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DIY Fuel Polishing...


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YouTube just recommend this to me which was interesting....... might be something I'd look to do - good Winter project... would anyone do anything different?  I like the suitcase approach!

 

 

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A friend built his own with a £250 pump and hoses, BUT the big cost is the filters - depending on how bad the fuel is it can run to £100's a time for filters.

 

When we looked at having the fuel polished (commercially) the cost of doing it came out at almost the same per litre as buying 'fresh fuel'.

 

'Friend' reckons he can generally do it for around £1 per litre (medium dirty fuel) but that is 'mates rates' and no profit.

 

He actually used his 'polishing gear' to pump out the 200 litres of water from my main fuel tank (when we had our 'little bit of trouble' last Summer, but he didn't filter it) and it went straight into an IBC for disposal.

 

The video looks good, but I guess you'd need to do it regularly as the bowl only holds an egg cup of water.

Edited by Alan de Enfield
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I shared a lock with a syndicate narrowboat that had inbuilt polishing. He could turn it on from a switch on the desk - made one hell of a racket. He said he's supposed to run it an hour a day.... the plumbing on that must complicate things, but if its just one you use yourself then after the initial OMG! first use you could keep it manageable?

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1 minute ago, robtheplod said:

I shared a lock with a syndicate narrowboat that had inbuilt polishing. He could turn it on from a switch on the desk - made one hell of a racket. He said he's supposed to run it an hour a day.... the plumbing on that must complicate things, but if its just one you use yourself then after the initial OMG! first use you could keep it manageable?

Probably sold to them by the syndicate maintenance people who also sell them the filters. 

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I would like to get any water and crud out of my tank,

I once had an electric pump (Lidl) but it could not cope.

I will probably get RCR to service my engine as. I like to have it done professionally every so often, I have no reason to think there is a diesel problem, it's three years since I did it, so I'd like to be sure. Would a Pela pump on a stick do the job?

Would RCR consider this is part of engine service, which to be honest seems like a pretty simple job, I just can't reach the awkward bits!

Edited by LadyG
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9 minutes ago, LadyG said:

I would like to get any water and crud out of my tank,

I once had an electric pump (Lidl) but it could not cope.

I will probably get RCR to service my engine as. I like to have it done professionally every so often, I have no reason to think there is a diesel problem, it's three years since I did it, so I'd like to be sure. Would a Pela pump on a stick do the job?

Would RCR consider this is part of engine service, which to be honest seems like a pretty simple job, I just can't reach the awkward bits!

I doubt RCR would include it, when I've had them do an engine service it included changing the engine oil, the oil filter and the fuel filter only.  They didn't change the filter in the fuel pump on the first two services, the third one did but it was an extra charge for the additional filter.  They don't change gearbox oil either or coolant.

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11 minutes ago, LadyG said:

I would like to get any water and crud out of my tank,

I once had an electric pump (Lidl) but it could not cope.

I will probably get RCR to service my engine as. I like to have it done professionally every so often, I have no reason to think there is a diesel problem, it's three years since I did it, so I'd like to be sure. Would a Pela pump on a stick do the job?

Would RCR consider this is part of engine service, which to be honest seems like a pretty simple job, I just can't reach the awkward bits!

I highly doubt it, there are companies set up that do purely fuel polishing as its enough of a job on it’s own, you reckon RCR will go that far above and beyond?

 

Oil, filters, belts (if required). That’ll be it.

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Just now, Rob-M said:

I doubt RCR would include it, when I've had them do an engine service it included changing the engine oil, the oil filter and the fuel filter only.  They didn't change the filter in the fuel pump on the first two services, the third one did but it was an extra charge for the additional filter.  They don't change gearbox oil either or coolant.

A bit of a waste of their time and your money then, like most of RCR jobs.

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30 minutes ago, Hudds Lad said:

I highly doubt it, there are companies set up that do purely fuel polishing as its enough of a job on it’s own, you reckon RCR will go that far above and beyond?

 

Oil, filters, belts (if required). That’ll be it.

Well, there are other bits and pieces in the engine bay: hoses, clamps, mounts, gear box. I've had three people do the service and each has done something different. So in the end the job has been done properly.

I would not say lifting crud and water out of tank is fuel polishing. The last time I did it myself, it took three days and three big plastic containers., But it had not been done for twenty years.

Not unreasonably,  no one would wait for the diesel to clear, so I'll just do it myself. There has never been a problem, it's just preventative. 

Edited by LadyG
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I know in an ideal world you'd pump the fuel out, filter and go to containers, but one that just recycles - takes from the bottom and drops back into the top would be better than nothing, be easier and take much less room and less mess?  interesting about the aquatic filters.....

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Do please forgive my ignorance on this, I may well be talking b****cks as usual, but if you are worried about there being water at the bottom of the fuel tank, couldn't you buy a fuel siphon tube (with a hand squeezed pump on it) for about £10?

