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Old 29-11-2019, 10:28   #16
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Re: Help - water in diesel tank!

Many thanks to all for the analysis and workable ideas to address the issue. FYI, this is one of two tanks on the boat so I've been able to isolate it, running only from the other non-contaminated tank. There are about 35 gallons of fuel remaining (43 gal capacity) and the tank is aluminum so I do want to get any residual water out without delay.

Sounds like a portable polishing setup will be the ticket.
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Old 29-11-2019, 11:58   #17
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Re: Help - water in diesel tank!

Quote:
Originally Posted by gamayun View Post
Sailah, that link is awesome. I'd missed it and have been planning a fuel polishing soon. To set up a polishing system with dual fuel filtering kills two birds with one boat buck (and likely much less!). The cost of two Racors had been holding me back given all the other things to spend limited funds on.
I have a Racor 500 stock on the boat but I run my polisher setup with 2 Shelco filter bodies. Mainly because I read anther excellent tutorial on how to do it and they recommended them as well. I paid $14/ea on eBay and decided 2 is better than 1. In reality it's massively overkill.

I think I'm into my polisher for maybe $200 and a fair amount of time. But I also have a full machine shop so that helps.
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Old 29-11-2019, 14:03   #18
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Re: Help - water in diesel tank!

I had a little water in my (nice, clean) diesel tank, and I made it much worse.

At risk of embarrassing myself I'll tell you about it...no need to flame me, its in the past. I know better now.

Having owned gasoline engines, both automotive and marine, I added a little methyl hydrate to my diesel tank (spoiler alert: DON'T DO THIS).

The water seemed to disappear.

3 weeks later I had a huge bloom of diesel algae, thanks to the moisture in the diesel fuel. The fuel filter was almost completely blocked. As you can imagine, the problem I had created was much worse than the original water in the tank issue.
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Old 29-11-2019, 14:15   #19
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Re: Help - water in diesel tank!

I had the same problem last year I had to get a professional in to clean the tank out.He open the inspection hole and with a long probe sucked all the fuel out of the tank polishing it $1200 later beautiful clean tank
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Old 29-11-2019, 14:33   #20
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Re: Help - water in diesel tank!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Minggat View Post
If you're in La Paz, you're in a good spot to pick up good used parts. I would recommend picking up a spare used Racor, and a new electric fuel pump. Make sure the pump is for diesel-not gasoline. Then build yourself a polishing system that you can run independent of your fuel delivery system.


You won't be fretting about your fuel delivery filters and you can polish anytime you want. Especially while underway, either power or sailing. The sloshing around is your friend when it comes to polishing systems.


.

The polishing return line to the tank will, by the pump's action, introduce air bubbles into the return line to tank.

With a large polishing pump, foaming may happen.
There is the risk then of drawing aerated fuel towards the primary filter while engine is running and getting air into the fuel delivery system.
Accordingly operating a polishing pump while the engine is running should be avoided.
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Old 29-11-2019, 15:14   #21
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Re: Help - water in diesel tank!

I would disagree with that, and base it on my actual experience.

I have been operating my polishing pump 100% of the engine run hours. In all weather, pounding into head seas, heeled over. No aerating that I can tell. Engine has never skipped a beat.

Only time I ran into trouble was the first time I installed system. I used the engine pickup tube as my feed to polisher. It was sucking the fuel that the engine was trying to get and stalling out the engine. I installed separate pickup tube and it's been 100% reliable for 3 years.

I don't think 72GPH is going to make a difference. Maybe some massive 500GPH pump but only if the tank is really low on fuel to start. I tend to run with full tank so I've never experienced this. My return from polisher just dumps the fuel back into tank like the engine return does.
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Old 30-11-2019, 19:58   #22
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Re: Help - water in diesel tank!

+1 on get a pump and a spare racor and polish away. Or just a pump.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Minggat View Post
If you're in La Paz, you're in a good spot to pick up good used parts. I would recommend picking up a spare used Racor, and a new electric fuel pump. Make sure the pump is for diesel-not gasoline. Then build yourself a polishing system that you can run independent of your fuel delivery system.


You won't be fretting about your fuel delivery filters and you can polish anytime you want. Especially while underway, either power or sailing. The sloshing around is your friend when it comes to polishing systems.


Some years ago friend lost her boat on the rocks because she thought it was good enough that she paid to have her fuel polished while her boat was sitting quietly in the slip.
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Old 01-12-2019, 07:52   #23
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Help - water in diesel tank!

Every body loves what they call fuel polishers, but itís not going to work, and this is why. Assuming the pickup is in one place thats the only place your going to get the water, now if you have a sump thatís the lowest point in the tank, then thatís fine, but itís unlikely that you do.

