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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest Forums > Gear & Maintenance
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  #11  
Old 06-10-2011
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I replaced the original mild steel tank in my 1975 Cal recently (the bottom had basically rusted through) with a polyethylene unit from Vetus.

It will never corrode, and a quick glance through the cockpit locker tells me how much diesel I have.
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Old 06-10-2011
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I thought about a plastic tank but because the tank isn't supported underneath I decided on stainless. Originally it was strapped to the underside of the cockpit. My new tank is in the same place but has vertical flanges that are bolted to the wood running fore and aft under the cockpit sole.
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Old 06-10-2011
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Diesel is more stable than gasoline, but it is still a blend of many ingredients, some volatile, some unstable. If you prevent biomatter from forming, prevent condensation from getting in, there are still apparently volatiles that have evaporated out, and other chemicals that have decayed and turned into varnish and sludge.

If it runs it runs, but if any fuel has been sitting around for two years without stabilants being added? I think I'd rather take it to the waste oil tank and let it be burned off as heating fuel.
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Old 06-10-2011
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Assuming this is DIESEL and NOT GASOLINE.

The advice of discarding it (by putting it into your home oil burner tank, etc.) is a good one. The reason is that most of the contamination in diesel fuel will most likely be a fungus species whose 'spores' can easily pass through a BaJa type filter.
That stated, 'many' successive 'filtrations' through a Baja (or even a 'stack' of large paper drip-coffee filters !!!!) will significantly lessen the 'bio-load' of particles.

What you should consider to do if re-filtration is your choice is to filter and refilter and refilter (many times through the same filter) so that when you put the oil into a clean glass container and hold it up between your eyeball and STRONG light ... you see no HAZE in the fuel. This will insure that the 'distribution' of remaining particles will be 'mostly' below 5ÁM; the 'naked eye' wont be able to 'see' particles (haze) smaller than 5ÁM and the fuel by then will be close to 'optically clear'. The reason for the 'target of optically clear' is that such particles typically 'agglomerate' into larger and larger particles (grow in size!) over time and then will if 'alive' simply re-infect the tank. This will allow you to 're-start' with fairly 'clean' and particle free (greater than 5ÁM removed) fuel.
Q - When is Diesel fuel bad? Answ: - when its not 'optically clear' when you hold it up to STRONG light and you see a HAZE (or worse).

Your "racor" should be a 10ÁM, not a 2ÁM... and the small engine mounted 'guard' filter should be 15-17ÁM. If you get a lot of rust and other 'hard' particles (from your usual fuel supplier or from rust etc. from the tank) then the system should be tank --> 30ÁM ---> 10ÁM ---> 15-17ÁM (guard filter mounted on engine).

Summary: filter and filter and re-filter the fuel until optically clear, then add an enzyme type 'stabilizer' or 'tank cleaner' to the fuel. Thats it, youll be good to go. Plan on cleaning out the tank every year or so.
Note: if you can, wipe your fingers on the inside of the tank ... if your fingers pick up black slime or any 'heavy black', this is a fungus colony and HAS to be cleaned out as cleaning up the oil will be of no benefit until you remove the fungus that is using the oil as its nutrient source. The 'black' is usually a 'mat' of dead cells and resinous by-products of the organisms metabolism --- has to be 'removed' ... or you WILL have 'filter problems' later on.
The 'easiest' way to clean out a small tank is to take it to a 'radiator' or 'heat exchanger' shop and have it 'ultrasonically' cleaned.

Hope this helps. ;-)

Last edited by RichH; 06-11-2011 at 12:12 AM.
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