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  #1  
Old 02-26-2011
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Diesel treatment

Anyone got experience of the Algae-X magnetic fuel conditioner? I've scanned the web and found some in favour and some against. Those in favour are usually people who have tried it, and are mostly positive- but of course, having handed over the dollars it's difficult to admit you were wrong. Those against usually just dimiss it as snake oil, but provide no evidence (which makes their opinions equally useless). The only controlled experiment I came across was this one:
3w dot diesel-fuels dot com/pdf/lgx-test dot pdf
Which looks reasonably convincing, but makes no judgement on the system's ability to cope with biological contamination.
Anyone know of any other evidence?

SnS
(add the "www" and change the "dot" to a "." in the url- this is my first post, so for some reason I'm not allowed to post a link).
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Old 02-26-2011
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Search for Algae-X in titles, and you'll find several threads that might help you answer the question.
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Old 02-26-2011
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I always use a diesel conditioner, claims to fight diesel bug and help keep the injectors clean giving increased fuel efficiency. Have the same bottle for the last 4 years.
Have read a number of comparison articles in PBO and other UK mags over the years and am convinced its more important in a sailboat tank given the sporadic use, length of storage and generaly poor environment.
Engine now 9 years old with easy starting and good performance even with the nearly 6 month annual lay up in a drying harbour.
I,m convinced.
Safe sailing
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Old 02-26-2011
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I keep the fuel treated year round with Bioguard (biocide) and Sta-Bil. I've never seen a replaced fuel filter that didn't look almost brand new. Probably burn about 100 gallons per year, maybe a bit more.
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Old 02-26-2011
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sailingdog is just really nice sailingdog is just really nice sailingdog is just really nice sailingdog is just really nice sailingdog is just really nice
Rather than spend money on snake oil systems like Algae-X...why don't you make sure you have decent filtration on your fuel system, make sure you don't have water in the fuel tank, and if you're really worried, install a fuel polishing system or a parallel fuel filter system.

If Algae-X were anything more than snake oil, don't you think they'd be standard on most boats by now?
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Old 02-26-2011
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SnS-
Check it out yourself. First, is there any general scientific literature to be found showing that a magnetic field breaks down algae? No. Ionizing radiation, yes. Magnetism, no.
Second, check out their claims. Last time I looked (some years ago) they were very proud to tell you that their product meets military specifications! A specific MilSpec number, implying that it is good enough to meet military criteria for usage. Wow, that's impressive.
Unless you do as I did, and look up the milspec number. It turns out that's a specification that says something like "If this thing is bolted to a bulkhead, it will remain attached to the bulkhead during combat manuevers." So the milspec claim just means the case is built well.
Then there's the claim it is used on all sorts of military and government vessels. That one is true! Of course, the government is REQUIRED to accept anything pretty much anything from anyone, in order to test it for conformance on that bulkhead rating. That's right, the claim actually means "Anyone can submit this to the government, and the government MUST INSTALL IT ON A VESSEL".

You see the common thread in there? Misleading claims and zero scientific or lab evidence of ANY effect on fuel? That's what every carnival barker and snake oil salesman does. Show you "proof" of everything except what they claim.

Oh, yes, I heard from one satisfied user. Except, he cleaned out his whole fuel system and installed new fuel filtering at the same time as the miracel product, so he has no idea if the fuel filtering is working as it does for everyone else, or if the magic box does anything at all. Besides stay attached to the bulkhead, in conformance with the milspec rating.

After all these years of making claims, they easily could have gotten lab results to back them up--if the box actually worked.

Save your money. Invest in FILTERS.
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Old 02-26-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SnScrewmember View Post
Anyone got experience of the Algae-X magnetic fuel conditioner? I've scanned the web and found some in favour and some against. Those in favour are usually people who have tried it, and are mostly positive- but of course, having handed over the dollars it's difficult to admit you were wrong. Those against usually just dimiss it as snake oil, but provide no evidence (which makes their opinions equally useless). The only controlled experiment I came across was this one:
3w dot diesel-fuels dot com/pdf/lgx-test dot pdf
Which looks reasonably convincing, but makes no judgement on the system's ability to cope with biological contamination.
Anyone know of any other evidence?

SnS
(add the "www" and change the "dot" to a "." in the url- this is my first post, so for some reason I'm not allowed to post a link).

A test sponsored by Algae-X is unbiased? No, I don't think a reasonable person would accept that as data.

Practical Sailor Magazine did side-by-side testing; it did nothing. You can order the back article. They do package a good liquid biocide (since their machine does not work--pretty funny--which is a well know product licensed to them by others).

Practical Sailor also tested products that did work.

The people on the forum are not willfully bashing--they don't have a dog in the fight--they are simply trying to save you money and save you from blatant snake oil. It's offensive.
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Old 02-26-2011
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If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck.....


I looked at a little of the literature on their website. I makes absolutely NO sense at all. The whole thing is very reminiscent of the magnetic gizmos that used to be sold to improve the gas milage of cars, or the magnetic gizmos that used to be sold to soften household water, or the....... (insert generic gizmo and fantastic claim here).....

Hint: If someone is hawking a magnet that will solve all your ills, change the channel.
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Old 02-26-2011
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This, from the FTC and fraudulent claims about fuel mileage improvement.
"Gas-Saving" Products: Fact or Fuelishness?

The only devises that work--and hundreds have been tested--do one of 3 things:
* Improve aerodynamics
* Disengage accessories
* Warn the driver to take his foot off the gas
The rest is snake oil, yet they are still for sale.

Pretty funny.
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Old 02-26-2011
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When I acquired my sailboat 15 years ago, it had been in Florida for 5+ years and hadn't been used for the last 2 of those years. Since I had a 1700 mi delivery trip to New England ahead of me, and was concerned about fuel issues, I had the tank cleaned and the fuel polished.

After ~$400 cleaning, I had 10 gal. of recyled deisel and peace of mind. The polishing process didn't turn up any issues--no water, no organisms. So, 15 years later, I haven't used any additives and have only changed my Racor filter once--and that was precautionary, after 10 years.

I've concluded that there is no need for additives if there are no indications of biological activity. You do need to check your filter once in a while, to make sure you are not picking up water and to see if your filter is actually collecting any visible evidence of contaminants. If so, you should determine if you're collecting plain old dirt, in which case you need to check your fuel source and add filtration between the source and your tank. If you don't see evidence of critters, what's a biocide to kill? The other side of that coin is that you might want to clean out your fuel system if you do have a biologics problem and start over fresh. If you are detecting water, you are driving a biologics issue in the wrong direction.

Bottom line: Determine the problem before you buy a solution.
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