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Diesel bug


monkeyhanger

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I've had a problem with sludge in my day tank caused by diesel bug, and have removed the tank to clean it out. I've also disconnected my fuel lines and ascertained that they are not blocked, but there seems to be a fine layer of black something  on the walls inside them. If I were to reassemble everything, I'm sure that there'd be no problem with getting the engine to run, but I'm concerned that, over time, whatever is inside the fuel lines may eventually multiply and cause a blockage. Removing the fuel lines completely is not an option due to the way the system has been assembled. Does anyone have a suggestion as to something I could run through the fuel lines to clean them  out fully, please?

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1 minute ago, JamesFrance said:

If you dose the fuel with Marine16 it should remove any bug in the fuel lines after a day or two of running.

 

I think that should be Marine 16 Shock Treatment, not the maintenance product.

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Just now, JamesFrance said:

If you dose the fuel with Marine16 it should remove any bug in the fuel lines after a day or two of running.

I regularly use Marine 16, and will continue doing so, but since at the moment I have access to both ends of the 3 sections of fuel line that I have, I was hoping to clean them out totally. If Marine 16 will do that (eventually) then great, but it would be nice to see them shiny clean before I put things back together.I was hoping that someone may know of a small bottle brush with a long shaft which may do the job.  Perhaps as Tracy D'arth suggests, bleach is the answer.

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11 minutes ago, monkeyhanger said:

I regularly use Marine 16, and will continue doing so, but since at the moment I have access to both ends of the 3 sections of fuel line that I have, I was hoping to clean them out totally. If Marine 16 will do that (eventually) then great, but it would be nice to see them shiny clean before I put things back together.I was hoping that someone may know of a small bottle brush with a long shaft which may do the job.  Perhaps as Tracy D'arth suggests, bleach is the answer.

How long are these sections? To be honest I would be reluctant to try any sort of pull through in case it got stuck.

 

If you are willing to take that risk you might be able to push a length solid copper conductor (house cable) through the pipe and then twist the centre of a small piece of lint free cloth in the end to act as a pull through.

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1 hour ago, JamesFrance said:

Yes, diesel bug treatment rather than diesel bug complete is what they  recommend for eradication after an attack.

A long bottle brush of the correct Diameter should clean the pipes, wash in a bucket of hot water with  laundry liquid till hoses are clean. Then bleach which will kill most bugs.

PS I used Diesel Boost in the fuel tank at  concentrated recommendation, ie when tank was low, this stopped the Eberspacher screeching, it was the only one which mentioned heaters, but I'd use a bug treatment if I had bug.

By the way, I bought an OEM fuel filter the other day, are they usually £19.50?

Edited by LadyG
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2 hours ago, Tony Brooks said:

How long are these sections? To be honest I would be reluctant to try any sort of pull through in case it got stuck.

 

If you are willing to take that risk you might be able to push a length solid copper conductor (house cable) through the pipe and then twist the centre of a small piece of lint free cloth in the end to act as a pull through.

Thats what I was thinking, a pull through, maybe a length or expanding curtain wire

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15 hours ago, LadyG said:

A long bottle brush of the correct Diameter should clean the pipes, wash in a bucket of hot water with  laundry liquid till hoses are clean. Then bleach which will kill most bugs.

PS I used Diesel Boost in the fuel tank at  concentrated recommendation, ie when tank was low, this stopped the Eberspacher screeching, it was the only one which mentioned heaters, but I'd use a bug treatment if I had bug.

By the way, I bought an OEM fuel filter the other day, are they usually £19.50?

Not if you can identify the filter: https://inlinefilters.co.uk.

 

I've had excellent service over the years from this company, buying filters for a wide range of machines and boats. Time spent on a bit of detective work is usually well rewarded. Buying filters can be a wee bit like buying ink for printers – it's a guaranteed steady income which is exploited to a greater or lesser extent by nb engine marinisers!

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16 hours ago, Tony Brooks said:

How long are these sections? To be honest I would be reluctant to try any sort of pull through in case it got stuck.

 

If you are willing to take that risk you might be able to push a length solid copper conductor (house cable) through the pipe and then twist the centre of a small piece of lint free cloth in the end to act as a pull through.

I have 2 short section of about 2 feet each, both of which are reasonably accessible, and I should be able to clean these two OK. However, the longest pipe is about 8 feet long, with a couple of sharp 90 degree bends where it approaches the CAV filter. This is the one which concerns me most. I can blow through the pipe quite easily, and I have pushed a length of 1.5 electrical cable along it, but it only goes as far as the bendy bit, which is, to be fair, only about six inches from the end of the pipe. I haven't had the chance to flush it through yet, as I need a small funnel to help fill it. As I am typing this, I've had an idea!   If I were to  block the lower end, then fill it with a bleach solution, leave it overnight, say, then flush it through with water, then clean diesel, that might do the job. I still like the idea of being able to physically manually clean the pipe, but I fear it may not be possible. What do people think?

