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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance > Engines > Diesel > Fuel Cleaning Service - Yes or No?
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Diesel This is a forum dedicated to diesel engines and their applicable accessories.


Thread: Fuel Cleaning Service - Yes or No? Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
04-04-2013 01:43 PM
T37Chef
Re: Fuel Cleaning Service - Yes or No?

I appreciate all the feedback.

I consulted several people, including the fuel cleaning service that I hired, my mechanic, and the mechanic in the yard (Nelson Anderson, highly respected in the area) and all advised to not install a inspection port if not needed. I figure, the boat is 30+ years old, I have never had any issues with the fuel before, so why fix what ain't broke and the possibility of creating an issue...so no inspection port installed.

I am glad I had them "polish" the tank and mostly glad I had all fuel removed, the fuel was not in good condition. I watched them do it and was satisfied with what I observed. They came in two days prior and added a shock treatment to "release" slug/algae growth and then came back and used a high pressure pump to circulate the fuel for about 90 minutes at something like 20 gallons a minute IIRCC. Ultimately through a 1 micron filter. As they removed fuel they used a "wand" to spray down the sides of the tank essentially.

Cost was $425, call me crazy, call me proactive...I don't really know, but I feel better about it. One compliant with PetroScrub, the guys didn't attach the wires back to the sending unit, no big deal, took me all of 30 seconds.

With the new Racor Fuel Conditioning and using ValvTect BioGuard™ PLUS 6 I don't foresee any issues either

BTW, it was advised by several not to over use the Biocides, sometimes we think more is better, not the case so I am told

Thanks all
04-04-2013 01:19 PM
luck66
Re: Fuel Cleaning Service - Yes or No?

Some years ago, I got some bad fuel. I had to replace the filter all the time. I was not able to find a service to clean the fuel, so I put a hole in the top of my tank and cleaned it myself. I plugged the hole and everything is good. (except when the tank is full and I am sailing heeled over to port, then the plug leaks.) I only have a 20 gal tank. I would use a service in the future.
03-30-2013 02:00 PM
hellosailor
Re: Fuel Cleaning Service - Yes or No?

If you can remove the tank to clean it, that works equally well. If you can remove the tank there are other ways to clean it, even without an inspection port. The problem is that often means moving engine controls, rudder cables, electrical, all the stuff that is installed over and around the tank, and then figuring out how to hump it out the lazarette, because the odds are there's only one way it can fit in or out of the boat. That can mean two people for two hours out, two more hours back in, at a certain point hiring a polishing company becomes more attractive.

But knowing the tank is as clean as it can be, and the engine as reliable as it can be, is a nice feeling.
03-30-2013 12:17 PM
aeventyr60
Re: Fuel Cleaning Service - Yes or No?

If you can't get into the tank and physically scrub out the tank then I think you are wasting your money. The black grunge on the bottom and side of the tanks needs to be wiped out. Add the inspection port, pump out the fuel your self. I've been through the process several times. I think most folks are really in denial about what's lurking in the fuel tank. I get around 350 hours out of a racor 500 series filter on my clean tanks.
03-25-2013 04:31 PM
miatapaul
Re: Fuel Cleaning Service - Yes or No?

Quote:
Originally Posted by barefootnavigator View Post
Yes get it done and yes cut a hole in the tank if you want it done right.

Basic fuel polishing will only clean the dead algae in the fuel, you actually need to clean the tank walls also.

Its the live algae that will die that keeps coming back again and again. Once you do this keep your tank topped off and add Biobor every time you refuel.

This whole process is way less expensive than the filters you will be constantly replacing. You can also do this yourself by pulling the fuel and dumping it, cut a 6" minimum hole and wipe the whole tank clean, you will be surprised how disgusting it is. When you are done make a gasket and tap holes for your new port and your done.

One tip, if you use liquid gasket instead of a proper gasket the sealant might drop into tank in little beads from each screw hole and clog your filter but that's a one time deal.

Why go this far and not finish the job right? Sailboats are simple creatures if you let them be. Good Luck and congrats on the new engine, I can only imagine.
I agree, I don't see that an access port is going to cause leaks. First of all it is on the top and will only have any fuel contact when healed over and only when a very full tank. Many boats have access ports. Now depending on the baffles are set up you may need more than one.
03-20-2013 06:19 PM
barefootnavigator
Re: Fuel Cleaning Service - Yes or No?

Yes get it done and yes cut a hole in the tank if you want it done right.

Basic fuel polishing will only clean the dead algae in the fuel, you actually need to clean the tank walls also.

Its the live algae that will die that keeps coming back again and again. Once you do this keep your tank topped off and add Biobor every time you refuel.

This whole process is way less expensive than the filters you will be constantly replacing. You can also do this yourself by pulling the fuel and dumping it, cut a 6" minimum hole and wipe the whole tank clean, you will be surprised how disgusting it is. When you are done make a gasket and tap holes for your new port and your done.

One tip, if you use liquid gasket instead of a proper gasket the sealant might drop into tank in little beads from each screw hole and clog your filter but that's a one time deal.

Why go this far and not finish the job right? Sailboats are simple creatures if you let them be. Good Luck and congrats on the new engine, I can only imagine.
03-20-2013 06:17 PM
T37Chef Has anyone used Clean Fuels out of Annapolis?
03-20-2013 05:57 PM
T37Chef
Quote:
Originally Posted by jimgo:1003503
Shawn,
If you already have a polisher, why pay for the service, too?
I suppose I am trying to be extra prudent with a new engine. I little extra $$$ now, may save me $$$$$$$ down the road. who really knows, the whole thing may just be a scam
03-19-2013 01:25 PM
jameswilson29
Re: Fuel Cleaning Service - Yes or No?

I believe it it being used in the sense of "refining" or "improving", rather than "shining". Otherwise, I just wasted $250 for shiny diesel fuel.
03-19-2013 12:17 PM
deltaten
Re: Fuel Cleaning Service - Yes or No?

Perhaps a silly question; but what *is* "fuel polishing"?
I could guess; but a proper definition is much better than a shot-in-the-dark.
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