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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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  #1  
Old 07-06-2007
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Gasoline Tank gauge

Hi,

Im not sure if my gas tank is working have prolly run the engine for a total of 5 or 6 hours. Its a Universal diesel. The gas tank still reads full still. Is there anyway to tell if the gauge is broken or check the level of the gas? Its an inboard so the gas tank is under the qtr berth with a tube for refilling going to the deck.
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Old 07-06-2007
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How big is your tank, how big is your engine ?
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Old 07-06-2007
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As a rule of thumb, a Diesel engine will consume about 4 litres (app. a gallon) for every 20 hp of it's capacity you're using. However my 24hp Bukh at economy speed on flat water (I only use the engine if there's NO wind or the admiral demands it) uses less than 1 liter pr. hour - so would have used maybe 4-5 litres in that timeframe - hardly noticeable on the gauge with a big tank
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Old 07-06-2007
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I think that sounds about right for diesel consumption. My Yanmar 1GM10 (10 hp) engines use a pint of fuel an hour apiece. I only buy 2 gallons of fuel per engine at a time and that lasts me 4 months as we sail everywhere.

I only use the engines to get in and out of the marina.

Rick in Florida
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Old 07-06-2007
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Dip stick

I use a dip stick that I have marked to indicate the fuel level. But you need an access port to do that. Your tank may not have one.

You might fill the tank to the top, then carefully monitor your hours of use, then refill the tank to find your rate of useage.

I also carry a five gallon tank of extra fuel under the helmsman seat.

I once installed an electronic fuel gauge on another boat. It never gave me usefull readings because the roll of the boat bounced the indicater from full to empty with every roll.
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Old 07-06-2007
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What does the gauge read when the ignition is off? Most fuel guages are designed to 'fail safe' meaning if there is a problem they read empty, not full. If the gauge reads empty when off, and full when on, it probably is working fine.

The gauge worked on my first boat for 1 year, then stopped. I never bothered to try and fix it. The diesel was so efficient, and I motored so little that I just filled it half way through the season (July) and then again before haul out.

My new boat has a working gauge, but it's the same basic thing. I have 1/2 a tank now, so I'll fill it soon, and then again at the end of the year.

Barry
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Old 07-09-2007
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The larger the capacity of the tank, the less the needle on the gauge will drop below full. I have a 39-gallon tank and a Universal M-35B diesel engine on my boat. It burns anywhere between 0.5 and 0.7 gallons per hour. If my tank were full, and I had motored for 5 or 6 hours, I am sure my gauge would still read that the tank was full (or it might jump up and down a tad while underway).
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Old 07-09-2007
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Thanks for your responses. The tank is 20gallons and the engine is a universal 11HP. I have about 5 hours on the tank but it still reads full. Perhaps I haven't burned that much fuel at all?
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LOL... Five hours is probably less than two gallons of fuel....
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Old 07-09-2007
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You can always sound the tank with a tape measure. Sprinkle a little scouring power on the tape (we do this on the work boats) and sound the tank. That is if you have a straight fill pipe to the tank. This would be a good way to see if the gauge is working and how accurate it is.
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