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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance > Engines > Diesel > Fuel tank drain
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Diesel This is a forum dedicated to diesel engines and their applicable accessories.


Thread: Fuel tank drain Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
05-22-2013 10:09 PM
Classic30
Re: Fuel tank drain

Neat setup! Thanks, Maine.
05-22-2013 09:54 PM
Maine Sail
Re: Fuel tank drain

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hartley18 View Post

I'm just surprised a low-point drain isn't standard fitment on ALL diesel tanks. Otherwise, how are you supposed to get all of the water out?
Never had any water in my fuel but some of my customers have, usually a leaking deck fill..

I threw this together with some spare parts but it could be built for under $100.00.. I simply remove the fuel sending unit or the pick up and insert the copper tube all the way to the very bottom. flip the switch and let it polish while I work on the boat. If I see water in the bowl I drain it off and keep going...

05-22-2013 09:31 PM
Classic30
Re: Fuel tank drain

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Swain View Post
Crud in your diesel stopping your engine in the middle of a surfy pass is far more dangerous than any risks from having a low point drain, something US bureaucrats are too dense to understand. I weld one on with a stainless bal valve, which has never failed me.
Well put, Brent.

I was hoping there might be a 'non-welded' solution out there, but it sounds like, if I'm going to do this, I'll need to pull the tank and MIG something on properly - with a sump too. But that's a huge job, so, for now, I'll get the professionals in to clean up the insides as best as possible and go sailing..
05-22-2013 09:24 PM
Brent Swain
Re: Fuel tank drain

Crud in your diesel stopping your engine in the middle of a surfy pass is far more dangerous than any risks from having a low point drain, something US bureaucrats are too dense to understand. I weld one on with a stainless bal valve, which has never failed me.
05-22-2013 09:17 PM
Classic30
Re: Fuel tank drain

Quote:
Originally Posted by tdw View Post
If you will insist on sailing a termite mound you have only yourself to blame.

I'm not clear on this .... do you have a glass fuel filter ? This kind of thing.
Yep. I've got the Fleetguard version, but it's essentially identical.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tdw View Post
If so then it seems to me this is a problem best left on the back burner until you are cleaning out that filter more than once a year. If not, get one.
As mentioned (obscurely), I replaced the filter yesterday after about a year's use, fully expecting it to be loaded with black goo.. but instead there was nothing much to report, so I guess it's all good.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tdw View Post
Then again if you have a reasonable access panel into the tank, empty it out, give it a damn good clean up and go sailing.
Access is virtually non-existent. I'm just surprised more people don't have drains fitted, that's all... 'cause it sure would make double-checking so much easier.

Must be those silly American regs again...
05-22-2013 08:44 PM
tdw
Re: Fuel tank drain

If you will insist on sailing a termite mound you have only yourself to blame.

I'm not clear on this .... do you have a glass fuel filter ? This kind of thing.



If so then it seems to me this is a problem best left on the back burner until you are cleaning out that filter more than once a year. If not, get one.

Then again if you have a reasonable access panel into the tank, empty it out, give it a damn good clean up and go sailing.

cheers mate

Andrew B

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hartley18 View Post
With this old girl?? Too bloody right mate!

There's a bit of the 'ol black stuff coating the bottom that I don't remember being there before.. and AIUI that stuff only grows in the presence of water.

Still, I dosed it good an' proper last week before the race and pulled the primary filter today (due anyway) and was surprised to find hardly anything there (there's usually a bit)... so, p'raps you're right, TD.

It's just that I've been getting rather used to things left undone for a while costing me a packet to fix later. Usual story.

Doesn't mean having a drain isn't good practice.. at some stage.
05-22-2013 08:20 PM
Classic30
Re: Fuel tank drain

Quote:
Originally Posted by peikenberry View Post
First let me say this. In the USA, Canada, EU and many other places that follow ISO or ABYC rules, gasoline fuel tanks are not permitted to have a drain on the bottom. All fuel fittings must be on the top surface of the tank. This is simply so you don't end up with the contents of your tank in the bilge. It can do more than just ruin your day.

