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DavidPeckham

Winter and Diesel

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Hi all, is it still necessary to keep the diesel tank full if treating with Marine 16 or similar? Always seems odd to me that it's advised to not keep diesel got too long then fill up before stopping for the Winter

Cheers,

Brian

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I don't know who told you 'not to keep diesel to long . Diesel (unlike petrol) will 'keep' for years without problems.

 

It is advisable to top-off your tanks for Winter, as otherwise large amounts of condensation can form in the tank, drip down into the diesel, sink to the bottom, more condensation forms, drips ......................  repeat .................. repeat.

 

You can get several inches of water building up in the bottom of your tank, if it gets high enough to reach the pick-up tube you then satar getting problems as you try to 'burn' water instead of diesel.

Edited by Alan de Enfield

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6 minutes ago, Alan de Enfield said:

Diesel (unlike petrol) will 'keep' for years without problems.

It is advisable to top-off your tanks for Winter, as otherwise large amounts of condensation can form in the tank, drip down into the diesel, sink to the bottom, more condensation forms, drips ......................  repeat .................. repeat.

 

You can get several inches of water building up in the bottom of your tank, if it gets high enough to reach the pick-up tube you then satar getting problems as you try to 'burn' water instead of diesel.

Is there any evidence that water, collecting in the bottom of steel diesel tanks, can cause rust and eventually leaks? Or is it the case that there is a thin layer of Diesel that the water doesn’t penetrate?

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21 minutes ago, jenevers said:

Is there any evidence that water, collecting in the bottom of steel diesel tanks, can cause rust and eventually leaks? Or is it the case that there is a thin layer of Diesel that the water doesn’t penetrate?

I really don't know, I've never had a boat long enough to find out.

Just keeping the tanks topped up is the solution.

 

Diesel itself contains around 12% water (so you fill up with 200 litres of diesel and you are actually 'putting into' your tank 24 litres of water)

Leaving an 'air-gap' on a partly filled tank gives plenty of opportunity for condensation to form.

 

You really want to buy from a supplier with a 'fast turnover' so you are getting 'fresh diesel' and not the old mixture of water and diesel from the bottom of his / her / its tank. 

Edited by Alan de Enfield

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6 minutes ago, Tonka said:

Diesel floats on top of water.

Not in a fuel tank, its something to do with Dervs Inversion Theory.

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What you actually get at the bottom of the tank is a nasty orange and black slimy mess of rust and goo. It does rust, quite possibly slower than a water tank might but much quicker than the rest of the bottom of the boat. Also it  not a nice clear line between the nearly 100% water and the 100% diesel, it just blends in together. All boats should have an inspection plate fitted if at all possible. Mine didn't and it took a miserable week to sort out a water problem. It has now and the amount of rubbish that came out of the tank was just awful and disposing of many gallons of crap fuel was not easy .

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1 minute ago, matty40s said:

Not in a fuel tank, its something to do with Dervs Inversion Theory.

You might even get the odd person to believe you, and bearing in mind how many 'odd' people are on the forum, that could be a large number.

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1 minute ago, Bee said:

What you actually get at the bottom of the tank is a nasty orange and black slimy mess of rust and goo.

And, that is where the Diesel bug grows - it loves the interface between the Diesel and the Water.

Producing a lovely thick black slime thats sole aim in life is to block your fuel lines , filters, etc.

 

I'm surprised that more is not made of the importance of 'diesel care'.

 

In the lumpy-water arena many (if not most) boats are fitted with water seperators and a duel filter system, but although not using such things has the same result ( a dead engine) it is not as serious when on the canals and you can just drift into the side.

 

As Bee says, it is the hassle of having to 'sort it out' that is the inconvenience, so a little investment in filtering equipment, and topping-off of tanks can save a lot of pain.

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33 minutes ago, jenevers said:

Is there any evidence that water, collecting in the bottom of steel diesel tanks, can cause rust and eventually leaks? Or is it the case that there is a thin layer of Diesel that the water doesn’t penetrate?