That will reach down and suck up whatever is lurking down there, so you can have a look yourself and see what's what.

If there is any water under the fuel, its obviously been there for a while, so why not wait till you have a fairly calm day to avoid stirring things up, and then suck out what water and crud is in there, and then let the fuel run down a bit through normal use, and call in the fuel polishers when you are down to 30 litres or so?

No point paying a daft amount of money per litre to polish 150 litres, when you can polish a much smaller volume?

The main objective of the polishing is to get rid of the bacteria responsible, right? So it would seem easier to do that with only a 20% full tank, provided you firstly suck out most of the crap underneath with a siphon tube. 

 

 

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19 minutes ago, LadyG said:

Well, there are other bits and pieces in the engine bay: hoses, clamps, mounts, gear box. I've had three people do the service and each has done something different. So in the end the job has been done properly.

I would not say lifting crud and water out of tank is fuel polishing. The last time I did it myself, it took three days and three big plastic containers., But it had not been done for twenty years.

Not unreasonably,  no one would wait for the diesel to clear, so I'll just do it myself. There has never been a problem, it's just preventative. 

from the RCR website;

 

River Canal Rescue Members – Service includes: Labour, Parts & VAT £150

 

• Engine oil change up to 5ltrs

• Fuel filter replacement

• Oil filter replacement

• Gear box oil top up*

• Antifreeze check*

• Battery check – starter cold test and charge state

• Fan belt check and adjustment*

 

* Replacement is undertaken at an additional cost for parts and labour

Edited by Hudds Lad
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4 minutes ago, Hudds Lad said:

from the RCR website;

 

River Canal Rescue Members – Service includes: Labour, Parts & VAT £150

 

• Engine oil change up to 5ltrs

• Fuel filter replacement

• Oil filter replacement

• Gear box oil top up*

• Antifreeze check*

• Battery check – starter cold test and charge state

• Fan belt check and adjustment*

 

* Replacement is undertaken at an additional cost for parts and labour

So at trade prices its £12 worth of cheap oil, £6 worth of filters, non original, for £150?  Terrible value, I wish I was fit enough to still go out and "service" engines on that basis. I would do it for £80- £100 all in.

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Just now, Tracy D'arth said:

So at trade prices its £12 worth of cheap oil, £6 worth of filters, non original, for £150?  Terrible value, I wish I was fit enough to still go out and "service" engines on that basis. I would do it for £80- £100 all in.

Not saying i’d use ‘em, just posting the info for the Lady

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35 minutes ago, Tony1 said:

 

Do please forgive my ignorance on this, I may well be talking b****cks as usual, but if you are worried about there being water at the bottom of the fuel tank, couldn't you buy a fuel siphon tube (with a hand squeezed pump on it) for about £10?

That will reach down and suck up whatever is lurking down there, so you can have a look yourself and see what's what.

If there is any water under the fuel, its obviously been there for a while, so why not wait till you have a fairly calm day to avoid stirring things up, and then suck out what water and crud is in there, and then let the fuel run down a bit through normal use, and call in the fuel polishers when you are down to 30 litres or so?

No point paying a daft amount of money per litre to polish 150 litres, when you can polish a much smaller volume?

The main objective of the polishing is to get rid of the bacteria responsible, right? So it would seem easier to do that with only a 20% full tank, provided you firstly suck out most of the crap underneath with a siphon tube. 

 

 

 

That is the most  sensible and cost-effective answer. I found the odd bits of rust and  crud tended to block the pipe on the Pela, and if the tank bottom is "vacuumed" over at last every year there should not be much of a fuel-water interface for the bug to grow. Once the initial clean is done then I found it only needed 3 or so 2 litre milk cartons to accept the fuel and allow it to separate and drop the dirt out.

 

I found I needed a bent length of scrap 3/8 copper pipe to get all around the tank edges. I also found the Lidle electric pump jammed on rust particles and burned out. I just used clear plastic hose with the copper stuck in the end. Started by a good suck. Probably cheaper that the syphon pump but with the risk of a mouthful of diesel.

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9 minutes ago, Tony Brooks said:

 

That is the most  sensible and cost-effective answer. I found the odd bits of rust and  crud tended to block the pipe on the Pela, and if the tank bottom is "vacuumed" over at last every year there should not be much of a fuel-water interface for the bug to grow. Once the initial clean is done then I found it only needed 3 or so 2 litre milk cartons to accept the fuel and allow it to separate and drop the dirt out.

 

I found I needed a bent length of scrap 3/8 copper pipe to get all around the tank edges. I also found the Lidle electric pump jammed on rust particles and burned out. I just used clear plastic hose with the copper stuck in the end. Started by a good suck. Probably cheaper that the syphon pump but with the risk of a mouthful of diesel.

 

Thanks Tony, I'm asking because I'm considering ways of getting rid of any water that might be starting to accumulate at the bottom of the tank, as a preventive step. 

