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Old 26-12-2017, 14:53   #16
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Re: Diesel in water tanks.

I have not tried this, but believe a small amount of vanilla essence added to a water tank can mask an unwelcome taste.

I did witness a skipper add diesel to his water tank in his owned charter boat once. The ensuing language made me blush.
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Old 26-12-2017, 15:25   #17
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Re: Diesel in water tanks.

Does this happen often? I believe my diesel tank has a different opening than my water tank to make sure I don't confuse the two. It's definitely a crappy experience. Sorry to hear that OP.

Is it better to put diesel in a water tank or water in a diesel tank? Both are unfortunate events but what's the lesser of the two evils?
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Old 26-12-2017, 15:45   #18
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Re: Diesel in water tanks.

Hey guys thankyou all. It seems like replacing the tanks is going to be a safer option, the previous owner when installing the tanks has put diesel fill caps on my water tanks and not told me so this is how the Shipwright has made the mistake.
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Old 26-12-2017, 15:47   #19
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Re: Diesel in water tanks.

I would replace the inlet hose and outlet hoses as well. Not to mention the diesel fill caps.
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Old 26-12-2017, 19:08   #20
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Re: Diesel in water tanks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by caldawson View Post
Hey guys thankyou all. It seems like replacing the tanks is going to be a safer option, the previous owner when installing the tanks has put diesel fill caps on my water tanks and not told me so this is how the Shipwright has made the mistake.
Although well intended, some of the solutions offered above are way off base, e.g.,adding chlorine to a hydrocarbon mix is a recipe for making carcinogens among which are chlorinated hydrocarbons. Although unlikely, it's not a good option compared with simply replacing the tank and plumbing.
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Old 26-12-2017, 21:48   #21
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Re: Diesel in water tanks.

Last year I poured 10 gallons of diesel into one of my empty stainless steel water tanks. I drained the tank and repeatedly filled it with dish soap and water and drained. The fuel was never pumped through any of the system...I realized my mistake before trying to use that tank.
There is no residual fuel taste or smell. It was surprisingly easy to clean up my error without great trouble or lasting damage.
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Old 26-12-2017, 22:48   #22
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Re: Diesel in water tanks.

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Originally Posted by ToneyFoster View Post
We accidentally put about 8 gallons of diesel into our 34 gallon water tank last summer. We isolated the tank opened the inspection port and hand pumped the fuel and water out. Ran a little water in and flushed out the fill hose and pumped that out by hand. We then shocked the tank twice using chlorine used to shock swimming pools. Each time pumping out by hand, not running it thru the water system on the boat. The third time we shocked using less concentration of chlorine and ran it through the system. Worked great. No taste or smell of fuel.
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Originally Posted by Baltictim View Post
Last year I poured 10 gallons of diesel into one of my empty stainless steel water tanks. I drained the tank and repeatedly filled it with dish soap and water and drained. The fuel was never pumped through any of the system...I realized my mistake before trying to use that tank.
There is no residual fuel taste or smell. It was surprisingly easy to clean up my error without great trouble or lasting damage.
There you go, two actual cases that have experienced no problems versus a number of doom and gloom descriptions of what will, could or may possibly happen.
Know what I would do.
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Old 28-12-2017, 09:40   #23
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Re: Diesel in water tanks.

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Originally Posted by Uncle Bob View Post
There you go, two actual cases that have experienced no problems versus a number of doom and gloom descriptions of what will, could or may possibly happen.
Know what I would do.
Science doesn't care what anyone thinks.
And anecdotal stories don't change science.
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Old 28-12-2017, 10:38   #24
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Re: Diesel in water tanks.

Haven't seen much real science in this thread so far. IMHO.
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Old 28-12-2017, 11:52   #25
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Re: Diesel in water tanks.

Activated charcoal post had “science”.
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Old 28-12-2017, 12:25   #26
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Re: Diesel in water tanks.

A little bit. I also liked the chlorinated hydrocarbon comment. But in the final analysis I think this is a trial and error situation: clean it, taste it, and send a sample for analysis.
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Old 28-12-2017, 15:00   #27
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Re: Diesel in water tanks.

been there....... 5 liters diesel into fibreglass twater t
tank imbedded in keel.....with top access port.....

used 20 l/hr self priming pump with suction hose secured to broom handle....skim off 20 litres from surface.......gently replace water.....skim 20 litres.....add water.....repeat as many time as your patience allows.....add floating oil spill mop up booms......leave 24 hours.....remove ....replace....add new booms until diesel shows as droplets on surface....add floating oil removal wipes....leave 24 hours......repeat......use pump to skim off individual droplets...... use oil wipes to hand wipe all reachable internal surfaces of tank........spray citrus based cleaner to all sprayable surfaces.........pump 20 litres out......add water.....repeat spray......use hand broom with safety line attached...to wipe all reachable surfaces......pump 20 litres out......add 20 litres water.....repeat as necessary......add detergent and water into fill pipe....repeat spray.....pump out......refill......repeat detergent addition and removal of 20 litres ......until diesel all but gone.......wipe......pump....spray......wipe...... fill.......as many time as patience allows......

tie submersible torch to separate broom handle.....lens upward.....light will show any droplets floating......skim off with pump.......check bottom of tank for anything that should not be there.......mine had a teaspoon of sand......

main features are.....do not initially pump tank dry......minimise rise and fall of diesel on tank walls...citrus.....oil booms....oil wipes.... wiping.....detergent....agitate......repeat lots.....and boat gets covered with diesel quite remarkably.....

good for me.......
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Old 29-12-2017, 14:12   #28
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Re: Diesel in water tanks.

Quote:
However, a feather sleeping bag with diesel on it was beyond help despite a week of cleaning.
Perhaps. The secret to doing it successfully is to clean it with salad oil first, to suspend the diesel in the salad oil. Then you wash it, with soap, not detergent. It is the only way I know of to do it, and it will leave a minor film of oil on the feathers, which they need to loft properly.

Down needs special handling, or it gets ruined. The method works for down jackets, as well. Use oil first, to remove grease or other oil based stains. I had some success with waterless hand cleaners, on the grease stains, but cooking oil does work.

I know this doesn't help after the fact, but if you remember it, it may, in the future.

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Old 29-12-2017, 19:52   #29
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Re: Diesel in water tanks.

I’d go out on a limb and say that there is a whole lot more misfueling of water tanks than we may imagine, I don’t think it’s really at all uncommon.
Which leads one to believe that they in fact can be cleaned, or there would be a whole lot of unusable water tanks out there.
We cleaned my Brothers and it seemed to work, just with Dawn.
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Old 30-12-2017, 05:43   #30
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Re: Diesel in water tanks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by S/V Illusion View Post
Science doesn't care what anyone thinks.
And anecdotal stories don't change science.
Indeed.
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