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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance > Engines > Diesel
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  #11  
Old 06-01-2014
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Re: Two questions about new fuel tank install

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Originally Posted by Bernie Hoban View Post
On the subject if fuel tanks, we just discovered our catalina 309 (2008 year) tank is corroided on the bottom. We are shocked that a six year old well kept boat would have this problem and we are baffled how moisture may have gotten into the space.
Please clarify for us if this was an aluminum tank and the nature of the bottom surface. Was it flush with wood, fiberglass, on runners or otherwise ventilated.
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Re: Two questions about new fuel tank install

Hi the tank is aluminum and it appears to be sitting right on the hull
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Old 06-02-2014
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Re: Two questions about new fuel tank install

Within a two week period both of my aluminum fuel tanks started leaking. The tanks both had corrosion in the bottom in an area I will call a "sump" for lack of better terms. The rest of the interior and exterior of the tanks is pristine. The tanks are about 30 years old. The tanks hang from tabs welded along the top and corroded from the inside out.
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Old 06-02-2014
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Re: Two questions about new fuel tank install

I understnd the risk of the corrosion of aluminum tanks next to a hull that gathers moisture from condensation or at wet bottom surfaces without good ventilation. I would be concerned about corrosion from the bottom inside the tank and wonder about the cause; however, I'm not sure how one determines that the corrosion originates from inside the tank. I'd like to hear the method that would be used to determine wether the corrosion begins on the inside or outside and also, what thoughts knowledgeble people might have about additives in diesel fuel that might corrode aluminum.
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Re: Two questions about new fuel tank install

In my case the aluminum sump was cut off and the inspection port on the top removed. The inside of the tank where the leak was looked like a termite/acid ate away an area approximately 3/8" in diameter from the inside. The outside of the tank looked like a tiny crack. The exterior surface was flush. It was pretty obvious even if my description isn't clear.
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Old 06-03-2014
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Re: Two questions about new fuel tank install

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Originally Posted by FarCry View Post
............. The inside of the tank where the leak was looked like a termite/acid ate away an area approximately 3/8" in diameter from the inside. The outside of the tank looked like a tiny crack. The exterior surface was flush. It was pretty obvious even if my description isn't clear.
No, this is clear and well said. I think the thought that the inside of the tank having a larger surface area of corrosion than the outside would be compelling evidence.
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Re: Two questions about new fuel tank install

After cleaning up the tank, I will call it tank #2, and seeing that many areas had very deep corrosion and pitting on the interior, I went ahead and ordered a replacement from the original manufacturer. Since tank #2 seemed to have more water and crud in it than fuel and still managed to last 30yrs, I figured a new one will last at least that long with some minor attention.
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Old 06-22-2014
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Re: Two questions about new fuel tank install

There's a good article somewhere on the net on how to install an aluminum tank. Basically, DON'T let it sit on a surface - use non-metallic, non-absorbing (read plastic) strips to allow air circulation. And don't paint it. Basically avoid anything that would allow moisture to attack the tank.

As for the anti-siphon valve, I can't see why you'd need it and as you say, it's one more thing to go wrong. What you DON'T want is an airleak anywhere in the fuel intake.

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