in my bilge but then found that i had so much diesel in my bilge that the sensor would not activate the bilge pump. It seems that my sensor works fine in water but will not work in diesel. I tried lots of hot water and washing up liquid but nothing wld shift it. Solution was obvious after i sat down and had a beer or so to thik about it. I pumped it all out with the manual bulge pump.
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Old 29-10-2019, 21:12   #21
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Re: Diesel in my bilge after filling tank?

PureAyre is really good for this. They also sell a fogger that you can mist around places you can't reach.

But first, you have to find the leak

Start with the Racor since you just changed it. Wipe with towels and smell for diesel. Did you change both O-rings? It's very easy to get the o-ring in the cover not seated quite right.

Next most likely is a hose - either at the clamp or a split. If the hoses are 10+ years old best to replace them as a winter project. Even the best are only warranted for five years.

Finally, it's too late this year but next year don't fill your tank before storage. While the advice to fill your tank is often repeated in the press, I doubt it matters.
Water generally gets into diesel tanks from bad fuel at the marina or from a bad o-ring on the fill cap. And the Racor is very good at capturing the water. Here's a piece by Dave Pasco

I like to start off my year with fresh diesel rather than year old diesel. I always wait in the spring until after the marina gets its first fuel delivery.
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Old 04-11-2019, 06:56   #22
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Re: Diesel in my bilge after filling tank?

COFFEE GRINDS. After you clean up all the diesel with soap and any other methods described by others, to get rid of the remaining order, put generous amounts of fresh (unused) coffee grinds on any surface that was exposed to the diesel. Leave on for a day or more then remove. I promise the diesel smell will be completely gone. And... your boat will smell like a starbucks.
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bilge, diesel, grass

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