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Old 29-12-2019, 11:27   #31
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Re: Item dropped into fuel fill stem

I don't know if it's mentioned before or not but can you pass one of those snake cameras through the fill and pickup line and see where it is first?
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Old 29-12-2019, 11:54   #32
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Re: Item dropped into fuel fill stem

How about inserting a small fishing net into tank and sweep for it? You might get lucky.
Failing that, I think pumping most of the fuel out would make finding it a lot easier, but I would not use the wet vaccuum idea, that sounds like a Darwin award winner. Use a hand pump, it won't take too long, and the lid may block the nozzle too, in which case you simply lift it out.
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Old 30-12-2019, 10:51   #33
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Re: Item dropped into fuel fill stem

25 cent piece piece of plastic fell in & a couple of months later on a rough boisterous day it got held against the bottom of the fuel suction tube & engine starved just I turned into Castine harbor entrance, wind on the nose. The engine restarted (it had fallen away). Only to sputter as I throttled up. Running the 3ym30 at 1200rpm allowed me to putter to an anchorage. So, yeah get the thing outta there
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Old 30-12-2019, 12:02   #34
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Re: Item dropped into fuel fill stem

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Originally Posted by Disailor View Post
25 cent piece piece of plastic fell in & a couple of months later on a rough boisterous day it got held against the bottom of the fuel suction tube & engine starved just I turned into Castine harbor entrance, wind on the nose. The engine restarted (it had fallen away). Only to sputter as I throttled up. Running the 3ym30 at 1200rpm allowed me to putter to an anchorage. So, yeah get the thing outta there
Check your pick up tube. It should have a screen around it that will not enable a flat object to block it.
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Old 30-12-2019, 12:23   #35
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Re: Item dropped into fuel fill stem

Quote:
Originally Posted by Disailor View Post
25 cent piece piece of plastic fell in & a couple of months later on a rough boisterous day it got held against the bottom of the fuel suction tube & engine starved just I turned into Castine harbor entrance, wind on the nose. The engine restarted (it had fallen away). Only to sputter as I throttled up. Running the 3ym30 at 1200rpm allowed me to putter to an anchorage. So, yeah get the thing outta there

THIS is why you don't just leave it.


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Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
. . . I think a pro fuel polisher is your best bet, can’t hurt to have your fuel and tank cleaned anyway.

Yes. What some people are missing is the large diameter pickup hose that fuel polishers use. I think this is quite likely to pick up the debris and solve the problem.


If it doesn't, it's time to cut a proper inspection hatch in the fuel tank, which every diesel fuel tank really needs to have in any case.



In either case, you make lemonade out of lemons, improve the configuration of your fuel tank, inspect it properly, give it a good scrub, which no doubt it really needs anyway. This may turn out to be a blessing in disguise!



Maybe your tank already has an inspection hatch? All of my boats have had them. If I had your problem I would solve it in under an hour by yanking the inspection hatch lid off and fishing out the crap. I can see and reach every corner of my 700 liter tank through the large inspection hatch. Even without a case like this, you need to be keeping an eye on the inside of your tank. Fuel problems almost always start with an accumulation of water and crap in the tank which you are unaware of, since you don't look inside it often enough.
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Old 30-12-2019, 13:27   #36
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Re: Item dropped into fuel fill stem

I believe the "official" recommendation is no screen on the pickup tube; that's what the filter is for.
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Old 30-12-2019, 14:17   #37
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Re: Item dropped into fuel fill stem

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Originally Posted by sanibel sailor View Post
I believe the "official" recommendation is no screen on the pickup tube; that's what the filter is for.
Official by whom?

I would never recommend a pick-up tube without a screen.

The pick-up tube screen is not to perform the job of the fuel filter (with a mesh sized to prevent the injectors from plugging).

The pick up tube screen is to prevent larger debris from plugging the pick-up tube, check valve (if present) and fuel hose from tank to water separator.

The beauty being that if the pickup tube plugs, if not equipped with a check valve, all one has to do is blow backwards to (temporarily) unplug it, until the debris can be removed from the tank.

With a pickup tube screen larger debris is contained in the tank, without it, larger debris can be anywhere in the system until it stops where?
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Old 30-12-2019, 17:18   #38
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Re: Item dropped into fuel fill stem

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Originally Posted by ramblinrod View Post
Official by whom?
US 46 CFR 182.400 and following or perhaps ABYC H-33 ? But I did not see it there. I know the drawing of my replacement tank made last year does not show show a screen on the pick up tube lower end. And, I know the old tank did not have a screen.

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Old 30-12-2019, 19:36   #39
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Re: Item dropped into fuel fill stem

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Originally Posted by wsmurdoch View Post
US 46 CFR 182.400
Hmmm, I am familiar and donít remember seeing this. Can you cite the subsection?
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Old 30-12-2019, 20:57   #40
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Re: Item dropped into fuel fill stem

ABYC and USCG rules are about safety, like not leaking burning discharging etc.

