Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
  This discussion is proudly sponsored by:
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about their products on Cruisers Forums. Advertise Here
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 17-09-2018, 10:31   #16
Moderator
 
a64pilot's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Jacksonville/ out cruising
Boat: Island Packet 38
Posts: 31,131
Fuel Tank needs cleaning?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DeepFrz View Post
Not so. When my fuel line clogged the filter was nearly new and clean. The clog happened at a 90 deg. bend in the fuel line and during some rough seas.



I really think it is prudent to keep your fuel tanks clean.


That is exactly what happened to me on delivery, several times, clogged fuel pickup line, usually at the 90 degree elbow at the top of the tank. After delivery I have had no problems, I did install a Dual Racor filter though, and of course the only time a clogged filter was an issue, it was the final filter on the engine, which is only one.
Mine was certainly Bio, looked to me like tofu, had the same color and consistency.
ďBugsĒ are usually like snot, gross and slimy or like jelly.
But I think dead bugs are like tofu.
I think the P.O. had a bio problem, killed it, but of course the dead bugs were still there.

Asphaltene is real common, itís in all our fuel tanks and doesnít cause problems.
Bugs, are a different matter, especially in Aviation, where you canít change filters.
There was even one real specific instance that got called ďAPPLĒ jelly, Appl means Alberta Products Pipeline, which was the source for this particular strain of bugs. It took years to figure it out, cause the bugs only grew when an antiicing inhibitor was added and the fuel pumped through a water absorbing fuel filter on the truck delivering fuel. They filters used the same stuff that baby diapers use, it turns to a jelly like substance when it absorbs water.

Asphaltnaes are like a tar, I guess you could argue it is far in fact, as such itís not likely to be broken up by fuel movement, unless itís real excessive, which Iíve never seen, but itís possible of course.
But itís going to be turning your filters Black well before it gets to a point of being a problem, if your filters are tuning black, well then yes, you do need to clean your tanks probably.
__________________

a64pilot is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17-09-2018, 12:15   #17
Registered User

Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Hawaii
Boat: Jeanneau SO DS 49
Posts: 258
Re: Fuel Tank needs cleaning?

The pic doesn't tell me if it's bio or asphaltine. I have small fittings on my Jeanneau 49 so annually syphon out 5 gallons off the bottom while moving the hose around the bottom. This always finds something I don't want in my filters.
Most importantly, gives me a good idea whats how clean it is so I don't have to find out in a seaway. I then syphon the 5 gallons back in minus the junk at the bottom that separated.
__________________

SteveSadler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17-09-2018, 16:57   #18
Registered User
 
DeepFrz's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Winnipeg
Boat: None at this time
Posts: 8,461
Re: Fuel Tank needs cleaning?

The definitive test of whether it is asphaltine or biological is a few drops of household bleach. If it turns white it is bio, if not it is asphaltine.
DeepFrz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18-09-2018, 01:37   #19
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Sicily (Marina di Ragusa) SOLD
Boat: Dolphin 460, 14m
Posts: 91
Re: Fuel Tank needs cleaning?

For what it is worth.....I have had lots of experience in this area and here is what I would do: buy Star Tron Tank Cleaner from Starbrite and just follow the direction. This product will easy clean all of your lines and tank. You may have to do it twice if your tanks is bad. Then buy their Start Tron Enzyme fuel treatment for diesel motors and use it with every fill up. Something else I have done for over 10 years is that during the winter I never worry about filling my tank that sits unused for 5 to 6 months. I just close off the out going valves and close the relief air value to stop any air movement within the tank. All this is very easy to do with little effort. I never have any problem including water in my tank. This is just my personal experience, good luck.
Dolphin460 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18-09-2018, 01:54   #20
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Sicily (Marina di Ragusa) SOLD
Boat: Dolphin 460, 14m
Posts: 91
Re: Fuel Tank needs cleaning?

