Diesel tank cleaning service - Page 2 - SailNet Community
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post #11 of 20 Old 05-13-2008 Thread Starter
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Ok, found a slightly cheaper pump - Tuthill Diesel Fuel Transfer Pump — 12 Volt, 10 GPM, Model# FR1612 | DC Powered Pumps | Northern Tool + Equipment
As a bonus, seems more powerful and has bigger outlets. Cool.
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post #12 of 20 Old 05-13-2008
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Those pumps (freesail's post) are intended for diesel, it's the entire reason they are built - they are not gasoline pumps converted.

If you want a cheap way of cleaning/polishing fuel - look for filters truckers use, I've seen some that essentially use a roll of paper towels to prefilter and a 80micron as the next step. You can build a polisher far far cheaper than a single visit from a service will charge, and properly used you can run a polisher continuously for years.

That will not clean sludge, there is no better way than pumping fuel from one tank to the next, reaching in and vacuuming sludge out.

I have polypropelene (sp) tanks. I can buy a new tank for 1/4 the price of a service cleaning my tanks. Think it out before you sign a contract.
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post #13 of 20 Old 05-13-2008
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AFAIK those Facet pumps are all spec'd for gasoline service and will fall apart in diesel use. For some reason any pump that is intended for diesel seems to be in the $200 and up range, check to be SURE they are suitable for diesel.
Ok, so lets say the pump fails after 10 hours of use. In 10 hours my tank is drained and my fuel may even be polished, your point ? Or should I spent 8 times more money for a diesel pump, just so I have it for next time?

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post #14 of 20 Old 05-13-2008 Thread Starter
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I have polypropelene (sp) tanks. I can buy a new tank for 1/4 the price of a service cleaning my tanks. Think it out before you sign a contract.
Definitely no contracts. This will be a doitmyself job, just got to figure the best way. What would I use to vacuum the tank? I have a wet-dry vac but it is not ignition protected (and I do see sparks in its coil from time to time). I don't know how safe it is, even if what's left in the tank is mostly sludge?
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post #15 of 20 Old 05-13-2008 Thread Starter
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Ok, so lets say the pump fails after 10 hours of use. In 10 hours my tank is drained and my fuel may even be polished, your point ? Or should I spent 8 times more money for a diesel pump, just so I have it for next time?
At $99 a diesel pump above is only about twice as much. It ain't a bargain but it ain't all that expensive either.
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post #16 of 20 Old 05-13-2008
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Do a little research, I don't have a ignition protected vacuum I can refer to off the top of my head. My tanks are (currently) only a year old. Previously my plan was to remove the tank on my Hunter if it got seriously fouled and replace it with a 200 dollar poly tank.
Frankly, and I'm sure the safety nuts will neg rep me, I'm not sure the vacuum needs to be spark free (thats on you to check out). I'm real sure a micron mitt (scrubby on your hand) doesn't make sparks. The idea is to scrub the tank, cut a hole, reach in an get yucky cleaning the tank. Then put a inspection port on the hole because obviously you need one.
Where are you out of ?
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post #17 of 20 Old 05-13-2008 Thread Starter
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I'd rather not drill more holes - there are already a few to access ports in the tank. If I can't clean it up properly without opening one - I will bite the bullet and take the cover off. I did the same for my water tank with good results (can drink the water from the tank and not get sick, amazing ).

As for the vacuum - I'll check about spark protection. If not a vacuum, I can always keep pouring fuel back in the tank and pumping it with the sludge together, I suppose - or blast the tank with fuel from the hose.

My boat is in Solomons at Zahnisers marina.

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Do a little research, I don't have a ignition protected vacuum I can refer to off the top of my head. My tanks are (currently) only a year old. Previously my plan was to remove the tank on my Hunter if it got seriously fouled and replace it with a 200 dollar poly tank.
Frankly, and I'm sure the safety nuts will neg rep me, I'm not sure the vacuum needs to be spark free (thats on you to check out). I'm real sure a micron mitt (scrubby on your hand) doesn't make sparks. The idea is to scrub the tank, cut a hole, reach in an get yucky cleaning the tank. Then put a inspection port on the hole because obviously you need one.
Where are you out of ?
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Replacing the tank (literally cutting it out if fiberglass and putting in a poly tank complete with strapping it down) is not a option?

If you have access ports and skinny arms with double joints that's probably the best option, including popping the top, it's certainly the cheapest option. Get a 20 buck steam cleaner (late night T.V. -or make your own) while you are at it.

If ethanol use continues it will be needed sooner or later anyway. The only problem with poly tanks is no baffles, and lack of the ability to make a custom shape.
Forgive me, for I'm sure you have mentioned it, but I'm unsure what type boat you have. If you can pop the top you must have a built in fiberglass tank.

Solomons isn't quite a day trip or I'd loan you my polisher. I use a pump fitted to a plywood board with filters and connections so I can loan it out or install it in line on my system as a replacement for my first two filters (I have three) - like I recommended to Freesail and literally polish my fuel from tank to tank more often than needed, as a catamaran sailor I've been called a dubious motor boater by many. I like knowing I have a clean tank.
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post #19 of 20 Old 05-13-2008
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Hey Brak,
Kleenfuel
Deltaville, VA
804-694-6040

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post #20 of 20 Old 05-13-2008 Thread Starter
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Replacing the tank (literally cutting it out if fiberglass and putting in a poly tank complete with strapping it down) is not a option?
Pretty much impossible. It is not so much a tank as a space inside the keel really.

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If ethanol use continues it will be needed sooner or later anyway. The only problem with poly tanks is no baffles, and lack of the ability to make a custom shape.
I dread the thought of ethanol in diesel, but certainly hope it won't happen as it would make diesel into a volatile explosive fuel which it currently is not. BoatUS had quite a bit of discussion advocating strongly against ethanol in diesel and I sure hope someone listens.

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Forgive me, for I'm sure you have mentioned it, but I'm unsure what type boat you have. If you can pop the top you must have a built in fiberglass tank.

Solomons isn't quite a day trip or I'd loan you my polisher. I use a pump fitted to a plywood board with filters and connections so I can loan it out or install it in line on my system as a replacement for my first two filters (I have three) - like I recommended to Freesail and literally polish my fuel from tank to tank more often than needed, as a catamaran sailor I've been called a dubious motor boater by many. I like knowing I have a clean tank.
The boat is a Hallberg-Rassy 35, 1972 - there wasn't much ethanol concern back then I certainly appreciate the offer, I'd be glad to borrow the fuel polisher, I am in Annapolis from time to time.
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