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DIY Fuel Polishing...


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4 hours ago, David Mack said:

A drain pipe fitted at the bottom of the front plate of the fuel tank, then run across the counter plate and terminating inside the vee of the swim plate would be as near as possible to the bottom of the tank, yet it is possible to put a container below the end of the pipe to collect the fuel drained off. It won't get everything from the bottom of the tank, but will be better than most boats have.

Suggest you read the thread on return line leaking before adding another pipe that could leak! Having said that a lot of shore based tanks and yachts have sumps  and valves in the tank base for just this purpose.

Also be aware that if you travel on tidal waters the diesel could be stirred up and you could get all sorts of problems with crud and emulsified water/oil in the fuel line.....

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1 hour ago, Peugeot 106 said:

Suggest you read the thread on return line leaking before adding another pipe that could leak! Having said that a lot of shore based tanks and yachts have sumps  and valves in the tank base for just this purpose.

Also be aware that if you travel on tidal waters the diesel could be stirred up and you could get all sorts of problems with crud and emulsified water/oil in the fuel line.....

 

The pipe he suggested and which I referenced as an internal pipe has no bearing on anything other than the tank drain down.  If it snaps or corrodes it will still drain. If it blocks with crud a wire through the drain tap should clear it.

 

However, such a drains system will still not let you suck out all around the tank base.

Edited by Tony Brooks
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37 minutes ago, Tony Brooks said:

 

The pipe he suggested and which I referenced as an internal pipe has no bearing on anything other than the tank drain down.  If it snaps or corrodes it will still drain. If it blocks with crud a wire through the drain tap should clear it.

 

However, such a drains system will still not let you suck out all around the tank base.

I’m just suggesting that it’s one more pipe to snap or corrode which will drain the entire tank into the bilge. In my case that could be 200 litres. Since you shouldn’t need to drain it very often a pipe from the top (Pela, suck or whatever) might avoid another potential leakage point. 

In any case how would you fit it if the tank is already in situ?

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24 minutes ago, Peugeot 106 said:

I’m just suggesting that it’s one more pipe to snap or corrode which will drain the entire tank into the bilge. In my case that could be 200 litres. Since you shouldn’t need to drain it very often a pipe from the top (Pela, suck or whatever) might avoid another potential leakage point. 

In any case how would you fit it if the tank is already in situ?

 

No it won't because the pipe in question is inside the tank. The part on the outside will be the normal steel 1/8"  or 1/4" BSP nipple welded into the tank. I would suggest that the front plate of the tank would be just as likely to rust out. My boat had such a nipple as the drain point. Some have a steel female threaded "bush" welded  to the tank face.

Retrofitting is not that difficult. Drill a suitable sized hold in the tank face. Weld or braze said pipe into the fitting. Push through hole and weld in place. Another problem with all this is the fitting will have to be high enough to allow welding the lower part so that means perhaps 10mm of water could  build up in the tank before it reached the drain pipe.

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On 23/06/2022 at 10:59, Tacet said:

A drain point at the lowest part of the tank will remove the water and much of the crud; the small amount remaining will probably not get lifted up the dip pipe and if it is, the filters should cope.

I have a drain  fitted that I know hasn't been used in 11 years and to be honest I wouldn't be surprised  if it has never been used.

Only cleaned the water trap for the first time in 11 years this year got a bit of sludge and a few drops if water. 

I am wary of opening the drain as it has no tap so if I drop the bung I have 350litres of diesel to deal with, one day I might run the tank low enough to do it safely.

 

Looks pretty untouched for 29 years to me 😱

Screenshot_20220624-175134.png

Edited by Loddon
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26 minutes ago, Loddon said:

I have a drain  fitted that I know hasn't been used in 11 years and to be honest I wouldn't be surprised  if it has never been used.

Only cleaned the water trap for the first time in 11 years this year got a bit of sludge and a few drops if water. 

I am wary of opening the drain as it has no tap so if I drop the bung I have 350litres of diesel to deal with, one day I might run the tank low enough to do it safely.

 

Looks pretty untouched for 29 years to me 😱

Screenshot_20220624-175134.png

 

It would make life exciting if you dropped the bung - but think how good you will feel if you don't.  

 

Sealing the filler cap and the vent would slow the rate of discharge and generally make life easier.  You could replace the bung with a valve, with the outlet side closed by the bung (or another bung) for future ease.  BSS says something about a requirement to use a tool to empty the tank - not just a permanently fixed lever.

 

 

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Unfortunately my fuel contamination check has revealed a real problem.

I did a quick test siphon with my cheap plastic hand pump thing, sucking out about 2 litres from the bottom of the tank, and as it settled in a plastic container it quickly became apparent that there is definitely some serious contamination going on. 