I forgot to mention that I have a copper tube down my air vent line that goes to the bottom of my tankís lowest point. From there I can pull out fuel to check if I have any problems. I installed that about seven years ago and I have never pulled out any water or bugs.
Dolphin460 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18-09-2018, 02:44   #21
Moderator
 
Pete7's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Solent, England
Boat: Moody 31
Posts: 13,823
Images: 14
Re: Fuel Tank needs cleaning?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DeepFrz View Post
I've seen to many reports of bad jobs. Do a search on the subject here on CF and see for yourself. I recommend you clean the tanks yourself. Then you know you have done a good job or not.
I agree with DeepFrz on this, a blast around with a high pressure wand isn't going to do it, particularly if there are baffles in the tank or the operator can't stop and see into the tank because he is operating through a tank filler hole.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dolphin460 View Post
For what it is worth.....I have had lots of experience in this area and here is what I would do: buy Star Tron Tank Cleaner from Starbrite and just follow the direction. This product will easy clean all of your lines and tank. You may have to do it twice if your tanks is bad. Then buy their Start Tron Enzyme fuel treatment for diesel motors and use it with every fill up. Something else I have done for over 10 years is that during the winter I never worry about filling my tank that sits unused for 5 to 6 months. I just close off the out going valves and close the relief air value to stop any air movement within the tank. All this is very easy to do with little effort. I never have any problem including water in my tank. This is just my personal experience, good luck.
I am very doubtful this will cure a serious problem, prevent sure, but heavily fouled no chance. If you read the post by A64pilot, you will see that he describes the dead bugs having a consistency of tofu. In previous posts I described it as custard. Either way pouring in a small shot of tank cleaner just isn't going to shift the problem. In addition the asphaltine needed a steel wall paper scraper to remove from the tank sides. It is after all tar. In total I filled a 2 litre bottle with gloop when cleaning out a 90 litre tank which had built up over many years.

Pete
Pete7 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18-09-2018, 04:27   #22
Registered User
 
Uncle Bob's Avatar

Join Date: May 2010
Location: Sydney Australia
Boat: Fisher pilothouse sloop 32'
Posts: 1,800
Re: Fuel Tank needs cleaning?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DeepFrz View Post
Not sure. I didn't check it with bleach.



Not so. When my fuel line clogged the filter was nearly new and clean. The clog happened at a 90 deg. bend in the fuel line and during some rough seas.

I really think it is prudent to keep your fuel tanks clean.
+1. Mine also clogged at a 90 degree elbow, on lines from both tanks. I now have a sediment trap thence new oversized copper fuel lines to the racor filters with flare fittings and radius bends, no 90 degree threaded fittings.
__________________
Rob aka Uncle Bob Sydney Australia.

Life is 10% the cards you are dealt, 90% how you play em
Uncle Bob is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18-09-2018, 04:37   #23
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Sicily (Marina di Ragusa) SOLD
Boat: Dolphin 460, 14m
Posts: 91
Re: Fuel Tank needs cleaning?

Pete, 11 years ago I pick up my boat in Brazil and sailed her to the Med. I fought the fuel problem for two years. I even added a dual Racor system that did not solve the problem. After total frustration, I opened the tank up and cleaned it as best as I could. For the next two years I had fuel starvation happen two or three times. The problem of fuel starvation continued until I started using Star Tron. For the last seven years with continued use of Star Tron I have had no fuel starvation. Personally, I believe it is the best product on the market. PS, I have no connection to the company, but if they happen to read this I am willing to except some free product.
Dolphin460 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18-09-2018, 10:47   #24
Registered User

Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: Fl
Boat: Wauquiez Hood 38
Posts: 1,184
Re: Fuel Tank needs cleaning?

Wife kept asking if Biobor was needed so I put diesel and water in a jar with a hole in the lid to simulate a tank vent.

6 months later it looks like this with the "tofu" replacing the water and dark brown layer on the bottom (not shown) of dead bugs.

She doesn't ask anymore.

Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_20180918_134344.jpeg
Views:	49
Size:	47.8 KB
ID:	177592
__________________
Keth

Boat Vinyl Lettering and Graphics
Bleemus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18-09-2018, 11:31   #25
Registered User
 
DeepFrz's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Winnipeg
Boat: None at this time
Posts: 8,461
Re: Fuel Tank needs cleaning?

Did that sit in the sun? Where is the biobor control?
DeepFrz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18-09-2018, 11:48   #26
Registered User

Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Nevada City. CA
Boat: Sceptre 41
Posts: 3,827
Images: 9
Re: Fuel Tank needs cleaning?

I brought my boat down the Washington State coast. I had cleaned one tank but not the other. I cleaned it with a scraper, a scouring pad, and windex. I believe I posted pictures of it years ago. The tank was completely clean. It was all silver on the inside.

