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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance > Cleaning Out a Diesel Tank
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Thread: Cleaning Out a Diesel Tank Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
07-21-2012 09:42 PM
MedSailor
Re: Cleaning Out a Diesel Tank

Quote:
Originally Posted by UncleJim View Post
Good threads never die, they just leave you hanging.
...did Medsailor get his inspection hole cut?
...did SimonV get offshore without dead critters in his tank?
...and what about taking two very large dogs cruising on a sailboat? oh wrong thread my bad
YES! Inspection holes cut! Tank is spiffy clean! Nobody was immolated and S/V (or is it M/V?) Fairhaven has put a couple hundred hours on the same Racor filter now. Life is good with a clean diesel tank. You should have seen the fistfuls of crud I pulled out.

MedSailor
07-21-2012 08:01 PM
UncleJim
Re: Cleaning Out a Diesel Tank

Quote:
Originally Posted by MobiusALilBitTwisted View Post
4 years dead, Now Look at it.
Good threads never die, they just leave you hanging.
...did Medsailor get his inspection hole cut?
...did SimonV get offshore without dead critters in his tank?
...and what about taking two very large dogs cruising on a sailboat? oh wrong thread my bad
07-21-2012 05:58 PM
MobiusALilBitTwisted
Re: Cleaning Out a Diesel Tank

4 years dead, Now Look at it.
07-21-2012 05:31 PM
bzalto
Re: Cleaning Out a Diesel Tank

That bit of humor made the day!
04-05-2008 01:20 PM
JiffyLube
Quote:
Originally Posted by SimonV View Post
I will look into having the fuel polished, the only access I have is through the pick up, fill pipe or the fuel gauge opening. Holding just under 40gal of 80.
Can anyone recommend an operator in the San Francisco area.
I used a company called Marine Lube while our boat was at Marina Village, and it costs $250.00 (found the receipt) to wand and polish. They were recommended to me by Don Wilson (boat broker), at Tartan C&C in Alameda. All the recommedations I got from Don turned out good, as they all do work for Tartan C&C. Don Wilson is well known in your area, and was a great help to me.
04-04-2008 05:39 PM
SimonV I will look into having the fuel polished, the only access I have is through the pick up, fill pipe or the fuel gauge opening. Holding just under 40gal of 80.
Can anyone recommend an operator in the San Francisco area.
04-04-2008 05:21 PM
JiffyLube
Quote:
Originally Posted by bfdtpkt View Post
I hired a man last year that pumped everything out, pressure washed the inside walls, pumped some more, pressure washed and pumped again....
he had HUGE Racor type filters and then pumped clean fuel back in..... you sould actually see the dirty fuel pumped out and the clean fuel being pumped in..... haven't had a problem since and will probably do it again this year......

let's face it, fuel is probably the #1 problem on boats.....
well, maybe running out of RUM is right up there, too!
I agree with you, that's the easiest way to solve this problem.
04-04-2008 01:17 PM
hellosailor Med-
IIRC I've been told to use heavy grease on the saw blades to trap any shavings or dust, so it can be wiped off later rather than just blowing it around.

Simon-
The duality of algecide seems to be that if you use it, it will killl algae which will drop out on the tank, creating sludge in the tank. But if you don't use it--they'll grow anyway, eventually die and turn to sludge (ust not all at once), and wind up in your filter instead of your tank.

Seems that the only question is where you want their little bodies, and how many the shock of the algecide is likely to cause. If your tank is clean before you start, of course there won't be many bodies to form sludge in the first place.

But if you put some snails or small catfish in the tank, to eat the algae...[g]
04-04-2008 11:36 AM
bfdtpkt I hired a man last year that pumped everything out, pressure washed the inside walls, pumped some more, pressure washed and pumped again....
he had HUGE Racor type filters and then pumped clean fuel back in..... you sould actually see the dirty fuel pumped out and the clean fuel being pumped in..... haven't had a problem since and will probably do it again this year......

let's face it, fuel is probably the #1 problem on boats.....
well, maybe running out of RUM is right up there, too!
04-04-2008 10:14 AM
camaraderie Simon...I have a bit different take on all this for YOUR situation. You have bought an older boat with fuel that has been in the tanks for quite a while. One may assume that there is both a significant amount of water AND algae growth in that tank. You also have no access to that tank...and when you go offshore and get in heavy weather with the engine all that crap will get stirred up and stop you cold...again and again after filter changes...to say nothing of the danger a failed engine might put you in, in some places.

There are only two solutions to your probelm. One is to cut access ports and clean out the tanks yourself. The other is to call in a good fuel polishing service that has the ability and competence not to just suck fuel out of your tank but also to keep moving the lines around to stir things up and remove the settled debris. In my opinion...one of these options is a MUST before embarking on a journey like yours.

I agree with MedSailor on the use of biocides in a dirty tank...they will just compound the problem. Biocides should be used to PREVENT algae growth rather than CURE it. That perhaps is where the conflict between advice exists. Biocide is GOOD...and some fuel brands add it at the pump in the USA...but because it kills algae, you can wind up with a mess in your tanks if the algae is already there as MedS says.

I am in total agreement with HS on the need for access ports on tanks. I think a balanced view of the danger posted by ports for diesel tanks vs. the danger posed by engine failure would argue that ports are a good thing.
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