Official in quotes.
A good reference is Dave Gerrís book. A whole chapter just on fuel tanks, heís not official but pretty authoritative.
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Old 30-12-2019, 21:24   #41
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Re: Item dropped into fuel fill stem

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Originally Posted by ramblinrod View Post
Hmmm, I am familiar and donít remember seeing this. Can you cite the subsection?
Actually, I can't cite a subsection. I searched ABYC H-33 and US 46 CFR 182.400 and following (182.405 thru 182.480) for the word screen and did not find any reference to a screen over the fuel intake dip tube lower end. Do you know where the official recommendation of its requirement might be mentioned? There is a lot of stuff in these two documents along to references to other standards, and I might have missed it. Perhaps there are other documents requiring its existence. I'm worried as neither my old fuel tank nor my brand new tank seem to have a screen. The maker of my new tank said that the tank was NMMA/ABYC; CE/IMCI , USCG Comm, Lloyd's Register, and ISO 10088 certified. Was he wrong?

Bill
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Old 30-12-2019, 21:47   #42
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Re: Item dropped into fuel fill stem

If it is not forbidden or mandated in the rules, it is allowed. Doesn't say you have to have it, doesn't say you cannot. Just not recommended by most engineering types. You would prefer the clog to occur at the filter where you can get at it.
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Old 30-12-2019, 22:09   #43
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Re: Item dropped into fuel fill stem

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Originally Posted by sanibel sailor View Post
If it is not forbidden or mandated in the rules, it is allowed. Doesn't say you have to have it, doesn't say you cannot. Just not recommended by most engineering types. You would prefer the clog to occur at the filter where you can get at it.

Do not put screens on pickup tubes. Not a single reputable designer does this, whether or not it is forbidden or discouraged or allowed or whatever.


But more to the point, it's very bad advice to allow debris to remain in your tank, and hope that a screen on a pickup tube will prevent problems. A screen would not prevent a piece of debris like this from clogging the pickup anyway -- the debris is flexible and will fit itself to whatever shape the screen has and you're clogged anyway. Diesel fuel tanks should be clean and free of debris at all times! Vessel management 101! Basic principles! This can be a matter of life and death. Everyone should have a good look around inside his diesel tanks at least once a year, and if you don't have access to do that, then this is a design flaw which you should rectify. It is not rocket science and should not be terribly expensive to cut a decent inspection hatch in the top of a tank which doesn't have one. You need access not only to be able to see inside, but also to be able to fish out debris just like in this case, and clean the tank mechanically, in cases where fuel polishing doesn't work, and there are some cases like that.



Tank cleaning with a fuel polishing rig is a great thing, and it's all any of my boats have ever needed over the decades -- the good rigs produce almost a pressure wash stream of fuel which does a great job on the inside of the tank. But even doing this properly requires decent access -- you can't really do it through the fuel filler because the operator can't see what he's doing.
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Old 30-12-2019, 22:30   #44
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Re: Item dropped into fuel fill stem

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Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
Do not put screens on pickup tubes. Not a single reputable designer does this, whether or not it is forbidden or discouraged or allowed or whatever.


But more to the point, it's very bad advice to allow debris to remain in your tank, and hope that a screen on a pickup tube will prevent problems. A screen would not prevent a piece of debris like this from clogging the pickup anyway -- the debris is flexible and will fit itself to whatever shape the screen has and you're clogged anyway. Diesel fuel tanks should be clean and free of debris at all times! Vessel management 101! Basic principles! This can be a matter of life and death. Everyone should have a good look around inside his diesel tanks at least once a year, and if you don't have access to do that, then this is a design flaw which you should rectify. It is not rocket science and should not be terribly expensive to cut a decent inspection hatch in the top of a tank which doesn't have one. You need access not only to be able to see inside, but also to be able to fish out debris just like in this case, and clean the tank mechanically, in cases where fuel polishing doesn't work, and there are some cases like that.



Tank cleaning with a fuel polishing rig is a great thing, and it's all any of my boats have ever needed over the decades -- the good rigs produce almost a pressure wash stream of fuel which does a great job on the inside of the tank. But even doing this properly requires decent access -- you can't really do it through the fuel filler because the operator can't see what he's doing.
When I identified an asphaltene problem in my tanks I put together a polishing rig that has at the heart of it a high volume fuel transfer pump as used by onsite equipment refuelers, it has an output similar to a fuel bowser, and sucks through a 25 mm tube via a water separator/30 micron filter. Tanks have a simple filler fitting directly above the lowest point and the fuel is recycled from the pickup to the filler, creating a lot of movement within the tank, removing any crap. Works well and is used on an annual basis as preventative maintenance.
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Old 30-12-2019, 22:54   #45
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Re: Item dropped into fuel fill stem

I'm thinking that finishing the pickup tube's end as a sharp "V" shape would help to some degree to avoid blocking by a bit of plastic or cardboard as described by the OP. The somewhat rigid cap liner could get sucked up, but would lie only against one side of the V, leaving the other open to flow. No screen involved.

Not foolproof, but a better chance than the typical flat cutoff tube end.

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