Diesel tanks are permitted to have a drain on the bottom. In fact it is very common to have a drain on diesel tanks.

You can find the rules for Australia (and New Zealand) here:
http://www.nmsc.gov.au/index.php?MID=29&CID=29
Here:
http://www.nmsc.gov.au/media/pages_m...er%20Boats.pdf
and here http://www.nmsc.gov.au/media/pages_m..._saf_equip.pdf

As far as I can tell the standards are all based on ISO Standards, but for some strange reason they did not appear to include fuel systems. Maybe I am missing something.
Interesting reading.. I don't think you're missing anything - it's just that ABYC are paranoid.

Quote:
Originally Posted by peikenberry View Post
PS: I checked the Rules for commercial boats and the prohibition on drains for gasoline tanks is there as well as the allowance for drains on diesel tanks. See http://www.nmsc.gov.au/media/pages_m..._v0_5final.pdf
Complete with a diagram (Fig. 11 Page 64) showing exactly the sort of thing I'm talking about! I suppose it's a good thing I'm not planning to go for Survey, 'cause my fuel tank obviously doesn't comply.

If indeed it is very common to have a drain on diesel tanks, as you say, I wonder why it's so hard to get info on them?



Anyway: I'll put this little project on the back-burner for when (if ever) the tank has to come out, either for cleaning or other reasons.
05-22-2013 05:40 PM
katsailor
Re: Fuel tank drain

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hartley18 View Post
If the pick-up isn't in the bottom of the tank (and I'm pretty sure it isn't) it doesn't matter how good a separator I have.. it won't get all the water out. That's why I need the drain...

Maybe I haven't explained the issue properly. The primary purpose of a fuel tank (low-point) drain is:

To get the dregs out of the bottom of the tank.

Ideas anyone??
Remove the 1-1/2 inch inlet fitting
Insert a siphon tube or pump, I use an old outboard fuel line with the end fittings removed.
Siphon the tank dry
Flush
Refill

If you are looking for fittings, research fuel cells on the internet. Most hot rod shops carry an ample selection of fittings, hose, etc.
05-22-2013 12:52 PM
dabnis
Re: Fuel tank drain

Quote:
Quote:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hartley18 View Post
If the pick-up isn't in the bottom of the tank (and I'm pretty sure it isn't) it doesn't matter how good a separator I have.. it won't get all the water out. That's why I need the drain...
I mentioned "until you can get the water out"

Quote:
Maybe I haven't explained the issue properly. The primary purpose of a fuel tank (low-point) drain is:

Quote:
To get the dregs out of the bottom of the tank.
Understood

Quote:
Ideas anyone??
I had a tank that ingested salt water because the outside vent opening did not have a high enough loop in the hose. I was able to snake a piece of hose to the lowest point in the tank. After swallowing a big mouthful of gas starting a siphon I was able to start a siphon and completely drain the tank.
Not good to siphon with black hose.

Paul T
05-22-2013 05:22 AM
Classic30
Re: Fuel tank drain

Quote:
Originally Posted by tdw View Post
Hartles .... do you know that you have a problem ? Pick up will of course be slightly above the bottom of the tank to prevent sludge collection but even so if you had a water problem it would start to come through eventually. I'm wondering if you are worrying about a problem that may not even exist. As the old saying goes "If you had nothing to worry about, you'd worry about having nothing to worry about".
With this old girl?? Too bloody right mate!

There's a bit of the 'ol black stuff coating the bottom that I don't remember being there before.. and AIUI that stuff only grows in the presence of water.

Still, I dosed it good an' proper last week before the race and pulled the primary filter today (due anyway) and was surprised to find hardly anything there (there's usually a bit)... so, p'raps you're right, TD.

It's just that I've been getting rather used to things left undone for a while costing me a packet to fix later. Usual story.

Doesn't mean having a drain isn't good practice.. at some stage.
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