Diesel tank cleaning service - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 20 Old 05-13-2008 Thread Starter
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Diesel tank cleaning service

Anyone knows of a diesel tank cleaning service in Chesapeake area? I am blowing a fortune on Racor filters
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post #2 of 20 Old 05-13-2008
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Sitch to 10 micron

I'm guessing you're using 2 micron, which I did for a long time until doing a little research. 10 is the way to go:

www-dot-seaskills -dot-com/files/SeaSkillsTwoMicronFiltrationWhitePaper.pdf
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post #3 of 20 Old 05-13-2008 Thread Starter
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That may be true - but my fuel tank is full of sludge in any case - it all sits at the bottom of racor daily. So switching filters may be a thing to do, but I really need tank cleaning service anyway.
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post #4 of 20 Old 05-13-2008 Thread Starter
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Ok, got one quote - for that price I could probably repair the engine if it breaks due to bad fuel

What does everyone think of doing this myself? (Keep it clean ). I figure if I get a diesel transfer pump, and a filter in line and a hose long enough to get to the bottom of the tank - I should be able to pump out the sludge? Am I missing anything here?
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post #5 of 20 Old 05-13-2008
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I should be able to pump out the sludge? Am I missing anything here?
I am going to be doing the same thing. You may not get it 100% but if you had a filter to the pump, you could polish your fuel.

S/V Scheherazade
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post #6 of 20 Old 05-13-2008 Thread Starter
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I looked around online and here is what I found:
- There is a "complete system" that sells for over $700 (list price of $900) like this one here: Portable Tank Cleaning Kit

Now, just to be sure I searched around a bit. It appears that all the parts for this system are available retail:
Pump - 12V DC Gear Pump
Filter - Clear Bowl Filter Kit
Strainer appears to be garden variety, probably $15 or so at any store.
I am of opinion that those Algae-X devices are gimmicks and don't do anything, so no cost on that.
Total in parts - $200 or so, plus a few hoses and fittings (and some sort of a board to set it all up on).
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post #7 of 20 Old 05-13-2008
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I assume you have an access port to the tank and this is diesel..
>>
Here is what I did.. I vacuumed up the sludge.
>>
Open the port, take a drill and an inexpensive pump (buy a couple..) that attaches to the drill and clear plastic hose about 5 feet on both sides attached to the pump. On the end that will go into the tank get 3-4 feet of aluminum tubing that will fit snugly on inside the clear hose. The other end where the fuel comes out of the hose..either lead it to empty jerry can or if the fuel is not too bad get a Baja filter and filter the crap out before pouring into the can and then the cleaned fuel back in the tank.
>>
Helps if the tank is less than full so you can see the bottom. Have one person work the drill and monitor the contents going into the jerry can. The other person vacuums – they may need to train a flash light inside the tank to see what needs to be picked up.
>>
Worked for me. Hope that helps . .

BTW.. if t you dispose of the diesel you can pour it into the recycle tank for oil at your marina.

s/v Mahalo
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ACM - Eastport MD
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post #8 of 20 Old 05-13-2008
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I got this information from Chuckles, you don't really need a bigger pump then this.

FACET ELECTRIC FUEL PUMPS from Aircraft Spruce

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post #9 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.

Brak, considering what a service costs, CAN you remove the tank to clean it out? Getting it off the boat and being able to wash and tumble it can make the job easy, even if it takes some doing to get it out and ashore.
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post #10 of 20 Old 05-13-2008 Thread Starter
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It's a built in tank (basically space inside the keel) so removing it is not an option I can get inside through a few smaller holes (a 1" diameter access plug, or if I remove the sender unit - through there). These things sit on top of an access plate, which if removed would get me access to the tank - but from past experience taking similar plate off of the water tank, I don't want to do that. It is bolted to the fiberglass surface with bolts glassed in - when unfastening the nuts, many of these bolts will start spinning and then I have to dremel them out, and re-epoxy - very long story and in this case complicated by access, since tank is under the engine and clearance is marginal).

I will look for cheaper pump if I can find one (I didn't have much success with drill pumps in the past) and try to get to the bottom of the tank through available ports - if this gets even only 3/4 of the sludge out of it, that would be great.
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