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post #1 of 26 Old 10-25-2017 Thread Starter
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Old diesel fuel

What about old diesel fuel? I read the thread on old gas . . . wondering how much applies to older, aging or "stale" diesel fuel?
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post #2 of 26 Old 10-25-2017
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Re: Old diesel fuel

Diesel fuel is less volatile than gasoline and will, therefore, last longer.

When I lay my boat up for the winter, I fill the tank and put blue painter's tape over the tank's vent fitting primarily to keep moisture out. This has worked for me for the last 8 years in New England.

The trick with diesel is KEEP IT CLEAN. Some form of life (algae/bacteria/whatever) will grow where any water and diesel mix, and this will eventually clog filters and injectors.

I have heard stories of people starting diesel engines on tractors after 4 years with the fuel that they were parked with. Try this thread; https://www.bobistheoilguy.com/forum...Number=2750535 (wow - 20 years!)
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Last edited by eherlihy; 10-25-2017 at 09:49 AM.
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Re: Old diesel fuel

Much less of a problem with diesel fuel. Most of the marine versions sold at marinas have stabilizers in them, so that helps extend the shelf life. Major issue is usually contamination from water or sludge in the bottom of the fuel tank.

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post #4 of 26 Old 10-25-2017
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Re: Old diesel fuel

Highly refined Technical oils used as 'dielectric' / electrical insulating oils, if kept in hermetically sealed containers will last many years (although they 'will' eventually 'saturate' with water and lose their insulating ability over the long term .... the water WILL eventually equilibrate through the sealing and will contaminate the oil, but no 'bugs'.).

ANY fuel oil in direct contact with the atmosphere (tank vent) will begin to degrade. Some tanks are subject to infection of fungals and if there is high water uptake also bacteria. Its just a matter of time and 'chemical equilibrium' of water and oxygen and microorganisms entering into the oil. Fresh oil from the refinery has a shelf-life of approx. 45-60 days; then it slowly begins to degrade if in direct contact with the atmosphere - through the tank vent.

Empty fuel tanks (when no oil is being used) have the greatest chemical stability.
Therefore, don't top-off your tank if you're not going to immediately use the oil. Topping off the tank needlessly will only cause more 'equilibrium drive' causing a greater total amount of water to 'equilibrate' into the oil.
Buy only 'fresh' fuel oil from a high turnover fuel source such as truck stop or a high turnover fuel depot that caters to commercial marine industry - buy only what you reasonably need for the short term, plus some reserve.
Do NOT put a valve on the vent of your fuel tank to prevent water 'uptake'... you'll risk imploding your tank when it gets really cold (or when you forget to open the vent valve and the engine is running.)
Empty the tank when the boat is being long term stored (use the oil in your oil-burner at home).

Got water in your fuel oil? Suck out all the free water at the bottom of your tank; then, recirculate the fuel through water-absorbing 'filters' containing the starch used in baby diapers - HydroxyMethylCellulose.
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Last edited by RichH; 10-25-2017 at 09:44 AM.
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Re: Old diesel fuel

I still try to use up my fuel on a regular basis. Don't use all my tankage anymore. Gonna be another 6 months before I empt the tank with the "Free" Indonesia fuel. Tank will be cleaned after that crap..which was Baja Filtered, bio cided and prayed over..but hey it's hi sulphur fuel oil so the ol Perkins loves it...
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Re: Old diesel fuel

Quote:
Originally Posted by aeventyr60 View Post
I still try to use up my fuel on a regular basis. Don't use all my tankage anymore. Gonna be another 6 months before I empt the tank with the "Free" Indonesia fuel. Tank will be cleaned after that crap..which was Baja Filtered, bio cided and prayed over..but hey it's hi sulphur fuel oil so the ol Perkins loves it...
Still have a black iron fuel tank in your Tayana-beast?
The 'bugs' in fuel oil like to include that black iron on their food menu - biocide, biocide, biocide !!!! ;-)
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Re: Old diesel fuel

[QUOTE=RichH;2051257673]Still have a black iron fuel tank in your Tayana-beast?
The 'bugs' in fuel oil like to include that black iron on their food menu - biocide, biocide, biocide !!!! ;-)[/QUOTI

I cut out that ***** with a Sawzall in New Zealand 14 years ago. Now a 50 gallon tank in the bilge and a saddle tank with 32 gallons...One with inspection port the other without. Still need to be cleaned every 5 years or so in the tropics....I don't care what any one says about this either..Denial is not a river in Eqypt...


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Re: Old diesel fuel

Quote:
Originally Posted by RichH View Post
Empty fuel tanks (when no oil is being used) have the greatest chemical stability.
Therefore, don't top-off your tank if you're not going to immediately use the oil. Topping off the tank needlessly will only cause more 'equilibrium drive' causing a greater total amount of water to 'equilibrate' into the oil.
I have always heard and been told that the more empty your fuel tank the greater the risk of condensation inside the tank, hence have always filled up (including adding biocide and other additive) before leaving for the winter.

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Re: Old diesel fuel

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Originally Posted by basssears View Post
I have always heard and been told that the more empty your fuel tank the greater the risk of condensation inside the tank, hence have always filled up (including adding biocide and other additive) before leaving for the winter.
Question: how many empty tanks do you know that automatically fill up with water?
If this were true, we wouldn't need to dig artesian water wells, would we?

The condensation (stratified water at the bottom of the oil) noted inside partly or even fully filled tanks is because the oil is 'already' totally saturated with water. The 'condensation' observed is coming from the water-saturated oil. Oil from the refinery is essentially dehydrated as a result of the high temperature cracking/distilling process. The eventual inevitable water saturation is from the wet atmosphere - chemical equilibrium!!!!
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Re: Old diesel fuel

Quote:
Originally Posted by basssears View Post
I have always heard and been told that the more empty your fuel tank the greater the risk of condensation inside the tank, hence have always filled up (including adding biocide and other additive) before leaving for the winter.
With respect to Rich (and Maine Sail) on this, I agree with what you were told. The problem is that when the temperature changes from cool to warm, coupled with the moisture that warm air can bring with it, you get condensation. This happens often in the spring in New England. The diesel fuel stays cool, and the moisture in the air condenses when it comes into contact with the fuel or the aluminum wall of the tank.

I have seen condensation from this on the outside of my aluminum tank in the spring. It was so pronounced that it created a line of condensate on the outside of the tank at the level of the fuel inside the tank (I could have used it as a fuel gauge). After this happened the first year, I started to fill my tank.



See those snowflakes on the outside of the tank? They are oxidation caused by condensation. I prefer them on the outside, rather than the inside of the tank.
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Last edited by eherlihy; 10-25-2017 at 10:52 AM.
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