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freds 12-12-2002 09:28 AM

Fuel tank algae
I have a 9 gallon fiberglass diesel fuel tank in my O''Day 272 that needs cleanout. The fuel pickup strainer (if it has one) seems to plug up frequently, causing engine cutout. I have pumped and refilled the tank to no avail. Still plugging up. Removing the tank requires cutting a bulkhead which has hoses and stuff connected to it. Not an easy job, nor is disconnecting and removing the tank itself. Is it possible to cut a hole in bottom of tank, clean the tank, then seal it or put a screw on cap or something to seal the cleanout hole? I am in need of suggestions.

Sailmc 12-12-2002 10:17 AM

Fuel tank algae
You should be able to remove the fuel pickup to clean that. You might want to consider cutting a hole in the top of the tank and cleaning it the best you can from there and installing and inspection port in the hole when you finish. You will also need to address the cause of the algae. This is usually from water entering the tank from a leak, a poorly placed tank vent or condensation. The algae can''t grow without it. There are also additves that prevent the algae from forming and you should use them. Biobor is one that comes to mind. These additve claim to break up sludge as well, but I can''t confirm they will actually do that. I don''t reccomend it but I do have a friend with a similar problem whose short sighted solution was to shorten the pickup tube thus keeping the sludge on the bottom from being sucked up.

isail 12-12-2002 03:52 PM

Fuel tank algae
If you have access to the pickup tube, pull it out, if you see a screen on the end of it take it off, not really needed, any thing that passes through the tube will be picked up by the racor. Had same problem on H45 until I did this and haven''t had a problem since and it has been a good 6 mos.
Good luck. ron

rclampitt 12-12-2002 07:17 PM

Fuel tank algae
This past summer I bought a Cal 31, 1983, in Bellingham WA and brought her up to Seward Alaska. The 21 gal diesel fuel tank could not be inspected because there were no inspection ports. Before departing, I had two inspection ports installed, one on each side of the interior baffle, and than throughly cleaned the tank. I think this was the best investment I could have made because we did get knocked around some on the trip up.


freds 12-20-2002 07:00 AM

Fuel tank algae
Thanks to everyone for the helpful suggestions. It is impossible to get at the pickup hose and filter since the top of tank is not accessible. I will try first to use a stiff tube that will reach bottom of tank and pump the crud out. If that doesn''t work, I''ll take the tank out and clean it, and remove the strainer.

WASSERNUT 12-20-2002 07:36 AM

Fuel tank algae
I''m told the ALGAE-X products are superior in that they eliminate future algae growth.
They offer treatment units that may be installed in line as well as additives that treat the causes not just the symptoms.
The USCG is now using this approach as well as Detroit Diesel.

Standing by;

rculp 12-20-2002 02:57 PM

Fuel tank algae
You do not have to remove your tank to clean it. Just look up a service that does "Fuel Polishing". You must be docked for this operation with 110vac power available. The Polishing consists of a large external filter with hi-pressure pump output. The system sucks fuel out of tank near bottom and filters it. It is then discharged back into the tank at about 1000psi. This stirs up the crud and suspends it for pickup by the suction side of the system. It''ll take a few hours to get it clean--but it is very easy. I''ve had it done in Mexico and diesel down there can get cruddy if not treated.

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