The trip was very rough for the first couple of hundred miles. Rolling constantly. I had no problems with the starboard tank. Filters were clean as a whistle. When the wind died and we had to motor we used up the starboard tank and within minutes the port tank had clogged the filter. Changed the filter and within minutes it happened again. Filled the starboard tank with the jerry cans and pulled into Humboldt Bay to refuel. Didn't worry about the port tank. I don't remember what I did with the fuel from the port tank but it had bug floating around in it. If it had been an emergency I guess I could have strained it and used the fuel. Since then I cleaned the port tank.

Cleaning the tanks involved installing the seabuilt ports so I could access every baffled chamber. Since cleaning, around 10 years ago, I have not had a problem. I have sailed her from SF to Baja and back without a fuel problem. I don't know the science or the cause but I do know that clean fuel is better then bad fuel.
__________________
Fair Winds,

Charlie

Between us there was, as I have already said somewhere, the bond of the sea. Besides holding our hearts together through long periods of separation, it had the effect of making us tolerant of each other's yarns -- and even convictions. Heart of Darkness
Joseph Conrad
Charlie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18-09-2018, 11:55   #27
Registered User

Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: Fl
Boat: Wauquiez Hood 38
Posts: 1,184
Re: Fuel Tank needs cleaning?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DeepFrz View Post
Did that sit in the sun? Where is the biobor control?
Not in the sun. A dark closet.

I had no Biobor at home.

She gets the point though and understands I am not a chemist.
__________________
Keth

Boat Vinyl Lettering and Graphics
Bleemus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20-09-2018, 13:36   #28
Senior Cruiser

Join Date: Feb 2018
Location: Edmonds WA
Boat: Sea Sport Voyager 30'
Posts: 64
Re: Fuel Tank needs cleaning?

Another vote for getting the tank cleaned, the fuel polished. I did that on a previous boat when I found some potential gunk. I had a professional fuel polishing company do it. Pricey but worth every penny.
GWilly is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23-09-2018, 01:26   #29
Registered User

Join Date: Nov 2016
Location: Uk Rye
Boat: Moody 44í ketch
Posts: 58
Re: Fuel Tank needs cleaning?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Olly75 View Post
If you do scrub out by hand, cut a piece of hose to the length of the opening and then split it along its length and slide it onto the rim of the port.



Saves many cuts and abrasions on your forearm and elbow.......


Just on my way to clean my the third of my four water tanks. How i wish i had read this earlier. Thanks for the tip
Malabarista is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24-09-2018, 21:01   #30
Registered User

Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: State of Washington
Boat: Tayana 37 Pilot House
Posts: 146
Re: Fuel Tank needs cleaning?

You have lots of responses and anyone of them could be the correct one in your case. And, no one wants to give you advice that leaves you stranded waiting for a tow in a shipping lane. As you have a relatively small tank, you ought to be able to clean it yourself and save a bundle of money. But first, w/o agitating the fuel, let it settle for a day or two and then I would drain the fuel from the outlet, sampling it in numbered jars to look for clarity. If it doesn't clear after a few quarts, then it's likely to be more than just the typical coffee ground type of sediment that commonly accumulates at the bottom of a tank that has been sitting for an extended period of time.

In addition to the comment on setting up a second filter for polishing the return line back to the tank, that would depend upon the injector pump design, as some diesel engines return far less fuel than others and for those, would require a separate pump with an added T- fitting at the tank outlet and another back to the return line with the pump spliced into the line somewhere in between. Also, I understand that some cruisers like to keep a spare temporary line with a 3-way diverter valve just before the secondary filter on the engine, allowing for an emergency fuel source from a portable plastic tank. So , if the engine begins to sputter, they will immediately check a vacuum gauge located between the primary and the secondary filters to check for a clogged fuel supply. But, regardless, the prudent solution is to keep the engine running off of the auxiliary fuel supply. Also, when I am filling my clean tank as frequently as once a month or so, I use only 2 Micron filters as the other filters for trapping larger particles are useless. Hope this helps.
__________________

Taipe is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
cleaning, fuel, fuel tank

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Fuel Tank/Water Tank Cleaning Mckelley Construction, Maintenance & Refit 9 14-04-2014 05:02
Cleaning Inaccessible Fuel Tank nigheandonn Plumbing Systems and Fixtures 13 01-04-2010 08:17
Houston/Galveston Fuel Tank Cleaning Service - Suggestions? Jetexas Construction, Maintenance & Refit 20 16-10-2009 15:57
Fuel Tank Cleaning? AaronJ Engines and Propulsion Systems 15 14-05-2009 19:03
Cleaning a fuel tank By Invitation Engines and Propulsion Systems 6 13-09-2005 11:20

Advertise Here


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 04:30.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.