I've got a siphon tube but its a straight length of fairly rigid plastic, and of course I'll need a bent tube to reach into all the corners of the tanks base. 

I'm surprised the chandleries dont sell a suitable tube with a simple hand pump attached, as it seems it would be something a lot of boaters might/should be interested in using, even as a periodic check. 

 

 

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I've yet to find a pump, I know the kind you mean, just never found one, I'll try Amazon, I'm on Temporary Prime, till I remember how to unPrime.

I think we discussed how long a tube would be required to get below level of this Syphon.

Edited by LadyG
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2 hours ago, Rob-M said:

I doubt RCR would include it, when I've had them do an engine service it included changing the engine oil, the oil filter and the fuel filter only.  They didn't change the filter in the fuel pump on the first two services, the third one did but it was an extra charge for the additional filter.  They don't change gearbox oil either or coolant.

That’s a bit off. If neglected, that’s the one that blocks and causes a drastic loss of engine power. It is usually a standard service item, if there’s an electric pump fitted.

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17 minutes ago, LadyG said:

I've yet to find a pump, I know the kind you mean, just never found one, I'll try Amazon, I'm on Temporary Prime, till I remember how to unPrime.

I think we discussed how long a tube would be required to get below level of this Syphon.

Outboard fuel priming pump?

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30 minutes ago, LadyG said:

I've yet to find a pump, I know the kind you mean, just never found one, I'll try Amazon, I'm on Temporary Prime, till I remember how to unPrime.

I think we discussed how long a tube would be required to get below level of this Syphon.

 

I had a cruiser stern so it was easy to stand the milk carton on the baseplate beside the engine. The copper pipe was pump depth plus about six inches. The plastic hose went from the top of the copper pipe  down to the baseplate. The hose can be longer because it makes it easier to put your thumb over the end while you transfer to the next milk carton.

46 minutes ago, Tony1 said:

 

Thanks Tony, I'm asking because I'm considering ways of getting rid of any water that might be starting to accumulate at the bottom of the tank, as a preventive step. 

I've got a siphon tube but its a straight length of fairly rigid plastic, and of course I'll need a bent tube to reach into all the corners of the tanks base. 

I'm surprised the chandleries dont sell a suitable tube with a simple hand pump attached, as it seems it would be something a lot of boaters might/should be interested in using, even as a periodic check. 

 

 

 

I think a pump just complicates things, I am all for KIS. The size of the copper tube is not that important but as long a sit is large enough to not block with crud. The clear plastic pipe, clear so you can see what you are syphoning up, needs to be a push fit on the copper, maybe with a hose clip.

 

I can understand why some may not like the idea of starting the syphon with a suck but I rarely got a mouthful of diesel. Even if you do it is easy to spit out and the worst bit is the taste for a while and then the diesel smell/taste if you burp. As far as I know diesel is not poison but enough may give you the squitters - never has to me.

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I used a fairly cheap hand suction pump. 

Think the make was Housman, but not sure,anyway it was a plastic container (held about 5ltr) with a pump on top. It worked by sucking the air out of the container and drawing the stuff out with the aid of a length of 15mm copper pipe to get in the corners of the tank.

It never blocked because the pump itself was not in contact with the mucky fuel.The vacuum in the container drew the fuel up.

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1 hour ago, Tony1 said:

 

Do please forgive my ignorance on this, I may well be talking b****cks as usual, but if you are worried about there being water at the bottom of the fuel tank, couldn't you buy a fuel siphon tube (with a hand squeezed pump on it) for about £10?

That will reach down and suck up whatever is lurking down there, so you can have a look yourself and see what's what.

If there is any water under the fuel, its obviously been there for a while, so why not wait till you have a fairly calm day to avoid stirring things up, and then suck out what water and crud is in there, and then let the fuel run down a bit through normal use, and call in the fuel polishers when you are down to 30 litres or so?

No point paying a daft amount of money per litre to polish 150 litres, when you can polish a much smaller volume?

The main objective of the polishing is to get rid of the bacteria responsible, right? So it would seem easier to do that with only a 20% full tank, provided you firstly suck out most of the crap underneath with a siphon tube. 

 

 

Agreed. My tank 4 years ago was so full of crud and wet diesel that I cut a hole using a holesaw in the top of the tank. The diesel wasn’t worth saving so I took it to the tip and cleaned the tank out properly with tags on the end of a stick. I fitted a flange and gasket over the hole with bolts tapped into the tank. 

Now every year I suck a sample off the bottom of the tank with the pump shown. The end of the tube is cut at an angle and touches the base of the tank. Some people use a copper tube with their thumb over it but I don’t like this method. Any water could drop out as you lift the tube.

 

Fuel polishing if your fuel is properly contaminated is going to cost a fortune. Better in my view to bite the bullit. Will polishing get the crud out of the corners? A rag certainly will. I fill my tank to the brim at winter -smug feeling this year it was 75 p/ litre - and have never found water it bug since

 

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