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3 minutes ago, monkeyhanger said:

I have 2 short section of about 2 feet each, both of which are reasonably accessible, and I should be able to clean these two OK. However, the longest pipe is about 8 feet long, with a couple of sharp 90 degree bends where it approaches the CAV filter. This is the one which concerns me most. I can blow through the pipe quite easily, and I have pushed a length of 1.5 electrical cable along it, but it only goes as far as the bendy bit, which is, to be fair, only about six inches from the end of the pipe. I haven't had the chance to flush it through yet, as I need a small funnel to help fill it. As I am typing this, I've had an idea!   If I were to  block the lower end, then fill it with a bleach solution, leave it overnight, say, then flush it through with water, then clean diesel, that might do the job. I still like the idea of being able to physically manually clean the pipe, but I fear it may not be possible. What do people think?

 

I think your idea stands the best chance of success as long as you can ensure you do not get an airlock in the pipe when you fill it. It may also help if you can do the flushing with an adaptor on a hose, so you get a bit of volume through the pipe.

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7 minutes ago, Tony Brooks said:

 

I think your idea stands the best chance of success as long as you can ensure you do not get an airlock in the pipe when you fill it. It may also help if you can do the flushing with an adaptor on a hose, so you get a bit of volume through the pipe.

 Because of the way my system is designed, with a couple of air bleed points, air locks won't ( well shouldn't) be a problem. I may be able to borrow a "Pela" oil extractor which may help to do the job of flushing through.

1 minute ago, Peanut said:

Do you have a piece of flex which will pass around the bends?

Sadly not. The bends  in the final 6 inches are very tight.

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13 minutes ago, monkeyhanger said:

 Because of the way my system is designed, with a couple of air bleed points, air locks won't ( well shouldn't) be a problem. I may be able to borrow a "Pela" oil extractor which may help to do the job of flushing through.

Sadly not. The bends  in the final 6 inches are very tight.

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1 hour ago, monkeyhanger said:

I have 2 short section of about 2 feet each, both of which are reasonably accessible, and I should be able to clean these two OK. However, the longest pipe is about 8 feet long, with a couple of sharp 90 degree bends where it approaches the CAV filter. This is the one which concerns me most. I can blow through the pipe quite easily, and I have pushed a length of 1.5 electrical cable along it, but it only goes as far as the bendy bit, which is, to be fair, only about six inches from the end of the pipe. I haven't had the chance to flush it through yet, as I need a small funnel to help fill it. As I am typing this, I've had an idea!   If I were to  block the lower end, then fill it with a bleach solution, leave it overnight, say, then flush it through with water, then clean diesel, that might do the job. I still like the idea of being able to physically manually clean the pipe, but I fear it may not be possible. What do people think?

I thought that was what I suggested?  Bleach will kill the bug and strip the pipe clean.

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1 hour ago, monkeyhanger said:

 That looks useful! Thanks for the info.

Well, I've ordered a window curtain cable,  and I've spoken to a guy at Marine 16. He says that their Diesel Injector Cleaner will remove all harmful deposits from my fuel system WITHOUT having to dismantle it and physically clean it. However, now that my system is in bits anyway, I figure that I'll clear the pipes by hand first, use bleach on it, then add the injector cleaner when it's back up and running. Belt and Braces, eh?  Thanks very much to all the people who have contributed with ideas and information. Hopefully what I'm doing will sort the problems I've had. I will endeavour to report back some time in the future (2023 cruising season) to let you know how it went. Thanks again, everyone!

Edited by monkeyhanger
Added info.
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Hmmmmm, diesel injector cleaner, how often is that recommended?

My 1999 Isuzu engine runs smooth. It's never had so much tlc as in the last two years.

I'm always up for more, as long as I don't have to pay someone else.

Edited by LadyG
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22 hours ago, monkeyhanger said:

 That looks useful! Thanks for the info.

How about those steel cables with the twisty handle on the end used for drain cleaning in a house, cut to length, bit of cloth soaked in bleach on the end?. Curtain cable is springy and hard to twist, the drain one stays firm but goes round sharp bends easy.

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A good brand of biocide will turn the black snot into dust..........supposedly the chemicals reverse the osmotic gradient of the water /fuel interface where the nastys live ......you can clean the tank as much as you like ,and the snot will be back ...........dose continually with the chemical at the recommended dosage .....and do try to keep water out of your fuel by frequently using the tank drain............its also worth putting one of the turn to clean plate filters ,which should have a drain cock ...........my boat also has a Fleetgard filter that holds about 2 gallons of fuel ,with an equally large element. and drainvalve..............when rough weather strikes ,you dont want the be unblocking fuel filters and pipes...............also note proper boats have doubled up fuel systems with a changeover valve ......if you have  trouble from dirty fuel ,you can turn the valve and have a completely clean  filter set..

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20 hours ago, john.k said:

A good brand of biocide will turn the black snot into dust..........supposedly the chemicals reverse the osmotic gradient of the water /fuel interface where the nastys live ......you can clean the tank as much as you like ,and the snot will be back ...........dose continually with the chemical at the recommended dosage .....and do try to keep water out of your fuel by frequently using the tank drain............its also worth putting one of the turn to clean plate filters ,which should have a drain cock ...........my boat also has a Fleetgard filter that holds about 2 gallons of fuel ,with an equally large element. and drainvalve..............when rough weather strikes ,you dont want the be unblocking fuel filters and pipes...............also note proper boats have doubled up fuel systems with a changeover valve ......if you have  trouble from dirty fuel ,you can turn the valve and have a completely clean  filter set..

We are usually talking about narrowboats which don't have drain holes or more than one filter, a disposable filter which normally lasts a year.

There are methods of cleaning the tank not always successful .

 

 

 

 

 

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