Then for some reason that fails me people refuse to understand that by the time they are low on fuel the fuel has passed through their filters several times or been polished did you will, because the average engine returns far more fuel than it burns.

A real fuel polisher moves enough fuel in the tank and the fuel discharge is positioned in such a way that it sets up a current flow in the tank. Itís like getting he last bit of sugar on the bottom of a coffee cup, you have to swirl the coffee to suspend the sugar or it just remains stuck to the bottom, so a real polisher is a rather large pump and often a pretty big filter too, itís not a spare dinky fuel pump. Also the pickup and return need to be well separated so using the spare bungs meant for a generator wonít work, reason is you just circulate that small amount of fuel between the pickup and return.

But it doesnít hurt, so if it makes you feel better go ahead.

So get your self a tube similar to the one you use to change oil. Connect that to a pump and then as you pump move the tube around the bottom of the tank and try to vacuum it all off.
Any water left is bad, it will corrode a metal tank and ďbugsĒ will grow in it, be sure to treat your fuel at the shock level of biocide until you have run a couple of tanks through.
There are products that will emulsify the remaining water so that it can be burnt but also just sailing or motoring in seas with the return fuel heating the fuel and the seas agitating the tank, eventually all remaining water will be emulsified and burnt.

Without agitation or a chemical to cause the water to emulsify, not much if any has
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Old 01-12-2019, 08:19   #24
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Re: Help - water in diesel tank!

To get the last bit of water from your tank a few tampons may help. A tampon does suck water but no diesel.

Make a 'string' of tampons, make sure there is some weight also, to have them sink, and lower them to the lowest part of the tank. weight a few hours and lift them out again.


PS Don't forget to remove the plastic.
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Old 01-12-2019, 08:28   #25
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Re: Help - water in diesel tank!

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Originally Posted by rooiedirk View Post
To get the last bit of water from your tank a few tampons may help. A tampon does suck water but no diesel.

Make a 'string' of tampons, make sure there is some weight also, to have them sink, and lower them to the lowest part of the tank. weight a few hours and lift them out again.


PS Don't forget to remove the plastic.
An interesting idea!

Being a guy, don't know too much about tampons ,but seen some in the stores. What size do you recommend regular, super or super plus for this job??

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Old 01-12-2019, 08:45   #26
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Help - water in diesel tank!

I knew oil absorber pads only absorbed water, but I didnít know about tampons.
If you go that route Iíd want some nylon string holding on to them too, I wouldnít trust just the string it comes with, Iíd hate to try to figure out how to get them out of the tank too.
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Old 06-12-2019, 08:32   #27
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Re: Help - water in diesel tank!

We've been there. How much diesel are we talking about, and how important is it to save the fuel? I'd say pump it all out and replace it. If you have good access to the inside of the tank, scrub it while you're at it, because you may have some floating or attached gunk as well. A big problem is where to put the old fuel and what to do with it. We sailed to an anchorage and scoured the walkable land for containers.

The Hinckley yard in Maine was the closest place we had to take the old fuel. They took it, for a price per gallon, and saved some to show customers what a bad case looks like. Polishing didn't seem worth it. If you're in a terrible bind, maybe constant monitoring and draining the Racor is the best you can do. Water in the injection pump? NOT GOOD.
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Old 06-12-2019, 12:58   #28
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Re: Help - water in diesel tank!

Hah! Just did this. Bought a new-to-me boat, got confused, put 20 gallons of water in the forward fuel tank. Ugh.


Pulled the fuel line off the engine, started the facet electric fuel pump, and pumped till I got fuel. Probably pumped a quart of fuel total.


Put it back together, ran the engine an hour, and drained a pint of water out of the Racor.


20 hours later drained a quarter cup of water out of the Racor. Note, at this point I had intentionally allowed the tank to run dry and the the engine to quit -- I wanted to get all remaining issues with this fuel gone before I refilled. I shifted to the other tank, and the engine self bleeds on the Facet pump in under a minute.


I do have a sump in this tank that is maybe 3" x 5"", and an inch deep. The pickup is in the bottom of the sump. So I do a very good job of sucking water, dirt, etc off the bottom of the tank before it accumulates.


For me at least, it wasn't near as bad as I thought when I realized my mistake!


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Old 06-12-2019, 14:27   #29
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Re: Help - water in diesel tank!

Unless you have a huge quantity of fuel why not just pump it out and recycle it. Considering how expensive diesel rebuild or replacements are.
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Old 06-12-2019, 18:03   #30
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Re: Help - water in diesel tank!

CRC makes a water removal additive CRC diesel dry
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