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post #21 of 27 Old 05-22-2013 Thread Starter
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Re: Fuel tank drain

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Originally Posted by peikenberry View Post
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.
Interesting reading.. I don't think you're missing anything - it's just that ABYC are paranoid.

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Originally Posted by peikenberry View Post
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
Complete with a diagram (Fig. 11 Page 64) showing exactly the sort of thing I'm talking about! I suppose it's a good thing I'm not planning to go for Survey, 'cause my fuel tank obviously doesn't comply.

If indeed it is very common to have a drain on diesel tanks, as you say, I wonder why it's so hard to get info on them?



Anyway: I'll put this little project on the back-burner for when (if ever) the tank has to come out, either for cleaning or other reasons.

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Last edited by Classic30; 05-22-2013 at 07:47 PM.
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post #22 of 27 Old 05-22-2013
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Re: Fuel tank drain

If you will insist on sailing a termite mound you have only yourself to blame.

I'm not clear on this .... do you have a glass fuel filter ? This kind of thing.



If so then it seems to me this is a problem best left on the back burner until you are cleaning out that filter more than once a year. If not, get one.

Then again if you have a reasonable access panel into the tank, empty it out, give it a damn good clean up and go sailing.

cheers mate

Andrew B

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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.

Andrew B

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― Terry Pratchett, Nation

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post #23 of 27 Old 05-22-2013 Thread Starter
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Re: Fuel tank drain

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Originally Posted by tdw View Post
If you will insist on sailing a termite mound you have only yourself to blame.

I'm not clear on this .... do you have a glass fuel filter ? This kind of thing.
Yep. I've got the Fleetguard version, but it's essentially identical.

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If so then it seems to me this is a problem best left on the back burner until you are cleaning out that filter more than once a year. If not, get one.
As mentioned (obscurely), I replaced the filter yesterday after about a year's use, fully expecting it to be loaded with black goo.. but instead there was nothing much to report, so I guess it's all good.

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Then again if you have a reasonable access panel into the tank, empty it out, give it a damn good clean up and go sailing.
Access is virtually non-existent. I'm just surprised more people don't have drains fitted, that's all... 'cause it sure would make double-checking so much easier.

Must be those silly American regs again...

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post #24 of 27 Old 05-22-2013
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Re: Fuel tank drain

Crud in your diesel stopping your engine in the middle of a surfy pass is far more dangerous than any risks from having a low point drain, something US bureaucrats are too dense to understand. I weld one on with a stainless bal valve, which has never failed me.

Brent Swain, Boat designer, Builder, and author of "Origami Metal Boatbuilding"
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post #25 of 27 Old 05-22-2013 Thread Starter
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Re: Fuel tank drain

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Originally Posted by Brent Swain View Post
Crud in your diesel stopping your engine in the middle of a surfy pass is far more dangerous than any risks from having a low point drain, something US bureaucrats are too dense to understand. I weld one on with a stainless bal valve, which has never failed me.
Well put, Brent.

I was hoping there might be a 'non-welded' solution out there, but it sounds like, if I'm going to do this, I'll need to pull the tank and MIG something on properly - with a sump too. But that's a huge job, so, for now, I'll get the professionals in to clean up the insides as best as possible and go sailing..

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post #26 of 27 Old 05-22-2013
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Re: Fuel tank drain

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Originally Posted by Hartley18 View Post

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?
Never had any water in my fuel but some of my customers have, usually a leaking deck fill..

I threw this together with some spare parts but it could be built for under $100.00.. I simply remove the fuel sending unit or the pick up and insert the copper tube all the way to the very bottom. flip the switch and let it polish while I work on the boat. If I see water in the bowl I drain it off and keep going...


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post #27 of 27 Old 05-22-2013 Thread Starter
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Re: Fuel tank drain

Neat setup! Thanks, Maine.

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"Honestly, I don't know why seamen persist in getting wrecked in some of the outlandish places they do, when they can do it in a nice place like Fiji." -- John Caldwell, "Desperate Voyage"
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