I have come across a few very old diesel tanks that have corroded through due to water. These are separate tanks, and not built in tanks that you would normally find in narrowboats.

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9 hours ago, Alan de Enfield said:

I don't know who told you 'not to keep diesel to long . Diesel (unlike petrol) will 'keep' for years without problems.

 

It is advisable to top-off your tanks for Winter, as otherwise large amounts of condensation can form in the tank, drip down into the diesel, sink to the bottom, more condensation forms, drips ......................  repeat .................. repeat.

 

You can get several inches of water building up in the bottom of your tank, if it gets high enough to reach the pick-up tube you then satar getting problems as you try to 'burn' water instead of diesel.

I went to a lecture at the crick show a couple of years ago, and the engineer giving the lecture, had lots of graphs and photographs showing how diesel degenerates, he said to add marine 16 , but to use up your diesel as much as possible then refill.  He said your primary filter should be relied on for water, and not to keep your tank permanently topped up.But if your not using your boat over winter it would make sense for reasons given, but he said diesel does degenerate into “gloop”

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6 minutes ago, Timx said:

I went to a lecture at the crick show a couple of years ago, and the engineer giving the lecture, had lots of graphs and photographs showing how diesel degenerates, he said to add marine 16 , but to use up your diesel as much as possible then refill.  He said your primary filter should be relied on for water, and not to keep your tank permanently topped up.But if your not using your boat over winter it would make sense for reasons given, but he said diesel does degenerate into “gloop”

As  always there are opposing opinions and experiences.

 

I filled my boat up 5 years ago (2800 litres) and due to family problems, car accidents and cancer, we have not had much use of her since. We have finally got out this Summer for some cruising and used about 500 litres (10 litres per hour at cruise) and have not had (hope this doesn't backfire) a single fuel problem.

I have a big bowser at home that we use for the tractors and digger. Our fuel usage has again been at a minimum - that fuel is getting on for 8 or 9 years old and again, no problems.

 

Maybe one of the reasons for retaining its 'quality' is that I specify 'FAME free Gas Oil' so dont get the problems of Bug, water and leaking rubber seals (due to attack by FAME Gas OIl)

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18 minutes ago, Timx said:

I went to a lecture at the crick show a couple of years ago, and the engineer giving the lecture, had lots of graphs and photographs showing how diesel degenerates, he said to add marine 16 , but to use up your diesel as much as possible then refill.  He said your primary filter should be relied on for water, and not to keep your tank permanently topped up.But if your not using your boat over winter it would make sense for reasons given, but he said diesel does degenerate into “gloop”

What was he selling?

  • Haha 2

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15 minutes ago, Timx said:

I went to a lecture at the crick show a couple of years ago, and the engineer giving the lecture, had lots of graphs and photographs showing how diesel degenerates, he said to add marine 16 , but to use up your diesel as much as possible then refill.  He said your primary filter should be relied on for water, and not to keep your tank permanently topped up.But if your not using your boat over winter it would make sense for reasons given, but he said diesel does degenerate into “gloop”

So what are you saying,?

I kep tanks full as possible in winter, and add stuff if in doubt. I

 

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1 minute ago, Alan de Enfield said:

As  always there are opposing opinions and experiences.

 

I filled my boat up 5 years ago (2800 litres) and due to family problems, car accidents and cancer, we have not had much use of her since. We have finally got out this Summer for some cruising and used about 500 litres (10 litres per hour at cruise) and have not had (hope this doesn't backfire) a single fuel problem.

I have a big bowser at home that we use for the tractors and digger. Our fuel usage has again been at a minimum - that fuel is getting on for 8 or 9 years old and again, no problems.