I returned most of the 2 litres to the tank, and I put the last couple of hundred mils into a glass in order to take a photo, in the hope that someone will recognise what sort of contamination this is. 

There is a deep/dark reddish brown layer at the bottom, and a thin light-brown layer, and then the fuel. There were also a few small bits of solid black crud in there, but very little.

If I got say 50ml {?) of the contaminant in just a 2 litre sample (from the bottom), that does suggest there could be several litres of contamination in there, although my hope is that the contamination layer is below the level where the fuel is extracted into the engine.  

For info, I put about 150ml of marine 16 into the 150 litre (ish) fuel tank about 8 months ago as a preventive measure, hoping it would inhibit the start of diesel bug, but it doesn't seem to have helped, and I would bet there has been contamination for a long time. 

The engine seems to run ok, and the filters weren't excessively clogged at the last service, but in cooler weather it does stop running about 3-5 seconds after the first start, and then it runs ok after a second start- which was what led me to consider the possibility of contamination (although the starting thing might be completely unrelated to contamination of course).

My current thinking is to get a proper pump with a smaller nozzle (the cheapo plastic tube one is about an inch diameter), and fit onto it some pieces of bent pipe (as per the ideas earlier in the thread), so I can reach a wider area of the tank floor. 

If I can remove most of the contamination, I can then run the engine for a month or two until the tank is down to say 30 litres, and then get the remaining fuel and contamination sucked out and properly disposed of.  

 

 

20220628_135918.jpg

Edited by Tony1
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I think that you can get on top of this if you add some biocide additive (Marine 16 possibly) and then suck the bottom of the tank once a week. I suspect you will clear it. I suspect  a lot of that is muck is rusty water and ordinary dirt & dust. Once you can get some in your hand see what it feels like. If it smears out and seems greasy then it is probably bug, but if gritty just dirt.

 

When I first did JennyB and took out many litres of muck & fuel some of it looked like that but with half-yearly suck outs and a biocide it more or less cleared.

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1 hour ago, Tony Brooks said:

I think that you can get on top of this if you add some biocide additive (Marine 16 possibly) and then suck the bottom of the tank once a week. I suspect you will clear it. I suspect  a lot of that is muck is rusty water and ordinary dirt & dust. Once you can get some in your hand see what it feels like. If it smears out and seems greasy then it is probably bug, but if gritty just dirt.

 

When I first did JennyB and took out many litres of muck & fuel some of it looked like that but with half-yearly suck outs and a biocide it more or less cleared.

 

Thanks very much Tony, I'll bung some more marine 16 in there, and then do a weekly suck out of the bottom layer. I did seem like part of the muddy layer was a bit greasy in texture, so I do think there is at least some living bug in there. 

 

I'm hoping there might be a product that's a bit stronger/more effective than marine 16, since it clearly didnt work 100% when I last used it.

I noticed a product called Clearwinner Purify, that looks like it might do a decent job of killing the bug:

 

https://www.clear-winner.co.uk/products/fuel-storage/

 

Or maybe this stuff: 

 

https://shop.chastheboat.co.uk/products/m68-fuel-biocide-diesel-bug-prevention-and-cure-250ml-as314212

 

 

 

 

Edited by Tony1
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Marine 16 make several products, the one you have is probably the Maintenance variant. The do a small bottle that I think is called Sock Treatment that is just a biocide.

 

Your link seem to be for a product with similar properties to the Marine 16 Maintenance, but the blurb does not say if it is emulsifier or  biocide based. I think the last thing you need is an emulsifier until you have the vast majority of the water out of the tank.

 

I just googled "biocide diesel fuel treatment" and came up with a load of hits, including one from ASAP Supplies (AKA Midland Chandlers group member).

  • Greenie 1
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56 minutes ago, Tony Brooks said:

Marine 16 make several products, the one you have is probably the Maintenance variant. The do a small bottle that I think is called Sock Treatment that is just a biocide.

 

Your link seem to be for a product with similar properties to the Marine 16 Maintenance, but the blurb does not say if it is emulsifier or  biocide based. I think the last thing you need is an emulsifier until you have the vast majority of the water out of the tank.

 

I just googled "biocide diesel fuel treatment" and came up with a load of hits, including one from ASAP Supplies (AKA Midland Chandlers group member).

 

Thanks again Tony, that's spot on. I'd just assumed there was only one marine 16 product.

Turns out the one I have is labelled 'Complete', and its blurb doesnt talk about biocidal action, more about prevention.

So no surprise that it didnt get rid of my diesel bug a few months ago. 

Time to get hold of the nasty stuff I reckon. I like the sound of a product whose final two syllables are 'cidal'.  

 

Edited by Tony1
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