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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance > Engines > Diesel
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Diesel This is a new forum dedicated to diesel engines and their applicable accessories.


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  #11  
Old 05-21-2013
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Re: Fuel tank drain

I would be willing to bet there are some type of fuel tank rules or guidelines as there are in the USA and England and I believe the EU ? with the whole importance of boats being built to pass CE over there

I know for a fact England even requires the tanks to PASS a pressure test on some period of time much like and automobile safety inspection
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Old 05-21-2013
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Re: Fuel tank drain

Fuel tank cleaning has been previously discussed on this forum in detail. Since you do not have an access cover you may want to consider installing one on the top of you tank if it is accessible. Then you can drain the tank using a siphon hose and clean it to your heart's content.

For what it's worth I am having to do the same thing. Here is a link to a different thread that discussed inspection ports. http://http://www.sailnet.com/forums...0&postcount=15

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Originally Posted by ambianceack View Post
About four years ago I installed an 8-inch inspection port into the top of my 20 gallon aluminum tank. I purchased it at Seabuilt - Access Plate Systems over the winter I pulled and cleaned the tank using a scrub brush, scotch brite pad and shop paper towels.
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  #13  
Old 05-21-2013
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Re: Fuel tank drain

Quote:
Originally Posted by tommays View Post
I would be willing to bet there are some type of fuel tank rules or guidelines as there are in the USA and England and I believe the EU ? with the whole importance of boats being built to pass CE over there

I know for a fact England even requires the tanks to PASS a pressure test on some period of time much like and automobile safety inspection
Quite possibly.. but don't worry, I won't go drilling any holes without checking first.

I'm just surprised a low-point drain isn't standard fitment on ALL diesel tanks. Otherwise, how are you supposed to get all of the water out?
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Last edited by Classic30; 05-21-2013 at 07:09 PM.
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Old 05-21-2013
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Re: Fuel tank drain

Quote:
Originally Posted by dabnis View Post
Maybe a good water separator until you can get all the water out?
If the pick-up isn't in the bottom of the tank (and I'm pretty sure it isn't) it doesn't matter how good a separator I have.. it won't get all the water out. That's why I need the drain...

Maybe I haven't explained the issue properly. The primary purpose of a fuel tank (low-point) drain is:

To get the dregs out of the bottom of the tank.

Ideas anyone??
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Last edited by Classic30; 05-21-2013 at 07:14 PM.
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Old 05-21-2013
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Re: Fuel tank drain

Hartles .... do you know that you have a problem ? Pick up will of course be slightly above the bottom of the tank to prevent sludge collection but even so if you had a water problem it would start to come through eventually. I'm wondering if you are worrying about a problem that may not even exist. As the old saying goes "If you had nothing to worry about, you'd worry about having nothing to worry about".
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Old 05-21-2013
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Re: Fuel tank drain

Cameron,

Given your particular install, I think a drain on the bottom of your tank is a sound alternative (as long as it's not proscribed by law or regulation.)

The bad news is that it's gonna be a bitch to install one properly.

Unless your tank is one of the low-carbon stainless alloys, welding is going to open you up to other risks (read up on stainless weld decay.) If you had an aluminum or steel tank, you'd be far better off if you wanted to weld.

Going for a mechanical seal is going to require you to access the inside of the tank, which from your description would probably mean you'll need to pull the tank (and maybe even cut a port in the top of the tank.)

I gotta admit, I'm firmly in Andrew's corner on this one in wondering if the risk merits the amount of effort it will take to mitigate...
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  #17  
Old 05-22-2013
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Re: Fuel tank drain

First let me say this. In the USA, Canada, EU and many other places that follow ISO or ABYC rules, gasoline fuel tanks are not permitted to have a drain on the bottom. All fuel fittings must be on the top surface of the tank. This is simply so you don't end up with the contents of your tank in the bilge. It can do more than just ruin your day.

Diesel tanks are permitted to have a drain on the bottom. In fact it is very common to have a drain on diesel tanks.

You can find the rules for Australia (and New Zealand) here:
http://www.nmsc.gov.au/index.php?MID=29&CID=29
Here:
http://www.nmsc.gov.au/media/pages_m...er%20Boats.pdf
and here http://www.nmsc.gov.au/media/pages_m..._saf_equip.pdf

As far as I can tell the standards are all based on ISO Standards, but for some strange reason they did not appear to include fuel systems. Maybe I am missing something.

PS: I checked the Rules for commercial boats and the prohibition on drains for gasoline tanks is there as well as the allowance for drains on diesel tanks. See http://www.nmsc.gov.au/media/pages_m..._v0_5final.pdf
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Last edited by peikenberry; 05-22-2013 at 12:51 AM.
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Old 05-22-2013
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Re: Fuel tank drain

Quote:
Originally Posted by tdw View Post
Hartles .... do you know that you have a problem ? Pick up will of course be slightly above the bottom of the tank to prevent sludge collection but even so if you had a water problem it would start to come through eventually. I'm wondering if you are worrying about a problem that may not even exist. As the old saying goes "If you had nothing to worry about, you'd worry about having nothing to worry about".
With this old girl?? Too bloody right mate!

There's a bit of the 'ol black stuff coating the bottom that I don't remember being there before.. and AIUI that stuff only grows in the presence of water.

Still, I dosed it good an' proper last week before the race and pulled the primary filter today (due anyway) and was surprised to find hardly anything there (there's usually a bit)... so, p'raps you're right, TD.

It's just that I've been getting rather used to things left undone for a while costing me a packet to fix later. Usual story.

Doesn't mean having a drain isn't good practice.. at some stage.
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Last edited by Classic30; 05-22-2013 at 04:25 AM.
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Re: Fuel tank drain

Quote:
Quote:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hartley18 View Post
If the pick-up isn't in the bottom of the tank (and I'm pretty sure it isn't) it doesn't matter how good a separator I have.. it won't get all the water out. That's why I need the drain...
I mentioned "until you can get the water out"

Quote:
Maybe I haven't explained the issue properly. The primary purpose of a fuel tank (low-point) drain is:

Quote:
To get the dregs out of the bottom of the tank.
Understood

Quote:
Ideas anyone??
I had a tank that ingested salt water because the outside vent opening did not have a high enough loop in the hose. I was able to snake a piece of hose to the lowest point in the tank. After swallowing a big mouthful of gas starting a siphon I was able to start a siphon and completely drain the tank.
Not good to siphon with black hose.

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Old 05-22-2013
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Re: Fuel tank drain

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hartley18 View Post
If the pick-up isn't in the bottom of the tank (and I'm pretty sure it isn't) it doesn't matter how good a separator I have.. it won't get all the water out. That's why I need the drain...

Maybe I haven't explained the issue properly. The primary purpose of a fuel tank (low-point) drain is:

To get the dregs out of the bottom of the tank.

Ideas anyone??
Remove the 1-1/2 inch inlet fitting
Insert a siphon tube or pump, I use an old outboard fuel line with the end fittings removed.
Siphon the tank dry
Flush
Refill

If you are looking for fittings, research fuel cells on the internet. Most hot rod shops carry an ample selection of fittings, hose, etc.
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Last edited by katsailor; 05-22-2013 at 04:44 PM.
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