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Old 11-10-2011, 06:39   #1
F51
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Diesel in the Water Tank !

We were topping off fuel tanks and inadvertently put a couple of gallons of diesel in the port water tank. I immediately isolated the tank and drained it. Flushed and flushed with fresh water and there is still a hint of odor and a microscopic sheen on the top of a clear glass of water. It's not much, and I think you could drink it in an an emergency, but I'd like to finish cleaning the tank. Does anyone know of a product that can be put in the tank to emulsify the remaining film and allow it to be removed?
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Old 11-10-2011, 07:01   #2
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Re: Diesel in the water tank!

washing up liquid to dissolve it then once clean and dry bicarbonate of soda powder will remove any smell
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Old 11-10-2011, 07:10   #3
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Re: Diesel in the water tank!

dishwasher detergent and several flushes, then a gallon of vodka to dissolve the remnants.
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Old 11-10-2011, 07:20   #4
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Re: Diesel in the water tank!

gotta think Dawn would help
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Old 11-10-2011, 07:28   #5
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Re: Diesel in the water tank!

I agree with the others, use a degreasing soap, dishwashing soap would be best, as we eat on the remnants already it can't poison you. Baking soda to remove any remaining oders.

DON'T use any bleach untill ALL diesel is gone.
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Old 11-10-2011, 07:37   #6
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Re: Diesel in the Water Tank !

I agree with multiple flushings with dish soap, but would add that hot water would help enormously if you can rig a way to do that.
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Old 11-10-2011, 07:51   #7
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Re: Diesel in the Water Tank !

And add a carbon filter to the system. Is it a plastic tank? Oil is very hard to remove from plastic surfaces, for some reason. It always seems like there's a thin film remaining no matter how much soap you use.
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Old 11-10-2011, 07:59   #8
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Re: Diesel in the Water Tank !

Hi F51,

I've never had to deal with this problem myself, but if you want to read a step-by-step from someone who has (and in a rather witty writing style), there is a whole "chapter" covering this on the Slapdash's blog.

December 2007 Florida | The Slapdash

The great diesel fiasco
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Old 11-10-2011, 08:13   #9
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Re: Diesel in the Water Tank !

Sorry to hear about the mix up. I'm in the construction phase on my boat. What steps have others taken that I might include in my build to prevent this from happening to me? I thought about having the fillers on opposite sides? Or maybe the water fill port inside the wheel house etc... Any thoughts?
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Old 11-10-2011, 08:19   #10
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Re: Diesel in the Water Tank !

Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt sachs View Post
Sorry to hear about the mix up. I'm in the construction phase on my boat. What steps have others taken that I might include in my build to prevent this from happening to me? I thought about having the fillers on opposite sides? Or maybe the water fill port inside the wheel house etc... Any thoughts?
Keep the fills far apart, use the deck plugs that are labeled, and get a crew that can read.
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Old 11-10-2011, 08:22   #11
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Re: Diesel in the Water Tank !

Someone on this board (I'm sorry, I can't remember who but thank you) recommended TKO Orange for exactly your problem. Made of orange peel. It is non toxic.

I bought some and found it's quite a great general cleaner especially good at killing diesel smell around the engine. My old cleaner for this purpose was Simple Green but I find this quite a bit better.

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Old 11-10-2011, 08:26   #12
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Re: Diesel in the Water Tank !

Quote:
Originally Posted by CarlF View Post
Someone on this board (I'm sorry, I can't remember who but thank you) recommended TKO Orange for exactly your problem. Made of orange peel. It is non toxic.

I bought some and found it's quite a great general cleaner especially good at killing diesel smell around the engine. My old cleaner for this purpose was Simple Green but I find this quite a bit better.
Carl's post has me thinking that it might be best to try multiple treatments. First flush with Simple Green, second with an organic degreaser such as TKO Orange, third with dish soap, and then a few freshwater flushes, the penultimate of which includes baking soda.
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Old 11-10-2011, 09:13   #13
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Re: Diesel in the Water Tank !

Thanks Shazam...and welcome to the forum.
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Old 11-10-2011, 20:14   #14
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Re: Diesel in the Water Tank !

For future reference, we label all of our fills with nail polish. It lasts about 6 months, but real easy to reapply:

Diesel - red (it's red here in the US)
Waste - black (blackwater)
Water- blue
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Old 11-10-2011, 20:26   #15
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Re: Diesel in the Water Tank !

Drain the water out of it, run a line to the filters and make a diesel tank out of it?
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