 

Maybe one of the reasons for retaining its 'quality' is that I specify 'FAME free Gas Oil' so dont get the problems of Bug, water and leaking rubber seals (due to attack by FAME Gas OIl)

This subject has always mistified me. I've never spent a penny on any additives in over 30 years and never had any fuel issues. Yet several people seem to have had problems. I reckon it may be sometimes due to many narrowboat having those stupid flush fitting brass filler thingies that let rain in over a long period of time but who knows? 

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9 hours ago, jenevers said:

Is there any evidence that water, collecting in the bottom of steel diesel tanks, can cause rust and eventually leaks? Or is it the case that there is a thin layer of Diesel that the water doesn’t penetrate?

Yes. Our tanks ( 80 years old) have been shortened for exactly that reason. They were removed the rusty four inches cut off and a new bottom fitted.

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What about diesel tanks that are situated under the bote floor and well underwater with a non metallic fuel hose?. The temp is a bit more stable there.

Edited by mark99

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19 minutes ago, matty40s said:

What was he selling?

Nothing, it was a free lecture on how diesel degenerates. I can understand how people do not wish to comment on this forum.

20 minutes ago, LadyG said:

So what are you saying,?

I kep tanks full as possible in winter, and add stuff if in doubt. I

 

I was relaying what I was told by the lecturer, I don’t understand your aggressive stance, I should of not contributed.well done goodbye.

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21 minutes ago, Timx said:

Nothing, it was a free lecture on how diesel degenerates. I can understand how people do not wish to comment on this forum.

I was relaying what I was told by the lecturer, I don’t understand your aggressive stance, I should of not contributed.well done goodbye.

Ahoy Timx. Don't upset yourself about it old bean.  Look at all the so called highly paid experts on the present Corona virus that keep popping up spouting on about it, hundreds and fousands of em, new ones pop up everytime the news comes on the telly, how many are- were correct on the subject, many I doubt even really mix with ordinary real world folk to know whats really happening including the shifty Hancock fellow. :)

Edited by bizzard

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28 minutes ago, bizzard said:

Ahoy Timx. Don't upset yourself about it old bean.  Look at all the so called highly paid experts on the present Corona virus that keep popping up spouting on about it, hundreds and fousands of em, new ones pop up everytime the news comes on the telly, how many are- were correct on the subject, many I doubt even really mix with ordinary real world folk to know whats really happening including the shifty Hancock fellow. :)

 

A bit like the C&RT experts who all sit in their Ivory Towers and don't appear to even know where locks are or how they work, or why they need repairing  - accountants rule the business world these days. Knowlege and experience of 'the real world' means little.

 

Give me someone who has 'done it' rather than someone who has been to university and read a book about it. Some of these people have more degres than a compass and no idea what happens outside of academia.

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7 minutes ago, Alan de Enfield said:

 

A bit like the C&RT experts who all sit in their Ivory Towers and don't appear to even know where locks are or how they work, or why they need repairing  - accountants rule the business world these days. Knowlege and experience of 'the real world' means little.

 

Give me someone who has 'done it' rather than someone who has been to university and read a book about it. Some of these people have more degres than a compass and no idea what happens outside of academia.

I agree.

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I have a 20 lt Jerry Can of red diesel, its about 15 years old. I carry it for emergencies after someone borrowed my tank full of diesel. I drew some off last year  and its bright looking as when it was new

  • Greenie 1

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4 minutes ago, ditchcrawler said:

I have a 20 lt Jerry Can of red diesel, its about 15 years old. I carry it for emergencies after someone borrowed my tank full of diesel. I drew some off last year  and its bright looking as when it was new

But that is pre-FAME addition. Its the FAME that concerns me if the diesel has FAME in it for long term storage.  for a start FAME is hygroscopic and is less hostile to bug.

  • Greenie 2

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11 hours ago, Alan de Enfield said:

it is the hassle of having to 'sort it out' that is the inconvenience

It can be more than just hassle. When we had problems it also cost £2500 to fix (fortunately our insurance covered most of that)

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